A break up is like a death without the funeral or the loved ones gathering around you to mourn their passing. That person has passed from your life and all of your hopes, dreams and plans went with them. It is a painfully dark time and it can seem to have no end.
I want to assure you that it does have an end. When I was seventeen I entered a courtship and after almost a year and a half we mutually agreed to part ways. Even though it didn't end in bitterness, it did end in absolute and total heartbreak. The months following the break-up were the darkest, loneliest, most helpless months I have ever experienced.
Come safely through (a storm)
However, I did make it safely through the storm. The Lord made beauty from my ashes. He took all the broken pieces of my heart and healed them and used that time for good. Following immediately after the break up and for many months afterwards I wished that I could have re-done many of the bad choices I had made and was astonished at how many "red flags" I ignored. But now, over a year later, I no longer have any regrets because the Lord used a terrible time to teach me valuable lessons I am applying to my life now as I prepare for (God willing) my future marriage someday and life as a single young lady now.
If you're in the midst of a break up you probably can't imagine ever being able to say what I have just said in the paragraph above. The wound is too fresh, too new, too raw. But those of you who have "come safely through a storm" know exactly what I'm talking about.
I wrote about this subject before on another blog and I shared some practical things about how to go through a break up, but I wanted in this new blog to not just touch on the practical but the emotional and spiritual as well which I believe are the most important. This post will be part 1 to "Weathering A Break Up." The second part will talk more about the emotional and spiritual part of walking through this time of grief.
I made lots of mistakes while healing (the Lord worked despite them!) and if possible, I want you to be able to avoid them because they are extremely common and extremely damaging.
I'm gonna start with one that I often found myself repeating even after I knew that it wasn't good for me.
- Avoid the temptation to see what they're doing via social networking sites or even by asking their friends.
Now more than ever, many lives are lived out on social networking sites. Anything from what we're eating, listening to, watching, studying, to what we're thinking, is posted on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. Because of this, it's easy to "check up" on that person and see how they're doing. "I'm gonna see if they're posting any sad Bible verses because that means they're hurting, too!" "Let me see if they look happy in their pictures!" "Oh no, they have been with that person a lot. I wonder if they've already found someone else."
Because social networking hasn't been around that long, this is a fairly new challenge. Before the only way that anyone could find out about that person's "doings" was to ask friends or talk to that person themselves, it wasn't thrust in their face un-voluntarily.
Always being privy to that person's life after you no longer share that special relationship with them introduces a whole new set of emotions to your already hurting heart. It can slow the healing process significantly. If you don't want to "un-friend" that person on your social networking sites, stop following their posts or, what I personally recommend, take a long sabbatical altogether as hard as it may be.
And a final tip about the social networking realm that I haven't found anywhere else: It's so tempting to want to post pictures, statuses on Facebook, etc to hurt that person. To let them know somehow (even if it isn't true) that you're over them or better off without them. Avoid giving in to this temptation since it only makes you dwell on the hurt even more and can be unnecessarily hurtful to that person. So, check your motives!
Put away the pictures and things that remind you of them.
If it's too hard to throw away things, try to find a place where you can put them away, like a closet shelf, a box or a trunk. Sometimes part of the healing process is putting those things away then awhile later taking them out and being finally able to part with them.
Usually this isn't something that we hesitate in doing. In fact, it's probably the first thing we do following a break up.
Write everything you're feeling and learning in a journal!
If you keep a journal already or even if you don't, then this a vital thing to be doing now. Everything you're feeling needs to be talked about and thought through in your mind. Journaling is the perfect way to do that. Later you can look back and see your journey and God's faithfulness through every step to healing.
- Find an understanding, mature and encouraging person to talk to.
There is a need to talk through all you're feeling and experiencing with someone at some point even if it's not right away. Many times this comes in the form of your mom or close family member. If you're not able to talk with your family about it, find a friend who you really trust and who truly cares about you and who will point you to the true Healer.
- Don't throw your heart around.
This is by far the hardest thing to do. After having a special relationship with someone come to an end, your need for it does not end when their part in your life does. This is often evidenced by feeling the need to jump into another relationship as quickly as possible.
This is something I was keenly aware of after I went through a break up. I not only had my family warning me away from this but dear friends as well. They warned me about how tempting this would be and I listened and am so thankful I did.
One of the biggest things that kept me from going in this direction was how much I cared about honoring God and my future husband. I had made an awful mistake but I did not want to make an even bigger one by recklessly throwing my heart around. It gave me such joy to not only be living to honor God, but to honor my future husband with my heart.
This concludes part 1 on "Weathering A Break-Up". Click here to view the second part.
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