Heartbreak?

Today I happen to be sitting here for a few solitary moments enjoying some peace and quiet after a busy, yet productive day. I had no intention to write anything today, yet the more that I sit here the more that I feel like I need to write. 

This all came about because somehow I began scrolling through some of my old posts from when I first began this blog in June of 2013, and I came across a post that I wrote about heartbreak as a part of the 365 Days of Thanks Project that I was doing.

That post dealt more so with heartbreak of the amorous persuasion, but then it dawned on me that I am currently experiencing heartbreak as it concerns the loss of a friend. 

You see, someone whom I had come to care about greatly, had developed a pretty close relationship with, and spent a lot of time with over the last 8 months just disappeared from my life, out of the blue. No warning. No negative interactions. No indicators of any kind that any type of disappearance was on the horizon. Just there one day and gone the next.

Now, at first I wondered if I had done something wrong and just hadn’t realized it. Nope, there wasn’t anything that I could think of at all. Then I wondered if maybe my friend was in trouble or dealing with a challenging situation. I’m not sure about that, though, because of the lack of contact. Then it dawned on me that this friend of mine was probably someone who was only meant to be in my life for a season. 

You see, I had been praying for this person, even before the disappearance occurred, and then also after the disappearance took place, asking that God’s will be accomplished, that He would bless her and her family, and that He would help me to accept whatever His will was. And when it dawned on me that this friend of mine was probably one of those seasonal gems that surface in life but for a little while, it was pretty clear to me that God was answering my prayers and providing me with the insight that I needed.

Did my heart still break? Yes, because that person is my friend and one of the very few people whom I have truly opened up to and shared private aspects of myself with in quite a while. Yet, my heart did not remain stagnant at that moment of unexpected breaking. My heart, dear ones, is very much on the mend. How so, you might be asking? Because I gave it all to God, the whole friendship and everything associated with it, before the heartbreak even occurred.

Did I handle everything perfectly? Of course not. But the evidence of growth is there. I put it all in God’s hands, and because I did that I don’t feel like I’m the one tasked with fixing the situation and me. That is for God to do. And in the process of His mending me and my heart, He is preparing me for the future – the love and friendship that is to come, ensuring that I grow through this situation, rather than be broken by it. Ensuring that when love and friendship arrive in the future, I won’t shy away from them or mistreat them because of past hurts. Instead I will embrace them and cherish them as the priceless gifts that they are. Be encouraged 🙂 #lovebythedrop

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Today’s Gem of Gratitude #24

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Today I am thankful for friends. When I was younger, like most people, I used to call just about anyone with whom I spent time, enjoyed their company, and shared common interests “friends”. My circle of loved ones was substantially large, and as you can imagine being emotionally connected to so many people at times posed a challenge, though I am not complaining. As I have gotten older, however, I have come to realize that most of the people whom I encounter in life are not going to be “friends,” but rather “associates,” or one of many other labels. And that is okay with me.

One of my dictionaries (yes, I have more than one, but that is pretty typical for a writer) defines the word “friend” as “a person whom one knows and with whom one has a bond of mutual affection, typically exclusive of sexual or family relations.” That definition seems to be fairly accurate, but it does not quite capture the essence of what it means to truly be a friend in my opinion. I have found that being a friend constitutes more than that. Being a friend means that you are supportive of others whether or not it is convenient for you. Being a friend means that you encourage others when encouragement is needed, without being asked to do so, and even when you yourself may not feel all that encouraged. Being a friend means that you concern yourself with what is truly best for others, not what you think is best for them based on what you want or what you think would be best for you.

What functions as the litmus test for determining whether or not someone is a friend? Generally, the trials of life will reveal to you who your friends are. When you experience challenges such as heartbreak, loss of a loved one, or dismissal from a job, look around and take notice of who goes out of their way to check on you and find out whether or not you need anything, invites you to spend time with them in an effort to take your mind off of your circumstances, and offers their shoulder for moral support. Being a friend requires the investment of time, the extension of compassion and consideration, and the determination to be there when the other person needs it the most. The demonstration of true friendship is a rare blessing in this day and age. When friendship knocks at your door, I suggest that you open the door wide, welcome it inside, and make it feel so at home that it will never want to leave.

Now that I have given you a little insight into what being a friend means to me, I would love for you to share with me your views on what the word “friend” means to you, as well as what role friendship plays in your life. #lovebythedrop

Today’s Gem of Gratitude #16

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Today I am thankful for heartbreak. Now, you are probably asking yourself if I really just said that I am thankful for heartbreak. You are right. That is exactly what I said. I must clarify, though, that the actual heartbreak itself is not what I am thankful for – the hurt, the pain, the emotional upheaval – what I am thankful for is the character building that takes place through the process of dealing with heartbreak.

Like most of us, I have experienced heartbreak on multiple occasions and each time the circumstances and the process of navigating the heartbreak were different. During my first experience with heartbreak I spent a lot of time doing what most people do during situations like that – asking why the situation was happening to me, and wallowing in emotions of sadness, disappointment and depression. And when I looked back on the situation a few months down the line I realized that spending that time just allowing my emotions to overtake me did not serve to help me deal with the issues at hand, but rather caused me to solely focus on how I was feeling, which made things worse.

After experiencing that first heartbreak I did some soul searching and realized that I had been asking the wrong questions, and that focusing on my emotions made it harder for me to deal with the issues that needed to be dealt with. And the more that I gave myself over to sadness, doubt, depression and disappointment, the further away from peace and restoration I moved. Each heartbreak that I have experienced since then has taught me things about myself that I had not previously known. For example, I learned to ask questions like, “what am I supposed to learn from this,” “what is the next step that I need to take,” and “who can I help through this experience?” I have not had a lot of heartbreaks, but the few that I have had became easier to navigate because I had learned from the previous ones where to direct my focus, which was to God. That particular gem of knowledge made all the difference.

Dealing with heartbreak is something that is challenging, and it is something that most of us probably do not want to necessarily become good at. I mean face it, who wants to keep having their heart broken time and time again? However, it is important to know that experiencing heartbreak is not the end of the world, and that if you look at it as an opportunity to grow in character and learn about yourself, you may just discover some concepts that will help you to make better decisions in the future and possibly save you from having to deal with future heartbreak.

I am going to do something a little bit different today. I am going to close this post by asking my wonderful readers out there to share with me some of the things that help you deal with heartbreak. I look forward to hearing from you. #lovebythedrop