Break-ups are the worst, for everyone involved. It’s a kind of pain that I believe God never intended for us to experience. It’s unnatural to become attached to a person emotionally and then suddenly be forced to cut off all connection and contact with them. It’s painful and awful.
But I think there are lessons to be learned. Hearing of quite a few break-ups recently and having quite a few young women reach out to our ministry for advice, I thought it was time to share a few of the tips I’ve learned in hopes that they might help some lovely ladies that are going through break-ups right now:
- Let it hurt. My biggest piece of advice is to let it hurt as long as you need it to. There is a difference (and a fine line) between wallowing in self pity for an incredibly long time and allowing yourself to feel the pain that rightfully exists. My housemate had to come into my room and literally get me out of bed everyday for a week once after I got dumped. As an incredibly independent and self-declared strong person, that was really hard for me. BUT, that is part of letting it hurt. If you try to move on and get over it too fast, you lose a lot of really good reflection that will help you move on in a healthy way as well as the learning that comes from that reflection. Not to mention it takes WAY longer because the need to process something like that is totally natural, your brain and body need it. Allow yourself to be mad. Throw some stuff (in a place that nothing would hurt anyone!) Allow yourself to cry ugly tears.
- Healing is not linear. This is THE most helpful advice I received in the wake of my last breakup. I basically gave myself a week to be a complete ugly mess and then told myself I was going to be done and over it. And then three weeks later I was still crying about it. I was super frustrated with myself for backsliding when my best friend pointed out to me that healing is not linear. Some days are better than others. Some days you will wake up and feel like yourself again. Some days you will wake up and wonder how on earth you made it this far. Embrace each day for what it is, allow Christ to carry you through, and if you’re an external processor, talk it out. Again, careful between the line of wallowing and being honest with yourself about your emotions.
- Go through the motions. Normally, I would NEVER give this advice, and quite often it’s something the church warns about on the path to becoming lukewarm. In this case, it is the only way I survived. For almost three months after my last break up I found myself reading through my chronological Bible plan every single night, going to church twice a week, participating in my Bible study – but I wasn’t really that invested. If I’m being honest, I was really mad at God. I prayed about my relationship a lot, and I felt totally blindsided when it ended. And I came to the conclusion that simply showing up to spend time with God was benefiting me more than calling it quits. I told God I was mad. We had regular conversations about it, but I knew that if I stopped putting in effort altogether, it would take me a really long time to dive back in again.
- Read the Psalms. Look to some of the Davidic Psalms in times like these. There were so many times where I believe David questioned God’s plan. He was anointed to be king and then had to serve Saul, who was king. Why did he have to hide in the wilderness running for his life? Where was God in these situations, and why did it appear as if he was not keeping his promises? David wrote Psalms that praised God, questioned Him, thanked him for his love, begged him for mercy, and recognized his greatness – his psalms cover ALL of the emotions.
A Real RElationship with God
Sometimes as Christians we believe that we have to be happy all the time. It can be tempting to over spiritualize things. But let me tell you, the joy of the Lord is different from fake happiness. I KNEW deep in my heart that God was doing something and that he would use my situation. I KNEW He was working on something that I didn’t know about yet. I also knew that what I was going through really hurt, and that God could take my anger.
Christianity is a relationship. And I knew that if I wanted to be in a close relationship with Him in that season of my life, it meant being really honest about where I was at emotionally. With that being said, be careful not to treat God as an equal. I yelled at God in my frustration, but I still recognized that God is the God of the universe and He is in control, not me.
While you’re in the midst of this pain, you may experience a wide range of emotions. Each break up is different and each person responds differently. But know this – you are not alone. Know that your hurt is NOT in vain. And know that I am praying for all of us who have had our hearts broken – trusting that God works for the good of those who love him. Trust that God is faithful and if you continue to pursue a relationship with Him, you will see His faithfulness in your heart and life.
Psalms about God’s goodness
If you need some good Psalms to read aloud over yourself as a reminder of God’s goodness:
Psalms about real Life pain
If you need some Psalms that remind you about David’s very raw relationship with God: