Breakups are tough and despite cliche advice like “you’re better off without him” or “his loss”, breakups can actually be debilitating for some. Even if we knew it was coming, or that it was inevitable, it still hurts. And worse yet, if we didn’t see it coming and we didn’t think it was inevitable, it can feel like the wind is knocked out of us. Breakups force us to live in solitude, revise our routines and really reflect- sometimes over-reflect. What went wrong? How can I fix it? is it really over?
We are second guessing everything, replaying minor details, eating tubs of ice cream and obsessively discussing what went wrong. Breakups cause most of us to feel like we are momentarily spinning out of control. Like a slip-n-slide that is actually not that fun. But at their worst and most detrimental, they make us question our identity.
Why wasn’t I enough for them? What is wrong with me? Am I worthy of love? companionship? fighting for?
Who am I without them?
I have been there before. Feeling like the solid ground I was standing on just crumbled right beneath me. My confidence, my “status”, my security vanished when the “perfect”relationship ended.
So where do you go from here? Rock bottom, alone, full of ice cream but low on hope?
I wish I had some handbook that will make the pain disappear over night or heal you in just a moment from the earth shattering reality that is now yours. But I have a solution…well, process, that I have tested out myself that will absolutely change your life. It might not get you your ex back or answer a lot of your questions but it will help you get on solid ground that won’t crack. It will help you be whole and full and complete without that person and not just to prove to them you are, but to actually BE.
- Surrender. It starts with surrender. Surrender to His plan and not yours. Surrender to His timing for a relationship and release your before-thirty mentality. Surrender of the ideal mate, and the dream wedding and the timeline that looks so pinterest-y and flawless. Give all of your plans up. ALL OF THEM. and Ask Him to fill you back up with the desires He has for you. Surrender the opinions of others on your singleness, your relationship and anything else. Release it all.
- Heal. As you surrender, you also have to come face to face with your beliefs about yourself. You have to really think about what it is you’re believing to be true about what you deserve and who you are. Coming face to face with our unhealthy beliefs about love is BRUTAL. Probably almost as painful as the actual break up but this is where the actual healing process begins. Where are you seeking validation? Are you looking for a relationship so you can feel worthy? Are you living loved or waiting to see romantic love before you believe it? Are you still hurting from childhood events or previous relationships. Friend, I have BEEN THERE. Talk to a mentor, a trusted friend or even a licensed counselor as you dig things up and process them. And pray pray pray your way through. I know you may bethinking “Linds, it’s over, I don’t want to go back and dig up old stuff?” I said the same thing. But a broken bone that hasn’t been properly set, is still a broken bone. Proper healing often requires additional breakage. The same way doctors often have to break a bone further to get it in actual alignment for healing, we have to go back and re-open old wounds that never got resolved.
- Rest. And then you rest. Once you’re healed, the tendency is to jump back out there. But sometimes we just need to REST. Stay in that place of surrender we started in. God is the Lord of our lives broken or whole and we need to maintain surrender when we are on the mountaintop and in the valley. We move, operate, date, and mingle from a place of rest. Not desperate for a new thing because we know now that it doesn’t validate us or define us. But we can rest knowing that even if we are single for another 1 year or 10, we are healthy and whole on our own because of WHOSE we are. And if someone comes along, we are capable of surrendering it to God and trusting his leading.
This break up may feel like the worst possible thing that could happen. But I know from experience, if you surrender, heal, and rest, it could become the best ground for a new, healthy beginning. Don’t resist the valley seasons. Learn, process and thrive when you are low and you will be equipped and empowered, and wise when you reach the next mountaintop.
Lindsay is a law student in Chicago with a passion for food and faith. She has been blogging since 2016 and attends Soul City Church in Chicago. She loves business law, fancy toasts, and is a mix between Christina Yang and Rachel Greene. Find her @FaithFeast on Instagram. Watch her live interview below.