You don’t need to be around this world for long before encountering your first heartache. The first time a parent disappoints you, or a childhood crush breaks your heart. That first pain can go deep and over the years new hurts pile on. We find coping mechanisms to deal with this pain; some good, some bad. When we become Christians we are freed from the pain of the past and have the new choice: allowing God to re-define us. We can choose to hand pain and disappointments to him or we can chose to defer back to our old coping mechanisms.
There are times in my life where I try to anticipate my next heartbreak. In these moments I am not secure in who I am in God. Sometimes these events can be global, people suffering in the world, injustice etc. Other times they can be more personal, a friend or family member that can wound or reject me. In anticipation of potential pain I can withdraw or disconnect emotionally. I want to protect my self from being hurt or disappointed. This can manifest itself in small daily moments; moments when I feel somehow wronged or threatened. I send a sharp email at work because I don’t feel heard or feel taken advantage of. I withdraw from a friendship because I don’t know where I stand with the other person, as though I’ve given more than they are giving. These are small moments, or small withdrawals where I hesitate to give more. These moments put my faith in God’s protection to the test, faith that I will be o.k. no matter what the result of circumstances.
2Chron 15 “The Lord is with you when you are with him […] be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded […] They sought God eagerly and he was fond by them. So the Lord gave them rest on every side.”
Circumstances will not always turn out the way I want them too. That person who took credit for work they did not do will get a promotion over me. That friend I confided in in my time of weakness, will withdraw in her hour of need. That guy I thought could like me will start dating someone else. In my mind I can often start in the place of worst-case scenario, a place of coming before God expecting the worst. In these moments I brace myself for heartbreak. God in turn wraps his arms around my heart and restores it, in Him. It’s ok to wrestle through my frustration and fears. He wants me to bring these to him. There are days when I will fail at work, to be a friend, to be a “good” Christian. In those moments I am called to a faith that he will transform me. He reminds me that I’m not broken. God made me and I am his masterpiece.
Ps37:7 Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; do not fret when men succeed in their ways […] 19 in times of disaster they (the righteous) will not wither; in days of famine they will enjoy plenty.
When I embrace who I am in God, I pacify my insecurity in the face of my weaknesses. These weaknesses are but reminders of my need for Jesus but they don’t need to feed my insecurity or steal my hope.
Is 58:11 (NLB) “The Lord will always lead you. He will meet the needs of your soul in dry times and give you strength to your body. You will be like a garden that has enough water, like a well of water that never dries up.”
There is no such thing as bracing myself for heartache. There is one however that can heal it every time. God does not withhold any good thing from us. Things will happen that I don’t like. Yet God is bigger than the circumstances, instead of disengaging my emotions I can engage my heart in Him. When I do, the end doesn’t matter so much anymore, He is with me regardless. He will be there when I rejoice and when I mourn. He will hold my heart together. The only threat to my heart is the one I allow in by voluntarily taking it out of God’s hands and putting it back in my own. It is always safe with him because even though I can mishandle my heart he never does.
2Tim 1:7 “God gave us a sprit not of fear but of power, love and self control.”
Ps122:6-7 “May those who love you be secure. May there be peace within your walls and security within your citadels.”