I’m just going to go ahead and say it, even though it is soooooo cliche, but just bear with me here…..
We ALL must journey through heartbreak at some point. I know, I know….that doesn’t change how painful it is when it happens and it certainly isn’t a statement that offers hope. But, you probably know firsthand what I mean by this.
So, because I know we all have either faced heartbreak, are facing it right now, or will face it at some point, I felt it was so important to start this conversation. I think we are so convinced that as women we can never show weakness for fear of being labeled the weaker sex or living up to some stereotype. But, today, I want to get VULNERABLE and talk about this entire topic LIKE A GIRL. Friend, heartbreak stinks. When you’re journeying through it, it feels like the most life-altering and devastating experience you could have.
Before we dive in, I want to tell you about the year my heart broke three times.
My senior year of college and the summer that followed was the most altering year of my young adult life. I was not the same person at the end of that year that I was when I first rang in the new year.
By February of that year I had been dating someone for about five months. This wasn’t just any guy. This was my best friend. This was a relationship we had both prayed over and talked about long before deciding to pursue it. And, of course, I totally thought that this relationship was destined to be the ONE because he was my best friend. All the movies told us that this would work out. All of our friends questioned why we hadn’t started dating sooner — we spent every second of the day together anyway.
Well, as it turns out, sometimes dating your best friend is not exactly what the movies lead you to believe it is. By the end of February, we had called it quits. And I don’t mean that we both decided to go back to being friends. I mean that he decided to call it quits.
So, we all know that getting dumped is no fun. But getting dumped by your best friend….that is just about one of the most awful rejections I’ve ever known. Now, I will be honest and say that I was in complete denial about our relationship. The sparks that we thought existed between us simply weren’t there — it just happened that he was willing to admit that sooner than I was.
Surprisingly, we were actually able to go right back to the way we were and to this day he is still the one I call when I just need my best friend. Of course, in those days after the breakup, I was pretty sure that I had just lost the best relationship I had ever known. How could we ever be friends after this?
For a month straight I went back to my dorm every day, crawled into bed with some sort of food (usually sushi or pizza) and watched endless episodes of Friends. I just couldn’t seem to get back to who I was before — I felt sad all the time and on the verge of tears most days. You see, I had just experienced my very first broken heart.
Fast forward to May of that year. I had just graduated and was about to start my summer internship. I was dating this dreamy guy who I’d met about a month after that breakup. He was totally infatuated with me and I with him. This was the kind of passion that you read about in books. I was head over heels.
3 days after gradation….HEARTBREAK.
I was beyond devastated.
I had to walk into my internship the next day and pretend like I was okay, but I was a mess on the inside.
Months passed and I still felt the ache. My internship was going great, the summer was full of fun things, and I had a bright future ahead. But still, I was hurting.
The end of the summer came around and I found myself being pursued again. This time, it only took about 3 dates for him to totally stop all communication and I was left with, yet again, another let down. This time was not nearly as painful on it’s own, but after feeling rejected so much in one year, it just added to all the cracks forming in my heart.
Of course, I am now married to the man who really was meant for me. And he makes all of that pain seem far less important. But, during that year of heartbreak I felt myself sinking. I’d grown insecure, untrusting, and unconvinced that any man was worth my time.
But I learned so much in those months. Some things that truly changed me for the better. Those breaks in my heart became small scars that remind of how far I’ve come, how strong I am, and how much I can depend on God to see me through anything.
After drawing out this long story about my relationship history, I want to share with you the things I learned through that journey in the simplest way I can….
- Dating relationships should never identify you.
Marriage may come with titles like “husband” and “wife” and those titles certainly become a part of who we are — they identify us as committed to one person so the rest of the world knows where we stand. One of the most defining things about me is that I am the wife to David Stephens. It means that I place his needs before my own, I serve him as God leads me, I am submissive to him as the leader of our relationship. It means that I get to enjoy the blessings of marriage with him, fall asleep with him each night, and possibly raise a family with him someday. Those are self-defining things that simply come with being married.
But, a dating relationship should never receive the same privileges that a marriage relationship does. A dating relationship should never define who we are. Part of the reason that I struggled to move past breakups was because I struggled to place my identity in God instead of in the guy I was with at the time. Because I wasn’t relying on what God said about me, I was devastated when rejected came my way.
That summer I grew closer to God than I ever had been before. All of those heartbreaks had left me with no other choice but to turn to Him and learn to find my identity in who He says I am. And though I was still hurting, I was able to find true JOY because of my relationship with Christ.
So, if heartbreak feels more difficult for you than it should….maybe that’s because it is. Maybe what you’re really facing is an identity crisis. And the only way to move past that is to turn back to who God says you are. Spend time with Him, talk to Him, and really search His word to know what He says about you.
2. Your plan will never compare to God’s plan for you
I still struggle with this every day. I am always fighting and questioning God when things don’t go my way. Even though I know that when things aren’t going my way, that just means that God is working out something even BETTER for me than I had planned.
Of those three broken hearts, those three guys that I thought were so perfect for me….none of them even come close to the man I get to spend every day with. I am beyond grateful that the Lord didn’t let me have my way, no matter how much I begged. He knew that what I thought I wanted was not at all the type of guy that I needed in my life. He knew that David was waiting and praying for me. He knew that even though my heart was breaking, which I know He felt 100% with me, that He had something unbelievably good stored up for my future.
Friend, if your heart is breaking right now I invite you to take joy in this one thought: the relationship that you thought was unbeatable is actually going to fall quite short compared to the one that God has in-store for you. I know it seems impossible that anyone THAT good could ever come into your life again and you truly feel like you can never love anyone else more than you love him…..but you would be greatly surprised at what God can do with a willing heart. Including HEAL it. Trust that He has goodness planned for your life and believe that He will fulfill every promise and you will live each day with a joy that others simply can’t describe.
3. A relationship will never bring you true joy.
Not that lasting kind anyway. My husband makes me happy — every day! But my JOY is not found in him. Because if it were….well, I would be a pretty miserable person on the days he annoys me or does something in a different way than I would. If my joy were found in my marriage then I would never know as each day came whether or not I was going to be happy that day. But, because my joy comes from God, I know every morning I wake up is a day destined for joy….NO MATTER WHAT.
If you can learn to find your joy in Christ because you know that no other relationship will ever provide that kind of joy, then you will be free from all the miseries that other people complain about when it comes to relationships. You will know for certain that no matter what happens, you will be a genuinely joyful person.
I have one final thing to share with you, friend….
If you are really struggling through a season of heartbreak right now, then I would like to give you a special gift.
I have created a 7-day devotional that focuses on how you can journey through heartbreak and come out on the other side more joyful and hopeful and learn to see yourself as adored and loved by the Creator.
Just click below to download your FREE copy of this devotional and start the healing process today.
Click HERE to download your FREE copy.
I hope you are choosing to walk the path of healing, friend. I pray that you are seeking God’s will through this confusing season — He will be faithful to heal your heart and provide you with the love story you deserve.