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Date: 04.12.17
Your Two Choices When You Experience Heartbreak

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When I met my husband, we did what a lot of couples do when they are getting acquainted—we shared stories. We shared stories about our families, where we grew up, and about our relationships. Because I was single until I was forty-six, my list of relational stories was longer than the average bear’s. Although I’d like to say that all my stories had peaceful endings, some of them didn’t. Some included heartbreak that took a while to heal. My guess is that you’ve had your share of relational heartbreaks, betrayals, or disappointments, too.

When these situations occur, we can choose one of two things: we can become disillusioned and cynical, or we can become more realistic, discerning, and wise. The disillusioned cynic decides not to let anyone in; they shut down their heart, and stop hoping for loving relationships.

But the discerning and wise person has a better approach.

They know this world is not their home. They know perfect relationships only await on the other side of heaven. But until then, the wheat will grow up with the tares (Matthew 13:24-30), so they accept that people will sometimes hurt them (and they will hurt others too.) They know there is an Adversary who comes to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10) so life will sometimes be filled with relational pain. They know the rain falls on the just and the unjust (Matthew 5:45) so life won’t be perfect. They are realistic about the sinful condition of the world, their own heart, and the hearts of those they love, but they are not cynical because they know God is at work in the most horrendous experiences—just like He was at work in the tragedy of the cross, making something ugly into something redemptive. They know God’s love is bigger than their relational heartbreaks, betrayals, or their discouragements so they continue to love. They live by faith, and place their trust in the Faithful One, not in man.

Oswald Chambers had it right when he wrote the following in My Utmost for His Highest:

“Our Lord’s confidence in God and in what His grace could do for any man, was so perfect that He despaired of no one. If our trust is placed in human beings, we shall end in despairing of everyone.”

Should others disappoint, hurt, or betray you, don’t become cynical. Love God; love people but put your total trust in Christ.

Don’t forget to leave your comments below. You might connect with someone in our online community who can encourage you. Also, if you aren’t signed up to receive my blog yet, you can do so in the upper right of this page. You can unsubscribe at any time. 

Comments

19 thoughts on “Your Two Choices When You Experience Heartbreak

  1. well, i was dating a Christian man…. got engaged…. then we just seemed to argue… all the time…im not sure why. for some reason i don’t trust him. i am suspicious of things. we called of the wedding and the engagement… tried to still date, and still cant get along….. please help me to understand why? am i doing something wrong…. he thinks its all me….

  2. So if the disillusioned cynic is your spouse….shuts down….and on it goes…..living with someone shut down is usually a problem he needs to deal with. I’ve lost my trust that he will ever change (41yrs married). Therefore, living without sympathy and connection is next to impossible. Pray for me as tonight is the night I tell him to seek counsel or I leave. Thanks Shana

    1. ……no…not SYMPATHY….EMPATHY….big difference. Relational heartbreak because he is unequipped to give empathy and connection. ugh

  3. This post is refreshing and wise because it gives you a CLEAR alternative to cynicism and disillusionment. The typical church-goer says to the wounded “get over it” – “let it go”. But the person of more depth and perhaps, maturity, EXPLAINS and offers solution such as- “Here is a another choice, a better choice- “As aresult of this devastating blow, you can become a person of wisdoms and discernment and become more realistic” – don’t allow this deep wound to take you out but use it and become a new person- a sharper and more refined one, a person who can help others become stronger when, not if, they are disillusioned. ( you will even be able to discern who to help and when )
    I really like reading your blogs.

  4. Thank you. Timely so now to be healed by your reminders! I’ve been feeling kind of aggravated with how people non-respond. I have a personality quirk probably developed from childhood where I seek validation unconsciously and their non-response to something I offer translates as disapproval or rejection. I hate this poke in my heart because I know God is my validation. I know I am unconditionally loved and have had many ‘hugs’ from my Heavenly Father but…I still have to either find out why the person didn’t respond or just let it go with peace knowing there’s a good reason like the person is dealing with some personal issues that don’t involve me at all or the people are are just self-serving and won’t respond unless they get something out of it for their own reward such as to look good being given to by someone ‘important’ so it ‘is worthy of a response (the Cynical view, I know.) I am ‘giving’ person: my sister always says I’m just like our dad when I give spontaneously & obviously without thought of reward…just a gift. I give when I appreciate a person or I want to encourage them. Then I double-check I’m not trying to ‘buy their love’ but I find myself really surprised when I get a non-response…like a gift where I really took in their personality or diet preferences when selecting a gift to only get no ‘Wow!’ or no ‘Thank you!! Just what I needed!’ I do seriously wonder if I was trying to buy their love or get validation when that bothers me! I take this ‘love of man’ to Christ in prayer because I don’t want to become like Cain or be dependent on mankind to fill me with a personal ‘pat on the back’! I want to love others & treat them as I would want to be loved and treated but not get down if they don’t respond. Just pray for them & let it go, right?

    1. Hi, Carla.

      What you are describing can be difficult for sure. Yep, the key is to continue to keep your heart open and continue to be the giving person that you are, and not shut down. In the future, there are lots of people who need you and what you have to offer. We also live in a time when we are so overloaded with so much communication that sometimes not responding is the way people deal with the onslaught of information that is thrown at us every day. But I do understand that it can hurt. Also remember who you serve and that you are loving Jesus when you love others; it’s all for Him. Perhaps that will help a little with the sting.

      Many blessings to you!
      Shana

  5. This was absolutely what we needed to hear today! God works this way doesn’t He… 🙂 Thanks for your message Shana

  6. I definitely have experienced many broken hearts from multiple family relationships: an ex- husband who could not put the alcohol down to repair our marriage; a drug -addicted child whom nearly died 3 times; and “friends” who abandoned me during my cancer.
    God was my constant companion and loved me and blessed me throughout all of this. New friends were sent into my like who wanted to love me through these difficulties. My child lived and was healed of the addiction. I am looking forward to Him healing me of cancer. I already see many positive improvements. I have faith that in the future He will bless me with a loving husband also.
    My faith has grown deep and wide through these trials and the blessings from financial to acts of kindness have been numerous.
    There have been attacks from the enemy but I keep my eyes on God and He carries me through. I would have never experienced any of these wonders if it weren’t for my trials. God is good.

    1. You have a redemptive perspective, Terri. That’s so wonderful, Terri. I am sorry you went through these difficulties, but I am glad that God has been redeeming your story. He is faithful.

      Thanks for stopping by to comment.

  7. Shana, God always sends the posts from you right when I need them. I really want to be wise and discerning, but I just don’t feel like I am there yet. I think I have learned a lot from broken relationships. I go back and forth between thanking God for all blessings I have received and being sad that I will never have the opportunity to take what I have learned into a new relationship. I really struggle with being at peace about this.

    1. Hi, Kenda.

      It’s normal that you would feel the way you do. On any given day, all of us have times when our confidence wavers. The great thing is that you know Who to go to when you are feeling insecure and uncertain about the future. Have you tried making a map–or timeline–of your life to see where your patterns are? This was especially helpful to me in regard to gaining more discernment. That, along with praying and asking God for help, of course. Community is also soooo huge. Saying a prayer for you right now. Thanks for reading–and commenting.

      Many blessings,
      Shana

  8. About 2 months ago, I had my best friend of 2 years, unfriend me. She would not talk about it or discuss anything with me. She only told me that my husband had made some snide remarks to her. This came as a total surprise to us because my husband had never complained about her or said anything mean to her, that we can think of. I can only conclude, that she took things he said, in a general sense, personally?? Being an insecure person myself, I feel bad for her but am also very hurt! My friendship must have meant nothing to her, for her to just walk out of my life and not even discuss anything.

    1. I am so sorry, K. That is really difficult. I have personally experienced this and I know others have too. Remember to keep your heart tender. Keep your heart free from bitterness. And don’t allow the Adversary to convince you to fill in the blanks of your experience with lies about yourself.

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  • well, i was dating a Christian man…. got engaged…. then we just seemed to argue… all the time…im not sure why. for some reason i don’t trust him. i am suspicious of things. we called of the wedding and the engagement… tried to still date, and still cant get along….. please help me to understand why? am i doing something wrong…. he thinks its all me….

  • So if the disillusioned cynic is your spouse….shuts down….and on it goes…..living with someone shut down is usually a problem he needs to deal with. I’ve lost my trust that he will ever change (41yrs married). Therefore, living without sympathy and connection is next to impossible. Pray for me as tonight is the night I tell him to seek counsel or I leave. Thanks Shana

    • ……no…not SYMPATHY….EMPATHY….big difference. Relational heartbreak because he is unequipped to give empathy and connection. ugh

  • This post is refreshing and wise because it gives you a CLEAR alternative to cynicism and disillusionment. The typical church-goer says to the wounded “get over it” – “let it go”. But the person of more depth and perhaps, maturity, EXPLAINS and offers solution such as- “Here is a another choice, a better choice- “As aresult of this devastating blow, you can become a person of wisdoms and discernment and become more realistic” – don’t allow this deep wound to take you out but use it and become a new person- a sharper and more refined one, a person who can help others become stronger when, not if, they are disillusioned. ( you will even be able to discern who to help and when )
    I really like reading your blogs.

  • Thank you. Timely so now to be healed by your reminders! I’ve been feeling kind of aggravated with how people non-respond. I have a personality quirk probably developed from childhood where I seek validation unconsciously and their non-response to something I offer translates as disapproval or rejection. I hate this poke in my heart because I know God is my validation. I know I am unconditionally loved and have had many ‘hugs’ from my Heavenly Father but…I still have to either find out why the person didn’t respond or just let it go with peace knowing there’s a good reason like the person is dealing with some personal issues that don’t involve me at all or the people are are just self-serving and won’t respond unless they get something out of it for their own reward such as to look good being given to by someone ‘important’ so it ‘is worthy of a response (the Cynical view, I know.) I am ‘giving’ person: my sister always says I’m just like our dad when I give spontaneously & obviously without thought of reward…just a gift. I give when I appreciate a person or I want to encourage them. Then I double-check I’m not trying to ‘buy their love’ but I find myself really surprised when I get a non-response…like a gift where I really took in their personality or diet preferences when selecting a gift to only get no ‘Wow!’ or no ‘Thank you!! Just what I needed!’ I do seriously wonder if I was trying to buy their love or get validation when that bothers me! I take this ‘love of man’ to Christ in prayer because I don’t want to become like Cain or be dependent on mankind to fill me with a personal ‘pat on the back’! I want to love others & treat them as I would want to be loved and treated but not get down if they don’t respond. Just pray for them & let it go, right?

    • Hi, Carla.

      What you are describing can be difficult for sure. Yep, the key is to continue to keep your heart open and continue to be the giving person that you are, and not shut down. In the future, there are lots of people who need you and what you have to offer. We also live in a time when we are so overloaded with so much communication that sometimes not responding is the way people deal with the onslaught of information that is thrown at us every day. But I do understand that it can hurt. Also remember who you serve and that you are loving Jesus when you love others; it’s all for Him. Perhaps that will help a little with the sting.

      Many blessings to you!
      Shana

  • This was absolutely what we needed to hear today! God works this way doesn’t He… 🙂 Thanks for your message Shana

  • I definitely have experienced many broken hearts from multiple family relationships: an ex- husband who could not put the alcohol down to repair our marriage; a drug -addicted child whom nearly died 3 times; and “friends” who abandoned me during my cancer.
    God was my constant companion and loved me and blessed me throughout all of this. New friends were sent into my like who wanted to love me through these difficulties. My child lived and was healed of the addiction. I am looking forward to Him healing me of cancer. I already see many positive improvements. I have faith that in the future He will bless me with a loving husband also.
    My faith has grown deep and wide through these trials and the blessings from financial to acts of kindness have been numerous.
    There have been attacks from the enemy but I keep my eyes on God and He carries me through. I would have never experienced any of these wonders if it weren’t for my trials. God is good.

    • You have a redemptive perspective, Terri. That’s so wonderful, Terri. I am sorry you went through these difficulties, but I am glad that God has been redeeming your story. He is faithful.

      Thanks for stopping by to comment.

  • Shana, God always sends the posts from you right when I need them. I really want to be wise and discerning, but I just don’t feel like I am there yet. I think I have learned a lot from broken relationships. I go back and forth between thanking God for all blessings I have received and being sad that I will never have the opportunity to take what I have learned into a new relationship. I really struggle with being at peace about this.

    • Hi, Kenda.

      It’s normal that you would feel the way you do. On any given day, all of us have times when our confidence wavers. The great thing is that you know Who to go to when you are feeling insecure and uncertain about the future. Have you tried making a map–or timeline–of your life to see where your patterns are? This was especially helpful to me in regard to gaining more discernment. That, along with praying and asking God for help, of course. Community is also soooo huge. Saying a prayer for you right now. Thanks for reading–and commenting.

      Many blessings,
      Shana

  • About 2 months ago, I had my best friend of 2 years, unfriend me. She would not talk about it or discuss anything with me. She only told me that my husband had made some snide remarks to her. This came as a total surprise to us because my husband had never complained about her or said anything mean to her, that we can think of. I can only conclude, that she took things he said, in a general sense, personally?? Being an insecure person myself, I feel bad for her but am also very hurt! My friendship must have meant nothing to her, for her to just walk out of my life and not even discuss anything.

    • I am so sorry, K. That is really difficult. I have personally experienced this and I know others have too. Remember to keep your heart tender. Keep your heart free from bitterness. And don’t allow the Adversary to convince you to fill in the blanks of your experience with lies about yourself.

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