Important Lessons Learned About Heartbreak and Healing

Sometimes in life, we end up in seasons where we need healing.

I’m in one right now. I didn’t want to be and didn’t see it coming. But isn’t that how most seasons of healing work for us?

We get blindsided by something: a heartbreak, an illness, the death of a loved one, the loss of a job, increased anxiety. For me, it’s not one singular heartbreak but the combination of many. Relationships ending, jobs shifting, uncertainty over my future, and disappointment in the ways my life looks differently than I thought it would.

I grieve, hurt, and call out to Jesus for healing. He is Jehovah-Rapha, our healer.

Throughout the gospels, we see Jesus healing people from town to town. If there’s one thing we know for sure, it’s that “healer” is who God is. It’s so much a part of His character that we see Jesus moved with compassion before He heals people, and while some of His healings are specifically recorded, some of my favorite verses about healing are the ones that say He healed “all” their sick. All.

I believe that Jesus comes to me and you with that same mindset. The mindset that compels Him with deep compassion to bring Himself close to us, putting His gentle hand on us and healing us. He doesn’t just offer this healing to some but to all. To me and you. I’ve spent a lot of time reflecting on healing, and there is a lot about it I still don’t understand.

Something that I have noticed recently, though, is that healing is a process. As I go through my own process, I honestly wish it would speed up.

There was even a moment while reading the gospels that I was jealous that, for some, the moment people met Jesus, they were healed. I want some instant healing like that. But I felt God show me this very clearly- none of them were healed instantly. The woman who touched Jesus’ cloak to be healed from bleeding had been bleeding for 12 years before she was healed. Others had been blind their whole lives before Jesus opened their eyes.

So then, when Jesus says, “Your faith has healed you,” I have to believe He wasn’t just referring to the faith they displayed the moment they touched His cloak or asked for their sight. He was instead referring to the belief that endured despite circumstances. The belief that stood firm through the waiting.

The faith that believed that Jesus could, and that just because it hasn’t happened yet, doesn’t mean it wouldn’t.  

As much as I hate to admit it, the healing process is crucial. The endurance we display and the faith we hold onto when nothing looks the way we think it should is what strengthens us. If God instantly healed me from my broken heart (which He could absolutely do), I would miss the intimacy with Him amid my pain.

I would miss the lessons He has for me about who I am, who He is, and who He wants to be for me now. I’d miss the refining.

I’d miss His comfort. I’d miss all the joy on the other side of this (because, let’s be honest, joy feels much more joyful when you know what it’s like to feel void of it!)

In leaning into my healing process, I’m instead watching Him reveal new aspects of His character that may not have been possible otherwise. Weirdly, I also think I’d miss out on the gift of grief. Grief doesn’t feel like a typical gift, but I think it is one, and here’s why: I once heard that “grief affirms value,” and I have held that truth like a golden nugget ever since.

Grief allows me to feel that what I lost mattered. It’s healthy for me to feel that and to recognize that there is a void there. In recognition of the void, I can submit it to Him and allow him to fill it. Who I’m becoming in the healing process positions me and strengthens me for what’s next. We may feel weak, but it is in our weakness that God strengthens us.

Since everything is being used for our good, I can confidently say that there is no trial we will ever face, no heartbreak or loss or grief that we won’t emerge stronger on the other side.

So, I’m taking note of this season of healing. I’m acknowledging the ways I’m noticing Him differently than before. I’m seeing ways I’m growing…letting go of some things and embracing others. I’m noticing what I’m holding onto and what’s got a hold on me. I’m seeing how I’ve unhealthily sought other things to fill the void when the only One who can fill the gap is Jesus.

I’ve watched as habits change and perspectives shift. Joy surprises me. Grief surprises me, too. And I let myself feel it. All of it. The wind on my face, the birds singing in the trees, the tears coming and going. I pause, and I thank God for all of it.

It doesn’t all FEEL good, but it’s all FOR my good.

Every single thing is a step forward. No matter how big or small, each step is brave. I will count each one as a win because I am learning to heal and be whole.

Heartbreak is inevitable, healing is a promise, and the strength we build in the process is a beautiful gift of grace. 

Megan Carlton is a lifelong learner and knowledge seeker. With a deep love for God and a nurturing spirit, she brings her own experiences struggling with identity to life through her writing in a way that offers hope and a workable process for others. Megan is a night owl turned morning person through a call to 4:30am quiet time and has used that time with God to personally work through and subsequently document her identity journey. She currently resides in the Greater Cincinnati area, where she has made it her personal goal to find the best tacos in the city.

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