Stolen Joy

Photo Credit: Milan Surbatovic on Unsplash

By Joan Kelley

I sat with a friend recently who was frustrated with a relative. I listened and then said, “It sounds like their extreme reaction to you is stealing your joy.” My friend teared up immediately. My comment had opened a place of vulnerability, of sadness, of a desire for something more, and a grief for what was unjustly taken.

Later that day I sat with a question for myself. “What do I allow to steal to my joy”? Is it another person — their desire for power or control, or to simply be right? Is it comparison to others— as I look at others in real or virtual life and desire to have, to be, or to do something that I see in their lives? Is it fear, shame, or regret – as I look at my past, present or future? Is it insurmountable grief over a loss  – of a loved one, a dream, a job?

God desires that our stories be filled with joy. In fact, He promises a time when joy will never be stolen. Recognizing those places of stolen joy allows us to name more fully who we are in Christ.

What do you allow to steal your joy?

What new choices will allow you to take back your God-given joy?


“So will you also pass through a time of intense sorrow when I am taken from you, but you will see me again! And then your hearts will burst with joy, with no one being able to take it from you”! John 16:22





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By |2018-06-20T14:33:55+00:00July 17, 2018|Categories: Life-Giving Rhythms, Spiritual Practice|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

About the Author:

Joan Kelley is the Director of Facilitator Development for oneLifemaps and a facilitator and teacher using the “Listen to My Life: Maps for Recognizing and Responding to God in My Story,” a visual workbook to be used in small groups, mentoring relationships, workshops, retreats, classes, between spiritual friends, or individually to re-discover the storyline of the life they are authoring with God. More information is available at or Email Joan Joan is also co-founder of a ministry called Sacred. ( that helps people set apart space to be with God at guided solitude retreats. Joan also teaches a spiritual formation class on Thursday mornings at Willow Creek Community Church.

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