Buckle up, friends. This one’s a doozy. Grab your coffee and put up your feet, because we’re talking about the B-word….
I love my job. I spend my days sharing life with a handful of misfits learning how to love God. My favorite days are when I take one of my girls on a coffee adventure to find the perfect latte. It’s on these coffee dates that my girls and I share not only coffee, but our hearts. The deep, hard, messy stuff that we don’t share with just anyone. I’ve spent a lot of time with college women; sipping on coffee and swapping stories. Recently, I’ve found that we not only share an affinity for caffeinated beverages, but each of us have a relationship record. You know what I’m talking about: the part of your story that contains tales from singleness struggles and awkward dates to crushes and heart break all scribbled in a tattered journal tangled in the beautiful mess of our hearts.
I have more experience in this department than I would like. I've been on both sides of the breakup, the "heart breaker" and the "heart broken." I’m no cupid or relationship guru. I’ve made mistakes and I've learned a whole heck of a lot and that's what I'd like to share with you, the truths I’ve shared with so many of my girls over so many cups of coffee.
I'll start by saying, every breakup is different. Whether your relationship lasted six weeks or two years, breakups hurt. I firmly believe that no matter what your level of physical intimacy, in every relationship and every breakup, a part of our heart leaves with the person. This is why I believe God tells us to: "guard your heart for everything you do flows from it." I've heard this verse countless times, but until I experienced the searing pain of a breakup, it didn't mean much. Unfortunately, I learned the hard way what happens when we give our hearts out frivolously.
Every heart grieves differently and every breakup happens for a different reason. This is why the "truths" I give come from my own experience and in no way reflect all hearts and all goodbyes. I wish I had a God-given elixir that dries all the tears and makes that achey-all-over feeling go away, but unfortunately, I don't. If I ever hear of one, you will be the first to know. If you are reading this and know of the magic pill described above, please help a sista out.
I’ve found that we've all experienced the pain of rejection. I know what it feels like to feel lost, misunderstood, and unloved. I can empathize with a sister going through a breakup to the point where just hearing her breakup story physically hurts. I want you to know that you aren't alone. Whether you're currently walking through the debris of a breakup, happily married, or single, we can all relate to heartbreak in some way.
Truth 1).The social media monster.
Unfortunately, our generation has the added benefit of facing the stress of how to handle a break up with all of our friends watching from shiny screens. You have the freedom to handle your statuses/tweets/Instapics in whatever way you feel appropriate; however, from personal experience, not publicizing the breakup is a good decision. In the days following a breakup, the last thing you need is 36 likes on his changed relationship status and 12 people asking you what happened. Make your relationship status private and avoid discussing the breakup or your ex. Save the drama for your mama, roommate, or best friend. I also advise unfriending and unfollowing. Yes, it seems pretty harsh, but if you're anything like me, you have no self control when it comes to social media creeping. How can you heal when you're obsessively checking the subliminal messages laced in his tweets and monitoring every female who posts on his wall? You can't. At least not healthily. After one breakup it took me six weeks of "casually" stalking his public Twitter before I got sick of crying over 140 characters. When you pull the plug on his social media, really pull the plug. This means no asking your roommate to log in her Facebook so you can creep on his profile (Guilty and definitely regretted it). It also means saying no when your sister calls wanting to tell you about his recently uploaded pictures. If this happens, RUN. And pray like crazy. It's oh-so-tempting to sneak a peak, but you have to ask yourself before giving in to these kinds of temptations: what am I hoping to gain from this? After you realize his status probably doesn't say "I miss my ex girlfriend so much. I'm miserably unhappy and I want her back," checking his profile will likely lose its appeal.
Following the loss of my last relationship, I learned a lot about the company I keep. During a season of heartbreak, a solid support system is an absolute must. Friends that not only take you on emergency Fro-yo dates, but friends that will listen, pray, and encourage you. Friends that have your best interests at heart. They’re willing to pass another box of tissues even though they’ve heard the breakup story for the 9000th time and they still aren’t sure what he meant when he said, “I’m just really busy.” (probably that he’s busy, but c’mon…we aren’t rational when we’re living our own “Elle from Legally Blonde” misery). Surround yourself with friends who won’t suggest shots and ragers as that magic elixir, but friends that encourage you to open that beloved Book and share your tears with the One who loves you most.
3). All the feels.
Girl, cry. Cry. It. Out. You’re allowed. The Lord wants to meet you in your hurt; please let Him. Be where you’re at. Stop pressuring yourself to “get over it.” It’s okay if it still hurts even when the two-months-to-the-day hits. It’s okay if you still aren’t used to waking up without those goofy texts. And it’s okay if on his birthday, your heart still hasn’t fully healed. IT’S OKAY. You aren’t dramatic, you’re allowed to feel. Despite popular belief, big girls do cry. Big girls who cry know their identity is secure. They serve a loving and gracious God who wants to hold their hand and bottles their tears.
Let’s not be Elle Woods (laying in bed throwing chocolate truffles at sappy chick flicks). Come down from your tower, Rapunzel, those walls won’t protect you forever. There are men and women in desperate need of love. Even though your heart says otherwise, you have love left to give. So give it. Explore an organization that may support your passions; animal shelters after school programs and campus churches can all use some servants. Use your God-given gifts and stop pressing repeat on those rose-colored memories. It’s hard to let yourself be miserable for too long when you open your eyes to the needs surrounding you.
5). You ARE loved.
Beloved, cling to this truth: you are precious and honorable and worthy of love. Your identity hasn’t changed. No one else can determine your worth. In the days and weeks following a break up, it’s easy to forget how ridiculously loved you are because too often we spent unreasonable amounts of time analyzing what MUST be wrong with us. The One who told the stars to sparkle and the sea when to stop LOVES you and DIED for you. He’s crazy about you. Really stop and meditate on that truth, you are loved beyond loved beyond loved. No breakup will ever change the love our precious Jesus has for you. During this season, let Him whisper how much He loves you. Let Him determine your irrevocable value. Let Him be sweet to you.
Friends, thanks for sticking with me and reading my ramblings on the B-word. I think you deserve that extra cup of coffee. Like I mentioned earlier, I’m no expert. I’m just a misfit learning how to live Loved and my story has quite a few tattered chapters on relationships and breakups. If you’re walking through a recent breakup, please cling to Jesus. Cling to Him and let Him heal your heart. My prayer is that the Lord teaches you more of His overwhelming, relentless love and that this chapter in your story will be the one that ends in immeasurable joy.