February 15, 2021
Every breakup is painful. It is therefore pointless to compare levels of hurt and think that one had it worse than the other.
If you’re reading this because you recently came from the end of what you thought would last a lifetime, we pray you’d find solace in the fact that true healing can be found in Jesus Christ.
If you’re contemplating whether your relationship is still worth the fight, we pray you’d find wisdom in the words that follow and choose to act in a way that honors God.
If you’re one who’s scared to allow your heart to love and be loved for fear of getting it broken, we pray you’d know that to love is one of the bravest things you’ll ever get to do in this world and that even if you do get hurt, God’s loving arms is always available for you.
In the beginning were flowers and gifts and the sweetest of notes, an exchange of messages until the wee hours of the morning, dates where you both wish you never had to part and you look forward to the day you would make your way to the same home together.
In the beginning, fights were easier to resolve. Forgiveness was easier to give. Overlooking a matter was easier to do. Until it gets hard.
In the beginning, there was no thought of the end, until you come face to face with it.
So, how exactly do you come to terms with the reality of the end of a relationship?
1. Grieve the loss.
Hope deferred makes the heart sick . . .
Proverbs 13:12 (NIV)
We do not get into relationships getting ready for the end of it. So, if it has come to that point for you, know that you are allowed to grieve for what was lost. Crying it out does not make you weak or even less of a Christian.
At some point in your grieving you’d ask: Why is God allowing me to go through this much pain? Have I done something wrong? Why did the relationship fail when I’ve spent so much time praying about it?
And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.
You may have heard this before, but yes, God could be using this difficult time to inch you closer to the center of His will. It could also be that He wants us to grow in certain areas in order for us to be able to contribute to nurturing a healthy relationship. He could also be sparing us from greater pain, or He could be preparing us for what He has set before us.
All that to say, whatever the answers to your questions would be, they are expressions of God’s sanctifying grace.
Allow us to ask this question too: What if your questions would be left unanswered? Would the presence of God through your grieving be enough for you?
2. Glean wisdom while you grieve.
“We can ignore even pleasure. But pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world . . . No doubt pain as God’s megaphone is a terrible instrument; it may lead to final and unrepented rebellion. But it gives the only opportunity the bad man can have for amendment. It removes the veil; it plants the flag of truth within the fortress of the rebel soul.”
—C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain
Relationships are magnifiers. They reveal the condition of our hearts and unearth our deepest emotional wounds. God’s desire is to heal the root of our pain—whether that’s a wound caused by a parent who neglected you, the loss of a loved one dear to you, a betrayal from the past that is hindering you from trusting others fully, or an experience of abuse that has caused you to live in fear.
God wants to see you walk in His purpose healed and whole. But first, our wounds must be revealed in the context of relationship or, at times, toward the end of it.
There are things better learned while we are hurting. Our prayer is that you would refuse to allow pain to blind you. May you not fail to see how God is bringing healing beyond what’s aching on the surface.
Let’s see how many of these have crossed your mind after your relationship has ended:
My past relationship was a waste of time.
S/he has been set free from the burden of being stuck with me.
S/he seems to have already moved on while I haven’t.
Now, let’s which of these you’ve done (or were tempted to do) after your breakup:
I want the other person to know that I’m better off without him/her. I want to prove that I’ve already moved on by…
Frequently posting photos with friends, of new activities and hobbies discovered, or of me enjoying my daily grind.
Entering another relationship just to ease the pain (rebound, ouch).
I want people to know that it’s not my fault by…
Bad mouthing the other person in the guise of accountability.
Putting all the blame on the other person without taking full responsibility, whether or not it’s my fault.
How many points did you get? Some of you might even have lines to add to this list.
Your thoughts, produced by your emotions, are valid, but they may not necessarily help you heal faster and will definitely not lead you to heal well. If you have already decided to move forward, here are some thoughts that may help you:
The relationship, no matter how toxic it has been, has produced something in you—character, perseverance, faith. Whatever it is, you would not have known what you know now apart from having been in the relationship and getting out of it. As Pastor Joey Bonifacio, one of the leaders of our movement, would say, “Kung nagkamali ka, matrikula mo na lang iyan. Walang tapon kay Lord.”
Talking about the shortcomings of the other party does not make you a better person. The God we serve is a God of justice, and He has His way of dealing with wrongdoings. Sometimes, moving forward is harder when we expect to see the one who wronged us suffer the consequences of his/her actions, and yet it doesn’t happen. If we trust God’s ways, we will be more concerned about getting healed and knowing Him more than about waiting to be vindicated.
Self-blame will only make you feel worse. Remember that while you have contributed to the falling out of your relationship, it takes both parties to fight for the relationship. There is no point trying to figure out who gave up first or who made the most mistakes. The end of a relationship could only mean you’ve found a good person at one point, but God will soon lead you to the best one for you.
It helps when you have a godly community walking with you while moving forward. Your healing journey would involve processing your thoughts, emotions, and actions. But in order for you to get the most out of your experience, you need people who will not only give you good advice but will point you to the word of God at all times.
Only Jesus will satisfy you. Your hangouts, your hobbies, your quest for a new relationship will never suffice. Jesus is our living water, and our thirst for a relationship can only be satisfied by a thriving relationship with Him first.
Healing takes time. Wait for it. Work while you’re waiting. Worship while you’re walking toward it. Also, help others go through their pain while you’re at it.
Every breakup is painful, but every healing story authored by God is always, always beautiful.