After the sun has set on your relationship, and you've gone through the darkest time, you're farther along the heart-healing journey. It's nearly Dawn.
Here, you are still processing the pain, but you are also continuing to look ahead to the future. It's a time of adjustment and emotional repair to steady yourself after a tidal wave has rocked your love boat. Even a sailboat after a squall needs some time in dry dock to repair the hull and mend the sails. There will be new adventures ahead, but for now, it's heart restoration time.
The next step in the process is to deal with your emotions and discover the healing power of forgiveness.
A lot of singles choose to ignore the pain of getting dumped and think it will just go away. The thing is, without dealing with your feelings, you wind up carrying your breakup baggage into the next relationship—and the next.
But when you do go through the heart-healing process instead of avoiding it, you will be better prepared to find and keep the lasting love you truly desire.
Healing emotional pain
Pain, anger, resentment, and betrayal are thorny issues. Rejection hurts, and the loss of love and affection can make us do crazy things sometimes. Instead of stuffing your emotions or doing nothing, it is essential to identify, express, and release your emotional pain.
Left unexpressed in healthy ways, emotional pain can wreak havoc in your love life. You may sabotage a perfectly good relationship because of your own commitment fears. Or, you may withhold affection and trust because others have wounded you deeply.
One huge emotion people feel after a breakup is rejection. When someone you love pushes you away, it hurts. And you may tell yourself lies like, "No one will ever love me." But keep reminding yourself of God's unchanging truths. Because truth combats lies like light overcomes the darkness.
The truth is….not being chosen doesn't mean you're not acceptable.
The truth is…you are still worthy and wonderful whether the person who left you realizes it or not. You may not feel very wonderful right now, but don't let what one person thinks erode your sense of self.
The truth is…you will always be significant and important in the eyes of the One who loves you most: God. You are worth being loved well. And, God has His best for those who wait on Him.
Forgiveness: the key to your breakthrough
What helped me most to move forward in my past breakups has been the healing power of forgiveness—when God gives you the ability to forgive the person who hurt you and forgive yourself.
When you don't forgive, and hold onto the pain, it hurts you—not the other person. Pent-up pain turns into bitterness, resentment, or offense and the emotional poison works its way into other areas of your life.
Sometimes you may think that if you forgive someone, you let them "off the hook." And there needs to be justice. But forgiveness is not forgetting about what happened or acting like everything is okay. It doesn't mean that you condone what happened, agree with it, or like it. Instead, you're putting them on God's hook, so to speak, not your hook, and trusting God to deal with it fairly because He said He would. He ensures justice is served; not you.
"Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: "It is mine to avenge; I will repay," says the Lord." (Romans 12:19)
Indeed, the God of unconditional love is also our advocate for justice.
Our perspective changes when we realize what God has done for us. Because He has first forgiven us, Christ commands us to forgive. With the power God gives us—we can forgive.
Here is a helpful Bible verse: Ephesians 4:31, 32, "Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you."
Forgiveness is the balm that heals the heart. When the pain has been dealt with you can leave the past in the past.
Your true identity
In addition, after a breakup, you may feel like your self-esteem has plummeted. Rejection can make you feel unwanted, unloved, or unworthy. Often women wonder "What is wrong with me?" when in reality a man has not beheld your true worth. And neither have you.
You can see yourself more clearly when you are rooted in God's love and the truth about what He says about you.
A healthy view of yourself is balanced. A woman with healthy self-esteem respects herself. She feels secure and worthwhile because of what God says about her. She has confidence in relationships and in life and generally more joy. She knows she has significance; she matters. With her sense of worth and value intact, she sits up straight and walks tall. Her head up, this confident woman is friendly, gentle, and kind.
Lastly, it's reassuring to know that God can see in the dark even when you cannot. Psalm 139:11-12 reminds us, "…even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you." (emphasis mine).
God knows where you are all the time—in the midnight hour and in the noonday sun. He sees, He knows, He cares, and He will lead you through the darkness of your heartbreak and into healing and better days.
Much better days.