Mending a Broken Heart
How do you cultivate love for someone when it’s not reciprocated? How do you extend forgiveness to someone when they aren’t sorry? How do you find healing when you feel like you’re drowning in your own emotions?
The church answer is Jesus. The right answer is still Jesus.
He loved us way before we ever loved Him (Romans 5:8). He forgave us all even while His own creation crucified Him (Luke 23:34). Through it all, Jesus gives us the strength to keep going. He is our strength when we are weak (2 Corinthians 12:9). We can rely on Jesus to always be more than we could ever need.
This is important to understand before we go any further: no counselor, friend, pastor, book, or thought process could heal you the way Jesus knows you need to be healed. It’s up to you to find healing, forgiveness, and love as you surrender your attempts to God and let his Holy Spirit work in you.
In the New Testament, we see Jesus asking more questions of people than just giving them flat-out answers. In my own prayer life, God does this a lot with me. He knows I won’t really understand if he gives me the answer right away. Sometimes, there’s more to my questions than I know. As God prompts me to answer more questions from Him, I find more than just the answer to my question. I grow closer to God through examination of my own heart.
As we seek to mend our broken hearts, whether from romantic relationships or platonic friendships, we must dive deeper into our hearts and minds than we might normally. Below, you will find a list of questions to ask yourself. It is suggested that you write these down in a journal or notebook as we will dissect them through a guided reflection. Following the reflection, there will be examples of healing prayers to engage in. Remember that what you put into this is what you will get out of it.
Questions to Consider:
- What did you love about this relationship?
- What was good about this relationship?
- What did you not love about this relationship?
- What wasn’t good about this relationship?
- Did this person sin against you? (Cheating, Adultery, Abuse, Lying, etc.)
- How do you feel in this time of aftermath?
- How did you feel as this relationship neared its end?
- Do you believe this relationship can be reconciled?
- Should this relationship be reconciled?
As you look at your responses, this guided reflection is designed to help you to dissect your own answers. Do this prayerfully, asking God what He thinks of your answers and what He wants to speak to you. Don’t try to rush through this. Rather, take your time waiting and listening for God.
Question 1: There is a difference between loving something versus it being good for you. Did you love anything about this relationship that wasn’t godly or good for you? Examples would be engaging in sexual intimacy in a romantic relationship or a friendship that provided you with lots of gossip on other people.
Question 2: Do you believe God is good? If He needs to remove a relationship from your life, even if there was good in it, do you believe He will bring something into your life that is just as good if not better? Also, remember that good does not always equal great. God always has the best in store for us! If there were good (godly) things about this relationship that you enjoyed, remember to celebrate them. However, don’t let that keep you in the past. Allow that to push you toward the best. Thank God for the good things you experienced!
Questions 3 + 4: Did you feel this way because of a personal preference, or was this person stuck in a sin that hurt you? If it’s the latter, take a minute to pray for them and the sin they may be entangled in. If it’s a personal preference, pray to ask God to search your heart and reveal anything to you that He may want to speak to you about.
Question 5: If someone has sinned against you, find a trusted person you can speak to about what has happened. Don’t be afraid to take legal steps to keep you safe if you have been a victim of abuse.
Question 6: Feeling freedom, release, or peace is not a bad thing. You are also allowed to grieve. Give yourself the grace to feel whatever you may be feeling. Are you afraid of secrets getting out? Is there anything you are ashamed/guilty of? Why?
Question 7: If you hold onto something that you know isn’t good for you, it may end up hurting you more. Process your emotions with a pro’s and con’s list of the end of your relationship. Start at the time that you felt your relationship start a downhill shift.
Question 8: Are you willing to forgive? What does the Matthew 18 principle look like in this situation? Would it cause more harm (to either you or them) for you to approach this person in a desire to reconcile with them? What does it look like for you to forgive this person in your heart without needing to tell them?
Question 9: What can you learn from this relationship?
Ways To Pray For Healing:
- Pray through Scriptures (i.e. Isaiah 61:1, Psalms, Romans 8:37-39)
- Pray for the other person (bless them, acknowledge the hurt, and ask for forgiveness for them as much as you need to)
- 5 R’s (Recognize how you feel; Repent from any sin in your heart; Rebuke the enemy’s lies; Receive God’s forgiveness; Replace the lies with God’s truth)
Find someone you can talk through this season of your life with. Don’t try to do it alone! Reading this article will not fix or heal you; only prayerful application of what you’ve read in a trustworthy relationship with God and someone to keep you accountable will begin to heal you. I pray you love what seemed unlovable, forgive what seemed unforgiving, and heal from what seemed distant from healing. You are loved!