An Expert at Heartbreak

My journey to find faith began with the story of when I thought I lost love. The heartbreak I endured ultimately led me closer to God than I’ve ever been before, and more than anything that experience molded my faith. I chose to follow Christ when I learned that only He can give me what my heart so deeply longs for; when men have time and again let me down and broken my heart, Jesus holds it like a treasure.

I consider myself an expert at heartbreak. A true professional when it comes to break-ups. Not that I’ve gone through an overwhelming amount of break-ups (three to be exact), but that I’ve dealt with the whole range of heartbreak emotions so strongly, and at times for such a long time, that I know every stage of a break-up really well. I know the waves of emotions that come on, I know (pretty well) how to deal with them, and I know what they all mean. I’ve mastered all the different ways to cope, what to expect, how to think to keep things positive. I know the different ways and strategies to deal with social media when going through a break-up, and I know how to talk to people who bring the subject up, even when it’s still really painful. I know all of that doesn’t technically make me a professional or an expert, but I think as much as any one person can be at a subjective thing like heartbreak, I am an expert. At least, I will continue to tell myself that I am, as long as I have something to say.

Like this. I found the words to express an aspect of the roller coaster of emotions one experiences when dealing with relationships. You millennials will know what I mean. So for example: you know that game where you don’t want to text them first because you don’t want it to seem like you’re the more invested or interested one, but they never text first and you decide you’d rather see a text from them pop up than not at all, so you cave in and text first and immediately have mixed feelings of shame, regret and insecurity yet tingled excitement at their anticipated response?

Yeah. I know that game too. I know it all too well.

Anyway.

I’m writing a book about heartbreak: my own. Not because I think I’m an “expert,” but because I have a story to tell. I’m not sure what I’ll call it. Maybe I’ll call it Twenty, because I was twenty years old when my heart broke for the very first time. I thought about calling it Heartbreak Sucks, but I stole that from my cousin. It doesn’t matter right now. What matters is that I’m writing it. I’ve been assembling it for the past couple of months, but I’ve been writing it for the past several years. It’s coming along slowly, mostly because it’s difficult to remember really painful moments. It’s also coming along slowly because writing, in general, is hard.

But I know that God has asked and equipped me to write this book. Most of my story is written in journal entries I recorded in those moments where I had nowhere else to turn to express my sorrow. I’m so glad I allowed myself to pour out my aching heart with pen and paper, because now, almost four years later, I can look back and remember. I can look back and marvel at all that God has done in my life and in my heart. I’m so excited to share my story. I don’t know that it will help anyone. It’s my hope that it will, but even if it doesn’t encourage (or even entertain) a single person, I know I still need to tell it.

So for now I thought I’d share a couple of little excerpts from what I’ve written. I’ve learned that my times of deepest pain have brought about some of the best and most honest writing I’ve ever done. It is my sincere hope that my words and my story would bring some kind of comfort to others going through treacherous heartbreak:

This I can now say from experience: the pain dulls. The waves still come and go, but it is a soft tide now. Slowly, the memories fade. It doesn’t happen easily, or all at once. One by one the heartstrings that were once so tightly knit begin to untangle. Then one day, your phone will go off, and you wont have that instant leaping hope in your heart that maybe it’s him. And you’ll realize you didn’t feel that way. And you’ll know you’re one step farther along. Believe me when I say: that voice in your head wants you to believe the pain will never go away. That’s how you dig yourself deeper in despair. But there is light; there is hope. Relief from the pain does come.

And I’ll leave you all with this last excerpt. To this day, this is the most important revelation I have ever received as a result of the heartbreak I have endured:

Is God my all in all? Can I still walk with Him, trust in Him, live for Him, even if it means that I never find love, never have a career, if I never attain success? Do I need to constantly know what I’m doing with my life and where I’m headed, or can I be content to rest in His peace, knowing that He won’t let me fall? I think more that anything, that is what this year has been for me. Through the ups and the way downs of my emotions and experiences throughout the year, I can sit here and fully, contently, joyfully say—Christ is my all in all, the true joy of my life. I live with the understanding that I was created for Him, and that the void in my life can only be fulfilled by Him. I have felt so much peace and true joy in my heart in moments and times where I should have felt sadness and fear. The Holy Spirit has filled every part of my weary soul with love, and I can’t imagine a life without that, without Him. For the first time in my life, my happiness comes not from man, nor from success, nor from works of my own hands. My happiness, my fulfillment in life, comes from knowing that there is hope for my life, and that it is found in Jesus.

Jumping into something like book writing has been really intimidating for me. Who am I to think that anyone cares what I have to say? Who am I that my story should be one that is shared at all? I’m very insecure and I’m very scared of failure. But all of those questions and doubts do not speak louder than the voice that is telling me to go, write, speak, share. So that is the voice I am listening to.