How I empathize with Leah – the desolate, disfavored sister of the exquisite Rachel. At nineteen years old, I, too, fell hopelessly, pathetically in love with the wrong guy. Every close friend discouraged the relationship – not because he was a bad person but because he wasn’t for me. My heart forbade me to listen. I was an “adult,” after all. And, my friends didn’t know Mr. Perfect like I did.
He was tall, handsome, athletic, and whip smart – a college girl’s dream. We even shared similar musical tastes and hailed from the same home state. I laughed at his corny jokes, agonized over his broken relationship with a family member, and sacrificed regular study towards an Ivy League degree to bask in the glow of his “awesomeness.” Then, at the bitter close of a three-year romance, he dumped me for a lovely young co-ed from a college nearby. You may not believe this, but I actually begged him to stay.
Like Leah, I mistakenly believed that – if I’d truly been worthy of love – the man I adored would have adored me in return. It took some time before I realized that my true value lay in God’s perception of me – not in that of a former boyfriend. Though I had already met the Lord the year before I’d fallen in love, I’d gotten sidetracked. I had ceased to pray, to study the Word of God, or to meditate upon its meaning with the same fervor I’d shown at the time of conversion.
Is your heart broken? Do you feel as if it will never heal? Take heed. God – in his infinite knowledge and understanding of the human condition – sometimes permits us to experience profound loss for our own good. If we never experienced pain, hurt, remorse or regret, we could never appreciate the depths of His sacrifice for us. How can you mend a broken heart? You can’t. But, God can. Don’t wallow in self-loathing and self-deprecation. Take my advice: Do the following…
(2) If necessary, give yourself permission to experience the so-called five stages of grief – denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. But make a quick work of it. The longer you vacillate between the first four stages of the aforementioned process, the likelier it becomes that you’ll do something unwise. God can and will get you through this if you allow Him to.
(3) State openly, “By His stripes I am healed.” Don’t wait until you “start feeling better” to proclaim your deliverance. Demonstrate your faith in God’s ability to facilitate it by declaring its fulfillment now. (Read Isaiah 53:4-5 and 1 Peter 2:21-25.)
(4) “Pray without ceasing.” (1 Thessalonians 5:17). We sometimes make the mistake of assuming that we only need to pray when things have become too hard. If we prayed when things were going well, perhaps God wouldn’t seem quite so far away when we “needed Him.”
(5) Study and meditate upon the Word of God. (Read Joshua 1:8). Nothing else you’ll read can address heartache, anguish and suffering like the Psalms of King David. Such an imperfect being. Such a yielding, pliable spirit.
Don’t worry: I won’t pry. But, if you’d like to share your thoughts or comments on this topic, please do so below. You never know how your testimony of deliverance will help someone else. (Ensure you’ll receive another “Sybliminal Message” next week by following my blog via email or RSS.) Blessings!