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About Us

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Our mission:

Guiding people to cultivate shalom: where healing overflows, justice is restored, and relationships flourish. 

Our vision:

Wholeness for a fractured world. The Flourishing of All People.

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"For the creation waits with eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed"
Romans 8:19

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I want to see good news proclaimed to the poor, chains of injustice removed, and prisoners set free. I desire to witness relationships restored, reconciliation between ethnicities, and for all who mourn to experience Holy Spirit's comfort and provision of hope. However, this doesn't happen apart from the children of God being revealed. And that revelation doesn't happen apart from connection with God.

Your purpose is not an act to fulfill but an identity to discover and live into. You revealed is God's response to injustice, trauma, and brokenness. I'm eager to walk alongside anyone who desires to learn how to remain in wholehearted connection with Christ. I know that union will unlock fruitfulness they didn't know was possible. The radiance of God shining through your life is what brings salvation and restoration to a world looking for hope.

With Joy, 
Gabrielle Michelle Leonard 

Imagine God, creator of the universe, standing front and center with His heart exposed and available. Then bursting from it comes this radiant light. A collective of colors never seen before. As people gather around Him, they're struck by His radiance. This same light is now filling their hearts and shining out of them, stretching further and further in different directions.

I shared this vision for the first time with a South African woman who asked me, "What's your passion?". This imagery instantly came to mind, which was perfect since, at the time, I had no clue how to articulate with words the deepest desires of my heart. Since then, I've recognized this picture's connection to The Word. In Romans 8:19, Paul says, "For the creation waits with eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed" (NIV). I have this inner longing, this unexplainable hope to see God revealed to His children and His children revealed to the world.

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Who We Are

Returning to Joy launched as a ministry in February 2021, a part of the Wildfire Network family. However, it began nurtured in the heart of its founder and director, Gabrielle Michelle Leonard, who in 2010
encountered Christ as the one who has the power to do the miraculous work of restoring our hearts.

Our Core Values


Responsive Listening





A Movement of Connection

What We Do

Create Space

To be with God.

Hear His voice.

Remain & Respond

Build Capacity

To be present to

your own pain &

the pain of others

Discover Identity

Transform the way you think about yourself

& your relationship

to others


Creatively express the heart of God: building and repairing what's been broken

Enjoy Community 

Recover the value of 'We': Unlock the relational benefits of staying connected

What We Do

How We  Do It

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Cultivate Joy Groups

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Coaching Sessions

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Community Experiences

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Preaching & Teaching

Meet The Team


Gabrielle Michelle Leonard

Founder & Director

Gabrielle is a New Orleans native with an old soul, childlike wonder, and a prolific voice. She loves experimenting in the kitchen, adventuring to new places, and sharing in the joy of a good laugh. She spends much of her time with teams creating dynamic resources for dialoguing with God, processing pain, and showing up together.


Chandler Merritt

Administrative Shepherd

 Chandler loves math, minimalism, and thrift shopping and will jump at any opportunity to make a spreadsheet! The Lord has put a calling on her heart to help shepherd those in ministry to learn how to be good stewards of the resources God has given them, and to demystify the world of finances.


Support Our Work

Everyone plays a key role in the ministry of reconciliation and healing. Your donation goes towards advancing this good news: Christ has come to restore the brokenness between all things.

Become a financial partner today!
Donations are tax-deductible.

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