Thursday, January 12, 2012

Who Is Responsible For My Joy?

“A lot of times, people make other people responsible for their joy: "You're not making me happy, you're not doing this, you're not doing that." I found out just in the past two or three years that my personal joy is not somebody else's responsibility. It's my responsibility.” – Joyce Meyer

Do you ever stop to wonder to whom or to what you depend on for your joy and fulfillment? As a Christian it would be so easy for me to say that I always look to and depend on God alone for my joy, peace, and happiness… that I allow him to be my all and all. If I wanted to be super duper spiritual I would tell you that, but truth is, I’ve come to realize that I unfairly assign that job to those around me.

Before I go any further, let me warn you that these are just random thoughts that I wanted to share. I in no way have any of these things figured out. But that’s what we crazy bloggers do, right? … We figure things out on a public online forum for complete strangers to read and judge :/.

I’m blessed to have a really amazing family. I’ve always had close relationships with my family and I’ve always been the girl who enjoys spending time with my family. I even have a really close cousin who’s always felt more like a sister to me. These are the people that have walked with me through everything, they know me better than anyone, they have made me smile, made me laugh, made me feel very happy and secure. This is what I’m used to; these close connections are all I’ve ever known. But these people, as great as they are, are not responsible for my happiness. It’s simply not their job.

Yes, I love them and I need them (I always will) but they are not responsible for my joy and happiness; I am. They are only human and do not have the ability to fulfill and complete me.

We humans are fallible and sometimes, without even meaning to, we’re going to hurt each other. Sometimes we’re going to get busy with our own lives and forget to be there for each other. So if we place the responsibility of our happiness on a person we are always going to be disappointed, bitter, and angry.

Now this is not to say that we don’t need each other and that we shouldn’t depend on and be there for each other; we should. God designed us for relationship, to allow ourselves to know and be known. The older I get the more beauty and value I see in community. In having people in your life that you can be completely honest and vulnerable with, to share your heart, your struggles, your life with…all of which I am still so desperately bad at as I tend to be a very private person. These things are so important. But I just think there’s a difference between depending on someone and being co-dependant on someone; between someone who makes you happy and someone you depend on to make you happy.

I think it’s death to any relationship or friendship when you start to selfishly look for what you can get out of it. In my opinion, the worst time to get into a romantic relationship is when you’re unhappy or lonely… because in most cases, you will soon be looking to that person to fulfill all these things inside you that they were never meant to fulfill. As cliché as it sounds, we all have a God sized hole inside of us that only He can fill. But a lot of times we start looking to our significant other, friends, or family to fill these holes and needs inside us; and when they don’t, we get angry with them. Or we end up sucking them dry by wanting constant attention and contact with that person. It’s an unfair burden to put on someone.

As beautiful a sentiment as Coldplay’s song is; nobody can fix you. If you had issues to take care of before a significant other chances are you’ll still have to face them after. Because he may be handsome and sweet and he may really love you; but he can’t fix what’s broken in you. We all have our issues that need to be taken to the foot of the cross daily, and if we don’t, we may not have any healthy relationships with anyone. We can jump from relationship to relationship, marriage to marriage, friendship to friendship looking for something that is not even found in a person; but only found in a daily personal relationship with Jesus.

When we are unhappy and lonely where do we go? What or who do we turn to when our joy has run dry and we feel empty and alone? I would like to tell you that I always run to God but this is not true. I have found that when I’m going through something I tend to shutdown and neglect spending time with God. Which makes no sense because I already know that things just get worse when I do this. I know that I need him. I know he’s the only one who’s going to give me the peace and joy I need regardless of my circumstances. Yet I stay away when what I should be doing is running to Him.

There is only one who can fulfill us and complete us. There is only one who can give us joy unspeakable and full of glory. There is only one who offers peace that passes all understanding. And that’s Jesus. He’s the friend that sticks closer than a brother. He wants to be your all in all. He wants to fill that emptiness and take away the loneliness. And if you look to him for your joy, peace, happiness, if you look to him to fill all the emptiness inside you; I promise you will never be disappointed.

And really, I’m writing this blog as a reminder to myself. I want to go to God and God alone for my joy, peace, and happiness. I want to go to Him alone to heal what’s broken inside me, to fill the empty spaces, to fulfill and complete me. I want to let Him take care of the issues in me now so that I don’t carry them into my friendships and relationships later. I want to enjoy friendships and relationships but always know that my it’s my responsibility to go and look to God for my happiness and joy. 

Because whether we know it or not, what we are really needing, craving, and crying out for is Him.

“God cannot give us a happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it is not there. There is no such thing.” - C S Lewis

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