I knew what The Giving Keys was and really wanted one for a long time, but I wasn't sure what word I wanted to be on there. After thinking about it for a few months I settled on the word "Joy".
Throughout my college experience, I had come to realize how important joy was to me, and how joy had become a defining strength in my life. I say strength because of the verse Nehemiah 8:10 that says, "the joy of the Lord is your strength".
I have had many struggles in my life, different hurts and situations that if we are being honest here... should have left me hopeless and never healed. God had a different story though. Instead, I have been able to find joy even in the hardest moments.
Fast forward to August 2016: over the summer I had gotten to meet a ton of new people and got plugged into a new community. One of those people is my friend Aaron. He and I became really good friends very fast. Every time I would wear my key, he would make a comment about how he liked it or how if he had a key it would have "Joy" on it, too, because it was something he struggled with.
Well, after hearing that a few times I felt peace about giving my key to him. So I prayed to make sure it was right, I wrote a note telling him why I was giving it to him and why I personally had the word "Joy" for my life, and I encouraged him to lean on the joy that God offers us in our every day lives that isn't based on a circumstance, but simply on the love of the Father and the grace we have found in Him.