4 steps for a Broken Heart: Christian Edition
Whether this is a letter to my past self or a word of advice to other hurting hearts, I thank the Lord for my story. It’s a story of healing, redemption, and faithfulness.
Post-breakup hurt is the tallest mountain I’ve climbed. It’s bittersweet when both parties are still in love and when the break up was based on a wise decision.
The hurt is sitting in your room silently crying weeks-later all alone. It’s when your head understands the necessity for the breakup, but your heart still holds on. It’s the hope for a magical fix; to turn the relationship’s “stop” button into a “pause and resume later” button.
My biggest advice through this is to SURRENDER. “Let go and let God” is the cliche phrase. Though surrender can be abstract, I hope to share 4 thoughts that helped me let go of control over my destiny and, instead, trust God.
1. Understand the situation is completely in God’s hands.
Essentially, this is the understanding that everything we have is not our own, and every man-made concept we depend on is fleeting. Just as with material items, the experiences, emotions, and hopes associated with relationships are God-given gifts. A powerful Heavenly Father always has the power to continue to give or to take away.
Though I can pray for my previous relationship to be fixed and restored, it will never be a beneficial option for my future unless it’s in God’s plan. Friends, please accept that God’s answers to prayers are always perfect, even if you may not believe them to be. This takes trust and patience. Also, please understand, if the relationship actually is in His plan for your future, it will come together without human force, and God will dramatically change one or both of your hearts in the waiting period.
Surrender your obsessive hope for the relationship to continue. Trust God’s sovereignty and “lean not on your own understanding” of what you believe to be best.
2. Pray for your own heart
So many are willing to pray for friends who are going through a hard time — why not also pray for your situation? Run to the father with your brokenness. Pray for a healed heart. Pray for peace amidst being unsure of the future and having regrets about the past. Pray for God to fill the void in your heart with his overwhelming love. Pray for constant reminders of His goodness and promises. Pray that your current hurt will someday help someone else. Remember that God wants to meet you in the moments with tear-stained cheeks and a vulnerable heart. He wants to refill the tired and discouraged souls. He writes the best rescue stories. By acknowledging His power to help, you invite Him in to perform a miracle in your life. And I promise, God is all we ever need. Nothing will fill our hearts except the creator of the universe.
3. Let go of the past
Life isn’t meant to be lived dwelling in the past; we have too many opportunities and blessings today. This piece of advice is the one I struggle with the most. I hold onto the past so tightly because I viewed the effort, mental space, and time I put into the relationship as an investment into my future — a large investment. In business terms, for the relationship that ended in a breakup, I lost everything.
But healing from this “large loss” begins when we realize we were never promised a future in the relationship. It was a fleeting earthly treasure. God meant the relationship to be only a short season in life, contributing to a larger perspective life story. Don’t hold onto your own hope and plans for a future in the relationship; the continued longing for something that isn’t yours is a distraction when trying to follow where Jesus wants to lead.
God can’t show us His goodness until we let go and depend on Him to lead us into the next season of our life. Jesus wants to redeem and restore our stories. If invited into our hurt, He promises to come up beside you and turn the brokenness into blessing. He makes old things new and will reveal a new, better beginning if we choose to let go of the past and walk in His plans.
4. Remember you made an impact in your ex’s life
Though it is an end of your & your ex’s story, please know that the time wasn’t wasted. I suggest you reflect on lessons you learned, remember times you were intentional to love them well, and the ways you grew as people together. In 1 Corinthians 15, there’s a promise that our work for the Lord is never in vain. God will use the intentional person-to-person relationship for good — whether that be for growth, for either person to know God better, for inspiration and encouragement, or something else similar.
Because you’re feeling hurt due to the break up, it validates that you made an impact in their life, since the relationship was rich. I want to remind you that, though it ended, the past weeks or months or years weren’t a waste. If you lived a life that reflects who God is and loved as God loved, you were a light in your partner’s life.
I still don’t know how my story ends. I still don’t know when or where I’ll find the missing piece that’ll complete my dream to have a family someday. So, friend, please know you’re not alone in the waiting and healing process. But, as my mom reminded me, God knows our hearts’ desires and acknowledges them; He answers prayers. So, please know that God promises a future better than the door He just closed. As you continue through life, all He asks is for you to trust Him and to keep your hands and heart open to recognize the opportunities He’ll put in your path.
Sending love and continually praying for healed hearts,