12 JOY Stealers

I suffered from all 12 joy stealers. In fact, I was so miserable that my husband often threatened to call me “ce” instead of Joyce (true story).  I wrote in my last two posts about suffering well.  For many of us, we do not suffer well and we relive painful memories, thus, perpetuating the pain that robs us of joy in our present life.  The links to my last two posts: 7 Ways to Suffer Well: (Part 1) and Joseph, an Example of Suffering Well and God’s Response: Part 2 of Suffering Well

12 JOY STEALERS

Sadness: sorrow about the loss of love, honor, respect, innocence, and not being accepted. It is a feeling of dejection, which is a low spirit of depression and discouragement.

Depression: brooding on one’s problems

Apathy: absence or suppression of passion, emotion, or excitement (I don’t care attitude)

Despair: loss of hope

Discouragement: having no courage, confidence, or hope

Grief: keen mental suffering or distress over affliction or loss

Hopelessness: having no expectation of a favorable outcome

Despondency: being in very low spirits due to a loss of hope and a sense of futility about continuing one’s efforts

Misery: a condition of great suffering because of pain, poverty, etc.; distress

Feeling Inferior: below average; low status, rank, etc.

Feeling Worthless: without worth; of no use, importance, or value

Complaining attitude: to express dissatisfaction, pain, uneasiness, censure, resentment, or grief; find fault

I spoke with an elderly man who spent his whole life reliving his past hurts. Have you ever been around people who have to tell you how bad they had it and the terrible things that happened in their life? How does that make you feel? Do you relive your past hurts and disappointments? I too suffered a lot of hurts, disappointments, abuses, rejections, betrayals, etc., which was why I had no joy and was always angry. I didn’t like living with myself and I made everyone else miserable. My website, hopeforcompeletehealing.com, contains my story and how I discovered the secret to overcoming these 12 joy stealers, plus so much more.

I asked the elderly man what the purpose was for telling us these terrible things. He said he can’t get them out of his head.  I told him the first step was to forgive each person who caused him pain, and then to ask God to take that memory out of his head.  I overcame my painful memories by doing this. In fact, just today, I was complaining again. By the way, complaining is a symptom of a painful memory. So, I asked God to show me why I was complaining.  I waited until God brought the memories to my mind of how my father often let me down.  Next, I forgave my father and asked God to lose (untie and remove) the negative effect of each memory from my mind related to the unmet expectations and the resulting disappointment. This process is explained in detail on my website. I invite you to visit my site to learn more. https://hopeforcompletehealing.com

This man, and many people, are only focused on what they don’t like and the bad things that happened, and they remain stuck in misery.  Do you see yourself stuck in the pit of depression and misery?  Maybe you feel sad, humiliated, or shame, which is stealing your joy.  See the following page to transform these negative heart issues with transformation truth: JOY Issues

You may also be interested in reading my story of Freedom from Humiliation and Mental Strongholds of Shame and Sadness

Freedom from Insecurity, which is Protected by Betrayal and Control Strongholds

We all have some measure of insecurity, whether we realize it or not, because we live with and work with sinful, hurting people who hurt others, and we are not exempt. Insecurities are revealed by the negative reactions when they are triggered by what someone says, does, or does not do. For example, if someone found fault with me or with what I did, I would have an anxiety attack, and feel they didn’t like me, and that I will never be good enough. If someone did not give me the praise for doing something, then I would feel rejected and unappreciated, etc. Another example is when I would suggest doing something or going somewhere, and I would be ignored or discounted, then I would get angry and feel sorry for myself because I didn’t feel valued so I withdrew or acted out of anger to get control. Insecurities are also revealed by the negative tapes that are automatically played out when we feel out of control or discounted. The negative tapes could be, “I’ll never be accepted because I am different,” “I’ll never be able to accomplish anything because people don’t support me,” “What is wrong with me?” etc. Have you ever heard yourself say, “I can’t do this because…,” “This is too hard,” I’m not good enough,” “People can’t be trusted,” “I need to do this myself,” etc.

The strongholds of injustice and unfairness contribute to issues of betrayal and wanting to be in control. This is not uncommon with people who have been abused or grew up in dysfunctional families. I struggled with the control stronghold for several years, even though I would continually loose and put it off. I wanted to control what people did and what they thought of me, as well as control circumstances in order to prevent being hurt, disappointed, or even annoyed. I asked God why I kept dealing with this control issue, and He showed me that there was an outer mental stronghold of betrayal that protected my need to be controlling. The betrayal stronghold was built and kept in place by negative memories of betrayal by those who should have protected and loved me. These painful memories of betrayal developed insecurities, which are basically unhealthy beliefs and lies that perpetuates anxiety about what others do, not do, or think and say. For instance, I trusted that my parents, my spouse, and friends would love me and not hurt me, or lie to me, but they did. As a result, I disassociated and disconnected because I felt that I was not able to trust them. Note, some people should not be trusted and that is okay. Dictionary.com defines betray as 2) to be unfaithful in guarding, maintaining, or fulfilling; be disloyal to.

I believe there is no greater injustice than the betrayal of one’s sexuality because it wounds the soul the deepest. I also believe that the betrayal of sexuality causes the most damage to our self-esteem and self-worth because God created sexuality to be a beautiful act of vulnerability between two married people who love each other. And because our sexuality is an intimate part of us, any childhood sexual interference such as pornography, exposure to sexual acts (even in a movie), fondling, uncomfortable affection, making a child take on the role of a spouse, adult humor, and so on,  damages the very core of a child or teen’s being. This causes a person to feel confusion, shame, and humiliation, which then causes sexual violation secrets to be carefully guarded and deeply buried in the soul. These buried secrets continue to have a profound effect on how a person see’s themselves and others. I have known people who had great difficulty having a healthy marriage because of these secrets. A lot of books have been written about this topic and are a good resource if you have these buried secrets. Talking with a counselor is also very helpful but I want to caution you to be careful what counselor you choose to share your sexual violation secrets with. Not every counselor or pastor understands the damage of sexual betrayal and they may cause more confusion and betrayal.

Total healing and transformation happen only when we come to Jesus with our damaged sexuality and allow Him to restore our purity and respect. This is a supernatural act of healing that is received by faith. In fact, all painful memories of betrayal of all kinds can be healed, which in turn, heal insecurities and the need to be controlling.  This can be done by going through the prayer format to destroy strongholds found on my website: hopeforcompletehealing.com

The above statements are passages from my book called “Unseen Battles for Your Mind,” which is in the editing stage, and therefore, is not to be recopied without my permission.

Anger Issues Protected by Pride and Judgmental Strongholds

The pride and judgmental strongholds in my life protected many issues of anger generated from the humiliation, shame, injustices, betrayals, disappointments, and rejections throughout my life.  If you are unfamiliar with what mental strongholds are and my castle illustration, please read the following post first; STRONGHOLDS PART I—What are they and how do they affect us?

The reason why we need to deal with this stronghold combination is to love as God loves. To love well, we need to eliminate the sins of anger, bitterness, resentment, hatred, judging, and pride.  These sins prevent God’s love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness (humility), faithfulness (trust), and self-control from flowing out of us to others.

People with this stronghold combination typically were either bullied or come from dysfunctional or abusive families/marriages.  I experienced all the above.  I found that broken trust is the main force that generates pride and being judgmental.  Broken trust comes from betrayal by those who you expected would love and protect you.  My pride issues were created by damaged self-worth and low self-esteem and are often revealed by over-sensitivity and over-reaction.   You can learn how to heal betrayal issues and repair your damaged self-worth by reading my short book on my website.

For example, I was hurt and offended when my younger sister demeaned me and put me down continually as we were growing up. I stored that hurt and offense in my heart, and every time I was demeaned or felt demeaned as an adult, I would become angry. When I asked God to show me why I was getting so angry, He showed me how my younger sister had offended me. I then forgave my sister, because I know she demeaned me because she was hurting too. I then confessed any sin on my part to God, which is very important for overcoming anger issues.  Our sin needs forgiving because it has negative, oppressive, stress energy and will re-establish the offenses.  For instance, I confessed and asked for forgiveness of the sin of wanting to harm my sister and for demeaning and disgracing her in return.

The pride stronghold wall protects unhealthy beliefs such as—I am better than you. Don’t tell me I am wrong. Don’t tell me what to do but do what I want.  The pride wall protects the inner judgmental wall that protects unhealthy beliefs of—I have the right to determine if you are right, wrong, or insincere. I have the right to be angry, bitter, resentful, and hateful. I don’t trust you or value you. The judgmental stronghold wall then protects the anger seat of authority, which holds all our memories of hurts, disappointments, unmet needs and desires, offenses, soul wounds, bitterness, resentments, and hatred.  These memories produce unhealthy beliefs, which control our thoughts, and our thoughts dictate what we say and do.

Another reason why we need to deal with this stronghold is because God hates pride (Prov. 8:13; James 4:6), and anger does not achieve the righteousness of God, only peace and humility does (James 1:20; 3:18), which is why I wanted to be free.  We are also instructed to not be judgmental (Matthew 7:1).  I hope and pray that if you have this same issue that you too will find freedom, so you can love from a pure heart.  To learn how to be free from anger and this stronghold combination, please visit my website, you will be glad you did.  https://hopeforcompletehealing.com/

Anger issues are also entwined in the Impatience stronghold combination;  read the following post: Freedom from Impatience and Strongholds of Injustice and Unfairness

STRONGHOLDS PART I—What are they and how do they affect us?

I knew I had a stronghold issue by the negative behavior patterns that would control my reactions to situations.  Mental strongholds are unknown to our conscious mind until we seek God to reveal them.  In addition, mental strongholds often come in pairs to ensure we remain in bondage to our unhealthy beliefs and wrong thinking.  Also, I learned that mental strongholds protect seats of authority, much like castle walls protect a ruler’s throne.  The authority seat holds beliefs that rule our lives by controlling what we think, and thoughts dictate what we say, and do.  Now imagine having many double-walled castles in your heart, and each one protects a seat of authority that rules your thoughts.   Go to my website to learn more about each of the following stronghold combinations and how to destroy them.

–Authority seat of anxiety is protected by the strongholds of worry and fear.
–Authority seat of insecurity is protected by the strongholds of control and betrayal.
–Authority seat of disappointment is protected by the strongholds of apathy and rejection.
–Authority seat of insignificance is protected by the strongholds of rejection and misplaced approval.
–Authority seat of humiliation is protected by the strongholds of shame and sadness.
–Authority seat of impatience is protected by the strongholds of injustice and unfairness.
–Authority seat of anger is protected by the strongholds of pride and judgment.
–Authority seat of doubt is protected by the strongholds of rebellion and independence.
–Authority seat of deception (lying) is protected by the strongholds of protection and manipulation.
–Authority seat of oppression is protected by the strongholds of irresponsibility and infirmity.
–Authority seat of escapism is protected by the strongholds of loneliness and discontentment.
–Authority seat of desire is protected by the strongholds of pleasure and addictions.

Tearing down strongholds, especially addiction strongholds, requires that we can hear from God.  To hear from God, we need to be in a right relationship with God. Please visit my website to learn more about how you can be right with God and to be free from the bondage of the above stronghold combinations.

Addiction Strongholds

Do you know that everyone has an addiction?  Do you know what your addiction is?    We may not be aware of our addiction, but we all have them.  I found that I was addicted to the adrenaline of anger and the depresant of sadness.  I explain this in greater detail on my website:  www.hopeforcompletehealing.com. Addiction is a self-protective mechanism that inhibits painful feelings and memories.  My book on my website explains how we can become free from our addictions and the key to breaking those strongholds.  This post is not an exhaustive examination of what addictions are but an inquiry into what addictions we may have and not even realize it.

Most people think an addiction has to do with smoking, drugs, or alcohol and it does.  Webster’s dictionary says that an addiction is a habit or practice, especially a bad habit.  For example, are you in the habit of watching hours of TV every night, playing video games for hours, eating ice cream before going to bed, spending hours on social media, etc. These things are not necessarily bad habits in and of themselves.  But they are bad in the sense that they rob the person of the freedom to not do it.  Try to fast a day or even a week, something you are in the habit of doing.  I feel compelled to watch the news every day, all day if I could.  If I miss a day, I become distracted about what I may be missing?  Do you feel the same or have a similar habit you are compelled to do?

The bad habit or practice may rob the person of quality family time, being productive, good health, strong relationships, etc. For some of us, like myself, I craved approval and if I did not get it I became depressed and angry. Some of us are addicted to worry, in which we can’t help ourselves, we just can’t stop worrying. How about shopping, eating too much, sweets, anger, pornography, sex, tobacco use, etc.? Do you see where you may have an addiction? Is there something you can’t possibly give up or you cannot stop doing? Often a person has more than one addiction.

For example, I had a serious addiction to anger. I could not control it; it controlled me, and I was very embarrased by it. I was angry about everything, and it was destroying my family.  I had to find a way to break my anger addiction.  Christian people would say that anger and rage are a sin and to repent, and I would agree.   But when an issue controls your behavior then you have a mental stronghold.  To learn more about strongholds read:  STRONGHOLDS PART I—What are they and how do they affect us?

I do want to note that I began my research with my own experience and how I recovered from many negative heart issues that controlled my behavior.   I was healed of many trauma memories from abuse that lead to various addictions. I have shared my experience of freedom with many women that come to my county jail Bible study, and I have seen incredible transformations in their lives.  One of the women had an addiction to lying, which caused her to extort money from people, which then landed her in the state pen. I watched her work through her issues that influenced her addiction to lying.  These women have the hope of being free from their addictions and living a healthy life for the sake of their children and grandchildren.

Furthermore, all addictions have a compulsion element, a pleasure element, and a regret element.  Regret is the element that indicates a person has a destructive addiction. You might say, “I wish I would not do that.” Or, “I want to stop but I can’t help myself.” What are your regretful comments? There is hope.

Begin today to read my short book about how I found freedom from many negative heart issues that lead to my addictions: 1–Healing Begins by Transforming Painful Memories