A Word for Those Struggling in Heartbreak
“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.” (Psalm 34:18, NLT)
Heartbroken. What a devastating word to attach to oneself. And in a day and age where we so fiercely guard our hearts and treat things like love and trust like it’s a privilege to bestow only on those closest to us, a word like heartbroken almost feels like an admission to carelessness or weakness. We act like it’s something to be ashamed of; like it’s something to hide.
There was a time not too long ago that heartbreak ripped through me like a forest fire; memories flew in and out of my mind’s eye like debris in a hurricane. I was consumed by plans and promises made and broken. I was tearing myself apart over a future I had built and envisioned for myself. It was to the point where I wanted to forget everything just to stop from feeling so tormented.
At first– I won’t lie to you– I felt too tired to pursue the Lord. I was too tired from burning myself up each day. I was too tired of remembering. I felt like I couldn’t catch my breath, much less craft some sort of prayer for myself. In my heart of hearts, I wanted to be left alone. I wanted to isolate myself and crumple in. And after I was done beating myself up, true to form, I started to realize I couldn’t possibly bear any of it on my own.
Desperate, I literally googled “verses for the brokenhearted.” I know, it’s not necessarily creative or profound, but sometimes simplicity is the most effective approach. And that’s when I read the beautiful promise found in Psalm 34:18: “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.”
Immediately, tears welled up in my eyes, because for the first time in days, I had hope. My God, in all His kindness, wanted me to know He was close to me. How could I forget that that’s who He is? He’s not some distant God that watches us in our brokenness from on high. He’s a God who comes and sits next to us in our mourning, in our heartache, in our setbacks, and waits for us to hand him our fragile hearts and crushed spirits.
Forget what I thought I knew of love before. This is what I know of love now: The love of any man– or woman– is fleeting. It will fail us every single time because it’s mortal, it’s nearsighted, and it’s subjective. Uplifting, right? Sorry, but it’s true. If I put my heart in the hands of anyone other than Jesus, it will always come back broken. And sometimes, I included, it takes more than once to learn this lesson. But the Lord is the only source of true love, so he is patient.
He’s patient through every relationship I’ll ever go through. He’s patient as I go through the exhilarating infatuations of initial love when I’m letting someone into my world and memorizing their nuances. He’s patient through the safe and seemingly-solid days of more mature love when I find things like routine and friendship and stability. And He’s patient while I build thickets and barbed wire fortresses around my heart when it’s breaking, trying to shut out the world and minimize my own pain. He sees the heartbreak and doesn’t treat it like something to hide. Instead, He reveals to us that He is close to us. He holds us and builds a new world for us. He whispers about hope and future.
So yeah, I’ve been heartbroken, but the beauty and redemption in that statement is this: because I came to Jesus with my vulnerable and battered heart, I was given the beautiful opportunity to experience the mending process of Jesus’ healing. I got to know the intimacy of Jesus’ caring and tender hand. You see, time doesn’t heal wounds; Jesus does. So if you feel heartbroken today and you’re leaning on that worldly mantra, I need you to know that time only numbs; it will not fix the root of the issue. Only Jesus can do that.
And he does it in His own way. He heals our hearts and sets our minds straight again when we pursue Him privately. We can shut ourselves into prayer, fasting, worship, and the Word, and we can sit and wait for Him to speak and make things clear. It’s wise to seek God privately for the healing of our hearts before we try to publicly share a testimony of deliverance.
But at the same time, Jesus can act through other people to help bring the healing. When I went through my own heartbreak, there was a team of friends and family that came around me to both comfort and constantly push me towards Jesus. I was surprised at the testimony of others that had lived wildly similar situations years ago… people I looked up to and never imagined in my position. And that gave me even more hope. Not only was God close to me in my season of raw heartache, but there were people I valued and cherished that were in my exact position once before, and they were able to shed the title of ‘broken’ when they chose to give it to Jesus.
So today, I’m going to steal a page from my girl Jordan Dooley’s book. She has a saying that I so love and want to share with you today. That saying is: “Your brokenness is welcome here.”
This world may mark you as damaged and look to shun you because they fear that heartbreak is catching, but that is not the heart of the Father. And since it’s not the heart of the Father, I pray that my own heart would not be quick to forget the words of Jesus in favor of society’s parameters.
Friend, you need to know that your brokenness is welcome here. Your heartbreak is precious because it puts you in the direct line of Jesus. Your heartbreak is the very thing that makes Jesus draw you so tenderly closer to Himself. Allow Him to put right what looks broken to the world.
At the same time, allow me to stand with you. If you lack Godly community that will comfort you and point you back to Jesus, allow Soul Deep to be a part of that community. Your heartbreak is not the collateral damage to an ending, friend, but it is a beautiful opportunity to answer the Lord’s gentle beckoning to come closer to Him. So come closer.