I kept waiting night after night for his truck to pull into the driveway. I slept in his t-shirt just to keep his scent near me. My days were blurred in a thick foggy haze. I barely slept, I barely ate, I lost the desire to live. I was truly heartsick. I can still remember my teenage son's voice saying, "Mama...don't you think it's time you slept upstairs in your bed again?" I felt so lost. I told myself he would come back; that somehow his truck had broken down and that he wasn't able to call. I tried to reason with my heart that he wasn't really gone; that he would be back. I was completely heartsick. I never really fully understood what the words meant when someone said their heart was broken. Oh, the sure pain of it -now...so surreal. I don't take those words for granted anymore. I have learned to pray, comfort, listen and hold someone's hand when they say those words. I am so eternally grateful for Poppa God walking me through that difficult time in my life. He truly healed that shattered broken heart, and then He gave me a purpose -even a rare beauty out of what was meant to destroy me. It's been several years now and those memories have faded, but I have not forgotten. What should you do when your heart is broken? Here are some things that helped me through that painful season:
* If someone has left you, don't beg and plead for them to stay or come back. The best advice my grandmother gave me was: "If a man wants to walk, let him walk." Begging, pleading, crying, manipulating, or pining for them to stay will only prolong your pain and suffering and that of your children. If someone wants to stay they will do it out of their own free will. You can't force someone to love you or to be faithful to you. Love is a choice, so let them choose. I know it hurts. I know you can't imagine your life without them, but you have to let them decide on their own.
* Decide and determine in your heart that you will hold onto God no matter what. It's not His fault that a human you loved disappointed you. Cling to His promise that He will never leave you or forsake you. Cry out to Him. Pray. Choose to read His word, stay in church. Even if you feel like your world is falling apart remember that you are in the palm of His hand and He will carry you. He is closer than a brother and a friend at all times. Let Him hold you and comfort you. He can handle your pain and your tears. Life may not make sense right now but life will get better again. Weeping may endure for a night, but joy will come in the morning.
* Reach out to someone you can trust; a prayer partner, a best friend, a pastor or mentor. Let them know what's going on. A true friend will care and be there for you during difficult times. Don't allow the lies of the enemy to tell you that you have to go through this alone. You need help during this time and it's okay to admit that. Ask others to pray for your strength, peace of mind, healing in your heart to take place.
* Remember to take care of your body. When you go through heartache your overwhelming feelings invade you and you may forget to eat. Your appetite may be completely gone. Choose to at least eat some protein and drink water daily to keep yourself hydrated.
* Choose to live life. You probably want to stay in bed all day and do absolutely nothing. Force yourself to get up and get out of the house. Go for walks, see a movie with a friend, grab coffee and read the Word. I know it feels like your life is void and empty, but whatever you do, do not stop living. If you were happy before this person came into your life, you can be happy again without them. It will just take time.
* In the moments when you are completely overwhelmed by the grief and surges of feelings, have a friend you can call or text so they can pray for you. Sometimes the pain in your heart will feel like a sneaker tidal wave. You may feel completely like your drowning, but imagine yourself holding onto God's hand. He is right beside you and He will not let you be consumed. He is your anchor during the storm. Allow yourself to feel the pain and remind yourself that these feelings are temporary and they will pass. Breathe.
* Take time to reflect. You can't do a thing about the person who broke your heart, but you can reflect and think about what you could do differently. Listen to God's voice and be honest with yourself. It's a healthy approach to admit your mistakes and to glean wisdom from them. Ask God to show you what was unhealthy about the relationship. The truth sets us free. Don't beat yourself up though and do not condemn yourself. Don't blame yourself for everything either. It takes two people to have a relationship. Everyone has something they can do better and things to work on.
* Determine in your heart that you will forgive the person who hurt you. It doesn't mean you don't feel the pain anymore. It doesn't mean you are letting them off the hook -it means letting God deal with them. It means that you choose to walk in God's love. He can deal with people's hearts better than we can ourselves. I know it hurts. I know you're angry. I know you feel betrayed. It's okay to feel these feelings, but make the decision to forgive them. Ask God to help you in this. God can handle your feelings. Forgiveness is not a feeling but a decision.
* Do not choose to date or get involved in another romantic relationship until a lengthy time has passed. It's the worst mistake you can make. To start dating while your heart is broken is like walking around with a broken foot on novocaine. When the numbness wears off you will hurt even more. The damage will be greater. A second heartache is worse than first. Trust me -I know. Just because you feel better does not mean you are completely healed and ready for a relationship. Healing of a broken heart takes time. It's a process. God is a gentlemen and He heals our hearts one layer at a time, like an onion. Do yourself and the other person a favor -guard your heart. Get healthy first.
* Do special things for you. You are worth it. Go for walks, exercise, get a pedicure. Pamper yourself. Pamper a girlfriend. Do something kind for a neighbor. Do things that are stress relieving. Comfort yourself by surrounding yourself with good people and good atmosphere. Buy candles. Try a new hobby. Join a choir. Do it for you.
* Remember that tears are part of the process. It doesn't mean you are going backwards. A memory, a song or a smell might trigger feelings of the person who left you. Allow yourself to feel the pain and then move forward. Tears are cleansing, they're part of how God designed us to heal. He cares about you and the tears that fall on your pillow at night. So much that He actually records them in heaven.
* Avoid seeking comfort from places and things that will only temporarily numb your pain. Stay away from alcohol, drugs, sex outside of marriage, online dating services, or people who are a bad influence. All these things may feel good for a while, but your life will end up in destruction. Seek comfort from Jesus, His word, your friends, church, etc. Anything that is good, pure, lovely -think on those things.
* Know and remember that your pain and broken relationship are not your identity. You are lovable. You are a child of God. Nothing you can do can separate you from His unfailing love for you. He loves you right where you're at. Your mess is not who you are. Just because someone stopped loving you does not mean that you are unlovable. That is a huge lie of the enemy to try to destroy your confidence and self esteem.
Praying for you, Dear one. God is with you in this season. Love will bloom again on the branches of your heart. Written by Jenny Williams, Ruby Wives. Copyright 2013. All rights reserved. Please feel free to share for encouragement purposes. All scriptures are taken from the NIV Bible Version.
He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.
“Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”
My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise.