“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket- safe, dark, motionless, airless- – it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable.” – C.S. Lewis
“That quote by C. S. Lewis perfectly describes me. So protected. I’ve been learning to let walls down that I didn’t know I had and the result of vulnerability and tears isn’t quite comfortable for me yet. I feel like I’ve become an emotional mess. I see myself not able to take any of the advice and wisdom I give to others. I am no more able to take every thought captive than I am to keep from crying when someone asks me how I’m doing.
I am giving far too much weight to the opinions of others. I am not clinging to Him alone. I lay on my bed and wept several times last night. The only thing that could stop my crying was to read Psalms aloud at full force through the tears. I am fighting loneliness, I am fighting self-loathing, I am fighting… and I feel like I am losing. The danger in drawing close to people is that eventually they will disappoint you or you will disappoint them and you start thinking of a friendship as “I do more than they do…” and it goes from loving selflessly to trying to just be unselfish with my love. It’s hard being one of the only ones without someone else all the time. It’s tempting to make another friend my everything – to want someone to have that kind of time to devote to me – but I know that role can only be filled by the Lord.”
Change brings grief. Heartache teaches us this lesson well. I know from personal experience how difficult those raw feelings can be in the moment. (Or the months that follow the moment.) That’s why it’s so important for us to allow ourselves to grieve.
But how do we prevent grief from swallowing us whole?
Staying connected to the Lord and His Word is key. But it’s also important to acknowledge that there is a time to mourn and a time to let go. Holding onto hope for the relationship, bitterness and anger, and even a desire for friendship can perpetuate your grief. Remember, if you’ve broken up one of you is broken. This doesn’t make for a good or beneficial friendship.
“Whether you’re the one doing the rejecting or the one being rejected, now that it’s over, you are left with two options. You can hang on or let go.
No one can do this for you. No one can ease your pain. It’s up to you. If you want to become the person God wants you to be, then you will look at this experience as another step on the path to the top of the mountain. It will be the only way that you can get from the dark valley to the top of the towering heights to bask in the sun… if you are a brave soul and choose to fight, to climb inch by inch up the rough terrain of pain, then we guarantee you that this experience with rejection will make your life better.
A wise soul sees that rejection is just another door eliminated in the process of finding the one we’re looking for. He doesn’t run and hide or return to the door to try the lock one more time. The wise soul fears nothing the world or others can throw at her. She has a healthy perspective that dating, like life, is fraught with rejection. And rejection is life’s process of elimination for discovering your purpose.” (The Art of Rejection, Hayley & Michael DiMarco)
My advice for beneficial grieving: write about it. Let yourself chronicle the story of your relationships and even recognize the signs that the end was near. Don’t spend time writing an angry diatribe. Instead, use this as a way to list all of the things this relationship taught you. How will you be better prepared for a future relationship? Turn your story into praise and thanksgiving even in the midst of hurt.
Here’s part of my list from a past relationship examined:
What have I learned?
-In a relationship no one has all the answers. Every set of people is different.
-My head and my heart are often in competition. God’s guidance and providence win out in the end.
-If you aren’t willing to risk big you will never win big.
-Don’t hide, but don’t chase.
-God is walking this with me.
-Some days it sucks not to be able to just give him a call.
-God answers prayer in His timing and His ways.
-God’s timing is perfect.
-I want what He wants… and if that doesn’t involve marriage it will still be hard- but I’ve got to want HIS best no matter what.
-It’s okay to cry.
-It’s okay to hope.
-It’s not okay to not trust.
This is not the time for “How can I get this person back?” Whether or not it was of your own choosing, that chapter is shut and a new one has already begun. It’s up to us to trust His timing and His unfailing love.
“How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and every day have sorrow in my heart? …But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation.” Psalm 13:2, 5
“To the faithful you show yourself faithful…” Psalm 18:25
And He will show Himself faithful to you. He will keep your lamp burning and turn your darkness into light… just give it time.
Following and Listening,