It’s going to be okay.
“Blessed is she who has believed that what the LORD has said to her will be accomplished.” Luke 1:45
I love reading inspirational letters written by young women trying to encourage likeminded readers. I’ve read the be-patient-in-this-season-of-waiting letters, the enjoy-your-single-years-and-live-life-to-the-fullest letters, and even the how-to-heal-your-broken-heart-after-a-break-up letters. Don’t get me wrong, those are all great, and I’ve been moved to tears by more than one of them, but the reality is that none of those stories are my story, and I’m willing to bet there’s more of you out there who feel the same way.
Between cheesy rom coms and trashy romance novels, we as young women have been conditioned to think it’s weird for us to be in our late teens and early twenties and not have had these same experiences that we see all around us. We’re taught that not having dating experience, that being single since forever, means there’s something wrong with us, and that our stories aren’t important. I want to tell you today that you’re not alone. You’re story DOES matter, and in fact, if we all started being honest with each other, our stories are probably a lot more common than we think.
So this letter goes out to the single girl who just went through the worst heartbreak imaginable. Don’t believe the lie that you have to be in a relationship to get your heart broken because sometimes the worst broken hearts are experienced by girls who’ve had little to no dating experience. When that happens, it feels like we aren’t allowed to mourn because after all, we never actually had the guy. We can’t fully relate to our friends going through a breakup because who are we to compare their real relationship to the nonexistent one we envisioned for ourselves?
But I think ours is a powerful story. Sure, it’s a story of sadness, tears, and heartbreak. But it’s also a story of redemption, hope, and healing. Ours is a story of how God’s love can overcome all heartbreak and how He can make beauty out of ashes. Ours is a story of how God can use this heartbreak to grow us in unspeakable ways, and prepare us for the bright futures He has promised each and every one of us.
My story of heartbreak happened in college. I’m not sure if I believe in love at first sight, but it was close with him. For the first time in my life, I felt like I had met a guy I could imagine a future with. Those first months of growing our fast-forming friendship were so special. They are times I will always treasure, and before I knew it, I gave my once guarded heart to this guy who I thought was returning my feelings. I know I’m partly to blame too, but his flirty actions made me believe I wasn’t the only one who envisioned a future where he and I ended up together. Which made it that much harder when he started dating someone else.
To say my heart shattered in a million pieces is an understatement. In hardly any time he became one of my best friends, and throughout the next year plus of him dating this girl, I went through the lowest points of my entire life. Ladies, if you’ve ever tried to be friends with a guy you have feelings for, you know it’s not easy. It’s one of the hardest things. It’s especially hard when during his relationship his actions continue to make you question if he maybe actually does like you. Watching him date her, hearing him talk about her…it was enough to break me, and it pretty much did.
I went from being someone who never cried at anything, to crying ALL the time. I was noticeably distracted around my friends, I was constantly thinking about him, and holidays like Christmas, New Year’s, and oh my gosh Valentine’s Day almost did me in. I kept reliving things from the past, and was haunted at every turn by memories and regrets. For the next year, I went through countless highs and lows, thinking I was over him and realizing I was not. Wanting to move on but not knowing how because after all, no one tells you how to mourn the loss of a guy you never had.
I can’t tell you how many times my friends told me to just move on. People told me I shouldn’t be friends with him and that it was hurting any progress I might be making, but I still felt like the highs of spending time with him were worth the lows of knowing at the end of the day, he wasn’t mine. But was being friends with him really worth all the pain? For a while there, I wasn’t sure, but knowing what I do now, I’m confident I benefitted (and continue to benefit) from his friendship in so many ways.
Everyone’s heartbreak story is different, and I’m not saying this works for everyone, but the thing that permanently snapped me out of my growing depression was finally being brave enough to tell him how I felt. I’m going to be honest. Deciding to do that was the absolute hardest decision I’ve ever made, and following through on it was even worse. I was a complete wreck leading up to it (seriously, ask my roommate who literally had to pick me up off my bedroom floor), but I knew I needed to get everything off my chest, and I hoped once I did I could finally begin to move on from all the hurt once and for all.
And it worked. By telling him how I felt, the chains were broken, and the power that both he and his girlfriend had over me vanished. For the first time in forever, I had closure. I no longer had any regrets because every single feeling I ever had in regards to him was out in the open. And because he knew everything, I was able to hand all control back to God, where it should have been in the first place, and let Him be in charge of the outcome of my life.
It felt SO good to be free of that burden, to hear a sincere apology, and to know this guy valued our friendship enough to continue being friends with me. It was a perfect picture of God’s grace poured out on my life, and I am forever thankful for everything confessing that to him did for me.
Telling him worked for me, but honestly that may not work for you. I do think you should be honest with him, no matter what the circumstance. I think you owe it to yourself and to him. But that might not be enough. Maybe for you, it also means cutting off the friendship. Maybe it means accepting a date from that guy who’s been asking you, but you’ve been saying no in hopes that your guy will come around eventually.
I can’t possibly know what healing looks like for you, but I have a feeling you know what you need to do to move on. I’m not saying it will be easy, or that the healing will be immediate. Releasing a year’s worth of pent of emotions was not easy. I contemplated telling him how I felt for a long time, but I always thought “I could never do that. I’m not brave enough.” But you know what? I WAS brave enough, and I know you are too. You’re going to have to be brave, and you’re going to have to be strong enough to keep fighting for this freedom even when it’s hard. But I encourage you to find that courage, because I promise you, all the strength you need is right there inside of you. You can do hard things. You just have to be brave enough to take the step you know you need to, and trust God with the rest.
I can’t tell you what you need to do to have your freedom, but I can promise you God will be with you every step of the way. As sad as this past year was, and as many times as I wished I had never even met this guy, I know now I’m a better person for having known him. I no longer have any regrets because every heartbreaking step of this journey brought me closer to God. I learned to trust in Him like I never have before, and I encourage you to do the same during this difficult season. If you trust God with your future and realize that the control is in His hands, you will grow in ways you never knew possible. So play that encouraging song on repeat, read those uplifting letters you find on the internet, surround yourself with friends you can confide in and listen to their wise advice. Accept the fact that you need to heal from this, and do everything you can to keep moving forward.
I encourage you to pray for your heart to heal, and to really believe that everything you’re asking God for will come to pass. My prayer for all of us is that we will be a generation who believes God will do what He has promised. I want us to be young women who believe what we ask God for will come true. How different would the world look if we believed that our prayers were powerful?
I want us to use this time of heartbreak to grow closer to God and to trust that He will deliver us from this aching pain. I want us to be thinking about our futures, and to pray for our future husbands because more likely than not, if God has placed the desires on our hearts to get married one day, He will honor that wish (Psalm 37:4 ya’ll, it’s brought me through lots of rough times). Let’s be praying for a future husband who will value us enough to love us back, and who will be wise enough to know the amazing person who’s right in front of him.
I can’t promise any of this is going to be easy, but I do promise you I’m living proof it’s possible. I let this guy get into my head so much that I started believing the lie from the enemy that I wasn’t worth fighting for. I started believing God was going to choose not to provide for my future. I started believing I was going to be single forever. For those of you who have been at that place too, you know it’s a dark and dangerous road to travel.
I constantly went around joking about how I was going to be forever single, but it wasn’t a joke. I really believed that, but I don’t anymore. If you choose to kick that guy out, and let God sit on the throne of your heart, I promise you can start believing in that future I know you’ve dreamed about since you were a little girl. This guy has already taken so much from you; don’t let him rob you of the amazing future waiting for you. I promise you, if you rely on a guy to fulfill you, you will be disappointed every time. Know that even in this heartbreak, you CAN experience fullness of joy because it comes only from Jesus, and that every painstaking step of this journey is leading you the fantastic future God has prepared for you. The enemy cannot keep you from the bright future God has in store for you, and when you feel him fighting against you, he’s fighting a futile battle against the amazing person he knows you’re going to become.
So hold onto that hope, hold onto those dreams, and be patient because even when we cannot see it, God is working everything out for our good. Our scars are the evidence of healing. They are a picture that reminds us that God has carried us this far. He’s not done carrying us. Our story isn’t over yet, so let Him continue to work in your life in ways that only He can do. Let’s not let this heartbreak be for nothing. Let’s not look back on this season of our lives with regret. Let’s not let the enemy win by giving him control over our lives. Let’s do the brave thing, and however it turns out, trust that everything is going to be okay.