I’ll share my journey of heart break, healing and the lessons learned.
This will probably be one of my most poignant posts, but it has been a long time coming. After sharing my story and the tough lessons learned with other men and women, who were so encouraged, I was reminded that it is time.
So this time last year (February 2015) I was in what I thought was my ‘true love moment’. I was engaged. I had all the attention. I was happy. I thought I had it made, my life was on course. My plan was happening. I had the relationship that many admired from afar and desired. I was ‘goals’ loool. Now I look back and laugh at how naive and unmeasured I was!
Anyways, fast forward to 6 months of being engaged, while I loved and shared some incredible moments, a lot had been exposed to both of us in terms of character, attitudes, behaviours and there were things that we perhaps didn’t think about before getting caught up in the whole euphoria being engaged, akin to the unspoken pressures of a ‘public relationship’. The pretense is hard to keep up when you are literally hurting inside and I had to make a decision to acknowledge my worth and what I deserved before any public opinion. It is very easy to blame the guy when a relationship breaks down, but I’m a firm believer that there are things that both parties could have done better, so disclaimer…this is not a bashing post.
So, after another 6 months of healing and fully enjoying the work that God has done in me, I will share some of the lessons whilst maintaining sensitivity on the matter, by throwing out some questions for you to consider when in a relationship, or prior to entering one. I have also embedded some videos to answer the many questions that I’ve received on the topic!
Character in tough situations
What is a person like outside of their sanctified environment? What are they like in tough situations? How do they react when angry or upset? What is their fruit harvest like? Is an apple tree trying to convince you that they are an orange tree?…By their fruits ye shall know them. Can you comfortably describe them or yourself as being loving, kind, gentle, faithful, joyful, patient and crown it all with self-control? Even when things go wrong, are they repentant? Is the Word of God a mere accessory or is it their life? Are they ONE? As in, are they consistent, champions of integrity, one who fights for their character to remain sound in all situations?
What you tolerate in courtship is what you can expect in marriage
There are key characteristics of a person that cannot be missed but are often ignored in the name of love. Love cannot afford to be blind, because as my mentor once told me ‘marriage is a magnifier’. Love is visible, there is no mystery to it, scripture is very plain concerning what love is (ref: 1 Corinthians 13, 1 John 1). The notion of ‘red flags’ and ‘deal breakers’ is incredibly important, if there is something that you are not happy with in a relationship, then flag it up, do not ignore it. You cannot afford to marry a persons potential over their reality, once you have seen it, you must decide if you are willing to live with it forever.
Amos 3:3 | Choices reveal their heart
Have you agreed on key PRACTICAL decisions such as where to fellowship when married, surnames, family location? Are you willing to meet each other and then agree to walk together? Or is there an imbalance, do you feel like your thoughts on serious matters are not being considered? Finally, what are your beliefs, you’d be surprised that Christians have an array of beliefs and stances on certain matters (annoying…I know), so are your doctrinal beliefs congruent or nah?
For the ladies: Will they choose you? Fight for you? Pursue you?
love covers a multitude of sins…but it will also expose it
Psalm 139:23-24 KJV
I had to be honest with myself that I fell short. I had let God down by giving my body away prematurely. Again the euphoria of lust conflated with ‘love’. This idea that my body was the only measure of love was something that I had to confront. I could no longer hide under the guise of a relationship supposedly ordained by God, be speaking about God, yet breaking His heart in this way. Hearts may break, but they also heal and I had to start by saying, Lord I am sorry and I repent for the way I have broken your heart. Sometimes you have to do this alone. Your partner may not understand your desire to abstain. But you have to choose to delight in God over momentary premature pleasure.
Be measured with what you share | Public Opinions
Goshhh! This one is huge for our generation. I am naturally a ‘sharer’ I love sharing my journey, I love seeing others encouraged by it. But it is so important to be measured. Sometimes I deep the fact that my previous relationship was public right from the beginning through to its end. I cannot lie, the shame of a public broken relationship was overwhelming. Its one thing being heartbroken, its another thing having to go through that process publicly. Overall, people were really kind and supportive, with the occasional troll, gossip etc. The major lesson is that whatever you put out there is open to public opinion and scrutiny. Be prepared for that. People will coerce you into staying in something that you no longer have peace about. Don’t be a slave to man’s opinions. Be a slave to God’s word and what He says is FOR you.
Take time to Heal & Show Honour
I had to take time out to really heal. There were times I would go into work and get so emotional, I would cry and then be angry at myself because I vowed never to cry for a guy (during my anti-men days lool). I knew that I hadn’t really taken my heart, my pain, my anger at myself, before God. I put up a facade just to push through the day and before I knew it, I started habouring ugly bitterness which I must admit came out in some shady tweets *covers face*.
Stoney hearts won’t heal. This is why you need to give over that heart to God and let Him give you a heart of flesh. (Ezekiel 36:26). What does that look like practically? Be real with God and about the emotions that you try so hard to hide. Allow His word to expose your emotions and bring you back to His standard (Psalm 139:23:24). Open yourself up to receive His perfect love that perfects you! And if you allow yourself to be soaked in God’s love, embrace the healing process, don’t rush it, you will come out so much better (Read: In the strong woman). Take time away from everything, take your hurt before God and ask Him to show you how to love and show honour to those who have hurt you so deeply. I’ll paraphrase something that My sister Tav shared through a similar experience (she is amazing btw).
‘Honour is always a choice. It has to be done outside of your feelings of hurt. Honour means relating to someone according to his or her God-given identity. Honour refuses to reduce people to their mistakes, shortcomings, [“aliases”] that hide their true identity and worth.’
Have a deep support system
Don’t go through it alone. Have your confidants and your spiritual leaders to counsel you. They will lovingly rebuke you when you (want to) act out. They will lovingly encourage you when they see you moving forward. They will constantly speak life over you and your future. In the multitude of counsellors there is safety (Proverbs 11:14). I take this time to appreciate my support system, from my Queen Mama, Pastors, mentors, sisters, brothers, friends and even those that don’t know me so well but still reached out to me. I thank you and may God bless you with your heart’s desire according to His perfect will. May He open up His hand in your lives and satisfy you with good things (Psalm 104:7-8).