8 Jan 2014 by Alice D. –
The New Year has approached with some of us looking towards new beginnings, while some came to an end of their relationships.
Breaking up is never easy, no matter how you put it. Leaving a relationship whether voluntarily or involuntarily is painful. And unfortunately, no one can skip this process of grieving in losing a once special-someone.
If you are one of those who are mourning over the loss of a lover cum good friend, do not despair because we have hope in Christ. Here are 20 things we can do after a break up:
1. Allow time to mourn
While we would like to step around the emotional mine field of losing someone and not wanting to be reminded of the memory lane, let us accept that the mourning period is inevitable and painful. In other words, do not feel bad for feeling bad. Give yourself time to mourn over a loss.
Each heart knows its own bitterness, and no one else can share its joy. (Proverbs 14:10)
2. Choose to surround yourself with supportive friends and family
Although you may be tempted to cocoon yourself in your room, try to get out of your mind by surrounding yourself with supportive family and friends. Our mind can be a dangerous place when we keep rewinding the past. But the Bible says that a company of friends provide strength during trials (Ecclesiastes 4:12), and gracious words like honeycomb is sweet to the soul and bring healing to the bones (Prov 16:24). You do not need to go through this alone but call up your close family or friends to spend time together.
Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken. (Ecclesiastes 4:12)
3. Cry out to God
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit (Psalm 34:18). He cares about you, even keeping every tear you shed in a bottle (Psalm 56:8). Hence, do not be afraid and cry out to Him (Psalm 147:3). Has He not promised us that He will never leave nor forsake his children (Deut 31:8)? This is the time to draw close to God for his comfort and strength!
The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged." (Deutronomy 31:8)
4. Accept that your ex-boyfriend's or ex-girlfriend's reaction is beyond your control
Some of us went through mutually consenting break-ups while some of us went through a more stressful non-mutual consenting break-up. However it is, accept that our ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfriend reaction is beyond our control. Only God can control the outcome of the situation after we have done our best. Ultimately, He is the one who has the power to take care of our ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfriend. Pray for him or her unceasingly, and be still and know that He is God (Psalm 46:10a).
5. Write down tangible goals in life
Writing down tangible goals in life also helps you to look forward to the future, besides looking back into the past. Isn’t It encouraging to know that the Lord has prepared things for those who love Him—what no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived?(1 Cor 2:9) Take heart because the Lord has a good plan for your life!
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future (Jer 29:11).
Learn from your past experiences of being with your ex-girlfriend or ex-boyfriend. Do not think that the time you spent with the person is a waste but it is a way for you to learn about the strengths and weaknesses of yourself, what you want in a future partner, and also discovering the importance of anchoring ourselves on God.
The wisdom of the prudent is to give thought to their ways, but the folly of fools is deception. (Proverbs 14:8)
Know also that wisdom is sweet to your soul; if you find it, there is a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off. (Proverbs 24:14)
7. Have faith that everything will work out fine in the end
The Lord says that in all things, He works for the good of those who love Him and called according to His Purpose (Romans 8:28). Hence, have faith that everything would turn out well in the end for you and for your ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfriend.
8. Pray for the person you broke up with
We may leave the relationship with negative feelings—regret, guilt, remorse, anger, and sadness. Whatever negative feelings you have, pray for the person’s well-being to God. Although the person may not be your girlfriend or boyfriend anymore, transform and renew your negative heart towards a pure and sincere heart by lifting the person up in prayer to God.
…bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you… Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. (Luke 6:28,36)
9. Take time off for yourself
Give yourself alone time to figure out things and contemplate on the relationship. If you find yourself anxious after the breakup, pray to God and the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, which will guard your heart and your mind through Christ Jesus (Phil 4:6). Sometimes, a getaway helps you to find peace, away from the noise in this world.
10. Respect your ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfriend
Do not bad-mouth about your ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfriend but protect their privacy and the reasons of breaking up from people. To share intimate lives with another person is an honor for both. You can share with a selected few close trustworthy friends or mentors about the past, but keep your ex's personal information from the rest. It’s a privilege to be a doorkeeper for your ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfriend even after the break-up.
A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy person keeps a secret. (Prov 11:13)
11. Forgive your ex-girlfriend or ex-boyfriend
Start this New Year afresh without resentment and unforgiveness of your ex-girlfriend or ex-boyfriend. Forgiving is not forgoing the hurts they caused as trivial, but letting go the right to be angry and payback to the Lord. Releasing them also meant releasing yourself to move forward. Let God start the healing process of our wounded heart so that we do not need to carry our emotional baggage forward to our future relationship.
12. See this as an opportunity to grow
Being single again meant that you would have extra time to do other things that interest you. Find a new hobby to be involved in. Treat this as a time to discover your identity and worth in the Lord Jesus Christ. Spend more time with your family and friends.
13. Draw from God’s Word
The Bible contains a wealth of Words that provide you strength, comfort, peace, and hope. God’s Word is truly powerful! Draw from his Word, and you will be satisfied. Taste and see that the Lord is good (Psalm 34:8)!
Blessed is the one… whose delight is in the law of the LORD, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither—whatever they do prospers (Psalm 1:1-3)
14. Expect good things to happen
Start off this New Year expecting that good things will happen. Do not be afraid to hope in God. Where our love relationship may fail, God’s love never fails (1 Cor 13:8). His promises are always true. Is He not your Father who desires to give good things to His Children? (Matt 7:11)
If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! (Matt 7:11)
15. Do not be afraid to love again
The Lord did not give you a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline (2 Tim 1:7). Being in a relationship is risky. But is God not risky in loving us first unconditionally by sending His Son to die for us, even knowing some of us would reject Him? Love is undeniably a risky journey to take and there is no such thing as safe love. Be open to love again in the future with the wisdom by God (James 1:5).
If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. (James 1:5)
16. Remember the joys
During break ups, it is common that the couple is reminded over and over of the arguments and painful moments they went through. But also, try to remember the moments of joy you had together as well. In fact, contemplate on the joyful moments! Every relationship has good points to remember.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things. (Phil 4:8)
17. Balanced your emotional bank with your logics
As much as we allow ourselves to go through the pain, keep your perspective right by thinking logically as well. Evidently, life does not stop even though a relationship has ended. But life still goes on with us going to work, running errands, and paying the bills. Pray that God will help you to be self-controlled in managing your emotions through this journey of healing.
For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age. (Titus 2:11-12)
18. Think bigger and go further
In other words, think out of yourself and do things for other people. Channel your energy to serving the people around you. When we focus on what is outside of us, our challenges will appear smaller, which allow us to have a broader and wider perspective about life beyond our relationship.
May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word. ( 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17)
19. Find closure
Finding closure is extremely therapeutic. Nevertheless, not every one of us can find closure. If that happens, try penning down everything you wanted to say on paper—the gratitude, apologies, hope, and best wishes—for your ex-girlfriend or ex-boyfriend. Although you may not hand in the letter to him or her (upon discernment), pouring out our emotions on paper may serve as a good outlet in channeling our emotions, and also hopefully end the mental rewinds of what should have been said or done.
Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. (Ephesians 4:31-32 )
20. Allow yourself to be happy again
And how simple is this final choice. Allow yourself to be happy after a period of mourning. Being happy is a learned behavior, from consciously choosing to be thankful of your life and rejoicing in the Lord for the gift of salvation. The joy in the Lord is your strength (Nehemiah 8:10)! Although sometimes it seems impossible to lift up the depression, remember that God is only a prayer away. Surely, He is our greatest comforter (2 Thes 2:16-17), which enable us to rejoice in Him again.
The ending of a season marks the beginning of a new season. Instead of looking to the past of what could have been, let us look to the future of what we could be in our Lord Jesus Christ.
May year 2014 be a time of refreshment and renewal for your soul!
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