When You Allow Your Joy to Be Stolen by PI Girl QuintinaGrace
Written by Quintina Tillotson | November 2, 2015
By PI Girl QuintinaGrace
Fall is my absolute favorite season. I love everything about it. I love how the leaves change colors … the feeling of being halfway through the semester … October is my birthday month. I just love it all.
This October was different than most. I allowed a breakup with my boyfriend to steal my joy, and I have not been able to fully enjoy my favorite month. I regret that 100 percent.
Learn from my mistakes: Don’t let anyone or anything steal your joy and make you question your purpose or the goodness of God.
I think joy is a way of life—it’s long-lasting and overflows into everything that you do. But happiness is different. Happiness is a temporary feeling. It is a moment of pure bliss when you listen to your favorite song or that giddiness you get when you watch a beautiful sunrise.
When you allow someone to steal your joy, you no longer find happiness in the little things that you used to love. You wake up sad and you go to bed sad. You even forget to walk out of your way to crunch that leaf. That’s no way to thrive; that’s simply a way to survive.
Here’s what can happen to you:
- You become ungrateful. You no longer look for God-sightings. You forget how wonderful your life actually is. So your boyfriend broke up with you? You still have loving friends and family, a healthy body, a God who loves you and will never leave you, and so many opportunities at your fingertips. You forget to pray with a thankful heart. You may even forget to pray altogether.
- You become (almost) unlovable. The unforgiveness that you hold onto with such vengeance leaves you bitter. Bitter people don’t make very lovable people. It is so hard to love someone whose heart is hard from built-up bitterness and resentment. I say that you’re “(almost) unlovable” because you can become unlovable to us humans, but you can never be unlovable to our creator. “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8) He loved us at our darkest. He is incapable of ever not loving us.
- You become unhealthy. It’ll most likely go one of two ways. You will either a) stop eating or b) eat anything and everything in sight. You will most definitely become sleep deprived and may or may not develop anxiety attacks. Wallowing is a part of the grieving/recovering process, but don’t let it make you feel worse about yourself later on. You’ll thank yourself later if you lay off the ice cream and cheese puffs now.
- You stop trusting. It’s easy to lose trust in God when life gets rough. You forget the bigger picture. You become so consumed in the hurt that you no longer see your purpose. This can also affect human relationships in your life. When you’ve been hurt before, it can be hard to trust the next man who comes into your life. It’s hard to trust your friends when they say they are here for you. It’s hard to trust that they are nonjudgmental and that they won’t walk out of your life when things get rocky.
- You become unladylike. You allow words to grace your lips and cross your mind that are not very graceful. You want so badly to scream and shout at the one who hurt you. You stop caring how you act in public.
- You become un-genuine. You see beautiful couples all around you and you can’t help but cringe on the inside. You learn to put on a smiling face and pretend that you don’t feel broken inside. You wear a mask full of lies.
But here’s the thing: You have loving friends and family ready to surround you with encouragement. All you have to do is ask. Be honest with your friends. Tell them that you are struggling. They can bathe you in prayer and give you fits of laughter to replace the fits of sobbing. I know that you want him to think that you’re doing fine without him … but his opinion of you no longer matters. He left. He lost any rights concerning you when he walked out that door.
Now, here are a few tips on regaining your joy in living:
- Pray. I cannot emphasize this enough. God is there for you 24/7. He will carry you through your trials. Here are a few verses that prove that point:
Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved. (Psalms 55:22)
Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. (1 Peter 5:7)
Even to your old age I am he, and to gray hairs I will carry you. I have made, and I will bear; I will carry and will save. (Isaiah 46:4)
Pray to God for comfort in your time of need. Pray to God for direction in where to move next. Pray to God for healing to your broken heart. Pray to God for love, love to forgive those who hurt you.
- Find relief, not grief. A friend of mine shared that little nugget with me in the first few days after my breakup. It’s a solid plan. Don’t look through old photos or texts. Delete them immediately so you won’t be tempted later. Don’t listen to “our song.” Surround yourself with friends, empowering music and activities that make you happy.
- Accept help. God has placed people in your life to help you fulfill your purpose and for you to help them. Don’t be afraid to ask for their time or prayers. They’ll be more than happy to help. They could have gone through a very similar thing and have wise words to share. Know that you are not alone in this trial.
- Forgive. This one is so hard, but so important. God called us to forgive others: “For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” (Matthew 6:14-15) See, we’ve done so much worse to our heavenly Father. We sin against him every single day, but we have the audacity to reject forgiving another human for something so minuscule in the big picture? That’s not right. Your ex may not even ask for forgiveness or think that he needs it, but you need to forgive him for you, and because it’s what is right. Don’t let this heartbreak come between you and your Heavenly Father. That’s just not cool.
- Kill ’em with kindness. As humans we want to fight fire with fire, but as children of God, we must show loving kindness. “Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing.” (1 Peter 3:9) Ask God to bless whoever has hurt you. Be the bigger person and say hello when you see them. Be kind. You know it’s the right thing. They may not deserve it, but you need to show kindness to move on.
- Run. Get that runner’s high. I can tell you from personal experience that a broken heart feels a lot better after you’ve run a half marathon. Running helps you vent your anger without hurting anyone. After a good run, you just have a better outlook on the whole situation.
- Be thankful. Don’t forget God’s goodness. Start a 1,000 gifts list. Saturate your prayers and your conversations with gratitude. Wake up every morning thanking the good Lord for his faithfulness and his grace. When you live a thankful life, you will realize just how blessed you truly are. Your daily problems begin to seem minuscule and you enjoy life more. You begin to thrive, not just survive.
- Trust God. He put you in this situation for a reason. It is meant to grow you, not to cripple you. You may feel hopeless now, but in the end you will be thankful you went through this trial. He is preparing you and your heart for greatness. I learned in a Bible study a while back that God allows our hearts to be broken. This is because when we learn scripture, it sits on top of our hearts, so that when our hearts are broken, it can pour in and fill our hearts with knowledge of and love from our Father in Heaven. Trust God. Trust his plan for your life.
I won back my joy. I remember the exact moment when I realized my joy was here and it was here to stay. A few days ago, I was with two very dear friends at Starbucks. We were discussing what is going on with their boyfriends. I found myself genuinely happy for both of them. I was fully engrossed in their joy and the Christ-like love that they showed for their significant others. I did not have even a smidgen of jealousy or resentment toward them. All I had was joy for them and hope for me. I found hope that someday God will bring a man into my life that He has created for me. A man who will help, not hinder, my purpose on this earth, and I will do the same for him. I found hope in a future that God has planned for me, and I hope that you can find that same hope too.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11)
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