"Rejoicing" with Angela Williams Gorrell

“Rejoicing” with Angela Williams Gorrell

~ing podcast Season 2 Episode 13
Full Episode Transcript

Season 2 Episode 13: “Rejoicing”, with Angela Williams Gorrell was released on April 5, 2022. The audio recording is available on all major podcasting platforms. More information is available here.

Episode Description:

In this week’s episode, ~ing host Allison Maus is joined by author, professor, and minister, Rev. Dr. Angela Williams Gorrell, professor at Baylor’s George W. Truett Theological Seminary. Today’s conversation explores themes from Rev. Dr. Williams Gorrell’s recently published book, The Gravity of Joy: A Story of Being Lost and Found. What does joy mean, and how to people of faith find joy amid all the turbulence of our world today? In her book, Rev. Dr. Williams Gorrell admits, “My vocation was supposed to be joy, and I was speaking at funerals.” This episode brings wisdom from her personal life, as well as her time in education and ministry to this important theme of joy. 

Allison Maus, Angela Williams Gorrell, Shari Zook, Ben Wideman

Ben Wideman  00:00
Welcome to Season Two of ~ing Podcast, a production of MennoMedia’s Leader Magazine.  What does it mean to authentically follow Jesus? Each week ~ing Podcast invites you to join us on a journey. Join us as we talk with people of faith who are creatively thinking, growing, and being… People who are reimagining and exploring what it means to enrich faith in a complex world.

Angela Williams Gorrell  00:27
Joy is definitely different from toxic positivity. It’s, it’s not about just, you know, grin and bear it. That’s… that’s not joy. But I do think that joy is a very special emotion because of its ability to be felt, even in the midst of suffering.

Ben Wideman  00:47
Our conversation begins now. Join us as we journey together.

Allison Maus  00:55
Hello, everyone, and welcome to another episode of ~ing Podcast. Today I am here with Reverend Dr. Angela Williams Gorrell who is the author of The Gravity of Joy: A Story of Being Lost and Found. Hi, Angela, thanks for joining me today.

Angela Williams Gorrell  01:11
Hi, it’s so great to be with you.

Allison Maus  01:13
Yeah, good to meet you. I’m wondering if you can introduce yourself a little to me, and also to our listeners.

Angela Williams Gorrell  01:21
Absolutely. I am currently a professor at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, the home of Fixer Upper. Yep. That’s what we’re famous for, among other things that shall not be named because the other things that Waco is famous for people don’t want you know, it to be famous for. And I, so I mostly invest in the lives of seminary students who are going into ministry of all different sorts. And it’s, it brings so much joy to my life. It’s awesome. Before I came to Baylor, a little over two and a half years ago, I was research scholar at Yale with Miroslav Volf, working on the theology of joy and The Good Life project. And this book comes from both my life experience while I was there at Yale, and our research on joy.

Allison Maus  02:14
What brought you to study joy?

Angela Williams Gorrell  02:17
Well, in in fall 2018, I received an email from the Yale Center for Faith and Culture, asking me if I knew anyone who was who could be a part of this research project. And I emailed them back like me, and they said, Yeah, like you mean me? It was a very funny invitation. And so mostly, it started with an invitation. I was a PhD student at Fuller Theological Seminary. And I was really eager to do good work in the world. And I heard about this project, and I thought, study joy, from a theological perspective? Think about joy for three years? That sounds like an amazing thing to do, for the first few years of my career after getting a PhD!” And so it just for me, personally, it sounded really amazing. And it seemed like a good thing to do in the world.

Allison Maus  03:14
Yeah, it sounds like a like lovely, hopeful, fun thing to study. I’m wondering, as someone who studies and talks about joy in the theological realm, how how do you define joy? How is that different from like, happiness or other things? Or even just like a pop culture of like, choose joy, all the, you know, positivity posters we might see.

Angela Williams Gorrell  03:41
Right. Joy is definitely different from toxic positivity. It’s, it’s not about just, you know, grin and bear it. That’s, that’s not joy. I but I do think that joy is this a very special emotion because of its ability to be felt, even in the midst of suffering. But the thing is, is that joy is the very being in presence of God, ministering to us. That’s why joy can be felt in the midst of suffering. It’s not something that we do, I don’t know that we can choose the emotion joy. I would say we cannot… we cannot just make ourselves feel joy. I say in my book, The Gravity of Joy that we cannot make joy like we make spaghetti. It’s not like we just do this and we do that. And then “Tada!” we feel joy, because joy is a gift. And it’s interesting… in the Bible, the word for grace and the word for joy in Greek are very similar to one another. And so what we see is that from a theological perspective, it seems that joy is a gift. It’s the in breaking of the goodness of God in the midst of our circumstances, whether incredible circle stances are really difficult ones. I would distinguish joy from happiness by saying that happiness tends to be more tied to an evaluation of our circumstances. So happiness is when we look around at the conditions of our lives, and we think “I’m happy with how my life is going.” And I wish every listener here, great happiness, I hope that you look regularly at the conditions of your lives and you feel happy about them. I can understand why parents say I want more than anything for my children to be happy. Because I think that means they have enough resources, it means they have good relationships, it means they have meaningful work to do in the world, and so on. But joy, what’s so fascinating and wonderful about it is that joy supersedes circumstance joy is it’s beyond circumstance. Joy is the evaluation, I think of relatedness. So joy is the ability to recognize and to feel connected to in harmony with meaning, truth, beauty, goodness, and one another. And anyone who’s experienced deep pain, anyone who’s experienced suffering, knows that even in the midst of suffering, somehow, mysteriously, we can feel connected to the goodness of other people to other people, to meaning to truth. And so for me that that makes joy a much more profound emotion than happiness. Aquinas… Thomas Aquinas says that joy is the sort of ultimate positive emotion because every other positive emotion is caught up in it. And you’re going… Moltmann says that hope is the anticipation of joy. It’s on its way to joy. For me, it’s the best kind of emotion but like I think about it as a theologian, obviously.

Allison Maus  06:51
I don’t know if this is bad news that you just broke to me that joy can’t be controlled or made like spaghetti. I love that notion. Right? On the like, philosophical level of like, yes, it’s a gift, right? As a pastor, part of me also is like, Oh, darn it, I have loved to be able to control things or like cultivate it in a way that’s, you know, formulaic.

Angela Williams Gorrell  07:12
Mm hm. Yeah, I do want to say I think we can be postured for joy. We can live with open hands, we can look for it. Because I do think that we find what we’re looking for. And so I do want to say that I think that’s possible and important, that we’re people who are prepared for joy. We were prepared for God to minister to us that to meet us in the midst of whatever we’re going through, we’re prepared to feel connected to truth to goodness, to beauty to others, you know. And so and then I also think that the I want to distinguish the action of rejoicing, from the emotion of joy, I think that we can also choose to rejoice. So I think when we look at again, at the Bible, there are times where when we are commanded to rejoice, and so we’re commanded to look for goodness, and to rejoice over it, to say, This is good. And I am grateful to God for this thing. I think gratitude is deeply connected and integral to joy. So there are gateways to joy, gratitude, hope. Also, I think, for me, I’m finding that in my life that I can look, think back on other times that I’ve experienced joy. I call it in the book, a backward looking joy. When you can recall a time in your life when you experienced joy. And you can think about it, meditate on that experience on that story, relive it in your mind. And sometimes we can feel that joy again, and sometimes even more acutely. Which is why I think when we’re at a funeral, we can experience joy, because we can think about the person that has passed on that we love so deeply. And we can imagine in our minds reimagine a time when we that we had with them and it can bring us incredible joy and like, joy just washes over us and we can feel it again. You know, that’s Joy’s gift, it can be felt again and again. And also joy is contagious. So we can you know, when other people are rejoicing when they’re experiencing, you know, this profound sense of connection to meaning in their lives and their work and their relationships. We can feel joy, their joy, and we can share it with them. But yes, that’s all very different than toxic positivity. Toxic positivity says “neglect the grief in your life.” It says, “Don’t limit. Don’t be angry, never be fearful.” Rather than, you know, where joy says, “I can meet you in the midst of your grief and your lament.” And I can help you to know that even in the midst of this very difficult thing that you’re experiencing, God can meet with you. God can love you, you can experience God’s presence. And I can sit with you in your grief, I can limit alongside of you, and share it with you. And similarly to joy, right, I can take some of it as well and sharing it with you. And there’s a lot of ministry in that. And so I think we need more of that in the world. We need less, “don’t feel these ways. Just grin and bear it.” And we need more, “I’m sharing this with you, I’m a witness to your pain. And I’m with you in it.”

Allison Maus  10:36
Going off of that I, I wonder if you could speak more of um, yeah, what is the role of Church, or what is the role of community in experiencing joy?

Angela Williams Gorrell  10:49
Yes, it’s essential. And I think that there’s two major roles that the Church plays or Christian community plays, in helping people to experience joy. And one is just creating, making it a space for joy, saying in this community, we want you to feel free, we want to give you permission to feel joy openly and deeply when you do. And I really do think that that has to be said in a very intentional way, by the leaders of the Christian community on a regular basis. And that actually goes for every emotion. Their emotions have to have… You have to have permission from other people to feel emotions, to cry, to be angry, you know, to have fear, to be happy. To have joy, you need the permission of other people to be able to share your emotions with them. And then we need to give ourselves that permission as well. We need… we need the permission of both the community and ourselves to experience emotions. And so one is just giving people permission from the front as much as possible, or in the circle saying, in this place, you can feel deeply. In fact, we want you to. And, and then secondly, we create a space of joy. So we create spaces that create room because joy needs freedom, that creates room for all different sorts of experiences for storytelling, for remembering for thinking about the goodness that we’ve experienced, that we know in the world, truth telling us another gateway to joy.

Allison Maus  13:00
Your book, you’re… the blurb that I have read says that, you know, this book was inspired also from a time of grief in your life. And also, you know paralleled with that study knew you were doing the research at Yale. I’m curious if you could speak more about how this book in particular came into being through those two avenues?

Angela Williams Gorrell  13:25
Yes, so in March of 2016, I accepted my job at Yale, formally, so maybe I said earlier fall 2018. I meant to say fall 2015. Yes. So in fall 2015 is when I got the initial email, I did end up applying for the job a couple months later. And in March 2016, I accepted my role as a research scholar at Yale in a lecture working with undergraduates. And so my job was to study joy and to teach a class called Life Worth Living. And for the first semesters that I was there, I didn’t teach I wasn’t scheduled to teach until January of 2017. They were trying to get let me get situated and you know, really make sure that the prop the project was taking off before we started teaching. There were four of us on the research team initially. And eight months into the project. I lost four three family members and four weeks. My one of my family members, Dustin, died at 30 by suicide. Two weeks later, my nephew died very suddenly of cardiac arrest. He had a previously unknown heart condition. And my dad died six days after my nephew’s funeral. I was I was able to be at both Dustin and Mason’s funerals, and to speak at them, and to be a part of all of the different things leading up to those funerals with my family. It was incredibly painful. I’m very grateful that I was able to be with everyone though. And then, when I got back to New Haven, where Yale is, I got back on a Sunday night for my nephews funeral. And two nights later, I got the message that my dad was in the ER dying, and found myself on three planes again, in a rental car going to Kentucky to be with him. And I’m very fortunate that I was able to be with my dad for the last five hours of his life. I did his funeral the following Tuesday. I did the entire thing and the homily for it and such. So yeah, three people that I love died in four weeks. And I spoke at all of their funerals. And my dad died after 12 years of opioid use. And so each in their own ways, these deaths are quite tragic, you know, suicide, senseless death of a young person, and then my dad dying after years of opioid use. And so I found myself back at Yale, in the midst of profound grief thinking, Oh, my goodness, how will I do this? How will I teach this class life worth living? And how will I be the joy person? Like, joy, and suddenly our work seems so shallow and so trivial, in a world that was suffering.

Allison Maus  16:31
Yeah, I can’t imagine holding both of those spaces at the same time. And yet, you did find meaning in it. And this book came into the world to help other people understand that. Yeah, you can posture yourself toward joy even in the midst of grief. And that’s so beautiful. So thank you for, yeah, making meaning where a lot of us really struggle to make meaning.

Angela Williams Gorrell  17:00
Yeah, you know, and I think that that’s the thing is that one of one of my friends, who works at the Center for action and contemplation in Albuquerque with Richard Rohr, Mike Petro, he says that our meaning from suffering can change over time. Like sometimes we like find meaning in one way, at one time, and then like, then that just falls short. Or one day, we say, you know, that’s not working for me anymore. And then you know, so that God can reveal different meanings to us throughout our life around different events, especially ones that are especially painful. That’s really helpful to me. Another thing is that my friend and colleague at Yale Divinity School, Willie James Jennings, he is an incredible Systematic Theologian, and he was giving a lecture on joy, at one point for us, for like a conference that we we had him be a keynote speaker for it. And he said, in this particular talk, that totally shook my world, he said, “We can make pain productive, without glorifying or justifying suffering.” And for me, like that is something that I want to invite readers or readers, excuse me, I’d like to invite listeners and readers of my books to consider is that you don’t have to justify what has happened to you, especially really difficult, painful things. Or, or say like, this was such a great thing, this horrible thing that happened to me to find meaning in it. We don’t have to say, God doesn’t give us more than we can handle or everything happens for a reason, in order to make our pain productive. They’re not, you know, they’re, they’re not integral to one another, I think we can say, Indeed, God gives us more than we can handle or God allows for things to happen to us that are more than we can handle, that sometimes break us. And we can also say, I don’t know why this happened. But I’m going to create meaning in light of what has happened in the, in the sense that I’m going to find ways to do meaningful work in the world, in light, you know, in light of what I’ve experienced, and I think that’s where I am, I’m not the person who says, Oh, I think, you know, God took me to Yale to study joy. So I could write this book about it and had all these like, terrible things happen to me. I think it’s a matter of that I heard Willie say what he said, and I was like, “Okay, this is what it is. My family has suffered. I have suffered.” And at the time, I was a chaplain at a women’s prison. And that’s really what… and I said, “these women that I’ve met in prison they have suffered, where is God in all of this? And how might joy minister to all of us in the midst of this?”  That’s what you know, so for a year and five months after my dad’s death after those four weeks of hell I did little to nothing. I think it’s very important for people to know that I struggled to get out of bed. A lot of days, I cried constantly. I describe this in great detail in my book, chapters one through four are honest. They like… And people who read my book that like it the most, I think have recently experienced profound grief. And they’re like, “Thank you for not minimizing this, and for being super real about how hard this is,” you know? So I think it’s important for everyone to know, it’s not like I, you know, buried three of my family members and wrote this book, The next day, it was like, this was a year and five months of a lot of crying, and a lot of therapy. And then I became a volunteer chaplain at a women’s maximum security prison, working with women on suicide watch. I didn’t ask for the women on suicide watch, I was assigned the building of the women on suicide watch. And the majority of the women in my Bible study, were in prison for substance use related issues. And so I found all I’m like, basically, this is like a mental health hospital. You know, and a sober house. And it was there that I began to ask questions about, okay, what does joy look like? What does it mean, in the midst of all of this?

Allison Maus  21:20
Yeah, I love that perspective of like, the meaning making comes, you just be have to be intentional about it. And the processing rate, also the reminder of like, it’s not in this linear of like, or like, at the flip of a switch. But you know, one year out might feel different than you do four years out… That you do four years and six months out. That reminded me to have, you know, even mentioning, you can turn back to joy. You know, and continue processing that. I think I’m just thinking about… Oftentimes I’ll process something and then I’m like, “Alright, done moving forward.” But just I feel like I heard an invitation to like, “No, we need to keep turning back and looking at these pieces of our lives and asking the question of like, Alright, where’s God meeting me now, as I understand this? Where is God meeting me, in this new way that things are coming together?” Right? Like, I’m not just someone who’s grieving who’s working in a joy research project. But now I’m also at this prison. Yeah, with people on suicide watch, and all those different dynamics that come into it, add complexity and realness in a way that’s so important.

Angela Williams Gorrell  22:44
I mean, what was so ironic and wild is that it was in this room with women in prison, that I began to understand the power of joy. Willie, he also says that joy is a work of resistance against despair. I mean, when we think about Habakkuk, like we see this, right? Yet, like, even though all these things are going terribly, even though there are no cattle in the stalls, and there’s no like, like figs on the vine, like, even though everything has gone to hell, like everything is horrible, yet, I will rejoice. Why? Why? What is it and I think that that that Willie has captured it in these words, like, joy is a work of resistance. Joy is gritty, I will say that. So it’s not about grinning and baring through suffering, but joy is about saying, “I refuse to, to believe that goodness has disappeared. I refuse to believe that there is no truth worth or for affirming in the world. I refuse to believe that I will feel this lonely and disconnected from other people for the rest of my life. I, like, I will get up each day, expecting that God will meet me where I am, that God will minister to me. And that one day, I will recognize beauty and my connection with other people.” Again, I will recognize meaning and I will feel like it has something to do with my life. So we had over 140 scholars work with us on the joy project. And so that was extraordinary, and from all these different institutions. And and so I have several different definitions of joy throughout the book. And I think why that’s important and helpful is that joy, like the moment you try to define it, you diminish it. And so in many ways, joy is elusive. And it’s best, you know, explained through story but one of my favorite definitions, Adam Potkay says in his book, The Story of Joy, that joy is an illumination. And I add to that saying that joy is the ability to see beyond to the something more.

Allison Maus  24:57
I wonder as we’re in this current context of kind of communal grief… loneliness… fear… You know, the world is at war, or that we’ve been in a pandemic, for how long? I’m wondering what hope do you have to offer, or a word of encouragement or benediction to offer the church at this time coming from this perspective of joy?

Angela Williams Gorrell  25:30
Hmm. The word of hope that I have to offer is that the experience that I describe in The Gravity of Joy with these women in prison, it can be the experience of all of us, because we have the ability to cultivate spaces of joy. Just like the one that we experienced together, in that prison… Like if women in prison can humanize one another, and not judge each other and express their emotions freely and deeply with one another, and encourage each other than like, people can do it anywhere. So, for me, they taught me that, that it’s very simple, and yet really profound, to sit in a circle with other people, and to whether it’s outside or with masks, or what have you, depending on the context where you are right now, you can sit in a circle with other people on a regular basis. And you can say, this is a place where there is no shame, there is no judgement, where everyone belongs. And everyone has permission to feel openly and deeply. Because all feelings are teachers. And there’s wisdom there. This is a place where you can bring your whole self and where your stories can be told.

Allison Maus  26:46
Well, first, I want to say thank you. This has been such a wonderful conversation. I felt like in this world of heaviness, and it was just lovely to talk about joy in a very real way. For listeners and for myself who want to follow along with other projects you’re working on, or what you’re doing, is there a good place for people to follow you on social media or website anything like that?

Angela Williams Gorrell  27:12
Absolutely. You can find me at AngelaGorrell.com, G O R R E L L. And also @AngelaGorrell on Twitter, Instagram, my handle for both. That’s my handle for both. So please, I would love to follow each other and learn from all of you as well.

Allison Maus  27:30
Yeah, thank you so much again. And thank you everyone who listened to this episode.

Angela Williams Gorrell  27:35
Thank you for being with us.

Ben Wideman  27:38
Stick around at the end of the episode for a few final thoughts from today’s guest. Next week on ~ing Podcast, we’re excited to have another one of MennoMedia’s authors joining us. We’ll be hearing from Sheri Zook, who recently published the book, Peanut Butter and Dragon Wings.

Shari Zook  27:55
Just writing down those stories, gathering them all into one place for me was a very powerful visual reminder of God’s goodness through our story. There were some of the stories that I was still angry about when I wrote them. And as I wrote them again three months later and rewrote them again six months later, I could see that God was doing work in my heart and actually changing my anger into more compassion.

Ben Wideman  28:19
As always we’d like to thank our guests and all who support ~ing Podcast. Thank you for joining us on the journey. If you enjoyed the show, please leave us a review in your favorite podcasting app. And if you have something to share, send us a message at [email protected] or by leaving us a voicemail. ~ing Podcast is hosted by Reverend Allison Maus and Reverend Dr. Dennis Edwards. And produced by me, Ben Wideman. Views and opinions expressed on ~ing Podcast are those of our hosts and guests and may not represent that of Leader Magazine or MennoMedia. ~ing Podcast is a production of MennoMedia, a nonprofit publisher that creates thoughtful Anabaptist resources to enrich faith in a complex world. To find out more, visit us online at MennoMedia.org.

Allison Maus  29:17
I’m doing a long pause so that Ben had a spot to edit before I break the fourth wall and ask if Ben anything he wants to add before I close this out.

Ben Wideman  29:26
Oh, this has been really good. I’m I’m enjoying just being a fly on the wall. I think the only question left in my head is one that sort of selfish but I was saying to Allison before you got on, Angela, when Meredith and I experienced a stillborn child, I had a few people tell me how this was going to be a good thing because it would make me a better pastor… to be able to empathize with people. And how angry and frustrated I was to hear that in the moment. The weird part is that it was true. It only it took me a long time to get to the point of being able to admit that. And so I’m wondering, this is sort of like the question about how does community fit in with this process. But I guess the other part is how does our individualism and our capacity to arrive at a certain point? You know, if someone had said to you after experiencing four tragic losses, like, “Oh, you’re you’re going to be a better professor or pastor, because of all this.” It would have been horrible, you know, in that space, even if it’s true. I know, that’s really rambley for a question, and maybe Allison as a way to ask it better. Or maybe it’s not something you really think needs to be said here. If you don’t have an answer for it, that’s, that’s fine.

Angela Williams Gorrell  30:44
I think all we can do is say, it is like my great hope. And I’m going to hope for you on the days that you can’t hope for yourself, that you will not always feel the way that you do. And that you will look back on this and somehow feel that God met you in it. And that you were able to take your pain and to do something with it that felt meaningful, that feels meaningful to you. I don’t know that, anything beyond that, and really anything beyond creating a circle of joy. And saying, you can come and be angry here, you can be sad here, you can be authentically you in this space, you can bring all of who you are to this place, and we will meet you in whatever way you’re feeling. You know, I’ve really think that that’s actually the greatest gift we can give to people because then, as we see that, they’re like they’ve started the healing journey, and that things are opening up in them, and that they’re doing, they’re responding differently, you know, then we can talk about it and name it. I don’t know that trying to like, proclaim it over someone’s life before you’ve seen it is a good idea. I think we can hope we can tell them, I hope and I trust. And on the days that you cannot hope and trust for yourself, like I’m going to hope and trust for you, that you that that something will change. And that you will not always feel this way. But I don’t know that proclaiming something over their life, like they’re going to be a better whatever. Because that’s definitely it’s a different way of saying everything happens for a reason. You know, it’s a different cliche. And so I think until you’ve seen, I think I think I would just wait until you see it. And when you see the different you can say, I think that your journey and all that you have experienced that’s led to this moment, is showing up in your work in really beautiful ways.

Ben Wideman  32:45
Yeah, I love what you said about like caring for each other. Our worship leader admitted a few days before the service on Sunday that they didn’t feel like they’re able to light the peace lamp. Because they didn’t, with the stuff in Ukraine, they didn’t feel like they actually fully believed in that peace at this moment. And it was almost like… “Would someone please light this for me when I don’t think I can?” And I thought… that’s, that’s way more powerful than just like, pretending you’re fine and lighting it. You know, like admitting that out loud. We need to hear that from each other. And we need to get, we need to say, “I will do this for you when you don’t believe this right now.” Rather than saying, “Oh, don’t worry about it, like soon you’ll be you’ll be able to light it just do it anyway,” You know, like, I don’t know, there’s something even if it is true, and even if it is prophetic. It’s insensitive to the current moment that they’re feeling or experiencing. Oh, I like that.

Allison Maus  33:43
I wonder how that’s different for leaders too, right? Like you’re speaking about a church leader having to get up and I think I would probably just like smile and fake it, right? I probably do that, a lot of Sundays, at least part of the, you know, part of the day, or, you know, feeling like off to get up and be the joy person for this lecture. Right? Like, I wonder how those spaces of joy are important for everyone. But like, especially maybe the people who feel like their job or position or title doesn’t give them the permission to do that. Because they do have to be the one who steps up in and holds space for other people for so much of their life or job.

Angela Williams Gorrell  34:28
Yeah, I just I think that that’s where the collective nature of joy of salvation of our faith is so so essential. And I think that we have made it such an individual thing that we it’s hard for us to imagine how collective those sorts of things are in our lives. And, and so for me, this is where I described in the Gravity of Joy that it was I had this particular night when I’m dancing and singing with all these women, that I realize that their faith is healing me that they’re their belief and trust, that God was going to liberate them from prison from particular circumstances in their life from from abusive relationships. their faith, their trust, was healing me it was doing something in me. And I realized they were like my cloud of witnesses. And yeah, I it was I began to read and to see the passage where the man, the paralytic man who’s on the mat, his friends taken to Jesus, and Jesus essentially says, like, their faith has healed you. And I now I can never like unsee it. And I just do think that there are times in our life when we have to acknowledge, like, I don’t, I don’t have the faith, I don’t have the hope, right. The second, I’m not holding joy. It’s too there’s, you know, because of what I’ve just like, the truth of my life experience, cannot allow me to hold these things at the same time. I have to I have to wrestle with the truth of my life experience. And so I’m going to rely on my community on the collective. And I’m going to allow you to hold faith and hope for me and joy for a while. And when I can join you again in those things, I will. And I think that if we could preach that message more often, that a lot of us would feel better about being a part of Christian community when we feel like we don’t have it all together.

Allison Maus  36:43
Yeah, thank you so much again.