About four years ago, I simultaneously experienced two of the worst heart breaks I have ever had to date and, for some reason, I am compelled to share them with you.
I allowed myself to fall for a man that I thought could be “the one”. I took this risk after a five year dating drought following an ironically similar belief with a high school sweet heart. It seemed the circumstances were divine. Technically, we met on the other side of the world. How insanely romantic, right? When we returned home after a two week study tour of the Holy Land, we went our separate ways. I remember sitting on a bed in a hotel room, half way to a family reunion in Kentucky, my mom at my side, crying. My girlish crush blooming like a flower. I knew I had to let him go and if God allowed him to come back, then it would mean it was meant to be.
I put EVERYTHING I had on that notion.
All my faith. All my trust. My entire being rested on that black and white reality. Unknowingly, I had looked God in the face, despite just walking in the very steps of his Son made flesh, and gave him a desperately human ultimatum.
Bring him back to me or all my faith, all my trust, and my entire being, will disappear with him.
Ironically, we did connect again and, in the end of a six month relationship, I lost my faith, trust, and being anyways.
I barely remember the drive home from his house that night. After releasing me from the last hug I’d ever get from him, he reminded me through his own tears that God loved me. Oh, what a dagger that turned into though it was meant to be a soothing balm. The entire ride home, I screamed until I could taste the salt in my throat and my chest heaved for the lack of air. All the way back to my college dorm, I screamed.
I parked my Dyno Blue Honda Civic in the student lot and wept bitterly and deeply.
My heart felt as if it was moving from one side of my chest to the other. Is this how Mary felt at the foot of the cross? I sent out desperate text messages to a few select people; “He broke up with me.” That was all I could type through red, salty eyes. It was late. Would anyone respond? Orange street lights cast a puzzle of shadows over me. Even now, my chest tightens remembering the pain. Concerned responses buzzed in.
“Where are you?”
“I’m coming to find you.”
“Are you safe?”
I couldn’t answer.
In the black shadow of the first heart break, sorrow draped the second over my shoulders, pressing the betrayal down deeper. How dare he say God loved me as I crumbled in his arms! How dare you [God] choose that moment to salt my wounds with lies? You brought him back to me. You knew this would happen. How could you allow this? Why would you allow this? Why would you dissolve the ground from beneath me? You didn’t have to bring him back. I prayed for your guidance the whole way and this is where you led me?
I spent the following weeks receiving meals like a new widow. I survived off of mac and cheese, ice cream, and chamomile tea. I burned through at least six lavender candles. I started to run. I hate running. My roommate took anything and everything that symbolized him and hid it in her room. I cut myself off from everything but my pain, betrayal, and heartbreak. If I needed energy, motivation, or comfort, I sought it there.
I shut the heavy stone door of my heart. Sealed it. No one would enter again. Especially not the Lord. How could I trust anyone again? How could I trust the Lord?
Worst of all, how could I trust myself?