34 episodes

Pioneer with Gabrielle on an unscripted journey to unlock joy. Consistent in every episode are stories of hope, healing, and connection that will give birth to your own journey of self-discovery, relational good, and wholeness.
Gabrielle is an intuitive storyteller sharing practical revelation from scripture and continual conversation with God. If you've struggled to hear God's voice and apply His truth to your life mindfully and holistically, this podcast is for you!

Returning to Joy Gabrielle Michelle Leonard

    • Religion & Spirituality

Pioneer with Gabrielle on an unscripted journey to unlock joy. Consistent in every episode are stories of hope, healing, and connection that will give birth to your own journey of self-discovery, relational good, and wholeness.
Gabrielle is an intuitive storyteller sharing practical revelation from scripture and continual conversation with God. If you've struggled to hear God's voice and apply His truth to your life mindfully and holistically, this podcast is for you!

    A Conversation with John Garland - Part 1: Decentering Yourself, Compassion Fatigue, & Bearing Witness

    A Conversation with John Garland - Part 1: Decentering Yourself, Compassion Fatigue, & Bearing Witness

    John Garland is the pastor of the San Antonio Mennonite Church and Chaplain of the Interfaith Welcome Coalition. John pastors from the discipline of “no action without prayer, no prayer without action.” His applied theology interprets Christianity as a trauma-transforming faith movement, he reads Scripture as divinely inspired through and for traumatized communities, and he understands hospitality, story, and prayer-centered community as the most powerful tools of healing.
    In this episode, we’ll hear about why it’s important to consider scripture from a lens other than our own, as well as how we can practice hospitality and why it’s crucial to the mission of God. You’ll hear stories, encouragements, and meaningful lessons from Pastor John’s journey walking alongside the displaced and asylum seeking communities around him. 
    To learn more about Pastor John Garland, visit his page on the SAMC website: https://www.sanantoniomennonite.org/our-pastors

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    New episodes on Wednesdays! Bi-weekly!
    Thanks for subscribing and leaving a review! Please feel free to share with your family and friends.
    Website: https://www.returningtojoy.com/
    For more frequent encouragement follow us on social media:
    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/returningtojoypodcast/
    Music by AG (Affirming Grace) @agmusic4god
    Support the show

    • 42 min
    How We Describe God And Why It Matters

    How We Describe God And Why It Matters

    Often in our culture and especially in the Western church, we tend to describe God in abstract terms and with intangible qualities, and can even find ourselves desiring information about God rather than a testimony about our relationship with Him. 
    But the Lord is real and moving around us in ways we can know with our senses. He is speaking and revealing Himself to you in a unique way, and there are concrete truths about God that you have a personal witness to. 
    So today, ask yourself, who has God been to you? What concrete descriptions about God are true and tangible to you? It’s these qualities and truths that unlock the potential for firm foundations in your journey with Jesus and your identity in Him. 



    New episodes on Wednesdays! Bi-weekly!
    Thanks for subscribing and leaving a review! Please feel free to share with your family and friends.
    Website: https://www.returningtojoy.com/
    For more frequent encouragement follow us on social media:
    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/returningtojoypodcast/
    Music by AG (Affirming Grace) @agmusic4god

    Support the show!
    Support the show

    • 17 min
    When "Focusing on Jesus" Causes Us to Miss Him Completely

    When "Focusing on Jesus" Causes Us to Miss Him Completely

    Welcome to Season 3, friends! Thanks for tuning in. 

    Our gaze should always be toward Jesus, but we must ask ourselves what version of Jesus are we trying to focus on? Are we worshipping the fullness of who He is, or are we trying to push attention towards a comfortable version of Him while ignoring the very brokenness He was sent to restore in the world? This is what we'll be diving into in today's episode.

    New episodes on Wednesdays! Bi-weekly!
    Thanks for subscribing and leaving a review! Please feel free to share with your family and friends.
    Website: https://www.returningtojoy.com/
    For more frequent encouragement follow us on social media:
    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/returningtojoypodcast/
    Music by AG (Affirming Grace) @agmusic4god

    Support the show
    Support the show

    • 34 min
    Exceedingly More Than You Can Imagine | God's Not Limited By Your Ability to See

    Exceedingly More Than You Can Imagine | God's Not Limited By Your Ability to See

    Beloveds, I've got good news! God's power isn't limited by your capability to anticipate or perceive His goodness. When you can't even imagine better, and your eyes can't see God's faithfulness on the horizon. You can rest assured in the truth that He is still able to do exceedingly more. 

    In this episode, let's dive into this truth together.


    Scriptures Mentioned:  
    Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,
    Ephesians 3:20 NIV 

    I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. 
    Psalm 27:13 NIV 

    Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
    Psalm 23:6 ESV 
    (That word Mercy is talking about the Steadfast Love of God) 


    Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts. 
    Colossians 3:16 


    Let the sunrise of your love end our dark night. Break through our clouded dawn again! Only you can satisfy our hearts, filling us with songs of joy to the end of our days. We’ve been overwhelmed with grief; come now and overwhelm us with gladness. Replace our years of trouble with decades of delight.
    Psalm 90:14-15 TPT


    The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever.”
    Isaiah 40:8 NIV


    For he satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul he fills with good things.
    Psalm 107:9 ESV


    I lift up my eyes to the mountains— where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord , the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip— he who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord watches over you— the Lord is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord will keep you from all harm— he will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.
    Psalms 121:1-8 NIV



    Letter from the host:

    Dear Beloveds, 

    Reflecting on and responding to the faithful and intelligent love of God has been therapeutic to my mind, heart, and body! I vulnerably share because I want you to experience the joy of authentic connection with Jesus, yourself, and others. 

    Growth happens at the point of connection. Thank you for trusting me with this connection! I'm glad to be with you! 

    With joy, 

    Gabrielle Michelle 


    New episodes Bi-weekly! On Wednesdays! 
    Thanks for subscribing and leaving a review! Please feel free to share with your family and friends. 
    Website: https://www.returningtojoy.com/
    For more frequent encouragement follow us on social media: 
    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/returningtojoypodcast/
    Music by AG (Affirming Grace) @agmusic4god 
    Support the show

    • 31 min
    Did God Abandon Us Here? Trusting God beside the Red Sea.

    Did God Abandon Us Here? Trusting God beside the Red Sea.

    Are you feeling stuck? Is there a lack of clarity on how to move forward? Does it seem like there are impenetrable barriers between where you are and what God has promised for you?

    You are not alone! So many people who trust the Lord are uncertain right now. They feel like they are wandering aimlessly with no direction and no leader. Yet, Christ has not abandoned you. In this episode, Gabrielle is preaching on why the moment you're in right now feels so intense and why it feels like you're shut in with no pathway forward. 


    Scriptures Mentioned:
    "When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them by way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near. For God said, “Lest the people change their minds when they see war and return to Egypt.” But God led the people around by the way of the wilderness toward the Red Sea. And the people of Israel went up out of the land of Egypt equipped for battle."
    Exodus 13:17-18 ESV

    "Then the Lord said to Moses, “Tell the people of Israel to turn back and encamp in front of Pi-hahiroth, between Migdol and the sea, in front of Baal-zephon; you shall encamp facing it, by the sea. For Pharaoh will say of the people of Israel, ‘They are wandering in the land; the wilderness has shut them in.’ And I will harden Pharaoh's heart, and he will pursue them, and I will get glory over Pharaoh and all his host, and the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord.” And they did so."
    Exodus 14:1-4 ESV




    Letter from the host:

    Dear Beloveds, 

    Reflecting on and responding to the faithful and intelligent love of God has been therapeutic to my mind, heart, and body! I vulnerably share because I want you to experience the joy of authentic connection with Jesus, yourself, and others. 

    Growth happens at the point of connection. Thank you for trusting me with this connection! I'm glad you're here! 

    With joy, 

    Gabrielle Michelle 


    New episodes on Wednesdays! Bi-weekly! 
    Thanks for subscribing and leaving a review! Please feel free to share with your family and friends. 
    Website: https://www.returningtojoy.com/
    For more frequent encouragement follow us on social media: 
    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/returningtojoypodcast/
    Music by AG (Affirming Grace) @agmusic4god 
    Support the show

    • 16 min
    The Heart Behind Returning to Joy Ministry

    The Heart Behind Returning to Joy Ministry

    We've got a special guest! Executive Director of Wildfire Network, Taylor Rogers, steps behind the mic to interview Gabrielle Leonard, Director of Returning to Joy. In this episode you'll hear her heart and the why behind the ministry of Returning to Joy. 


    Letter from the host:

    Dear Beloveds, 

    Reflecting on and responding to the faithful and intelligent love of God has been therapeutic to my mind, heart, and body! I vulnerably share because I want you to experience the joy of authentic connection with Jesus, yourself, and others. 

    Growth happens at the point of connection. Thank you for trusting me with this connection! I'm glad you're here! 

    With joy, 

    Gabrielle Michelle 


    New episodes onWednesdays! Bi-weekly! 
    Thanks for subscribing and leaving a review! Please feel free to share with your family and friends. 
    Website: https://www.returningtojoy.com/
    For more frequent encouragement follow us on social media: 
    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/returningtojoypodcast/
    Music by AG (Affirming Grace) @agmusic4god 
    Support the show

    • 24 min

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