You get up off the floor. You look to Christ. You survive.
There aren’t many things worse than when the person you saw a future with breaks things off. A list of what-ifs may run through your head: What if I had done this differently? What if I hadn’t said this? What if we hadn’t done that? What if I had compromised my standards? Maybe he would have stayed.
It’s a toxic thing that we do to ourselves. And the worst part is that we know it, yet we can't help but go down a rabbit hole. We crush ourselves underneath the weight of unanswered questions.
My first break up was one for the books. He was a really cool guy in high school, and I thought I was so awesome because I got him to notice me. We eventually started going out and we dated for a year. I promised him my forever, and he promised me his. We made so many memories, and so many plans- but one day he decided that he didn't love me anymore. Seriously- He picked up the phone, out of the blue, and said "Jonni, I just don't think I love you anymore. Maybe I was never even ever in love with you." One week before my prom. It was a horrible shock to my system. I couldn't even pinpoint the moment before that phone call when everything changed. It all seemed normal. The heartbreak was so real.
I felt sick constantly. I lost weight. I cried for an hour or more each day. I felt like I was withering away. I begged him to give me one more chance. I tried to force him back into feelings for me. Nothing worked. I knew the only choice that I had left was to enter into my healing.
Whether you saw it coming or not, a break up is never easy. In fact, a break up can cause you to question everything in your life. You may find yourself questioning whether you’re good enough within other aspects of your life that you normally would be confident in. If you allow it, rejected feelings endured from a break up can send you into a state of full blown depression. Even though everyone around you is telling you that it’s going to be okay, your heart is uttering something different.
As death is part of life, heartbreak is part of love. It may be tempting, in the midst of pain, to become cynical about loving someone again. But before you go down that route - Read this....
C.S. Lewis writes...
“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.”
I remember being so bitter and angry over my heartbreak at first, but a good mentor of mine warned me against it, and it was one of the best pieces of advice she had ever given me. If I had continued holding a grudge, I wouldn't be at all where I am now. Married, and extremely blessed. I would have sworn men off and I would have never opened up to anyone else.
Don't give up on love. Allow your heart to get better. Don't be afraid of vulnerability.
I want to go on this journey with you. It's a long one, and often dark- but one that needs to happen in order for God to give you all that you truly need.
Confess Your Hurt To The Lord
“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”
God doesn’t expect you to bounce back immediately. He understands that you need time to heal and process, but it’s important that you don’t shut Him out. I tried to- that's for sure. It’s so easy to want to turn away from God in order to lick your wounds in isolation, though this is what hurts you even more. God is in your corner- He’s your right-hand-man. He wants you to be honest with him about how you’re doing, so pray to Him, yell at Him in your car, write Him a letter in your journal, anything that keeps the line of communication open. He hears you. He hears all of the words that come from your heart and He collects every single tear that you shed. He wants to hold your hand while you work through your hurting.
“I will gladly boast all the more about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may reside in me”
2 Corinthians 12:9
This verse is heavy on my heart. Someone needs to hear this. Boast your weaknesses. Call them to light so that they no longer have power over you. Hand over your weaknesses to God and allow Him to be your strength. By being open and honest, you are allowing his power to reside in you, carry on with you daily, and be your source of life. There is nothing more we can ask for from a God as great as ours.
Cut All Ties With Your Ex
Getting broken up with makes me angry. It’s like their ability to hurt me makes me want to hurt them back, but that’s not what God calls me to do. He doesn't call you to do that either.
“Do not judge and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.”
As God has grace for you, He also has grace for the person who broke your heart... as gross as that is to hear. Whenever I have retaliated and tried to hurt them back, I really just wind up hurting myself. It’s better to grieve, heal, forgive, and grow than to hold onto bitterness, spite, envy, jealousy, and anger. It’s definitely not easy to be the bigger person and let go of your hurt, but it’s so much more important to free yourself and break the chains.
Eliminate all temptation that may make you want to reach out to him or show off your new life. Delete his number. Block his calls. Mute him on Instagram. Unfriend him on Facebook. It's not worth it. You'll want to post things for attention, or maybe even send him something mean- Each time you do though, it will leave you feeling empty because you aren't trusting God enough. Trust me.
And remember- Jesus does not give us a spirit of helplessness, He gives us a spirit of peace.
In order to receive this gift, you must first let go of your hurts. Release the parts of you that are troubled or fearful. Forgiving that person doesn’t mean you are pretending nothing happened--by accepting Jesus’ gift of peace, it allows you to move forward in the freedom God wants you to live in.
Also- Here are some BEST songs to listen to if you are having trouble with this:
Trust In God's Plan
“Have faith God has plans for you to prosper and not harm you.”
So much peace can come from giving it to God. Switching your thoughts to "God, I have no idea why you're making me go through this break up, but I know your plan is good and you will replace this with someone better." can change the game completely.
Instead of repeating the problems to yourself, repeat His promises. God has promised you an abundant life, so stay focused on how God has and will continue to bless you. It’s up to you to choose what lens you look through. You can either look through the lens of insecurities or you can look through the lens of God’s promises. It is when you stand on His promises that you will truly get through this breakup.
Look at it this way- who knows what would have happened if God hadn’t ended the relationship. Can I be honest and throw a personal nugget in here, real quick!? The same guy that shattered my heart that had me torn up for months, is the same guy who is stuck in the same town, with a dead end job, and no friends or family that support him. He quit college and people barley ever talk from him anymore. It's sad- but I'm so happy that God didn't leave me with what I wanted, and instead gave me what I needed.
Maybe yours was destined to end in divorce, maybe he was hiding abusive qualities, or your faith may have been distracted by him. It could even be that God has someone else better suited for you. God has never abandoned you, and He will never abandon you. Though the break up hurts in the moment, God is showing His devotion and love to you through this. This is such a good quote... “God created you to enjoy and thrive in love that lasts. Hearts weren’t built to be borrowed.” He loves you so much that He can’t bear watching you continue in a relationship that will eventually hurt you. God will make himself look like the bad guy in order to get you to where you need to be.
If you are walking in the presence of God, through all aspects of life, you will be covered and secure. Romans 8:28 was my life verse through every break up I ever went through. In all things, God will work it together for the good if you love Him.
Invest In Yourself
One of the most liberating things I did when he broke up with me was spend money and buy a one way trip to Europe and stay there all alone for the summer. Best decision of my entire life! If you can't afford something like this, or if you're not a crazy risk taker- then you can maybe spend the money that you had saved for his birthday gift on new clothes instead. Do something for you!
There is nothing wrong with treating yourself to a fresh new look whether it’s a new outfit, new hairstyle, or pampering yourself more often. Just keep in mind, it’s meant to be a confidence booster and not to invoke feelings of vanity or seduction.
I am not saying all of this to be shallow- but just to encourage you to get out of the house, and realize that there is something so much bigger and better than the little town and the guy that hurt you. Don't be so engrossed in sadness that you forget how beautiful you are and how wonderful life can be.
While you’re mourning your past relationship, put prayer on the forefront of your mind. You'll start to understand why God allowed this heartbreak to occur, and you will begin to trust Him more. The Lord is listening to you and He wants to be there for you. I wrote a prayer in my journal when I was heartbroken, and maybe you can pray it too.
Thank you for your willingness to be here with me during this time. It's been so hard lately and I haven't been myself. My heart feels like it is shattered into a million pieces. You've seen it all. You were there in the beginning, and you watched it fall a part. I'm disappointed. I'm angry. I'm sad.
You are the only one I know I can turn to for comfort, Lord. Provide me with reassurance that this was the right thing for me in my life. Remind me that there are great things in my future and that I will not be forsaken by you. Let my soul know that you have good intentions through out this process and that one day, I will find a man that is perfectly suited for me. Allow me the time to get to that point of acceptance.
I ask for Your guidance during this difficult time, and I pray for the patience of others as I work through my feelings. Bring people into my life, God, that will lift me up and pray with me. Bring people into my life that will walk through this hardship with me. Help me through these memories, God- because each time I think about them, my soul hurts. Walk with me through this pain- and show me how it can most glorify You. You have never failed me God, and you won't start now.
In Jesus' name- Amen.
Healing doesn't happen overnight. Stay diligent in your Word, and faithful on your knees- You will see God work. And just know, if you're reading this, tears have fallen for you tonight on my keyboard. I know the pain, and when I close my eyes- I can feel it all over again. But I promise you- it does get better. It really, really does.