PEOPLE — Fearfully & Wonderfully Jo

(Photo: Unsplash)

Lately I’ve been feeling really grateful for people – all the different people who are involved in different ways in my life. I have been feeling really content in this stage of my life, and I truly believe it’s because of the wonderful human beings God has hand-selected to be with me right now.

A year ago, I was with a whole different community, which is kinda crazy to think about. And those people were exactly who I needed at that time. I’m not saying that those people are any less important, because they’re still dear friends and their gift of friendship is one I’ll remember for a long time. But proximity-wise, those closest to me at the moment are the ones I believe God has brought to both encourage and challenge me in the areas I need to grow in right now.

And I know that to be 100% true because of the immense joy I feel when I’m around them. It’s a joy that can’t be adequately put into words, but I’ll try my hand at it. When I’m with these people, I feel so joyful that it’s almost as if I’m carrying sunshine within my very being, and it courses through my entire body whenever I laugh or smile. And if I’m not careful, I’ll explode in a burst of sudden, blinding sunlight. IDK if that made any sense LOL.

Isn’t it insane how out of all the millions and millions of people in the world, God brings you to the exact group of people you need? So many things have to line up – your job, your physical location in the city, your availability, and the timing of your encounter. It’s honestly a miracle in itself.

I’m so grateful for my small group at church – what a beautiful group of Christ-lovers who are so intentional in their faith journeys. 11am on Saturdays is brunch-o-clock, for the NYC girlies especially, yet you all choose to go to small group to be challenged and grow in your understanding of who God is. I also think of everyone’s decision to come as a selfless act – the things you say and/or do are a blessing to me and everyone else and that is an act of love.

I’m so grateful for the kids in youth ministry, with whom I spend each Sunday AM. Although you’re distracted most of the time, and it takes us so long to get just one point across, your energy gives me another reason to smile, and that is a gift you don’t realize you’re giving me.

I’m so grateful for my colleagues at work, who are always uplifting me, giving me chances to shine, and making me into a better publicist with each passing day. I’m so lucky I get to work with you and you inspire me daily. And also to the writers/editors with whom I get to work on stories with, I’m so grateful for your partnership and our email chains (some of them are absolute monsters), and the opportunities you give me to tangibly see the results of my work. You’ve grown my communication skills immensely.

I’m so grateful for friends who have ended up in NYC with me from various past stages of my life. Your friendship is a constant in a city filled with change, and that is so comforting to me. I can always rely on you to be safety zones – relationships where I can truly find rest.

I’m so grateful for my family, another constant, and the ways you demonstrate God’s intentional love for me. The ONLY people in the world who truly know me, and for better or for worse, love me without limitations.

I’m so grateful for all the people who have walked with me in past chapters of my life – because of you, I’ve learned so much about who I am as a person and as a friend, and a large part of the Jolene that exists today is because of your friendship. Mad love to those who think of me from time to time and send love across the many miles.

I’m so grateful for all the people I haven’t even mentioned – chance encounters, fleeting moments where our lives briefly intersect, even if it’s just for a minute. Although they seem irrelevant, I believe there’s purpose to those concurrences as well. Sometimes the words exchanged between strangers in 60 seconds are significantly more impactful.

So to all the beautiful people in my life- past, present, and even future, thank you for being my travel companions on this journey. It’s a huge honor to have crossed paths with you and to have walked down the same road, no matter how long or short our time together was and is. I know God’s love for me is manifested through you, and you make me happy. :’)

xx, jolene


just some of the peeps in my life – if you’re not in here, it’s probably cuz I got tired of digging through my archives lol, but JUST KNOW, you’re still important to me!!