I know so many women who have been through the war of broken hearts. More and more, I have the privilege of them contacting me, and I am in awe. I am learning that there is a universal ache. It comes summed up in a small batch of phrases, handed out like flowers from a withered bouquet. These words, though common, come from deep within a weary countenance.
It’s been two years. We’ve got kids. I’ve done all I could. He doesn’t even care…
The words try their best to explain, but it’s not until you look into a woman’s eyes, when you see them brimming with held back tears, that you get a sense of what she is really dealing with — a shattered spirit.
If life isn’t hard enough, there are people who should know better but are so quick to render judgement. Yes, it’s true. Some of us have hearts that may be a bit stuck in yesterday, but we’re trying. We’re up and moving; we’re focused on doing all we can to right our ships, to mend our fences, to keep our wits, and steady our progress.
“Just move on,” rolls so easily off of tongues that, although well-meaning, come like daggers jabbed at the most inopportune times.
Exactly how does one do that? It’s a serious question.
For every woman I know who is in a storm, there is a heaviness that, unless you’ve walked in her shoes, you cannot fathom. Does she want to always feel like there is a white elephant in every room she walks in? Does she like that she must contend with consequences that come in waves of financial, emotional, and relational difficulties that are a result not of her doing?
The answer is unequivocally, no.
Moving on is great. I whole-heartedly support it. It’s a badge that we all want to sew upon our vest that says we’ve achieved that status whereby things aren’t supposed to bother us anymore. We can throw our hats up to the wind and show how independent we’ve become. Or, maybe we have someone new to hold our hands and protect our interests.
It just doesn’t happen as easily as it sounds.
Most of us have only a handful of true friends, our faith, and our determined will to keep moving forward despite the arrows lobbed in our direction that suggest we are not moving fast enough.
What I know for sure, is that God knows where we are at. He somehow endows us with the stamina to keep our chins up and our mascara from not running. He promises that He is going to make all things new, even our hearts. And, when others are impatient with our progress, He doesn’t mind when our prayers recite the same plea over and over again — Heal me, Lord. Please heal me.
My point is, moving on is a process. It’s not an arbitrary date we must hit. It’s not a simple matter of taking off a ring or opening a new bank account. It’s a matter of getting through all the “firsts,” sometimes the “seconds,” and even the “thirds”… It’s learning to mow our own lawn and put oil in our car. It’s painting and purging and pushing our bed against a wall so that we wake up in a different spot than we used to with him. It’s learning how to smile through some gut wrenching moments when we would rather crawl into a ball than strike a pose and pretend that we are fine. It’s robbing Peter to pay Paul, while still making sure that our kids have everything they need.
Thankfully, God is close to the brokenhearted. He whispers to us that He will provide when we don’t know where else it is going to come from. He doesn’t mind that we get bogged down, that we stare a little too long at men who take their wives’ hands while they walk in the mall. He hears us when we plead for our hearts to stop twisting inside our chests when we hear a certain someone’s name.
And He loves us when it often feels like no one else does.
He tells us we are beautiful, that we are His, and that He chooses us. He is taking us to a new season where this will all be behind us, and we are renewed and restored because we did not give up.
I wish I could tell all of this to those who think that moving on is so easy.
God will use everything we have been through for His purpose. And one day, when someone asks, “How’d you do it?” we will point, not to the destination, but to the One who brought us to it.
He’s got you, friend. And though I do not know how long it will take, know that you will get where you need to be all in His time.
We’re on this journey together. One day, we will reach whatever it is that “moving on” is supposed to look like. And, if you get there before the rest of us, please let us how it’s done.
I’m asking for a friend.