God in the Heartbreak
BY: KENDRA CAGLE
I’ve been out of dating world for over seven years now and sisters, I freely admit I do not miss it. Dating can be a battlefield of reluctant patience and guys who chew way too loudly. Looking for the man God has willed for you and experiencing heartbreak are nerve-racking, sometimes disappointing, and even unbearable experiences. Still yet, it is equally a time of immense growth, learning to love and know yourself, and drawing closer to your greatest love — God.
I have a range of lackluster to downright devastating relationship experiences to draw from. I’m going to focus on two of those not-so-darling guys today and the demise of our relationships. Let’s call them Carl and Will because I’ve never dated anyone by those names. Well these two ended up having a lot in common. Though I dated them two years apart, it turns out I had a type. They didn’t resemble each other in any physical way, but the way they treated me and our relationship was very similar.
Carl was confident of his calling and very self-assured. He chose to ignore my opinions because he had gained so much knowledge in the two years he was on this earth before me. He pointed out things he liked in others in an effort to encourage me to follow suit. I was never enough for him, and I was never going to be. In the end, he broke up with me for Jesus. Well, he blamed his faith and the effects of our relationship, but I always felt God was not going to take the fall for that.
Now, Will came into my life two and a half years later. He was also wizened by our tiny age difference. He dominated my time, pushed me past boundaries I had maintained for years of dating, and he made me feel like he always knew what was best. I lost myself in him, and I convinced myself this small world he had brought me into was what I wanted. In a blatant move of God’s grace and love, Will broke up with me. I had given more to him than I had to anyone else— and I was shattered. Both of these relationships left me feeling like a shell of myself. But, looking back, I can see God in the heartbreak.
So, what did being dumped and ugly crying all over the place for weeks at a time teach me? Well, I learned I can’t make things happen. Well, I can, but I really shouldn’t. I knew Carl didn’t appreciate me. I knew he wasn’t treating me well but I didn’t want to let go of what I had. God was telling me I needed to run away at every turn, but I covered my ears. It was the same for Will. It never felt completely right, but I was stubborn. Dedication and fighting for good is one thing, but it was easy to see I was in a bad situation.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6
I was practically laying over sideways into my own understanding. This scripture is used a lot but I think we can forget it applies to your love life too. If you’re having to patch things up, ignore the bad, or make excuses for your relationship, that’s not the person God has for you.
“Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And not one of them is forgotten before God. Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows.” Luke 12:6-7
Also, God adores you and thinks you are precious. If you are with someone who doesn’t see what God sees in you, let them go. God will never send someone your way that’s going to tear you down. These guys both claimed to be followers of Christ, but their decisions and behaviors were not consistent with that lifestyle.
Lastly, make the decision to see the beginning in an end. Breaking free from Will, though sad at the time, brought me straight back to a friend — that friend became my husband. If I had not experienced heartbreak, I wouldn’t have realized how amazing my husband was. Sometimes, break-ups are doorways to freedom. Sometimes, the changes and the growth that happen at the end of a relationship are the exact things that prepare you for a greater future.
Almost all of us have had failed relationships. I hate to call them failures because I hope we all learn from them. When a relationship isn’t meant to be, I hope we see God’s hand in it. I hope we all see the love and the grace of God as He walks us out of bad or just ill-suited situations and into a place of His will and His direction.
Kendra is a loving wife, tired mom, and lifelong preacher's kid. She currently resides with her family, 2 cats, and 1 dog in a little blue house in Oklahoma.