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Teen Tuesday: What to do with a Broken Heart

I have a crazy first kiss story.  I’ve never heard one quite like mine before.  It involved a sunset, a beautiful lake, a bridge and an adventurous guy.  He was my first kiss and my first heartbreak.

I was a teenager the summer I met him.  I was drawn to him immediately.  He was confident, fun, good-looking and loved God.  And even though he seemed a bit immature, I overlooked his faults and fell in love.

He told me he didn’t want to kiss me until I was ready, which I thought was so sweet.

“How will you know when I’m ready?” I asked one afternoon as we basked in the sun, down by the lake.

“We’ll have a code word” he said, a mischievous glint in his eye.

“Okay.  What’s the word going to be?  We have to make sure its something specific so I don’t accidentally say it before I’m ready.

“How about ‘slalom skiing’?”  He was a sports addict so I wasn’t surprised by his suggestion.

Knowing I would never choose to bring slalom skiing up on my own I agreed.

A few weeks later as we sat watching the sunset I decided I was ready.  So as casually as possible I said, “This is perfect.  But you know what would make it even better?  If there was a slalom ski course, right out there on the lake.”  I looked over at him nervously and my heart pounded with anticipation.

He looked over at me and without skipping a beat replied, “Ya!  That’d be awesome.  And a super nice ski boat too!  Heather you’re the coolest girl ever to think of skiing right now”.

He’d forgotten!  In a matter of three weeks he’d completely forgotten all about our code word.  After seeing the shocked look on my face he asked what was wrong and I reminded him about our code word.  He looked equally shocked and apologized but it was too late.  The sun had set and the moment was gone.  Later than night he took me to a bridge and helped me climb up the supports, ending up 30 feet over the lake.   And with the moon reflecting off the water, I had my first kiss.

It’s not hard to see how I fell so hard for him.  He was romantic and loved to surprise me with tickets to musicals – even though he hated them, fires in the forest in the middle of winter or cuddling in a hammock on our own private island.  The first time he said “I love you” I was sure he was the man I was going to marry.

But a year and a half later our relationship came to a screeching halt.  He decided to move to the mountains to pursue his passion for skiing and I went to visit him for a week.  I drove 16 hours to see him and when I arrived it snowed 100 cm.  Now that wouldn’t mean much to the average guy, but to him it was like a dream come true.  And instead of skiing with me, he ditched me for the fresh powder and said he’d see me when the chair lift closed.

When I arrived home a week later, he called and told me it was over.

My heart was crushed. I loved him and thought he loved me too.  But when I asked why he didn’t love me anymore, he said he’d only ever meant it “as a friend”.

The weeks and months following that phone call were some of the most difficult in my life.  I felt like my life had no purpose anymore and as though God had abandoned me. I was hopeless, depressed and unable to let go of all we had shared.  But I did survive it and you can too.  Here are three things that helped heal my broken heart.

Feel the Pain: It’s like pulling off a Band-Aid – the quicker the better.  It hurts a lot right away, but is less painful in the long run.  Those first few weeks after the break up I cried almost every hour.  I allowed myself to really feel the pain of having my heart broken by the one I loved.  And because I did I was able to get over it faster.  Don’t bottle all your emotions up.  Let them out so you can move forward and not live in the hurt forever.

Bring it to God: When we go through heartbreak it feels like no one understands the depth of our pain.  But God does.  And he wants to be the one to help you through it.  Isaiah 61:1 says “He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives.” God wants to put the broken pieces of your heart back together.  Bring your pain to him.  Tell him how you feel and allow him to give you his peace that passes all understanding.  If anyone knows heart break, it’s God.  Think of how he feels every time one of his children sins against him.

Be set Free: The thing that caused me to stay in that relationship and to feel so hopeless when it was over was my insecurity.  I was afraid to be alone.  I didn’t think anyone else would ever love me if he couldn’t.  That insecurity held me captive, like a prisoner in a jail cell.  When I was really able to let go of my heartbreak was when God set me free from my insecurity.  Ask God to show you why you’re hurting and allow him to set you free from it.  Whether it’s fear of being alone, or guilt from choices you made, God wants to release you from it.  “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” Galatians 5:1

I hope that you never have to go through heartbreak like I did.  It took me many years to really heal from it and even now I think about the past and the mistakes I made.  But God is so faithful and He wants to help you heal.  Allow yourself to feel the pain, bring it to God and be set free from it.  If you do, not only will he heal you but he’ll use everything Satan meant for evil, for your good!  That is the goodness and grace of God.

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