By Cally Logan, Crosswalk.com
The healing process takes time, and when it comes to healing from a breakup, it requires healing in more ways than one. Much of this is because when we have entered into a relationship with someone and then come out of said relationship, the break is never even. Although breakups are painful, it is possible to come out the other side stronger than ever.
Acknowledge What You’ve Learned
In any experience in life, there are lessons to gather from what we learned and things to leave behind. Think of it as separating the wheat from the chaff in a way. Sit down to ponder and process aspects of the relationship that were healthy, that helped you grow, and that you would like to keep with you. Perhaps together, you enjoyed an activity that was beneficial to your health, like hiking or regular workouts. You might have been introduced to new music that you sincerely enjoy, or perhaps you learned better habits such as open communication. Just because the relationship is over, it does not mean that you must let go of the good things you learned, so make it a point to identify and reflect upon what was gleaned and how you can continue to cultivate the good.
...and What to Leave Behind
There also should be healthy importance on acknowledging what needs to be left behind. This is far easier said than done. Taking the time to precisely determine what characteristics you may have acquired during the relationship that are not beneficial is vital to moving on. Breakups after toxic or unhealthy relationships can hold a lot of baggage and require a deep need for intervention and assistance, but finding the foundations of triggers can then help uproot them to allow space for healing. This is also a place where therapy can provide a safe place for rehabilitation and rebuilding to be able to move onward as a strong, vigorous new person.
Part of healing also requires the desire to move forward and take actions to do so. For a time, it is fine to allow yourself the space to mourn a relationship; after all, it can feel like the death of something you once deeply cherished. You do not need to condemn yourself or beat yourself up for feeling sad, depressed, or melancholy about losing a relationship, even if it was something unhealthy, but don’t stay there. Don’t grow roots down or hang your hat in the temporary housing of the space between what you leave behind and where you have the potential to go. Allow yourself to have the freedom to feel, cry, and rest, and then move forward into the infinite possibilities of tomorrow. I often consider a wise quote from John Piper in places such as these, “Occasionally weep deeply over the life you hoped would be. Grieve the losses. Then wash your face. Trust God. And embrace the life you have.” There is hope for a new tomorrow, but you won’t get there living in yesterday.
Open to New Doors
The way forward often presents itself with many new doors, possibilities, and outlets. It can feel overwhelming or even daunting, but in the mystery of the new, we can choose to have hope of something better than we left behind. This is where discernment from the Lord becomes exceedingly important, for His knowledge of what exists ahead is infinitely greater than our own, and He knows our hearts better than anyone else. In the hallway of many doors, look to the Lord, holding firm to Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding, but in every way acknowledge Him, and He will make your path straight.” Don’t merely rely on your own understanding or gatherings but look to what God is saying and where God is leading, trusting Him to lead you to the best that He has just for you.
Everything Happens for a Reason
The path forward also requires coming to terms that what you went through held purpose. That purpose may have been that you chose to be with someone you regret. Perhaps you moved into a relationship without praying about it, without asking God if that was someone, He had for you, and it fell apart. Or perhaps you had the green light from God to move forward, and when it all fell apart, you were left wondering what the purpose was if that person was merely for a season and not forever. God often allows relationships because we receive something from them that is required for our character development and necessary to help us become the people we need to become for the future that awaits us. Perhaps you learned patience or endurance, how not to respond to conflict, or what it is that you truly desire out of something romantically. Ask the Lord to help you see the reasons in the bigger picture of your life and let Him hold the pen for what is authored ahead.
Connect with Godly Friends
The season of healing is also a time not to stand alone. In any season where healing is required, Godly counsel and companionship can serve as a balm to soothe your heart. Proverbs 17:17 offers, “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity.” This can be a place where authentic connection happens when we share how we are feeling, coping, and working through painful places in our hearts. Sharing that with those you can trust allows them to offer examples of where they have experienced something similar or perspectives to inspire words of wisdom, hope, or encouragement. Do not discount the gift of a Godly brother.
Invite God to Heal
Above all else, healing can come from the Lord Himself, but we must ask. Think of all the people Jesus healed during His ministry here on earth, but also consider how He did not only heal their physical ailments but healed many of the emotional and spiritual places that were broken as well. I often consider the woman who had bled for twelve years and sought to touch the hem of His garment for healing. When she touched the hem, He turned around and acknowledged her. She was not only healed physically, but I would like to think that feeling fully seen and known by Jesus Himself in such a crowd was also healing emotionally and spiritually. Consider how many doctors, physicians, and people she tried to receive help from but felt disregarded and unseen from in those years, but she felt seen by Jesus in that miracle moment.
In the same way, invite God to heal those broken pieces of your heart, into the soul wounds and the hurts of what has occurred. Imagine the healing that will come when He sees you wholly and what His touch can do. It is only through and by Him that true healing can come, and when it does, it is in whole; it is full. Jesus can heal what time, self-help books, and what man cannot.
Breakups are rarely easy, but they often can prove the door to freedom to reach all that God has for you ahead. Invite Him into those aching places, into those tender spots that need His touch, and embrace all that awaits. There is hope for tomorrow and all the days to follow.
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Photo credit: ©GettyImages/Antonio_Diaz
Cally Logan is an author and US History teacher from Richmond, Virginia. In her free time, she enjoys mentoring youth and spending time in nature. Her book, Hang on in There, Girl! Will be available everywhere on April 1, 2022. Check her out on Instagram and Twitter, @CallyLogan and TikTok Cally_Logan.