Sunday, May 2, 2010
When Love Ends: Book Excerpt
Excerpt from When Love Ends
by Jackie M. Johnson
Breakups are hard. Whether you’re trying to get over someone who left or you’re the one leaving, breakups are messy, complicated and often devastatingly difficult. That’s because we’re designed for attachment and connection, not separation and disconnection. Yet, for many singles, our dating lives are a series of hello’s and goodbye’s—attaching and detaching—from our teenage years until we stand at the altar (or don’t). We date and breakup, date and breakup in a crazy-making cycle. Often, people who marry and divorce find themselves back in the same pattern, too.
Whether you dated briefly or for a long time, the loss of love can be shattering. Your mind swirls with questions: What did I do wrong? Why did he leave? Aren’t I worth being loved well? What if I never find anyone like him again? What if I never find anyone again?
One day you’re sad, the next day you’re angry, and suddenly you’re just numb; you don’t feel anything because it just hurts too much to feel. Maybe you feel rejected, betrayed, or broken-hearted. If you’re the one who left him, you may be suffering guilt and shame. Either way, you just want the pain to stop. You want healing and you want answers.
Is it possible to get through this fragmenting process without falling to pieces?
Yes. Thankfully, yes.
Every story has a beginning and an end. This book begins with an ending, the “heart sunset” of your fading relationship, and it ends with a fresh start in the land of new beginnings.
When Love Ends is an integral part of your healing journey. In this four-part book, you’ll follow the cycle of a day, from darkness to light, as an analogy that parallels the healing process.
Twilight is a time of endings. The sun and the relationship are both disappearing, and you learn that, sadly, loss and brokenness are a part of life. Yet how you deal with endings, how you handle the emotional fallout of your breakup, in healthy or unhealthy ways, will determine the quality of your future love relationships—and your life.
Night is about healing emotional pain. You've lost love, friendship, physical touch, and the hope of being with this person forever. You seem to have misplaced your worth and value, and your self esteem is in hiding. Repairing heartache comes as you learn to process your emotions and discover some essential keys to healing the hurt. With the “night lights” God provides during life's dark times, like His comfort, wisdom and unconditional love, you are well on your way toward the daylight of joy, freedom and peace.
As the first fingers of morning inch across the horizon, the light of Dawn awakens hope. You begin to understand more about God’s character and how He redeems losses and restores brokenness. Illumination brings restoration, and as you discover your true identity as a dearly loved child of God, you gain greater confidence and learn to make wiser choices in love.
Finally Day breaks and you find that letting go of the past is truly possible. It’s time to move forward into your future. As the sun’s rays shine into the dark corners of your life, you reawaken to important things you’ve forgotten or put aside, like: gratitude, serving others, building friendships and community, and maybe even living your dreams. With renewed vision, you are no longer hiding in the shadows of yesterday. Radiance has returned, and with the light of Christ in you, you are ready to be a light to the world.
If you’ve just broken up from a dating relationship, or are still in the process, When Love Ends is an excellent resource. It provides encouragement and hope along with biblical insight and practical help to get you out of the darkness and back into the light of a brighter future.
One of the most important things you will encounter on your expedition from breaking up to beginning again is learning to grieve—to process emotions, not avoid them, stuff them, or handle them in unhealthy and or destructive ways. Doing so is essential to moving forward.
In fact, Bernard McGrane, PhD., professor of sociology at Chapman University, says that, “unresolved grief is the major underlying issue in most people’s lives.” It’s what’s blocking our emotions from being heart healthy in the area of relationships. When you deal with emotional wounds and let God heal them, you can be better equipped to find the healthy and lasting love you truly desire.
However, instead of dealing with the emotional rubble from a broken heart, a lot of us turn to our favorite comfort foods—like ice cream, potato chips, chocolate, creamy mashed potatoes, or fresh, hot bread lathered in butter—to try and fill the emptiness and soothe the sorrow. Others loose their appetite completely.
Could it be that your comfort choice has gone down a darker path, like drinking away your pain, taking drugs or having sex with someone you’re not married to—another Mr. Wrong just to try to feel good about yourself for just a little while?
Others, like my friend Alice, turn to books for comfort. She loves to snuggle up with a cozy blanket and a cup of hot tea to read a good book that meets her right where she’s at—and that’s what I hope this book will be for you. Comfort, yes, but so much more. When Love Ends is a heart healing journey that will lead you from the darkness of your breakup pain and into the light of brighter and better days ahead.
In the long run, comfort food in moderation isn’t going to hurt you, but it’s not going to heal your broken heart. It may seem to satisfy you for a time, but the void remains—the heart holes of loss, loneliness, rejection or regret. What are you going to do to get past the pain when the pint or plate of food is empty?
Heal your heart, change your life
It’s time to put down the ice cream carton and pick up your Bible—and this book—to get through the sadness, past the pain and back into joy, life and love again. When Love Ends is not just about healing your heart it’s about changing your life.
Do you need comfort and support to cope with your disappointment? Do you want to get unstuck and move forward with your life? If so, read on.
God heals brokenness; He redeems loss and pain and heals the heart to love again. He is all about restoration and transformation—from sadness to joy, from rejection to acceptance, and from brokenness to wholeness. The One who loves you most can help you reconnect again—to God, yourself, and others—and in the process to discover what real, healthy love looks like so you can make wiser choices next time.
Each chapter in When Love Ends includes a short healing prayer and discussion questions for use with a small group or Bible Study, or for your own personal use. Day by day, step by step, and choice by choice healing comes. The good news is that despite your soul injuries, you can live a full and joyful life. It may feel like “The End,” but your new beginning will come.
Nightfall is approaching. But you don’t have to be afraid of the dark, for you are not alone. Not ever. Even in the diffused light of dusk, when you can hardly see the way, God’s lantern of truth and His presence remain constant. He will be with you through the night and lead you to hope, healing and brighter days ahead.
You just have to follow the Light.
Jackie M. Johnson is an author and freelance writer in Colorado. Her hope-filled and encouraging books include "Power Prayers for Women," "When Love Ends and the Ice Cream Carton Is Empty" and "Powerful Prayers for Challenging Times." Jackie also writes the Living Single blog on Dr. James Dobson's Family Talk website.