Hope in Heartbreak


Hope in Heartbreak:

The Weight of a Broken Heart Lightened by the Lord


December 19, 2015, was supposed to be my wedding day. Then, with just 6 weeks to go, it wasn't. The impending significance of that day disappeared and I was left with tearful eyes, unsteady feet, and a broken heart.

Most of my life, I’ve been the girl who always has a smile on her face and finds the greatest joy in the smallest things like puppies, warm coffee, and having friends to binge watch Gilmore Girls with. I make terrible dad jokes, am way too competitive at card games, and always want to hug and be hugged … unless you’re a creepy stranger ... but if you’re a creepy stranger holding a puppy … we might still hug.

But in that time of pain, it felt like there was a severe lack of puppies and warm mugs of coffee in my life. While I sat and cried over the shattered pieces of what I thought my future would be, I felt like those little things that used to make me so happy didn’t matter anymore. I couldn’t fool anyone with my new fake smile because I didn’t even have the willpower to fool myself. I couldn't talk myself into thinking I was okay and I couldn’t control my frequent breakdowns into ugly, painful, silent sobs in my little office cubicle.  

I obsessively looked over my notes during staff meetings to hide my bloodshot eyes. I came home as quietly as possible so my roommates wouldn’t notice that I would go shut myself inside the walk-in closet just to be alone. I desperately tried to convince acquaintances that I was “good” so I wouldn't have to tell them the hard truth that I wasn’t and felt like I might never be again.

All I wanted was to hide the real, raw pain and pretend I could still reclaim the happy, perfect life I thought I had waiting in front of me as if nothing had changed.

What ultimately brought me out of hiding and through that heartbreak 3 years ago was hope. 

Hope that my heartbreak has a purpose. Hope that God won’t make me sit in that heartbreak forever. Hope in God’s promise of the greater things that are yet to come in spite of this hurt. Hope that while God does this uprooting in my life, he is making room to grow something new. 

During the initial waves of heartbreak, I had been reading books about seeking God in the midst of trials and one week, I ran across a section of verses in not one, not two, but THREE of those books. Obviously, God was trying to get my attention, so I listened. 

That section of verses was in Romans 8, where it talks about the hope of our salvation as we wait for the Lord to redeem not only our sin but our circumstances as part of an imperfect world. Verse 24 says, “For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have?” 

This helped me realize that as a believer, true hope is found in the grace of Jesus’ death on the cross which has given us free access to new life, peace, and HEALING. My hope lies in knowing that because I am his precious child, He will always do what’s best for me. Even when it feels like what’s worst. 

I never would have ever thought that heartbreak was the best catalyst for the outcome of my future. It hurt too much and I cried too often, until one day, I didn’t need to anymore.

It’s easy for us to lose sight of hope in seasons of heartbreak. More than likely, you feel like your pain has already lasted too long and the scars run too deep, but I promise you, it gets easier.

Hope turns into belief when God fulfills his promises to us. The ground that lies between hope and belief is faith. Choosing to dwell in hope with the anticipation of God’s perfect will being accomplished is one of the most terrifying and yet most beneficial places to be.

Romans 8:25 goes on to say, “But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.”

For several months and many bad days, I honestly felt like my heart would never heal. That I would never be rid of the deep body aches from anxiety and sorrow. That I would never be able to talk about my situation or my future without fear.

But when you still feel the waves of grief and you can’t see the end, you have a choice to make. You can choose to forget God’s promise for good things, or you can choose to believe in faith that those good things are still on the way and remember all of the times in the past when he has been faithful. 

Hebrews 11:1 tells us, “Faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance of things not seen.” 

Standing on that ground of faith with hope in your hands is an opportunity to allow the Lord into your heartbreak. I have never felt God’s nearness more than I did in that season of constant pain.

Choosing to hope in God’s goodness allowed me to talk to him about it. All the time. Like, annoying-sibling-all-the-time. It allowed me the space to ask questions, to grieve, and most importantly, to listen, even when I didn’t get an answer right away. 

If you feel like no one else fully comprehends the depth of your crushed soul; believe me, I get it. 

I know that you feel like you’re being sucker punched by the Incredible Hulk. I know that you’re angry. I know that you’re afraid. I know that your world will never be quite the same again. 

I know this because I felt all of those things. But I also know that it’s going to be okay.

One of the things I begged God for over and over again was that the pain of this heartbreak would not be without purpose.

The hundreds of hours I spent in counseling and journaling through my thoughts and fears taught me more about myself than I had ever learned before.

The countless number of friends I walked with through their own heartbreak seasons taught me how to speak new hope into their situations. 

Most of the greatest gifts and deepest joys of my early 20s came only as a result of my season of heartbreak. God used my broken heart to clear out a lot of ugly pieces of me and replace a lot of dreams I thought I had. In those blank spaces, He planted a purposeful new career, enriching new relationships, completely new confidence, and the ability to find hope in all situations. 

Friend, even if you can’t see the hope right now, I pray that you will. I pray that someday, God will reveal His absolute power and good plan over every circumstance you’ve encountered. I pray that you will be surrounded by a community who will show you that you are not alone. I pray that everything you gain after your heartbreak would serve as a sweet reminder of His constant faithfulness to you through all seasons.