THE BLESSINGS HEARTBREAK BROUGHT ME

February 22, 2019

A year ago I began a healing process that I never imagined I would have to walk through. After a draining period of overwhelming anxiety, depression, and a complete lack of self-confidence, I ended a year-and-a-half-long relationship that was supposed to last forever. I didn’t know what the coming days were going to look like, and I didn’t want to think about it. I really just wanted to stay in bed for the rest of my life because trying to figure out where to go from where I was seemed way too hard. Turns out you have to get out of bed to go to the bathroom, so that didn’t last very long.

They say that losing someone you love through a breakup of any kind is almost worse than having a loved one pass away. I’ve been blessed to never have experienced the death of anyone close to me, but I thought about this idea so much when going through my breakup. When someone you love dies, I think it’s safe to assume that they would have chosen to stay with you if they could. When you go through a breakup that you never wanted, the person you love is still here. But for one reason or another, they made the decision to continue their life without you. I don’t know if any thought cuts deeper for me than that one.

It was hard to find any kind of relief at first because all I could feel was the pain of what just happened. I remember thinking, “I will never get through this sadness.” I really thought I would always be heartbroken.

12 months ago, I was in a completely different place. I had a different outlook and different plans, and I truly felt like my entire life was ruined. BUT GUESS WHAT — I don’t feel that way anymore. I see things so differently now. I don’t think I could pinpoint the exact moments over the last year in which I noticed myself healing, but from here I can see how much the Lord has been working in my heart all along. God brought so many blessings out of my heartbreak that I never would’ve expected. Here are a few:

  1. ConfidenceSomething about getting your nose pierced, chopping your hair off, and getting tatted four more times really makes you feel yourself a little bit more. But really, I used to rely so heavily on the validation I would receive from another voice instead of just being secure in who I was. When that validation stopped being given to me, I panicked. I felt like if the one person I loved more than anything in the world couldn’t see my value, then no one would. It took me going through heartbreak to realize I was so wrong. People still care about me. People still want to hear what I have to say. Maybe some people don’t care about me or what I have to say, but that thought has less power over me now. I’m no longer trying to be someone that I think would be more likable, and I’m no longer holding back from being who I am in fear that it won’t please someone. To anyone reading this who can relate: you do not need anyone on this planet to affirm who you are. Validation doesn’t matter. Opinions don’t matter. You already have an identity in Christ, and when you know that, you can start to live like you know that (and you can get your nose pierced, chop your hair, or get some new tattoos, if you’re into that, too).
  2. New relationships — I remember being so worried that after spending so much time with one person for so long, I would have no one when things ended. But honestly, in the last year I have been surrounded by more love than I ever have. I grew closer to the friends I already had (being single really frees up your schedule to hang out with people.. who knew!) and got close to some people that I didn’t think I would ever be friends with again. On top of that, I met some new people who quickly became friends I couldn’t picture my life without. It’s crazy — before, I never felt like I had many friends I could be my complete self around who would be there for me, but now I’m surrounded by them, and I don’t think that would be the case had things not happened in my life the way they did. 
  3. Motivation — Minus the first few months when even getting out of bed was the biggest struggle of my life, the heartbreak I went through forced me to figure out what I really wanted. It can be so easy to fall into a comfortable little bubble when you’re with someone that you think you’re going to spend your life with. I assumed that everything else in my life would fall into place, and my only real concern was that I would be with him. Haha. That is so not my outlook anymore. And it never will be again! Once I realized that I have the freedom to do whatever I want to do, I started realizing the things that I was truly passionate about. I have goals now! I have plans that don’t involve just getting married! There are things I want to do that I’m excited about (more on that another time), and I definitely didn’t have this kind of drive before. 

Those are a few of the big things that make me look back on this last year of my life and see it as something so sweet. My roommate and I were talking about the butterfly effect a few weeks ago and I realized that had anything in my life worked out any differently, I wouldn’t be where I am right now. If God had allowed me to keep what I thought I wanted for the rest of my life, I would have missed out on every blessing he gave me over the last year, and there have been so many. What a crazy thought (and yet another reminder that we don’t what’s best for us like God knows what’s best for us AMEN).

I share all of this with you because I know that heartbreak is something so many of us have experienced, are experiencing, or will experience at some point. I know the isolation of heartbreak when it seems like no one in the world could possibly understand the pain you feel. I’ve been there. But, know that there is Someone who understands. Whose heart breaks when yours does. Who has plans to heal you from your biggest hurts.

I got this little tat to serve as a reminder of all the beautiful changes I went through in the last year that brought me to where I am right now. The road was never easy, and I don’t expect every day from here on out to be smooth sailing, but I know that the Lord never intended to leave me where I was. He won’t leave you where you are, either. He tells us in Deuteronomy 31:8 that he will never leave us or forget about us. Believe that promise.

I hope this provides a little bit of hope to anyone out there experiencing heartbreak. And let me just tell you, as cliché as it sounds: if this dramatic little enneagram 4 could make it through the pain of her heartbreak and eventually find the blessings in it when she felt like it was more likely that the entire world would combust first, I promise that you can, too. 

Thanks for reading, 

Monica

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