Turning the page isn’t easy. Often times we get stuck on the same page, the story that brought us so many moments of joy and love. Staying on the same page is the hope and longing that maybe they will come back, maybe things will turn out differently, maybe they will change their minds. The truth is, by continuing to stay there we miss out on the stories around us that have the potential to be as life changing as the ones we experienced. Sometimes God brings people into our lives and just like that, similar to a wind pushing them from behind, God briskly takes them away. All we can do is trust, and have faith that God is opening a new chapter in our life that is even more beautiful.
I wrote that recently after a heartbreak and one of the most difficult things in life is losing someone you truly love.
If there’s a kind of heartbreak that has been universally felt by countless people across all cultures in the world, it is the heartbreak of a breakup. There’s nothing quite like the pain of the knowledge that the one you love is no longer yours. As impossible as it may seem, there’s nothing you can truly do but come to terms with the breakup, let go of the situation, and focus on healing, so that you can move on and become a stronger person through it all.
The process is not completely dependent on you, however. It can be easy to accept all the responsibility for your healing so that you have an excuse to wallow in self-pity for however long you want.
But the truth is that God is the only one who can fill the void you feel after a breakup. He is the one who repairs our souls, and we are just the vessels He uses to make that happen. Heather Lindsey advises, “Let not make any more excuses of ‘easier said than done.’ Let’s instead say, God—I trust you.”
Letting Go…We must do all we can to help facilitate our healing, while still relying wholly on God.
Here are five ways that, according to Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen, can help us to do just that:
1. Understand that the breakup may be the best thing for you.
Grief can often cloud our judgment so much that we can’t see the bigger picture unfolding in our lives. After all, how could something as terrible and emotionally draining as this possibly play a part in God’s plan for our lives? God has been using pain to yield glory since the beginning of time, and He continues to do so in our lives today.
Despair teaches us to hope. Suffering teaches us to rejoice. When we realize that our situations shape us in ways we cannot see, it becomes easier to accept the hurt now, if only to grow later.
2. Accept that you did the best you could in your relationship.
After a breakup, it can be tempting to pin the blame on the likeliest victim, even if it’s yourself. But this reaction solves nothing; it only stirs up all kinds of negativity and regrets that need to be resolved if you are ever to move on. The end of a relationship is not your fault; it was part of an uncontrollable series of events that, believe it or not, God is using to build you up in faith. The sooner you reach acceptance, the better.
3. Decide what needs to change in your life.
If we become self-absorbed in depression, we can become stagnant in our walk with Christ and in our lives in general. We may not even mean to; it is simply the natural effect of a life-altering event. It is more than okay to break down, to think about what happened, to feel, for lack of a better term, sad. But eventually, when you are ready to heal, you have to make a change. You have to shift your attention from the breakup to something much more enjoyable and fulfilling to engage in.
4. Accept your lack of control.
The most frustrating part to come to terms with is, without a doubt, the fact that all of this is happening, and you cannot control it. No matter how many texts you send, how many tears you shed, how many times you try to bargain with God, the damage has already been done. Even if you do manage to beg your love back, your heart cannot be as it was before. You can’t change what has already happened, and you cannot change someone else’s mind. Instead of trying, focus on things that you can change, like your own outlook on life and dependence on God.
5. Get spiritually refreshed.
Of course, the one thing that remains constant in every trial is the steadfast love of Jesus Christ. He is the remedy for every single aftershock of this massive earthquake called a breakup. He has experienced every struggle you can name; loneliness, frustration, sadness, betrayal, and even death. He knows that despite the trouble of this world, true joy can be found in following Him.
If you feel dead inside, chances are that you need to be spiritually refreshed. If you haven’t been going to church, why not get back in the habit? Read the Word, and pray constantly.
My Personal Experience:
When I moved out to California I did so for my ex-girlfriend. I loved her a lot, I had plans to marry her and I did my very best to make our relationship work but in the end it wasn’t enough. When she broke up with me for another guy, I was devastated.
I had no friends or support because all of my friends were basically her friends. I was honestly all alone. So what did I do?
Besides going through a storm of thoughts (What’s wrong with me? What did I do? What could I have done differently?) and emotions (sadness, fear, anger), I turned to the only one who I had, God. Over the next 6 months I decided to dedicate myself to the most important relationship we’ll ever know, our relationship with God.
As I look back now, I realize that it was during that time period that I have never felt closer to God. Despite the pain that would come and go and then come right back again, I also was filled with an unmistakeable peace and joy knowing that I wasn’t alone through this and that I could trust that God had a plan for me.
The truth is, sometimes relationships don’t work no matter how hard we try because God simply wants us to be closer to Him. Its not easy, its painful, its terrifying to let go but I can assure you that when you truly experience God’s peace in your life, when you take that first step or when your down on your knees and have nothing left to give, that is when God rescues us.
Freedom is found only in surrender. Jeanne Doyon puts it this way:
With that step of faith, he will reveal his power in us and through us to handle whatever comes our way.
What has your experiences been like with a break up? Has it helped you move closer to God?