My heart was broken, but I was not.

If the Lord can uphold the universe by the word of His power,* He can certainly hold me together. And because of Jesus, I can sing, “It is well with my soul.”   

I made him say the words I didn’t want to hear. I knew I wouldn’t believe it any other way.

“We’re breaking up,” he said. 

The finality hit me like a freight train. I sat there, stunned, willing myself not to cry. 

Not yet at least. 

Not until I was alone.

The minutes that followed were a blur. I thanked him for loving me enough to let me go. I hugged him. And then I watched him walk out of my apartment for the last time. 

The sound of the door closing reverberated in my ears, echoing the hollowness I now felt in my heart. And that’s when I lost it. I barely stumbled over to my couch before I collapsed into heart-wrenching sobs. The tears flowed with such intensity that I struggled to breathe. The pain cut quick and deep. 

Leading up to that fateful conversation, we had taken three days of space to think and pray about the future of our relationship. I pleaded with the Lord for Him to make His will known. I whispered “thy will be done” over and over to myself, in an attempt to ease my anxious heart and untangle my knotted stomach. I flooded my mind with truth through Scripture and song.** I clung to the promise of Psalm 143:8, “Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life.” 

I prayed boldly and specifically:

  • for wisdom to know what to do
  • for courage to be obedient 
  • for boldness to be honest 
  • for humility to listen 
  • for grace to understand 

I knew the conversation that was coming would require divine intervention and supernatural strength. And that day, every.single.request was answered. In letting me go, he was obeying the Holy Spirit’s prompting on his heart and for that, I respect him immensely.

Immediately after he broke the news, peace settled over me and I breathed a sigh of relief. Breaking up definitely wasn’t the answer I wanted, but it was the answer I needed. The days of agonizing uncertainty were over and I could finally move forward and start to heal. 

In the hours following that pivotal event, I experienced the Lord in a more real and tangible way than ever before. While my sister physically held me, the Lord went to work, picking up the pieces of my shattered heart and gluing them back together as only He can do. 

He slowed my tears so I could breathe. 

He settled my stomach so I could eat.

He calmed my spirit so I could sleep.  

Eventually, my sister drove home, my roommate crawled in bed, and my best friend hung up the phone. But the Lord remained.

Until that day, I had never experienced true loss before. My family members are all still living and my parents are happily married. He was my first boyfriend and my first breakup. Losing him rocked my world and forever altered my status-quo. 

For many nights after, I laid in bed with tears streaming down my face and cried out: “God, this hurts. My heart is broken. I can’t do this on my own. I need your strength.” 

I remember calling my parents immediately after he left. Thru the sobs, I choked out, “Mom, I don’t know how to move forward. I don’t know how I’m going to function.” With emotion in her voice, she replied, “Sweetie, I know, but you don’t have to. Lean into Jesus. He will carry you.” 

TRUTH. 

My heart was broken, but I was not. 

The Lord sustained me as I worked to regain control of my emotions, establish a new normal, and figure out life without him in it. Work distracted me, friends comforted me, and Jesus carried me. I listened to Mark Schultz’s “He Will Carry Me” on repeat for days. The chorus goes like this:

Even though I’m walkin’ through the valley of the shadow //
I will hold tight to the hand of Him whose love will comfort me //
And when all hope is gone and I’ve been wounded in the battle //
He is all the strength that I will  ever need // And He will carry me 

As much as I wanted to numb myself to the pain—to not think, to not feel—I knew I needed to deal with it. So I forced myself to process. 

  • I replayed our last conversations in my head. 
  • I reminisced over the sweet memories we made together.
  • I reread saved text messages and stared at old photos. 
  • I rummaged thru the archives of my mind like I was looking for a lost treasure, and in a way, I was. 

I was desperately seeking perspective…reasons…answers. My Type A self needed a cause-effect analysis and a roadmap to healing.  

My head was preaching to my heart that God is good, this was best, and there is a purpose for this pain. But it didn’t “feel” good or best and I struggled to see beyond my present grief. 

As a believer, we have to accept the sometimes exasperating fact that the Lord is not obligated nor does He promise to disclose His master plan to us (Isaiah 55:8-9). We could go to our grave still in the dark as to why a certain painful situation in our life was allowed to happen. Wrestling with the “why” doesn’t change the goodness of God. If He is gracious enough to pull back the curtain and give us a peek behind the scenes, we should respond with praise and thankfulness. And if He doesn’t, our response should still be one of praise and thankfulness.  

Either way, He is God and I am not. 

In this particular situation, in an outflowing of divine love and grace, perspective quickly followed for me. The Lord opened my eyes and shed light on areas in our relationship that were good, but not best. And timing. Oh, how I hate those six little letters strung together.

In a later conversation with my mom, she shared: “Sweetie, you found a man who had the character you knew you wanted, but the circumstances weren’t right. Both are important.”

Timing is everything. Character is critical. Circumstances are key. 

There was a lot of GOOD in our relationship, but the timing wasn’t right for it to continue. Sometimes it can be as simple and as complicated as that. 

You can be a strong Christian and still suffer heartbreak. Your relationship history is not a commentary on your spiritual maturity. It wasn’t because I lacked faith or maturity that my relationship ended. C.S. Lewis says it best, “God allows us to feel the frailty of human love so we’ll appreciate the strength of His.” 

Knowing the truth and believing the truth are two vastly different things. Nothing about this has been easy.  This is hard. It feels like I’ve had my feet knocked out from under me while being suckered punched in the gut. I’m working to regain my footing and catch my breath. 

I struggle with loneliness. I miss having that special someone to talk to, to hold me close, to call “mine,” and to plan a future together. It’s harder being single now than before, because now I know what I am missing. This holiday season especially magnifies my newly reinstated singlehood. 

But God…

By His love, I know that I am never alone.

By His strength, I walk forward with hope and expectation of the future.

By His grace, I look back on our relationship with no regret, anger, or bitterness. He was worth it for what God taught me through him, and one day, I pray I will come to believe the same about the pain.  

With the passage of time, the swell of emotions lessens, the vice on my heart loosens, and the pain lightens. Some days are better than others. Nothing and everything can trigger a memory and the tears flow freely once again. It’s a process. Healing takes time. You can’t put an expiration date on pain.  But through it all, the Lord remains and He sustains. If the Lord can uphold the universe by the word of His power,** He can certainly hold me together. And because of Jesus, I can sing, “It is well with my soul.”   

“And though our normal will never look like it used to be, it’s been replaced by something better. A deeper awareness of who God is and an unexpected strength that comes from truly trusting Him.” – Lysa Terkeurst, It’s Not Supposed to Be This Way

**Hebrews 1:3 {ESV}

**For more encouragement, read 2 Corinthians 12:9Psalm 73:26, Psalm 34:18, Psalm 139, Ephesians 3:14-21, Zephaniah 3:17

2 thoughts on “My heart was broken, but I was not.

  1. Beautifully written. I love the phrase “My heart was broken but I was not.” So inspiring and important to remember. Thank you for sharing this. Wish you all the best – speak766

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