If you had told me this half a year ago, I would have probably wanted to cut you and said, “don’t try to understand my pain!” But now that I have some time and experience under my belt, I can tell you with a fair amount of confidence that there are worse things than heartbreak.
God asks us to have our hearts broken for Him all the time and sometimes we even directly ask for it (‘break my heart for what breaks yours…’). Heartbreak is healthy, it grows us.
There are plenty of times when we don’t ask for heartbreak but our actions put us on the fast track toward it. Those times are usually when it really hurts the most because our pride gets pretty damaged in the process as well. What we thought was sure and true was actually shaky and unreliable. What we thought was going to save us actually sunk us. Ouch.
An aptly timed C.S. Lewis quote came into my life and taught me a thing about heartbreak that I didn’t really fully understand until today. Maybe I still don’t fully trust it. Anyway,
“But then, being hurt is not the worst thing in the world. Better to have suffered and grown than to never have suffered at all. In fact, most growth is accompanied by pain. God can use heartache as well as headache to help us grow.”
I was thinking today about my own heart and how when it aches I become a sorry for myself mess. And how I’m being so selfish because there are people out there with much bigger problems than a little heartache. And that’s when I remembered this quote and it finally dawned on me that I’m okay. I once was broken and lost in my misery but the joy of the Lord has once again dawned in my life. He has not forsaken me and He was by my side throughout the whole thing. Shaping me, teaching me, and comforting me. He was preparing me for the next thing that He has planned for my life and I couldn’t be more thrilled with the direction that it’s headed in.
In fact, I’m actually thankful for my hard time because it has made me all the more thankful for this time that I have now. Not only that, but it has helped me be more receptive to God’s glory manifested in my life. How can we regret anything that helped us to encounter glory?
Guys, our weakest moments and our greatest hurts really do make us into the people that we’re meant to be.
Driving home from work today I was pondering the attraction that two humans can have for each other. And I was thinking about how interesting it is that God made us have these unique and passionate desires and how sad it is that we mistake them for something that they’re not.
I guess what I’m tiptoeing around talking about is the difference between love and lust. There’s one quote from the movie Love and Honor that I kind of took some encouragement in for a while, as strange as that is. Liam Hemsworth says to his pal and fellow solider in Vietnam Austin Stowell who is heartsick over a girl at home, that “…there are a million other girls out there with the same parts in all the same places.”
His friend replies, “But there is only one Jane.”
Yes, this girl was a semblance of parts that are in reality, not all that unique or special. But to him, they made up the whole that was Jane and that was his whole world.
I guess I found encouragement in that quote because while I was going through a rough time, I kept thinking that I hadn’t just broken up with the only guy that there was in the world. There were still plenty and they were generally all alike in the ‘important ways.’
Now I have a pretty different perspective on that whole thing. I was thinking about what really sets me apart from the rest of the girls on the planet and to be honest, I couldn’t come up with a whole lot of special uniqueness. So I started thinking, if there isn’t anything special about this body or particular life, what do I have to offer? And then I realized that that’s where God comes in.
Surely, for one guy out there, it’s not going to be about the parts that I have but the whole that I am. I think that’s how two people know when they’re right for each other because suddenly all of the little things matter less and the big things matter more. When you crave soul connections more than physical ones. That’s magical.
I don’t know if I’m making any sense here, but this really was a bit of a revelation for me.
One of the most beautiful and frustrating things that I have come across in life is a surprise. The bad kind of surprises can range anywhere from- surprise! a bird pooped on your head, or surprise! you’ve overdrawn your checking account, or surprise! he’s actually not Mr. Right. The good kind of surprises (which are my favorite ever) are things like- surprise! you left $5 in your pocket the last time you wore these pants. Or, surprise! you actually got an A in your Child Development class, or, surprise! a new, interesting person arrives on the scene.
Over the course of the past year, I moved out of the house of my childhood and into a college dorm. I was living with one of my best friends and ended up making two more. Because of these girls I laughed so hard that I nearly peed- on multiple occasions. They were there for me when all I could do was sit on my bed and cry. They were always up for an adventure but they also understood that there are some nights when you just need to put on sweatpants, eat brownie from a mug, and watch a movie with Leo DiCaprio in it. I am infinitely grateful for the time that I was blessed to spend with these beautiful ladies. They are full of wonderful surprises.
I was also surprised by my own strength. I learned a lot about myself and what it takes to be the person that I want to be. My circumstances may not always be favorable but I serve a God that always has my best interest in His favor and with that Truth, I feel unstoppable. If there is anything that I learned this semester is that sometimes we have to learn lessons the hard way, but God always provides for our needs and He is always good- even when there is nothing good in us.
I was surprised to find the semester coming to a close. It doesn’t seem possible. Didn’t I just get moved in and settled last week? Time has certainly passed me by at the speed of light but I really can’t complain. Time heals a lot of wounds and brings with that healing the opportunity for new beginnings.
Change is scary and some adventures are daunting. But after seeing what God can do with my brokenness, my craziness, and my stupidity, it makes me really excited for the next chapter of this book.
God knows it will be full of surprises…