Days once filled are now empty. Nights that were once saturated with words of love and future and now, are now filled with dead air, silence, and a dark that is far more than a physical state. The person who was your closest companion for a long time now cannot be spoken to*.
During these times, we lean on others to bring us through. And it is hugely helpful. Until it’s not.
When I went through my first break-up as a pre-teen, the pain was new, fresh, and difficult to comprehend, let alone walk through. Leaving a season of blatant disregard (what many call “teenage rebellion”) was synonymous with a relationship ending. When it ended, I swore everyone wanted to say “I told you so” (they didn’t. blind pride and cynicism coming through!) Regardless – that was a heavy heavy weight to carry: that my pain was hardly justifiable. In this loneliness and lack, my Jesus came a-callin, strengthening my weak arms by showing me that his were the only ones that mattered. Another story for another time, though. I want to talk about the aftermath of the proceeding year’s relationships.
Needless to say, breakups didn’t get easier after that first one. In fact, with each “goodbye” heavier doubts and weightier feelings caused deep sorrows to well up in my soul. I leaned in to each friend and companion I had in those seasons (and this one I am in right now), stretching out newly empty hands to be filled with catch-phrases and words to get me through. With their help, a lot of devotions/crying time, and a bunch of hugs, I learned and grew and healed. But, when my most recent relationship ended, I was again at a cross-roads.
We lean into our friendships during these times and are often met with this simple phrase.
“They** aren’t worth it.”
The time, energy, and emotion you are funneling into their presence (lack thereof) is absolutely ill-founded in the long-run. And eventually you will be able to go weeks without feeling any sort of pain or emptiness in regards to them. However, as I was yankin up my bootstraps and trying to deal with the ache of another broken relationship, I wish I had been told this:
It is okay to feel the way you do. It is warranted. Well-founded. Feel it. Absorb the pain. Let your body understand the ache of empty, the heaviness of broken.*** Don’t try to talk yourself out of the sorrow: allow the wave to build. And then crash. And then dissipate.
I spent so many days asking myself why I felt the way I did, telling myself it wasn’t right, he just wasn’t worth it. The energy, emotion, attention, etc.
I felt awful.
Healing didn’t come.
Each day was an uphill climb, a series of catch phrases in regards to strengthening myself, reminding me of what I was capable of, deserving of, etc. etc. I fed my soul meals that never satisfied. (“You are worth more than this…” often followed by “He isn’t worth it.” “He’s not thinking about you, don’t think about him.” “Someday down the road a better guy will come.”)
And while, again, many of these phrases ring true, while they offer some sort of antidote to the present in regards to the future, they do not allow the time, space or feeling needed to heal.
When a person is cut away from your life, you will feel their absence, whether you want to or not, whether you (or others) feel it is merited or not. Setting out on a road that you thought would be walked with a specific person by yourself is kind of a huge, heavy, deal. It isn’t something to talk yourself out of.
Reader, if you are going through a similar season, I want to encourage you to allow yourself to feel. Healing requires feeling and experiencing the heaviness, sorrow, and darkness.
So this is your friendly, neighborhood reminder:
Your feelings are valid.
They are well-founded. You are not an idiot for feeling the way you do. You are human. This season is softening you for something around the bend. Allow yourself to understand that though they are temporary, though they will pass, it is okay to feel the way you do, right now.
The Lord is with us in our fear and trembling and does not ask us to do anything but cast the heaviness, the sorrow, the cares on him. He will do the rest. You need not rely on your own strength in this season. The same way we press into friends when the going gets rough, press into him, reader. His arms are more than capable of holding you in your weakness. He sees beauty in your right now, broken and bruised or healed and free. He can be glorified in and through both.
In the weakness? In the heavy?
And then lift your hands to the heavens, saying:
All glory and honour and praise. To Him. To Him who is able to do FAR more abundantly than we could ever ask, with that which deeply wounds us.
I pray your Monday is restful and that you feel his presence this week in whatever season your in.
He is ever so near to the brokenhearted.
Some Balms (Melody-style)
*From personal experience, my breakups were never amicable and I am not saying they’re all like this. But for me, these were the feelings I had and the predicaments I was in.
**That Significant Other You’re Thinking About
***I am not saying to let these feelings command you. They are not in control of you. You don’t bow your knee to the way you feel. Feelings are transient. I am simply reminding you that in order to heal one must feel it and then move on. Moving on doesn’t happen without the in-between step.