Monday, January 24, 2011

When It’s Hard to Move Forward

If you are not yet ready for day, you may hesitate moving forward many reasons. Perhaps you seem to have a hard time letting go of the past. Your mind keeps wandering back to Memory Lane when things were good and life was happier.

Or, you stress and obsess that maybe he will reconsider. Thinking about this other person preoccupies most of the space in your brain. Maybe he will come back. What if he does? What if he doesn’t? Maybe your chance for love has passed; it’s all over, and nothing will ever change. For whatever reason, hope is stirring, but is thwarted.

You feel like you’ve been emotionally sleepwalking, going through the motions of life, but you’re not fully aware or awake on the inside. Or, you may be physically present but not engaging conversationally with people or with life.

You don’t really want to wake up on the inside because you don’t want to feel the pain. It’s just easier to numb out. Your circumstances still seem dark so maybe you think it’s only natural to want to “sleep” on the inside.

The problem is when you’ve been hurt and your hopes have been dashed, it can be hard to move forward and have hope—not only in a new relationship but in life. Especially if you’ve had many breakups, you get tired of the repeated discouragement. It hurts. It’s hard. And you never want to go through it again. So you put hope to sleep in your life because you don’t want to be disappointed again. You are stuck in your story.

And it’s time to get up.

Of course, adjusting to the light can be difficult at first. Often when I open my blinds in the morning and brightness fills the room, I have to squint at first. It takes time for your eyes to adjust, just as it takes time for your heart to adjust from the darkness of despair to the light of hope.

Dawn turns to day gradually, not suddenly. In the same way, heart healing from a breakup is a process. It’s a series of actions and choices. Healing takes time, and massive amounts of God’s truth being poured into you to combat the feelings and lies that say it will always hurt, it will never get better, or you will never find love again.

My friend Ken once remarked to me about the changing of the seasons, and how you don’t always notice an exact point when the transition occurred. It is gradual, and alights on you when you least expect it. But one day you notice that the lifeless, cement-gray world you’ve known for months has been transformed into to blue skies and blossoms. When did that happen? You see the effects of it, but you may not be aware of the exact moment it changed.

While there may not be a specific “mending point” in your heart healing, it may be a series of moments or progression of turning points. Moments like hearing the comforting words of a friend, or reading an insightful quote from a book, or learning a lesson from nature, or the unexpected warmth of God’s presence wrapped around you and you awaken to the realization that one day everything will be okay.

And you are well on your way to day—-and hope.

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