Over the years I have become accustomed to heartbreak. I’ve learned that just because you’ve fallen in love, does not mean that it’s going to work out; that even in the best of circumstances, timing is everything. I’ve learned to be open to change, to risks and to be open to the possibility of heartbreak in relationships.
Most importantly, I have learned that sometimes “We are Never Ever Getting Back Together” isn’t always a bad thing.
I remember shopping with a friend during a season where I was going through a bad breakup. We had just spent hours at a huge outlet mall, splurged on dinner and dessert, bought a few new items for our closets and vented about my latest boy trouble. As we walked to our cars, Taylor Swift’s hit “We are Never Ever Getting Back Together” blared through the parking structure.
“Well, that’s ironic!” my friend laughed a little too emphatically, “I think we’ve found you a new song!”
I don’t know one girl who wants to “own” that song. However, there I stood with the new reality that right now, this was my song. “We are Never Ever Getting Back Together” defined a now broken relationship that had meant much more to me in the past year than most other relationships had during my lifetime. But, while I was devastated that in the coming months this person would grow less and less important, at that moment I finally found myself ready to move on.
Maybe you can relate to this right now; perhaps you too are finally ready to let go of whatever bit of heartbreak is holding you captive in the past. Maybe you want to be ready, but you are not quite ready to move on. Maybe you don’t even want to be ready. Whichever thought process you find yourself in right now, you are probably wondering how I even got to a place where moving on was even a thought in my mind.
I can help.
Breakups aren’t easy, and healing doesn’t happen overnight, however I have learned that in order to get to a place where you are ready to move on from a breakup, there are 3 things we must do:
1. Connect with God
We can not move on with out the help of God. I have tried many times with no success. God doesn’t want us to either—He wants to be a part of the healing process. The Bible promises us in Psalm 34:18 (NIV), “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” Something different happens when we lean in to our Heavenly Father while experiencing heartbreak; He gives us the strength we need, the peace we need, and most importantly the wisdom we need not to repeat the past.
So, how do we lean on God? How do we get this supernatural strength, peace and wisdom?
- Read His word daily.
- Talk with Him daily.
- Write out your thoughts in a letter to Him or journal your feelings in a prayer—the good, bad, and ugly.
When we connect with Him, He will give us everything we need and the desire to move on.
2. Connect with your community
We can not move on without the help of our friends. I’m not saying we should go and broadcast our feelings and opinions on the breakup to all our friends. I am saying we need to choose a good core to hold us accountable, encourage us, pray for us and keep us focused on what really matters. A good friend will help kick out the lies that often pop into our minds during heartbreak and remind us to stay focused on the truth and promises of God’s word.
3. Extend yourself Grace
Navigating the rocky waters of a breakup is a day-by-day journey. There will be bad and good days, easy and tough days. At the end of those bad, tough days the best thing we can do is to extend ourselves grace. Yes, maybe you reached out to your ex-significant other when you shouldn’t have, maybe you gossiped about the breakup, or maybe you even lashed out in anger. The best thing we can do at the end of those days is to ask God for forgiveness and remember tomorrow is a new day!
“Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22-23 (NIV)
With the exception of a few lucky ones, breakups and heartbreaks will be a part of most of our becoming stories. However, if we choose to approach these times with the reality that we must be dependent on God, surrounded with a community of support, and generous in grace with ourselves, we can not only make it out alive, but become healthier and happier in the process.
To the current broken-hearted: I’ve been in your shoes, I know how you are feeling and the lies currently running through your mind. You WILL make it out of this season and you WILL be glad that “We are Never Ever Getting Back Together” defines this broken relationship. But, first let God use this painful part of your story to help you become a little bit more of the (insert your name here) He created you to be. Because trust me when I tell you it is SO worth it!