For the Broken Hearted
I was scanning through radio stations today on my way home from the grocery store and happened upon a song (alternative rock) that I used to love that essentially addressed heartbreak and it got me to thinking how heartbreak changes over the years. You see, when this particular song came out, my heart was broken over the loss of a dear friend at the young age of 19. I thought I would never recover from the pain of that loss. It was a very dark time and another friend and I leaned on each other for years after. I was 18 then.
When I was 15 I also suffered heartbreak of a different kind; the heartbreak of a teenager with a father who didn’t want her (thank the Lord for my step-dad who I call my daddy, by the way). That also was a very dark time for me. I also felt an enormous heartbreak in 8th grade when I was in health class and we got word that the Murrah building in Okc was blown up in a domestic terrorist attack. When my granddad passed from this earth, I again felt my heartbreak. THEN, there was the countless “heartbreaks” I endured from boys over the years. I felt a bit of heartbreak when my children were born because they had literally been a part of me until that cord was cut. The day we got the call that my husband was diagnosed with cancer I felt a tremendous amount of heartbreak; earth shattering, heart stopping heartbreak to be more descriptive. More recently, I have experienced the heartbreak of losing a dear friend (though not to death this time).
So what is heartbreak? I mean, is there an actual definition? Am I just dramatic for describing each of these instances as heartbreak? Each time I have felt each of these things happen, my heart has hurt, so does that count? I mean, on several of these occasions I have literally felt as though my heart was shattered; felt actual pain in my chest and mourned, so is that heartbreak? Well, I decided to dig the deeps of the internets for definitions and here is some of what I have found:
Heartbreak—Merriam-Webster states “a very strong feeling of sadness, disappointment, etc. crushing grief, anguish, or distress” (Merriam-Webster, 2015)
The Free Dictionary.com states “overwhelming sorrow, grief, or disappointment; intense and overwhelming grief, esp through disappointment” (http://www.thefreedictionary.com/heartbreak)
And essentially, each definition I found is relatively the same with a few small word or phrase changes. In each instance, heartbreak is listed as a noun, though when it is being experienced, I found it to be an action or state of being, not a mere thing. I was in a state of heartbreak. Break is a verb, my heart was broken so put together, and I would have thought it to be a verb. Now, I can write, but obviously I missed a grammar rule somewhere because you know something else? Every synonym I found in regards to heartbreak (grief, anguish, suffering, pain, despair, misery, sorrow) are also all nouns. Every one of them is a noun. Don’t get me wrong, I KNOW heartbreak is a thing (person, place, thing), but MAN, isn’t it also an action; like it happens, ya know? At least there is action associated with it anyway (grieving, moping, crying). It was an action for me that in some cases lasted months. So heartbreak is a noun because it is an event or a thing, ok, I get it. BUT the things that you do as a result (crying, for instance) are verbs (P.S. I know that sounds like a tangent, but I’m into language since I love to write, so tearing that down was actually fun and interesting for me).
I know it sounds as though I am rambling, but I guess my point of this post is to help people to realize that heartbreak is not only real, it is justified in whatever situation you deem fit and it can be lasting. BUT, there is also light at the end of the tunnel. I heard a great analogy today in a sermon regarding light: when it is dark and one person (or group of people) seems to have the right answer, they seem to be the light, but when Christ is the Light, that false light is dimmed. In the case of heartbreak, false light can be so many things: people, drugs, alcohol, television, shopping, even religion…the list can go on.
So what is heartbreak? Well, if you ask me, it is when a friend dies, or a father gives up his daughter, or a loved one is lost, or a mass murder occurs, or anything at all happens to my children, or I lose contact with a friend, or my husband is diagnosed with cancer. I mean, each of these may mean nothing at all to you, but does that mean they hurt me any less? So, how has your heart been broken? How have you been hurt? These things count, they matter just as you matter. Do you know why these things matter, and why you matter; because one heart was broken more than any other for you. I hurt each time my children do, but I can’t even imagine the pain our Father felt when he watched his Son on that cross. He took the punishment for every sin of every believer from then til the time He comes again and that hurts. Do you have any idea how many times I alone have sinned? I don’t even know how many times I have sinned, but He took that punishment for me.
So, essentially, heartbreak of any kind stinks. I know it feels like you are in a black hole, lost and all alone, but somewhere there is light at the end of this dark journey. I can’t tell you when that light will shine through because you have to let it in. I can’t tell you where that light will take you because only God knows. I know that I am in a tough spot right now and waiting for direction. I am heartbroken at this moment and waiting for the Lord’s guidance. I know He is holding me with his righteous right hand, but I don’t know where he is leading us with that very same hand. I’m in the dark right now, and it is scary. And I am sad. And I am lonely some days. I KNOW the Lord has a plan because He tells me so, see: “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. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you” (Jeremiah 29:11-13 NIV).
See? God’s got this, but I have to pray so that I can see the direction. It’s hard, the road is long, and many tears have been shed. You see, the reasons for the heartbreak might change, but it still is heartbreak. I’m still sad over the loss of my father at 15, my friend at 18, and my heart still hurts terribly over the loss of my granddad just 7 months ago. Those things are still classified as heartbreak, but I am no longer broken over them. I have healed or am in the process of healing.
Heartbreak is so awful, but there is a light and Christ is the Light and the light is so healing.
“When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.’” (John 8:12 NIV).
OH…before I go I want to explain the photo I chose…this was after Scott’s first round of surgery at Md Anderson in Houston. I chose this because this was the most gut wrenching and heart breaking thing my family ever went through together. I PRAY this stays a memory, but the photos are a reminder of just how close to the edge we may have felt and how we are on a solid Rock now!