What You Really Want, part V



Continued from Part IV:

Admitting and acknowledging loss is healthy, but staying in the place of endlessly verbalizing everything that’s wrong in your life will make you ugly. Guaranteed. You’ve got a choice, no matter where you are, to wither into bitterness, or bloom into joy. Emotional honesty is one step in the journey. Choice is another.

Choose Joy

In every season, life is going to be cruel and relentless and you will cry your eyes out over a myriad things, but you can choose joy. Things won’t ever be fair and your friends will have privileges you don’t, but you can choose joy. Could it be possible that you have gifts they’d like to have?

There is glory and beauty in the darkness, could we but see! And to see, we have only to look. (Giovanni, 1513)

In every life stage, we will need to choose joy and live with purpose in order to live fully. Technically, it’s the same for everyone: be thankful here and now, and carry the posture of living with open hands to accept whatever is given. Practically, it’s going to look different for different people with different giftings.

For you now, when you read stories to children who aren’t your own, can you try to delight in their shining eyes and pudgy fingers? When the tenth friend loses her heart to a wonderful man and you feel left behind, can you find just two things today to put on your Thanks List? Can you intentionally plan a way to serve someone beside you, choosing to be less princess and more servant even if everything in you screams against it?

Probably the most insidious temptation is to believe the lie that even God has forgotten you, left you behind, and thus you’ll have to cope on your own forever. This lie is absolutely toxic. Please don’t swallow it!

God, in His endless faithfulness, will give you reasons to believe the truth, but you need to keep your eyes open to see it. The changeless truth is that He’s intimately acquainted with everything that makes you ache and smile. He’s never turned His face away from you—not even for a second—and even when you feel like despairing, He’s up to something good. It’s true!

Joy is far more than positive thinking or collecting cute sayings on Pinterest* or posing with a Starbucks cup. Joy comes from knowing your designer’s heart and knowing His intentions for you are good, good, good. Always. You can hang your heart on that and you will have joy that bubbles out often, and even if no man notices it, that joy will make you beautiful!

Which is really what you want, isn’t it?


This was an article I wrote for Daughters of Promise, a beautiful magazine for young women. Maybe you want to subscribe to it for the year, or give it for a gift?

*Relax–I LOVE Pinterest! And Starbucks. =)

8 thoughts on “What You Really Want, part V

  1. I love this article! (the whole series) I don’t know you all that well…but I find myself wishing that we could meet for coffee. 🙂 Thanks for your honesty and encouragement to embrace the hard stuff in our lives, but still press on.

  2. “Admitting and acknowledging loss is healthy, but staying in the place of endlessly verbalizing everything that’s wrong in your life will make you ugly.” So true and just what I needed to hear. I’ve come a long way in being honest to myself about my struggles, but now I need to move on to the next step- choosing joy, whether it’s in the ache of being alone, or if it’s in the pain of other things. Thanks.

  3. Amen to this entire series, but here’s highlighting that paragraph “Joy is far more than positive thinking or collecting cute sayings…” Thank you for putting all these concepts into words.

  4. Just got done reading the series! Love it, Anita! I especially love the “less princess, more servant” part. =) It makes me smile! Good, good stuff here!

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