A Letter to a Broken Heart

I know you’re devastated. You are about to go through one of the biggest changes of your life. You are going to try to resist it with everything in you, but it’s going to happen. You can’t escape this.

You are going to be scared. You will be scared of what your life will look like not loving him. You will be scared of losing that feeling he gave you and everything that you built up together. There is so much history behind your love, admiration, and friendship with him. You will be afraid of letting all that slip through your fingers. The thought of being strangers and living life separate from one another is unbearable.

You are going to keep denying it. You’ll look for any reason to hold on to the hope that things might not really be changing. You’ll replay your relationship in your mind over and over and over again, searching for answers. You’ll wonder if there was anything you could have done differently. You’ll begin to think maybe this was all just a big misunderstanding. You will avoid feeling any emotion, attempting to hold on to what once was. You are going to convince yourself that this is just another thing you two have to get through. You will avoid letting go, because letting go means moving forward, and you’re not ready for that. You’ll live in this place for a while.

You are going to become angry. Angry about what happened. Angry about what didn’t happen. Angry about what could have happened. In your anger you will question everything. Why didn’t he fight for you? Why didn’t he want you? Why would he want to live his life without you? You’ll be angry because it feels like your love for him wasn’t enough. You were supposed to be together. He loved you. So why did he give up? It will feel begin to feel like this was his choice, not yours. You will be angry that things didn’t turn out the way you had hoped.

You are going to be sad. Every time you think about not being with him your heart will stop for a moment and waves of emotion will overcome you. You will cry, oh sweet girl you will cry—more than you ever thought you could. You will feel emptiness in the pit of your stomach each time your thoughts stop on a memory, a moment, a conversation, a laugh, a smile. You will become familiar with that shivering feeling that overwhelms a broken heart every time you unexpectedly hear a song that reminds you of him, or stumble across a photo, or read an old card. Your whole being will ache in your sorrow.

You are going to miss him. You are going to want him despite knowing you can’t have him. You’ll feel frustrated in your longing. Even though loved ones surround you, you will be lonely. A huge piece of you is missing. You’ll find little remnants of him scattered throughout your day and healing from all this will seem impossible. You’ll wish you could share your life with him—things that make you laugh, little annoyances, things that remind you of him, things that only he would appreciate. You’ll desperately want it to be back to normal. You’ll want to ask him about how he’s doing, but you can’t. You’ll want to call him about your day, but you won’t. You’ll have to learn to live your life independent from him.

It’s going to hurt. It’s going to hurt much more than you think you can handle. You will feel like you failed him and your relationship. It will hurt knowing that you were willing to do anything and everything to be with him and make things work. But it wasn’t enough. It will be hard to accept that.

You are going to feel alone. You’ll feel like no one else has experienced the pain that you’re feeling. You’ll feel like no one truly understands and you’ll feel bad for talking about your continuous struggles. Don’t let those doubts stop you from sharing your thoughts and feelings. Each time you work through your emotions with those closest to you, you’re allowing yourself to process and heal.

You are going to learn. You are going to learn to let go and to let yourself be free to feel every emotion, to truly allow yourself the grace to just be. Some days you won’t feel anything. Other days you’ll feel more than you can bear. You’re going to have good days and bad days. You’re going to learn about yourself—about who you used to be, who you are, and who you want to become.

You are going to grow. You’re going to grow immensely in your faith because that is the only constant that you can truly cling to. Your faith in God’s promises will multiply as you start to embrace the truth of His hope more and more.

You will continue to feel. The pain and the sadness will begin to lessen with the passing of time, but there will still be moments. There will be moments when it hits you all at once and you’re brought immediately back into your memories. Don’t be scared of those moments because they are a reminder that he was important and he will hold a piece of your heart forever. Allow yourself to face the emotions that come in those moments.

Keep taking care of yourself, brave one. This is a process and it takes time. It seems never-ending now, but someday you will be on the other side of it. When that day comes, you will be grateful for the journey. Through all this, you are becoming stronger and more resilient. You are being refined and you are growing. Embrace this season. I know it’s hard, but don’t lose hope.

Don’t stop doing the things you love. Go outside, explore, go on an adventure, travel, eat good food, sip good wine, read a book, dance, laugh with friends—these are all things that will make you feel like you again. Feel your emotions as they come, but don’t get stuck in them. You are still living and breathing. Keep making the most of this crazy, beautiful life of yours.

Always, always remember you are going to be okay. It’s going to be scary. It’s going to hurt a lot. It’s going to be sad. But you will be okay. You will always be okay.

Even In This Season, Choose Thankfulness


The holiday season is here in full swing. With the holidays comes an influx of traditions, smells, tastes, music, and quality time spent with those you love. This season is often a time to pause and reflect on the past year and how far you’ve come. It’s a time to cherish all things big and small. Extra effort is put into being thankful and celebrating throughout the season.

Even though the holidays are supposed to be the happiest time of the year, it can also lend itself to a lot of pain and heartache. The holidays can trigger memories from the past and how things have changed. It can be painful to feel the void of a passed family member or the loss of a significant other. This season can make us feel disappointed that we don’t have that picture perfect family or someone special to spend the holidays with. It can be an unpleasant reminder that things aren’t quite where we want them to be.

As I reflect on my own experiences this year, I’m bombarded with feelings of sorrow that things have changed. Memories of Christmas’ past flood my mind. The familiar parts of the holidays are different this year. A time that should be filled with anticipation and excitement for holiday gatherings, gift-giving, and spending time with loved ones is overshadowed by the stinging pain that someone will be absent from all that. It’s difficult to be thankful when there is so much pain.

I have to admit, I’ve had numerous breakdowns in the quiet moments between festivities. There have been days when I’ve tried to stay busy to distract from the pain of my emotions. There have also been days when I’ve milked every tear, brooding in the sadness of my circumstances and ruminating in the uncertainty of my life.

The reality is it is sad. It is hard. It feels backwards and unnatural to be seeking joy and thanksgiving in the midst of heartache. Yet, the sorrow and grief I’m experiencing has reminded me of my constant need for God. In my brokenness I’ve begun to experience reliance on God in the purest form. I have to continually choose to trust in the greatness of God and the sureness of His sovereignty. I’m learning to pray, seek Him, and give thanks in everything. The last part seems so paradoxical. Give thanks in everything. Everything. What if everything feels like sadness, grief, confusion, and anger?

I love this quote from She Reads Truth, “God doesn’t ask us to silence our sorrow in favor of thanksgiving. Rather, He uses our sorrow to proclaim a type of thanksgiving we wouldn’t be able to express otherwise.” What a beautiful reminder that even in the hurting and want, we can experience thankfulness. The type of thankfulness God wants us to experience isn’t only for the best parts of our lives, but also the messy parts. God calls us to be comforted in our times of sorrow by the sureness of the hope we can find only in Him. The truth is God is good always. Even in the heartache, sorrow, questioning, and uncertainty…He is good.

I’m slowly learning that I don’t have to dwell in my pain. That doesn’t mean I don’t feel the pain. It means I let it come, experience it, and let it pass. It means remaining steadfast in my faith and holding onto hope.

So here I am in the midst of my pain and emotions, choosing thankfulness. I’m thankful for a God who meets me where I am, wraps me gently in His arms, and let’s me know He has it under control, even if I don’t. I am thankful for the struggle because it has molded me into a stronger, more resilient person. I am thankful for the discomfort because I know it means I’m growing and transforming. I am thankful for the loneliness because it allows me to examine who I am and who I want to become. I am thankful for my friends and family who have supported me through the ups and downs of this year with love, grace, and care. I am thankful for those who speak truth in my life and remind me that beauty can come up from the ashes.

Through it all, I am thankful for the process. I am thankful that I am not defined only by my sorrow and yearning. I am thankful for the ability to express gratitude for this season, even though my heart aches. Most importantly, I am thankful for the true beauty of Christmas and the eternal gift of hope that has been given through the birth of Jesus Christ.

“And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.” 1 Peter 5:10

When It’s Time to Walk Away

When It's Time to Walk Away | She Is EnoughWalking away from someone you love is one of the hardest things to do. It’s especially hard when you feel like you’re being pulled in a hundred different directions. Somehow the things you desire get lost in the muddled opinions of your friends, family, and society. There always seems to be a disconnect between the head and the heart.

It took me a long time to accept that what I wanted for my life and what God wanted for my life could be two different things. I wrestled with the idea for years. I wanted my relationship to work so badly. I prayed for my boyfriend constantly. I prayed for our relationship. I prayed for God’s will in my life. I prayed for God’s will in our future together. So why wasn’t it working out like I had hoped?

Here’s a little background. We began dating when I was a senior in high school. From that point on we had a consuming, passionate, hit-you-upside-the-head kind of love that you secretly envy in the movies. Don’t get me wrong, we definitely had our fair share of ups and downs, but there was something about us. We came from different church backgrounds, but to me, that didn’t matter because we both loved God. We couldn’t get enough of each other. We loved spending time together. We could talk for hours upon hours. We made each other laugh. We put up with the good, the bad, and the ugly sides of one another. He made me feel so loved, so cherished, so cared for. He understood me. He knew me. He knew what made me feel alive and what broke me down. He supported me. He was my best friend. He made me feel at home. I loved loving him, and he loved loving me. Naturally, we began making plans for the future. At first they started out as naïve fantasies. As the years passed and we grew older we longed to make those dreams a reality. But somehow, deep down, there was always something holding us back.

I began to picture my future in every way with him in it. My deepest fear was losing everything we had built up together. I wanted so badly to be with him that I desperately tried to make him fit into the puzzle of my Christian life, but whichever way I tried, he didn’t quite fit. I started to try and control things. I had a checklist: go to church together, read the Bible together, pray together. He went along willingly, but we continued to struggle. After that I tried to fix the parts that didn’t work. Then I started making excuses. Eventually we avoided confronting the strain on our relationship altogether. We pushed aside our differences and tried to maintain a loving relationship.

We got really good at ignoring the warning signs. We tried to break up in college, but we ended up back together. We were magnetic. You couldn’t keep us apart for too long before we came running back to each other.

He was the first one to be honest about the reality of our situation. He had realized that he couldn’t be everything I wanted, everything I needed. He felt just as strongly about his beliefs as I did about mine. The problem was that I wanted us to see eye to eye spiritually, and he wasn’t sure if that was something that could ever truly happen. The moment he told me how he was feeling, my heart felt like it was breaking into a million pieces. I didn’t want this to be happening. We debated for weeks, avoiding the inevitable and trying everything in our power to make things feel normal.

I didn’t know what to think. I didn’t know what to do. But I did know one thing— a breakup wasn’t what I wanted. I couldn’t bear to think of a life without him. We had lived through six years of life together. We were supposed to work out. We were supposed  to get married and start a family. We were supposed to grow old together. If you love someone, you figure out a way to make it work, right?

I became exhausted—emotionally, mentally, physically, and spiritually. Suddenly it dawned on me. There comes a point where you have to step back and realize that it’s not healthy to be constantly fighting and trying to make the other person understand. Is it more loving to stay together, or let each other go? Is this the life we wanted, always feeling the the need to defend our beliefs?

I slowly began to grasp the fact that I needed to let him go. I needed to say goodbye. But how could I let him go, when I loved him so much? I struggled through this quandary for months. Summer came and I found myself accepting that I needed to let go of my plans, despite how terribly I wanted to hold on to them with every ounce in me. I knew that just simply loving each other wasn’t enough. Breaking up wasn’t his decision or mine, it was a conclusion each of us came to separately.

We met at a park, both of us very aware of what was going to happen, yet in denial that it was really happening. We sat in his car and talked. We sat in silence for several moments. He broke the quietness, in a voice that sounded both hurt and sad, “Where did we go wrong?”

I sat in the stillness trying to find the right words to say. I told him we couldn’t think like that and that sometimes these kinds of things happen. I felt like our relationship was a maze and we kept hitting the same dead end over and over again. We kept fighting the same fight.

My heart broke over and over again as I thought of the past memories, the present situation, and the future that would never be. I cried. I cried for the family we wouldn’t have. I cried for the plans we had made that wouldn’t be reality. Why did this have to happen to us? I was stunned. I begged to figure it out. There must be a solution. But there wasn’t.

I knew I needed to let him go, but I so desperately didn’t want to. We talked about how we felt like we were different. Had others ever felt the way we felt about each other? Why did we hold on so tightly? Would it ever not hurt? When would the pin pricks of sadness stop? It just wasn’t fair. We talked about how it didn’t make sense and that we never thought we would be in this place, walking away from our relationship.

We sat there, never wanting the night to end. He stroked my arm and nerves trickled up and down my body as I realized I wouldn’t be feeling that touch any longer. I touched his face trying to memorize every feature, every dimple, every freckle. How was I going to get through this? I’d been with him for so long. How could I let him go? We had been through so much. We had faced so much together, so how could it really be over?

How do you do this? I sat there and cried as I thought about all the things I was going to miss. We sat there in more silence, thinking, holding each other for one of the last times. How do you say goodbye when you still love so deeply? Was this really it? This was so hard.

We continued to avoid the approaching farewell. I didn’t want to do it, but I knew we had to. Was this all a dream? Why?

Finally I took a deep breath and said it was time. We got out of the car and stood beneath the moonlight, holding each other. I squeezed tighter and he squeezed tightly back. We stood there looking at each other. My heart sank once more. I tried to put all my emotion, all my love, everything I had held onto into that last embrace. He began to pull away, acknowledging that at some point it would all have to end.

He said, in deep sadness, almost in a gasp, that he felt like we had failed. I kept reassuring him that we hadn’t. We loved each other passionately and unendingly, and unfortunately we still had to walk away.

I fought back more tears. “I don’t want to have to let you go,” I whispered.

“You have to,” he stated back quietly.

“I love you.”

“I love you so much.”

The next thing I knew, we were saying goodbye, only holding hands as we stood across from each other and slowly backed away. He turned and walked to his car, as I walked to mine. I watched him drive away, tears streaming down my face.

That was it. We were no longer. We had finally let each other go.

I drove home in disbelief about what had just happened, emotionless. I felt like a zombie—like I was living, but not truly alive. I had done the hardest thing. I had let go of the life I thought I wanted, the life I thought I would have with the person I loved.

I walked away, knowing it’s going to hurt for a long time. There are shivers of sadness that hit me everyday. I feel lost, out of control, sad, and confused. But I have to be strong. I have to believe that God has a plan greater than my own. I have to believe that there is someone out there for me, even if it wasn’t him. I have to believe that God will provide a relationship in the future that fills the void I was always trying to fix. I have to take a step back, and stop trying to control God’s handiwork in my life. I have to continue believing and trusting full-heartedly that God is faithful, He will provide.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11