Heartbreak is one of the worst feelings in the world. It doesn’t matter what caused it. It feels the same to each of us.  It is like a sickness or ailment for which there seems to be no cure. It is an ache in the deepest part of your soul that feels like it won’t go away. It is in these moments that our character is forged… for better or worse. It is how we respond to Heartbreak that defines us.

A Russian proverb says, “The hammer that shatters glass also forges steel.” We must harness the hammer to forge character of steel.  An old adage says, “Time heals all wounds.” I believed this until I had my first deep, gut-wrenching Heartbreak. Meandering around like a zombie, lifeless inside, friends and family would ask me the casual “How are you?” and I would respond with a smiling facade “Fine. And you?” I knew it was a lie. I was far from “fine” on the inside. But what else could I say to them? Later, I remembered what a mentor and teacher said, “The mere passing of time doesn’t heal. It only leaves scars”. In other words, time is passive, healing is active.

The problem is that when you’re in the deep darkness of it all you feel as though you can barely move. It can be difficult to muster up the energy to even speak with your closest friends let alone “take action” or “move on”. Most importantly, it is during these difficult, dark times that we learn where our hope lies. Inevitably, that is what we are after during these seasons of our lives…hope. Another Hebrew proverb says, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a desire fulfilled is a spring of life”. The problem is that almost everything around us is temporary. One sage king and poet called it “grasping at the wind” and “meaningless”. During this dark season of my life, I had many friends around to counsel me and encourage me but ultimately, what I found was hope. Hope that existed outside of myself and my flawed human relationships.

Heartbreak only reveals where our hope is placed. If the foundation is solid, we may still hurt but our hope will not waver. If the foundation is not, we will be shaken.  Another wise saying goes, “There is a time for everything… a time to weep and a time to laugh,” meaning, it is natural to grieve.  However, in order to move forward, we must make sure our hope is in something unshakeable and unchangeable. For me, it was my Creator. He knows me and knows how to mend my heart (because He created it) and I knew He couldn’t…wouldn’t leave me. My hope was that one day, I would see my Him face-to-face. I looked at all the things He had done for me and saw how all of our suffering hurts Him as well. I meditated on His desire and plan to restore all things and I thought in my heart, “He knows what I’m going through and He will never change, leave me, nor forsake me”. He was the one constant, unchanging Person in my life in whom I could rest my hope.  When things look bleak, I look up at the One who sees all, knows all, and loves all and I breathe a simple sigh of relief with, “He knows…He knows because He knows me.” Do you know Him? Does He know you? Have you made yourself known to Him? Another song-writer and singer wrote, “He binds up the broken-hearted and heals their wounds.” I pray that you may find healing from your wounds in the only Hands that I’ve found adept enough to heal mine.