You've been there, I've been there.
Heartbreak is never easy and anyone that has gone through it knows the guilty pleasure of sulking in their grief with their face in a bowl of ice cream. And even though a purge in the beginning is healthy and even recommended, God doesn't want you to stay there and dwell in your brokenness.
When I was 18, I entered a relationship that lasted a full two years. I knew through the unrest of my spirit that God did not want me with this boy from the start, but I ignored His guidance and I did what I wanted to do anyway. I continued to invest in our secular love, even when I knew the investment would never pay off- So one day, instead of God leaving me to my own destruction and having it result in probably a miserable marriage and an eventual messy divorce, He was a good Father and He got me out of it.
I would be lying if I said it didn't hurt. I would be lying if I said I didn't write a 20 page prayer asking God to change His will. I would be lying if I said I wasn't bitter towards the Lord.
But He wanted more for me.
and eventually He made me want more for myself too.
Because I had been restricted and controlled by my ex-boyfriend for so long, I went over the last two years in my head and realized that I hadn't focused on any new or old friendships, I hadn't made any new self discoveries, and that I had been living on a plateau for a while, when I should have been thriving during my last year of high school and first year of college.
Do you find yourself in that position now?
Are you just coming out of a toxic relationship?
Is your heart in pieces and is your mind confused over what God is trying to do in your life?
Travel. Leave. Get out. Now.
I'll tell you how and why I traveled to another country at 19, all by myself...
I would have been weak if I was near him.
If you break up with a boy and they live by you, 10/10 times you are going to drive around his neighborhood hoping that you see him. It's inevitable. As a girl, you want and crave that attention, especially from someone who gave it to you at one time in the past. I needed to get out of my current surroundings. I needed to be away from him and his manipulation. And as hard as it was, I gathered the strength and I left.
Traveling teaches you that there is so much more to life than what you're facing in the moment
When I was in Italy, meeting new people was the best distraction I've ever had. Especially traveling solo! It was extremely easy to meet other people similar to me and entirely different than me all at the same time. Some were young, ambitious, and ready for something new. Others were old, stuck in a routine, but still content with how their life had unfolded. I loved sitting in cafes or on the beach hearing stories of fulfilled dreams and passions. I had been so accustomed to the small island that I lived on, that I forgot that there were so many other people in this world. I fell in love with humanity again.
It doesn't have to cost you a ton of money
Want to know how I left the country all alone at 19 years old? I became an Au Pair (Click here to see the website)
Before you laugh and ask if I was a nanny... the answer is, no. I wasn't a nanny. There are many families on that website looking for child care, but there are also many families just looking for an American person to come and hang out with their older teenagers while teaching them English here and there. That's what I did. And one of the teenagers become one of my life long friends.
And as an Au Pair, they even pay you to be there- on top of giving you housing and food!
It is empowering
The biggest realization that I had when traveling was that I didn't need a man. Because I grew up fatherless, I always thought I would only feel whole if I was in a relationship, but that all changed when I traveled. It was such a good feeling knowing that I was alone, independent, yet so genuinely happy. I didn't have to depend on anyone except myself and the Lord.
You get unplugged from the world and have alone time with Jesus
This was my favorite part. I brought Christian books to last me the whole month that I was in Italy, and I dug into them daily. I had a notebook with me and I recorded all of the lessons that I learned and also every revelation that the Lord gave me about my spiritual well being. One book that had the biggest impact on me was called "So Long Insecurities" by Beth Moore! That book taught me so much in my wilderness period with Him. I wouldn't have traded it for anything in the world.
By traveling, you’re thrust into the unfamiliar and out of your comfort zone. It’s liberating to be in a place where no one knows your name. You can be anybody that you want to be. You are able to give yourself a break from real life and get out of your own way.
If you feel heartbroken as well, take my advice and travel. Immerse yourself in foreign sights and smells and adventures, and be free. Spread your wings.
Traveling is one of the best ways to help heal your broken heart. It'll remind you of the life you're capable of living, all by yourself.