I'm 19 years old. I have been dating a close friend of mine for the last two years. We took things very slow and we put God at the very center of our relationship. I always focused and prayed that I was following God's will and doing what He would have me to do. I tried to represent Christ in the relationship, but unfortunately it seems as though God had other plans.
Two months ago, I began to talk more and more about stronger commitment for the future for the definite goal of marriage. To make a long story short, I was turned down, and since then, she has wanted to break off the entire relationship, not just without commitment but entirely. It was my first romance as well as hers, and hearts got broken. Since then I know that she is now going out with another guy.
I realize that this was not God's timing, and if in the future when I am better settled (I am now in military college) and God would have us be together, then I will try to get to know her again. But I guess my world has crumbled around me. My Christian relationship didn't work. I don't really know what to do anymore. How can I get over this when a godly, Christian relationship failed after two years?
It sounds like you've pretty much exhausted your options (within your control) for making the relationship work for now, or at least I will assume so and give you some thoughts on where you are now.
Here's the thing about heartbreak: No matter what anyone says to you, it still hurts, and sometimes the pain can seem unbearable. Your grief is real and very much like grieving a death, in this case the death of a relationship. I know because I've been there myself, and so have so many people I've talked to and counseled with over the years (I don't say that to in any way diminish what you're going through, but to simply make you aware that you're not alone — which seems strange, because it feels so lonely). What we want is for someone to say something — to give us some profound piece of advice — that will help bring everything into focus and make it all better — or at least make it where we can eat a piece of toast without seeing an outline of her face appear on the bread surface.
Nothing that anyone says will likely return things to where they were, not that you necessarily want it that way, but that seems the best and quickest solution to getting rid of the awful pit in your stomach. Why can't things just go back like they were? What happened? Where is God in all of this? Why would He let this happen to me? Even if we knew all the answers, and sometimes we just can't, it still doesn't take the sting away.
Going through such an experience as a Christian is unique in that you know there is more to it than just the natural turning of events. There is a supernatural element to the events that take place in our lives. That can be like two sides of a double-edged sword.
On one side you're encouraged because you know that this hasn't taken God by surprise, that He won't leave you in the midst of your pain, and that Jesus can empathize with you, knowing first-hand what it feels like to be rejected by the ones He loved (and loves). On the other hand, knowing that God could have prevented the pain but didn't, makes us wonder if He really cares about us. Why, if He knew this would happen, wouldn't He prevent the relationship from ever getting to this point? Why wouldn't He help us work out our problems? Why didn't He give us more wisdom? "Why" becomes our mantra. We think and pray and think and pray and the answers, if they come at all, never seem to satisfy.
Here is the most fundamental truth I can give you about your breakup: You are the only person in the relationship that you have any control over. She made (and makes) her own decisions, and, even though you can talk, pray and advise, she is ultimately the one who makes her choices and answers to God for them. Of course you know this, but being reminded of it might be helpful. You will answer to God for your choices, and that's what you need to be thinking about right now.
If you're sincerely praying for God to guide your steps and for His will to be done in your life, and you're doing all you know to yield yourself to His plans and purposes for your life, then you must by faith accept that He will indeed answer that prayer, and possibly has done so with the ending of this relationship.
Right now you are at a very significant crossroads, a crucial time in your walk with Christ. This is where the rubber meets the road when it comes to what God is after in you: trust. You can't help but ask "Why" — anyone who's been in your shoes understands that. But the bigger question — the one that ultimately is of great concern to God (regarding you) is: Do you see God as big enough, wise enough, kind enough for you to trust that He knows what He's doing with your life? During these times of heartbreak (grief), we are consumed with "Why," while God is consumed with "Do you trust me?" That is the essence of faith and what God longs for in your life.
And yes, you will make it through this. You will get your life back. But don't wish this away too soon; it might be a gift. Let God bring you to that sacred ground where you're able to say with conviction what God longs to hear from your heart, "Not my will, but thy will be done."
Copyright 2006 John Thomas. All rights reserved.