I met Joy and Worth the night I had to sneak away for college. My mother secretly rented a mini van. We rode that van away from the city, the lights, and the warmth of familiar. We rode it away from the questions of a man troubled by heavy memories, often expressed in fear, a desire to control, and a heavy fist.
I remember the chicken bones I felt lodged in my throat that night. I lost count of the yellow stripes on pavement. My mind traced back-steps. I hoped I hadn't forgotten anything, except fear. I meant to leave fear crying on the brown shag carpet where I'd first found it. I was remorse to know that it'd come along to be a silent and unwanted companion beside me, cold fingers pressing in to the back of my neck.
While we rode that van away, Joy began to build himself a throne in my heart. And he sat on it. And he smiled. It confused the heck out of me, that Joy would smile. I wanted what I perceived to be a Charles Spurgeon kind of joy--deep, moody, messy, and hard. I thought I knew of dark nights, but Joy gently shook his head. He told me to open up my fists and receive what I had never known before--worth.
When I felt the word run across my thoughts the first time, I also felt fear's cold fingers press harder into my skin. I felt the chicken bones lodge deeper in my throat. Worth was not a word that I had known. I had never considered it. I had never considered that the cross, full of bloody recompense, had not only lifted my sin nature, but it had restored my worth.
And what was I worth?
I honestly didn't know.
He had never given me a measure.
He had never given me a quantity.
Even now, He only tells me that I am full.
I wouldn't know until later that the distance between bravery and fear rested solely in my perspective of my worth. I wouldn't know until later that fear could lie powerless at my feet in the wake of my worth in Jesus, my Joy.
But until I understood, I continued to run, and Joy ran with me.
Runaway, I want you to meet Joy and Worth. They met you before you could open your eyes and set your heart to the pavement. They know you well. They are not afraid of you. They will not run away from you. Joy and Worth only want to come with you and fill you.
stay safe + warm