Have you or someone you know been through a breakup? I’m not talking about a “puppy-love” casual breakup; but a tragic breakup from a serious relationship. A dating breakup, broken engagement or a bride/groom standing alone at the altar. Sounds like an epic Hollywood film; but it’s reality. This subject can be so cliché, but yet rarely talked about within “Christian” culture. We are taught to Forgive and Forget because that’s what Jesus would do. On the contrary, we are to Forgive but never Forget.
“There sins and lawless acts I will remember no more.” Hebrews 10:17 [NIV]
You see, God is omniscient [all knowing]. But we are not God, we are simply human. We hurt, we feel and we want revenge. Why not Forget? It’s simple; Wisdom will shut the door to a repetitive heartbreak. But let me pause here and give you a quick lesson on Forgiveness:
The Cross forgave not only your sins, but the sins of your offenders. I will let you take a moment to chew and swallow that. Trust me, I had to swallow forcefully; but it’s the solid truth. You may say, “I can’t forgive what he/she has done.” [and rightfully so] But leave it to Jesus. What you cannot do, Christ has done on the cross. Let him intervene and take care of it [like a boss].
“But when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins, too. ” Mark 11:25 [NLT]
“So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” John 13:34, 35 [NLT]
God will give you the ability to forgive the unforgiveable. Here are 5 simple ways to cope from a breakup.
1. Rumor Has It
Rumor has it… Brad broke up with Sally and Lisa called off the engagement with Tom. And that’s how rumors start. Life turns into a giant tabloid of scandalous stories. If Christianity became TMZ, breakups would most likely make the top of the list. Unfortunately, this is a true statement. For some strange reason, people are captured by broken relationships. Romance sparks the attention as individuals Indulge in juicy gossip. The church becomes a gossip-house, instead of a prayer-house. Who are we to judge, gossip and spread rumors? People will talk and haters are going to hate. But there is one thing we can be confident; God will remain faithful.
There are two sides to a story; truth and lies. Your broken relationship is abstract. Consider an artist who has painted from their authentic perspective. Only the artist knows the truth and meaning behind the painting; while others interpret abstract art in their own perspective. People will only believe and see what they want; but that does not mean it’s the truth. God knows exactly what he is doing and how he designed it. While people talk, listen to the Artist. Rumor has it… there is a scandalous God who Loves you.
2. Pray, Pray and Pray
The most important concept to understand during the moment of turmoil and heartache, is to pray. Prayer is not an option for the common Jesus’ Follower. It’s our survival in life; it’s the air we breathe and the bread we eat. As you find yourself in a broken and lonely journey, you can discover the greatest peace and understanding.
“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6, 7 [NLT]
It’s through prayer that the broken pieces of your heart and shattered dreams are clued together. You will discover yourself and a God that offers an unfailing Love. What was lost is now gained through Christ.
“Yes, everything else is WORTHLESS when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For His sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ!” Philippians 3:8 [NLT]
Any World Travelers out there?! I personally love to travel. Airports, hotels and new sights is the life. There are circumstances that require for you to GET UP and GO! A messy breakup is one of those situations. Pick a destination and getaway. Not only getaway physically, but getaway with God on a spiritual journey of healing. Find a peaceful happy place and surround yourself with a church family that will take your mind off of negativity. Take a vacation with God. You never know, you might meet a perfect stranger with a perfect word of encouragement.
4. Detour Your Life
Have you ever taken a detour on a familiar road? This is exactly what you need, a detour. Relationships build an intimate communion and when broken, it can be immensely difficult to travel memory lane. A song, smell, object and pictures can be a constant reminder of the bitter hurt and pain of a heartache. Instead of pouring your sorrows over a tub of ice cream, pick up a new idea. Begin a fresh start with a new routine. Start a new hobby, read a new book and try new foods. Do something you have never done. Reading, writing and working out can be deeply therapeutic. Change your pattern and align yourself to a different lifestyle. A healthy lifestyle. Hey! If you have to change your wardrobe or choice of fragrance, than do it!
Last but not least… connect. Surround yourself with family and friends that will support and encourage you. DO NOT surround yourself with negative people. The last thing you need is to be bitter with bitter people. Become better with better people. Remain busy in life and within your church affiliation. Never be alone, even if you feel you need “alone time.” Consider talking to a mentor, church leader and/or Pastor you can trust. Seek wisdom and never let her go. I would highly encourage you to consider professional Christian counseling.
DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT enter another romantic relationship until your journey of healing is complete. Suffering a loss, mourning and healing can take time. Each person develops a healthy time frame of healing. Some quicker than others; but never rush the process. There is a significant difference between a healed-heart and a cold-heart. It’s easy to become heartless [anyone can have a cold-heart]; but it takes a brave heart to gain the heart of Christ.
You do what’s best for you.