Saturday, December 1, 2018

From the Other Side of Heartbreak

I think that no matter what stage of life you are in right now, you will draw strength and inspiration from the following testimony of navigating a hard, murky season of life after being thrown off guard by a broken heart. We've all been there in one way or another. None of us have handled it perfectly, but few have maneuvered it with such grace and authenticity. It's an absolute joy to be a part of my friend's story...and an extraordinary honor to share her words with you today:

When Morgan first asked me to write for her blog, I couldn’t help but think why me? My story is so insignificant in the grand scheme of things. What could I possibly have to share with the world? BUT then comes God...gently and relentlessly tugging at my heart. So, here I am. Laying it all out for the world to read. I’ve come to realize my story is not insignificant. No matter how small, unimportant, or generic it may seem. And neither is yours. So here it goes…
A season of heartbreak. We’ve all been there. Asking God. Begging, pleading, on our hands and knees for some sort of answer. Anything. Something to give us some inkling of clarity. Well, I found myself there right around this time last year. I had just turned 26. This was going to be the best year of my life…I felt it. And then boom. Out of nowhere. Heartbreak. Something you can’t heal with an Advil, glass of wine, pasta, or a good book. I was at a loss.
Only one year earlier, I had seemingly taken the biggest leap of my life. Trusted God’s plan (or was it my plan for my life?). I had moved across the country- away from my family, without knowing a soul. If anyone truly knows me, they would’ve said I would never have been the one to leave. To spread my wings. Do something bold. But I did. And then this? I questioned God. I was mad- plain and simple angry at God. I wanted answers and I wanted them immediately.
But our God doesn’t work that way. His time is not our time and that was one of the hardest things I learned.
Don’t get me wrong…it was not easy. It was a struggle through and through. There were days I thought I would never survive. Never recover. Never fill the emptiness in my heart. Never see the light in the dark days. Praise God this isn’t where my story ended. And if this is you, it isn’t where yours is going to end either. It isn’t easy, but I thank God for the hard days. Every. Single. One. Of. Them. Because I can honestly say this has been the best year of my life by far. God exceeds our expectations every.single.time.
If you find yourself in a similar situation, I am going to give some unsolicited advice. Things I wish someone would’ve taken me by the shoulders, shook me really hard, and yelled at me until I listened. Things that I pray more than anything help mend a hurting heart…and that is my sole purpose for putting this all out there:

1.    I don’t know if you read, but if you do go grab Uninvited by Lysa Terkeurst and Life Interrupted by Priscilla Shirer. On the double. These literally saved my life and they just get it honestly. Anytime I would start going back through everything in my head or becoming sad, I read them. SO much good advice. Anytime these thoughts even cross your mind, stop and pray. Sounds silly, but just trust me.

2.   Talk about it. If you’re like me at all, I always thought that my friends don’t want to hear me complain, they’ve heard enough about this, I’m only bringing them down, they don’t want to be around me if this is all I talk about, etc. (I get it. It sometimes consumes you.) BUT, let it out. That’s what your friends are for. You would do the same for them. Sometimes it helps having a different perspective.

3.   Channel your energy into something else. Anything else. I chose work. I worked as much as I could…worked over, picked up extra shifts, etc. If not work, the gym. A new hobby. Anything. It helps keep your mind off things, keeps you busy, and gives you a purpose.

4.   As much as you probably want to be alone because you don’t want to show how upset you really are, DON’T. Don’t isolate yourself. Lean on those around you to get you through this hard time. If you’re like me, I just wanted to be alone because I felt like I was such a drag to be around. But being alone gives you time to go too deep into your thoughts. I am not saying don’t process the loss, but its honestly not healthy to do it alone.

5.   Don’t text him. I know its hard. BELIEVE ME. But whenever I thought about it, I just thought: what am I trying to accomplish from this? If he doesn’t reply, is that going to upset me more? And if he does say anything, am I going to overthink and analyze every word? Not a good idea. Give him time to miss you. You are the one who deserves to be pursued….not the other way around.

6.   Use this time to focus on yourself. Don’t try to fill the void with something unhealthy. Being alone is something that can be very frightening at times, but often very good for us. You are never really alone, even though it may seem like it. And being alone can be scary, I know. BUT this is your time to make yourself a priority. This is your time to dig deep into the depths of your soul and find out what YOU want in life. Do things you’ve always wanted to do, but maybe couldn’t. Use this time to make yourself the best version of yourself you can be…whether that be for this person or for someone else God is planning to place in your path in the future.

7.   Don’t wait on him. I know it’s tempting! And I also know that this person could end up regretting their decision. But don’t wait on that. What if he doesn’t? Then you’ve wasted all that time waiting on him when you could’ve been moving forward.

8.   Give yourself time to grieve. I know it’s hard. Losing a relationship/best friend is honestly like a death. But don’t numb yourself to your feelings. If you want to cry, cry. If you want to scream, scream. It's okay to be upset!! You must process your emotions to move on, as bad as you want to numb yourself to everything because it hurts too much.

9.   Accept that this is only a season. A very small portion of the rest of your life. Better days are ahead. You are stronger than you think. You are going to come out of this even more brave than you already are. Nothing God places in our lives is insignificant. Every bump, glitch, or valley. They are all there to teach you something…small or large. Trust in that.

I say all of this to say, I have been in your shoes. I know the hurt all too real. I wish I could snap my fingers and make your pain go away. I know how it feels to hear people say “time heals” when all you want to do is stomp away angrily. But God’s plan is often so different than ours. There is not one thing in this world He brings into our life that wasn’t meant to be there.
Every second that passes, you are one step closer to healing. And my prayer today, is that it comes for you sooner rather than later. Hang in there! I’m standing on the other side waiting for you. All my love.

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