More Joy: On Moving Forward

I have yet to meet a person who has not felt their heart break–whether it came with trials in their family, with friends, or especially with a person they were dating. Over the past few years I have thought a lot about this idea of heartbreak, and how the world reacts to it. Culture screams revenge, they don’t deserve you, and tells us to hold onto those feelings of “They wronged me!” or the other’s feelings of, “You wronged them!” When at the end of the day, if there are two good people who just didn’t work well, you both just hurt. I do believe that just as no relationships are the same, neither are the heartbreaks, so today I ask that you would take what helps, and leave the rest of my words.

I really am grateful for this, but the first gentleman I dated, “dumped” me four weeks in; My 17-year-old self got that whole “getting-dumped” experience out of my system from the start! But in all seriousness, I have been dating long enough to say, I know what heartbreak is. There are times when a relationship may be good, but simply isn’t right. In many parts of life, good more than cuts it, but with a Best Love, I really want it to be right. In my mind, when it is right, it will be imperfect and real, but there will be one very important element: Joy. I feel joy is more than being happy, or excited, or interested; it is a deep emotion which God made our hearts capable of feeling. It feels like being whole, and I can imagine a strong relationship, centered on Christ, is one way we can be as whole as we can be on this earth. But for today, let me take you to one of my heart-break moments.

Today I remembered a time, when a boyfriend and I had parted ways. The circumstances broke both of our hearts, deeply; however, we couldn’t create the relationship we wanted together, being we weren’t right for each other. Let me tell you, during the time he and I spent together there were definite times of joy–those little glimpses of pure joy. But we wanted a fullness of joy.  So, we parted ways. A few weeks later, I found myself on my couch after watching a movie by myself. I was just thinking. I went to look something up on my phone, and ended up scrolling through all of our photos. Photos do me in! There was joy on our faces, but I knew in the pit of my stomach we did the right thing by moving on. At that point I knew that for me to move on, I needed to remove the photos from my phone. I went to delete some of the photos, and I couldn’t. As if I was 17 again, I sobbed on the couch, not wanting to let go of those precious times. It wasn’t even really about the photos, but rather the memories and the dreams we had had. I prayed my heart could be whole again–talked to my Heavenly Father, out loud, in my living room.  I could honestly say that I was still happy, but my heart still hurt more than I knew possible. After taking it to the Lord, two words came to my mind, which I will forever be grateful for: More Joy.

It is hard to even type those words, as they are so personal to my heart. With those two words at the forefront of my mind, I went through the photos and began to delete them one by one. The only way I had the strength to do so, was by literally saying the words, “More Joy,” every time I deleted one. I had to tell myself there would be more joy, or else it was too much. Don’t get me wrong, I still sobbed, but I knew it was time to press forward, and the only thing that brought comfort to my heart, was the vision of having more Joy than I have yet known, when I will one day find my Best Love. I don’t know how any one of us could survive the heartbreaks of this life, without faith and hope in more Joy to come. Yes, there will also be more sorrows, but think of the joy! There are plans in store for each of us, whether you have faith in God, the universe, or fate. There is a plan for YOU. Sometimes the plan is that you have found your best love, and you courageously move forward in your life, together! Other times, your next step in the plan is courageously letting go of good things, in search of what is right. And sometimes it is trusting that there will be more joy to come.

It really is no wonder break-ups and heartbreaks hurt so much in dating. The process requires us to expose our hearts in order to feel deeply. But then, we cannot selectively choose to close them when it is over. We must be patient with ourselves, and let ourselves feel the sorrows that come alongside the joys.  Yes, our Heavenly Father made ice cream, and movies, and kleenexes which are beneficial as we let ourselves feel.

But can we step back for a moment? There is even something deeply beautiful about being able to feel those emotions. Could it be that our ability to experience and feel deeply are a witness that we truly are children of God?

We have the need to feel–and allow ourselves to feel–as God’s children, just as the Savior felt joys and sorrows in his life.  But He does not desire for us to feel that way forever. With His help, moving forward begins on the inside.

I believe it comes when we set our sights on the More Joy to come.

To more joy,


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