At first, I did not want to write on the topic of heartbreak, like at all… mainly because I felt like I didn’t have enough insight or good advice for it… But over the past few months, so many of my friends have come to me telling me about their breakups and how it has left them feeling worthless and hopeless.
This past week at my Community Group (fancy way of saying Bible Study), we discussed different seasons of life and why the valleys of life seem so permanent. Maybe you just went through a major break up and are suffering from depression, and this season doesn’t seem like it has an end. Or perhaps you think this hurt will last forever. Now, before you think I am just gonna say, “Jesus is your only hope, and He will heal your broken heart”, you’re wrong… I mean you’re right… that is my message to you, but there is so much more beauty involved. So, I am going to share some of my thoughts…
To start, I think it is best to address the advice we get when heartache hits. Here are some prominent ones:
- “Forget him (or her), you deserve way better”
- “God has a plan for you, and he (or she) isn’t in that plan”
- “God won’t give you something you can’t handle”
- “When you meet your soul mate this will all make sense”
- “Time will heal this, you will wake up one day and it won’t hurt anymore”
I am not bashing any of these responses to heart ache, nor am I saying that I’ve never used them, but what I am saying is this: these are quick attempts at putting a Band-Aid over a wound that really needs a surgeon. I had a friend tell me recently that her boyfriend was cheating on her… ouch. I’ve cried alongside friends who feel absolutely worthless now that their significant other decided to leave their lives… horrible! I sit there and try to muster up the right words to say. “Jesus loves you, He will redeem this, He will heal you, He is your defender” … seriously all of these things are so true, but how come we can’t just say it once and then be done?
How come they don’t convince us out of heart ache and depression? How come we still wake up every morning crying? How come we lose our appetite? How come when we are in a conversation with someone about toothpaste or the weather the name of the one we lost is running in the background like a virus on a computer? How come the fun memories seem so much closer than the heartbreak that was inflicted on us? Why does it hurt us if we know it was for the best that the relationship ended? After all, Jesus loves us and God has a plan, right??
It is important to understand that there is no timetable to healing. Healing is awkward, frustrating, hurtful, and laborious. I’ve met people who have been divorced for 20 plus years and are still dealing with insecurities and depression from that chapter of their lives. It is absolutely heart wrenching to hear. Some of my gal pals say to me “Brooke, I have tried getting over this. I pray every day about it and my heart still hurts. I want to trust that God has a plan, but I feel like my world is caving in on me”. If this is how you feel right now, there is a solution. It’s better than merely straightening up your life and going to church, it’s better than losing hair over it, it’s better than crying yourself to sleep, it’s better than popping anti-depressants, it’s better than smoking yourself into a trance, it’s better than drinking your long nights away, and it’s better than reading one Bible verse and expecting God to take the stinger out of your heart. We need to understand that we were created by love and for love, and when something that provided us with love is stripped from us, we feel unlovable and like true love doesn’t exist. You thought you had it and now you don’t. Our hearts then have these unfillable holes where someone once was and we are left sitting in the middle of our hurt alone.
BUT here is how you begin healing from your heartbreak: cling to the truth that
The king of this universe loves you.
That’s it. Boom heart ache gone, right?
Alright lemme get to my point. One more side note: I’ve also heard that it is easier to get over someone if another person comes along and starts pursuing you and “shows you what real love is supposed to feel like” … that sounds nice… lol.
When you are in a relationship, you start to self-identify with that person, you pick up their mannerisms, you enjoy the same things, you laugh together, travel together, heck people even sleep together, and there you go intimacy is created and you are bonded with that person forever. The problem lies within the fact that when those things are stripped from you it leaves you in complete shambles.
It’s almost like you need someone to come pursue you and show you what real love feels like.
There is only one intimacy, one relationship, one love that will never leave you. And that is Jesus. He’s the Healer. When worth is seemingly pried from you, you must remember that your Father in Heaven knew that sin, selfishness, cheating, depression, sex, death, drugs, gossip, abandonment would hit you and would hit hard. He didn’t inflict this pain upon you. If we are going to truly believe in Romans 8:28 that “All things work together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose” Then we MUST trust that He is inherently good. And I know this sucks to hear, but that does not mean “oh God doesn’t want me sad and everything works together for the good of those who love Him, and well I love Him, so I know he/or she will walk back into my life because what we had was ‘good’…and God is ‘good’”.
C’mon guys that is cheap. That is a small appetite. He is a God of abundance, not just quick fixes. He is a God of truth that sets us free, not a lie that confuses us of His plan for our lives.
That break-up you are going through, His son, Jesus conquered the pits of hell for it. It broke His heart. It breaks His heart. Jesus hung on a cross and made eye contact with your very soul, and said “It is finished”. He said “yeah… I don’t want her feeling like that.” “I don’t want him dealing with depression alone when his girlfriend leaves.” “I love you.” He declared that the disparities of this life would have no grip on you. The best thing to do when dealing with a perpetuating heartbreak would be to remind yourself of those truths. I don’t think it does us much good to try and figure out God’s master plan for our lives when it comes to this hurt. Sure, it could be to marry someone later in life who equips you better for spreading God’s love and the Kingdom, but that isn’t a matter we are supposed to be involved in, and thank God for that. His plans for us don’t make sense to us at times, that is why He reveals little glimpses in His timing to keep us trusting in Him and reliant on Him.
Stop trying to self soothe.
Think of it this way. Have you ever tried putting a baby to sleep? You place them in the crib, make their rooms dark, and put on the sound maker with waves crashing in the background. Then you watch them on the nifty baby cam and see that they are crying and fussing, having a full-blown panic attack. They try sucking their thumbs, they spit their passies out, they change positions, I’ve seen a baby attempt to throw themselves out of their crib onto the wood floor. I’m like “this baby is freakin’ nuts and needs some NyQuil…” But as soon as you walk in there and pick them up, what happens? It’s like automatic stillness. Immediately, when being rocked in your arms listening to your voice whisper them songs and encouraging tones: “it’s okay baby, it’s okay. I am here. Shhh. It’s okay” they fall asleep. It’s so insane, it’s instant. The sound, the touch, the motion, and the security of someone else is what relieves them of their impending fear of being alone.
Now picture your life and your mess of a heartbreak. You talk about it, you stress about it, you stalk his or hers Facebook, you read a Psalms, you go to Church, you hit up a new boo in the DM’s, you post a selfie, you text them your thoughts, you sit in your abandonment from a divorce 20 years ago, you vent to your kids about their mom/or dad that left, you cuss, you cry, you try to throw yourself out of the crib onto the hardwood floor.
What if you knew, I mean truly knew that your Savior is on the other side of your hurt ready to hold you, rock you, and embrace you.
These silly attempts at self-soothing may be necessary and natural at first, but when you hear His tender whisper and fix your eyes on the cross, and rest in His unending grace and love for you, the other tactics begin to fade and you begin to experience true rest and healing. One of the best things about this secure love is, He doesn’t grow weary or tired of hearing your same insecurities. He doesn’t care if it’s been 5 minutes since the initial heartbreak or 50 years… He is the God of Israel who spent 450 years listening to the Israelites complaints and doubts about His providential rescue (Acts 13:17-22). He is the God of the Psalmists who crafted 150 chapters worth of brutal honesty and opinions of their enemies. He is the God of Joseph who spent years in slavery, dealt with accusations, and confusion of being forgotten (Genesis 37). And He is the God of you and me. He is the God who sees how much this heartbreak affects you. He is the God who literally catches your tears. He is the God who is fighting on your behalf and says be still (Exodus 14:14). He is the God who guards and defends you in Heavenly Realms (Psalm 34:7).
That is true love.
True love doesn’t cheat, confuse, or abandon. True love makes every other form of love pale in comparison. I get it: you still naturally crave for that person to be back in your life, you listen to a song that reminds you of the good times, you see them for the first time in months, and it hurts. You dwell on the should’ve could’ve would’ves. You wish for your heart to feel whole again, but you know if by some magical chance they’ve changed and you get back together that it would never be the same. It would just be an attempt to ignore the cracks of a broken relationship to “feel something again”. But let me tell you my dear friend, God has a plan for you. He longs for you to feel His unending love in every moment and every hour of the day to bring glory to His name. The cross was His plan of rescue, and His rescue rings true today even in the midst of your heartbreak. He will use this. He will redeem this. And He will embrace you as you waltz into eternity. This type of love is real. It is full of action, might, grace, and tenacity.
This type of love allows the cheating, the lying, the feeling of worthlessness and doubt from an earthly relationship grow insignificant. So, my dear friends, as you heal and as you hurt, as you laugh and as you cry, as you cuss and as you pray, please remember that God’s intention isn’t for you to just merely feels scraps of love here on earth but to experience His eternal-sustaining love that was set in motion long before you existed. What a beautiful exchange.
He hears you. He is healing you. He loves you.
Psalm 55:4-8; 16-19a
“My heart pounds in my chest. The terror of death assaults me.
Fear and trembling overwhelm me, and I can’t stop shaking.
Oh, that I had wings like a dove; then I would fly away and rest!
I would fly far away to the quiet of the wilderness.
How quickly I would escape- far from this wild storm of hatred.
But I will call on God, and The Lord will rescue me.
Morning, noon, and night I cry out in my distress, and the Lord hears my voice.
He ransoms me and keeps me safe from the battle waged against me,
Though many still oppose me. God who has ruled forever will hear me…”