Saturday, March 5, 2011

After a Breakup: Finding Connection and Community Again

After a breakup singles often feel lonely or disconnected from other people. Isolation can lead to a lack of motivation, and a lot less joy. Instead of trying to be tough and self-sufficient, it’s important to realize that it’s okay to rely on others, especially people who are affirming, accepting, and trustworthy.

We were created for connection. Yet oftentimes we don’t have the energy for it if we are too focused on our own problems, or we haven’t taken the time to develop quality friendships.

Sadly, TV shows can become a quick fix for company since these people show up in your living room at least once a week. But TV is only a one-way connection.

Our pastor once said that if God can separate you from authentic community then you are easy prey for the enemy because you are isolated and alone. Whether it’s with your family, friends, church, book club, Bible study, sports team, community theatre group, scrapbooking club, or other types of community, we all need real, live human contact.

Of course, solitude can be healing and we all need some time to ourselves, but we need to find a balance between being alone and being with other people—-not just with online friends, but face-to-face personal interaction.

Indeed, restoration often comes within relationships. Being in healthy and supportive relationship other than dating connections can be very healing. As people treat you with kindness and treat you well they reinforce the truths you’ve learned that you are worthy and have infinite value.

We get stronger and sharper as we connect with others, and follow Proverbs 27:17 “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.”

Plus, you may be able to help someone else in their time of need after their breakup because you can relate and empathize. You can offer them hope and comfort, and help bring healing to others from your own wounding and heart healing path.

When Erica went through a painful divorce she was fortunate to have church members who provided practical help as well as a lot of support and encouragement.

People were constantly giving her invitations to their home for meals and fellowship. It helped her to feel less sad and alone, and very loved by her church community as they modeled Christ to her.

Some of the men in the church volunteered to work on her home (which was in disrepair) and mow her lawn. One of the deacons was a CPA and he helped her with financial planning after the divorce. In addition, she received lots of prayer and letters of encouragement. Erica was extremely grateful as her church loved her in a way she’d never felt loved before.

In fact, what the church did for Erica was a testimony to the community. As she went through the grieving process and was supported in such tangible and kind ways, those outside the church looked on in wonder and amazement.

It kind of makes me want to cry tears of joy for the help and support she received.

Bottom line: Don’t try to do this life on your own. Connect, and you will find much more joy and satisfaction in life!

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