I fell in love once. It was a time of raging teenage hormones and an unrealistic view of love due to my Taylor Swift obsession. It was the ultimate pining-for-your-bestfriend-80’s film-love that would ensure disaster on my naïve heart.
Looking back now, it was like a John Hughes movie on repeat—but every time you thought the happy ending was coming, I just kept getting my heart broken over, and over, and over… you get the idea.
Eventually the movie ended. After it was all said and done, I remember crying on the bathroom floor, wondering if the pain would ever leave. I remember praying every night that God would just make it easier. That I would wake up the next morning and feel just a tiny bit less than what I felt the night before. Am I resonating with any romantics here?
Well, it’s been a few years since then, and those wounds have healed—but I’ll never forget the priceless lessons I learned throughout the healing process.
Today I want to share with you some of the things I learned about being a whole when I was a half.
1. I believed the lie.
I believed the lie that I would never find love or connect to another person as much as I did when I fell in love. I fueled this fear with what I thought was “logic” and “reasoning”, but in reality, I was just letting fear bully me.
That was the furthest thing from the truth. It doesn’t align with God’s promises or nature.
2. There’s a natural way to deal with heartbreak, and there’s a supernatural way.
The truth is, when you find the person that’s right for you, it will make complete sense why it never worked with anyone else before.
When glass breaks, it’s natural to pick up the larger shards first in order to clean up the mess. The bigger pieces are easier to identify, pick up, and throw away. Breakups kind of happen the same way. Once everything has fallen apart, it’s easy to spot the big issues, like bad communication or dishonesty. But after those big pieces have been cleaned up, we are still left with the small shards; the ones that are not always visible that contribute to the brokenness.
The smaller pieces take longer to clean up. They require precision, careful attention, caution, and accuracy.
Anyone with decent eye sight can spot large pieces of glass. Meaning—it’s common knowledge that cheating is wrong, ghosting is immature, and lack of communication is the kiss of death. Even Cosmo can give you sound advice on this.
Then we get to the shards.
This is where the world gets the healing process totally wrong.
The sin, behaviors, and emotions underneath the surface that aren’t so easy to spot— those contribute to our broken condition.
Let me put this into an example: A lot of people think that getting into a new relationship will help you forget about your old one.
This is using another person to distract you from your pain and emptiness. Not only is this unfair to the person you are dragging along with you, but you can’t heal properly this way. You need to face your demons instead carrying them into your next relationship!
That rejection, fear of vulnerability, anger, loneliness, sorrow, depression, bitterness, resentment, pain, and allll the other negative emotions that accompany heartbreak— are the shards.
A playlist, going out with friends, a new bae, drinking until you forget, and all the other remedies that the world gives you… they don’t work.
The good news is, God is dying to heal you. (Quite literally)
He can’t wait for the night you put down the bottle or turn off of the T.V., whatever the distraction is, and turn to Him for the healing.
God doesn’t leave us alone in our fragmented state and expect perfection. In fact, He promises to get down in the mess and brokenness with us to find the solution and piece us together into a new and beautiful creation.
That’s exactly what He did for me. And I know He can do it for you.
3. You’ve gotta catch the foxes
“You must catch the troubling foxes, those sly little foxes that hinder our relationship. For they raid our budding vineyard of love, to ruin what I’ve planted within you. Will you catch them and remove them for me? We will do it together.” Song of Songs 2:15
When I read this scripture, the Lord made it very clear that my foxes at the time were guys and relationships.
The bible says that satan prowls around like a lion, looking for whomever he may devour. So, it should come as no surprise that he sends distractions and uses people and/or demonic principalities to keep us from effectively serving God.
I noticed that whenever I was minding my own business, crushing my school work, and super close to God… some gorgeous boy would pop out of nowhere and ask me out. I didn’t catch on at first. I was giddy and couldn’t wait to go out.
Okay so, what happens when you start talking to someone? Your brain goes from paying attention in class to planning the next date. Your hangouts take precedence over bible study and your mind and heart become filled with this person.
Eventually I would learn that these guys were great people, but simply not meant for me. And then I would remember the instructions God gave me and immediately want to slap myself in the face. How much time and energy did I invest in something that I could have avoided had I been obedient? I could have put that time into improving my grades or making new friends.
Maybe your foxes are ungodly friendships, being overly invested in a sport or celebrity, or a sin you always find yourself going back to.
A good indicator of your hearts priorities is seeing where you spend most of your time and money. Anything that takes precedence over God is not only a fox, but an idol.
I find it interesting that the word of God uses foxes to illustrate this picture. Foxes are sly and sneaky. They operate in darkness and in shadows, and they rob you of your crop. Spiritual foxes do the same.
They rob you of spiritual growth. The more time you spend binge-watching Netflix, the less time you have to read your bible and pray. Whatever you sow, you will reap. If you are sowing unproductivity—meaning putting your time towards sleeping, laying around, and watching tv, you are going to yield a crop of laziness, procrastination, and slothfulness. The fruit of your life will be marked by these negative characteristics.
I believe there are things God wants to continue to plant and grow in you and the beautiful thing, is that he says he will catch the foxes with us—we’re not on our own in the battle against sin and temptation. The Spirit of God helps us identify our foxes and gives us the strength to catch and kill those bad habits.
4. If you can make it past the first few months, you’re in the clear.
Just like breaking any habit, it’s going to be really difficult at first. Especially if you have never truly been on your own (romantically) like I had.
Relationships are wonderful—you have someone doting over you, laughing at your terrible jokes, and telling you how beautiful you are. But pull the rug out from under the relationship and you’re left with two seriously insecure people.
It’s human psychology—you’re used to receiving love and attention, so now that it is gone, you must fill that void with affirmation.
I wanted to break that habit because it never worked; I was never truly healed. Seeking male affirmation never satisfied my heart, soul, and spirit. I realized I needed to fill that void with God’s love instead of attention from guys.
And ladies, once I made that decision, I was unstoppable.
First, I had to set barriers for myself. I literally stopped everything related to relationships cold turkey… I was serious about getting the full and complete healing I needed!
I did not allow myself to go on dates, text guys that I liked, and on nights when I was particularly sad, I would turn everything off (tv, phone, laptop) and spend time with God.
Eventually, it got easier. Once the Holy Spirit started filling the holes in my heart, they actually began healing effective immediately. Getting over heartbreak became a million times easier because I wasn’t trying to duct tape DIY my heart back together. I was giving it back to the one who created it. It’s funny…we so easily forget that the master designer of our heart knows exactly how to heal it.
Looking back, I can’t believe how much of my heart was not only divided but broken. At the time, I didn’t think anything of it. God had to stop me in the middle of a rebound relationship, arrest my heart, and give me these step-by-step instructions like you would an unruly toddler.
My encouragement today, is don’t be hard-headed like I was. Don’t let your heart get so tangled up in its own will and desires that it forgets God’s.
And finally, I’m not selling you a foolproof step-by-step guide on how to get over someone. Your story and your heartbreak are different than mine. But I do know heartbroken people, more than anything, want to feel like they aren’t alone. That someone understands them. To that I say, “Have you considered the one who planned this long ago?” Isaiah 22:11