Saturday, January 12, 2013

After a Breakup: Dealing with Endings

It’s over. Your relationship has ended. Game over. You got dumped. He left or you left—either way you broke up. Now what?

When it comes to breakups, everyone around you will most likely have an opinion. Even your most well-intentioned friends who say things like: Forget about it. There are other fish in the sea. I never liked him anyway. Just get over it. But how?  

How do you heal a broken heart? How do you get rid of the awful kicked-in-the stomach feeling and become a person of resilience, courage, and joy? How do you leave…grieve…and learn to trust and love again? How do you begin again, especially when you just don’t want to?  

It helps to have some perspective… 

Endings are a part of life. In fact, much of life is about beginnings and endings, transitions and changes, losing and finding anew. You graduate from high school or college, and start a job. You leave a job or ministry, and start another one. Sometimes you move from one part of the country to another and start all over again.  

Transition isn’t always easy. For some, adjusting to transition is smooth, for others it’s rocky and staggered. Loss and gain, good and bad, life and death are all part of life, and life has its cycles. You will not stay in this ending phase of life forever; a new beginning will come. You may not know when or how, but it will. Just like the springtime comes every year, even after the hardest of winters.

How you respond to hard times makes a difference. If you pretend life is a storybook with only happy endings, it’s not reality. Hard things happen. Sometimes we lose people or things we treasure. But it does not mean we are losers. I’ve heard that Chuck Swindoll says, “It’s not always what happens to you, it’s how you respond to it that makes a difference.”  

You have choices. You can choose to ignore your pain, numb out, try to forget about it, or do nothing. Or, in the midst of your pain and darkness, you can look to the light of God’s truth for hope, healing and wholeness.  Either way, it’s your choice. How you handle endings, or don’t, will determine how you move forward.  

Keep reading, my friend, since each of the next 12 days will provide help and hope to get you from the rejection and sadness into the light of truth and joy again.

(For more about dealing with endings from a relationship breakup, check out When Love Ends by Jackie M. Johnson.)

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