A short piece inspired by Steffany Gretzinger’s song “No One Ever Cared for me Like Jesus.”
I looked everywhere for my joy.
As a little girl, I looked for it in connection with my parents and family, but I couldn’t find it. Buried in their own pain, their hearts were hidden from mine.
As an adolescent, I looked for it in the acceptance of my peers; but it was elusive. The rules always changing and I couldn’t play their game.
As a teenager, I looked for it in the arms of men; growing up too fast; connecting in body in ways that tore my soul apart.
As an adult, I looked for it in marriage. But my husband and I kept missing each other. A mountain of baggage between us, our hearts grew bitter and cold.
I poured myself into motherhood; limping along, dragging my unprocessed pain, unable to diffuse the rage it produced. I tried and failed again.
I looked for it in church. But I found a form of godliness void of any real power to change and absent of the connection my soul desperately craved.
I looked for it in my accomplishments; in my appearance; in my accolades, but they rang hollow. This world’s “worthwhile pursuits” turned out to be nothing more than empty shells.
YOU CAME FOR ME— Carrying the parts of my heart abandoned along the way.
I traded my true self for others’ acceptance; you redeemed each part of me.
You’re putting me back together; there’s no joy in pretending; in trying harder, doing more or being better.
There’s no joy in giving in; only in letting go.
First things first—in You alone, my joy is found. Then— in perhaps the most beautiful mystery of all—I find it in everything else.