Have you ever wondered how long it would take to heal from a break-up?
I struggled to even imagine ending a relationship, let alone a long-term one. But that was what happened when I ended my relationship of seven years.
I remember so vividly the scene: the anger, the relief, the pain. Yet I also remember the peace.
Even as I type this, I am unable to fathom just how many memories I had to slowly surrender in order to move forward.
It has been more than half a year since it happened, and where I am today is really a testimony of how good God is and of the healing He can do in us if we are willing to allow Him to do so.
I am an extremely sentimental person.
Losing this long-term relationship was not just losing a person who was “my world”.
I had to lose things I cherished: letters that held so many emotions; pictures that painted a thousand words; other close relationships that were formed through the relationship.
In a way, it was “easier” to deal with this aspect of loss because these things were physical. But to put behind the experiences, memories were the hardest and most painful.
I remember days and weeks after we broke up, crying out to God in desperation to help me and save me from the darkness that I could not seem to get out of.
There were moments when I was so tired, I just wanted to give up on praying and wallow in self-pity and negative feelings.
My emotions were in turmoil. Some days felt so free, while other days felt like “hell”.
I was still doing my quiet time, still going for cell and service but I knew something in me was not right.
One morning, during my quiet time with the Lord, I felt a nudge in my heart that seemed to say “enough is enough”.
I no longer wanted to live every day being stuck in darkness when I knew there was an eternal hope that I could cling on to.
But I realised I was very angry with God. I was angry because I trusted His will and ended up losing so much.
And I was angry because I had to struggle again at ground zero. Being single at the age of 24, after having a partner for seven years, was something I had to re-learn.
But since I felt that nudge in my heart, I decided to come up with concrete goals I could focus on so as to get myself out of the season of darkness.
I crafted a whole list of habits I felt could support me. In addition, I reached out to my church for counselling.
A few months into my journey of healing, things got better. People told me I was a new person.
I never enjoyed reading but now, I read intentionally and subscribe to a book application.
I hated eating alone or going for things alone, but now I go to conferences, events, activities all by myself and I thoroughly enjoy them.
Eating alone and just being by myself has become something I look forward to.
The gym became my safe place where God often speaks to me. It’s a place where I am able to release any internal struggles to Him, and has become part of my daily routine.
Being free from social media also brought me into a new freedom. I left the social media platforms I was on, and intend to never go back.
Friends who know me would know just how obsessed with social media I was, so even I am shocked at the change.
God truly is the God of the impossible.
God can do great things through you and to you, but only if you are willing – only if you first invite Him to come in and do the work as you wait and trust.
Of course, my journey wasn’t always smooth-sailing. Some days looked like I was progressing so well, others felt like I was back to zero again which frustrated me greatly.
It was as if I ran a marathon, only to realise I had to start again.
Those were days when I felt extremely lonely. I could be laughing and enjoying fellowship, but right after I left my friends I would feel like the loneliest person in the world.
But it was precisely in those moments, that I stopped myself to surrender the feelings and thoughts to God.
After all, who else could I run to but Him? And whenever I did so, His peace would remind me that He is with me.
One other thing that helped was the season of fasting and prayer. During those 40 days, I memorised verses weekly as I prayed for freedom.
“You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord himself, is the Rock eternal.” (Isaiah 26:3-4)
This was one of the verses that I always fell back on and still hold on to.
I came to realise that in the battlefield of my mind, God was my rock and helped me to remain steadfast as I trusted in Him.
As I yielded to God and surrendered every fear, every replayed tape, every painful memory, as I forgave – He was working.
I never knew how healing from a break-up would look like.
Was I supposed to feel happy? How long should I hurt? Do I need another seven years to move on? How would I know when I am ready?
There wasn’t some significant turning point, but as I continued to wait and daily surrender to God, it got easier day by day.
Even when I woke up sad, or if I was hurting again that day, I found I became more able to overcome those feelings.
Because it was not merely head knowledge that God would pick me up, or that His timing is good – it had become heart knowledge.
“Sing to the Lord with grateful praise; make music to our God on the harp. He covers the sky with clouds; he supplies the earth with rain and makes grass grow on the hills. He provides food for the cattle and for the young ravens when they call. His pleasure is not in the strength of the horse, nor his delight in the legs of the warrior; the Lord delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love.” (Psalms 147:7-11)
This was a psalm that really grounded me. God provides. He knows and He gives. And He delights in those who hope in Him, those who fear Him.
I decided to give the rest of the year to the Lord, to say “yes” to Him and to go wherever He is calling me to serve Him.
The moment I made that decision with the Lord, so many opportunities came knocking at my door.
As I served, I continued to grow. I continued to struggle with singlehood. I continued to struggle with God’s timing.
But through the struggle, I sensed God telling me something like “don’t worry, I know what is best. Just wait, just enjoy this season.”
Now every time my mind brings me to a place that’s uncomfortable or scary, I look to Jesus to remind myself that I am not alone.
Even looking back at where I was just seven months ago, I am a totally different person today.
A few days ago, I asked God if He was happy with me. Right then, I had a real sense of His joy over me.
God knew my heart’s desires as I came before Him. I came to Him with my brokenness, ugliness, pain and desires.
And as I yield to Him and live by faith, God really works miracles in my life.
I am excited to continue to grow in the Lord and to see where He will lead me. If I can grow this much in seven months, I wonder how much more I can grow and do for the Lord as I guard my heart and time for Him.
If you are going through a heartbreak or any other kind of pain or hurt, know that the Lord sees.
He is waiting for you to come to Him as you are, so that He can take all your pain and make you whole again in His time.
And as you wait on Him to mould you in the process, walk with fellow believers, do not walk alone.
When we allow the light to shine in the dark places, it will be frustrating because what we try to hide gets seen.
But instead of running away, run to the one who can turn ashes into beauty.
- Ever had your heart broken?
- Where do you see God in that season?
- Looking back, what would you do differently?
- What are some promises of God you can lean on in times of heartbreak?