Dealing with heartbreaks and disappointments

SINGLES MATTER with ChinyereDistinguished

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Four years ago, I broke up with a young man whom I had agreed to marry. Our courtship revealed so many red flags about him, so I decided to end things between us. On the surface, all looked well and I was moving on with my life… until the day I stumbled on his picture on Instagram and discovered he was getting married. Seeing that piece of information evoked anger and bitterness in me; negative emotions I didn’t even know I had stored up in my heart.

You see, while we were courting, he hurt me on different counts, but the one that pained me most was some money he borrowed and didn’t pay back. Even after we broke up, he’d promised to pay back, but after some time, he started acting real funny. I’d call and he’d deny not knowing me; even his siblings and cousin who knew me and us, denied knowing me whenever I called them. I was heartbroken!

Consequently, seeing that he was getting married on Instagram, made me furious. I wasn’t angry because I wanted us back. Far from it! I was angry because I couldn’t let go of the betrayal of trust, the lies, the money… This led to a huge chunk of bitterness and unforgiveness in my heart.

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I wish I could tell you that there are certain things you’d do to never ever get disappointed in life. But I can’t because that would be a lie. No matter how careful you are, you can’t control what people will do, or not do, which could end up hurting or disappointing you.

That said, let’s focus on how to deal with heartbreaks and disappointments. There are two key things you can do to overcome in such situation:

  1. Decide before you decide.
  2. Forgive.

It doesn’t matter how many times we say “God forbid!” and pray against these things, we do know that bad things sometimes happen to good people. And it’s not because they have sinned and God is punishing them. It’s simply a part of life.

You probably have heard this before: you cannot control what happens to you, but you are in charge of how you respond. Things are going to happen to rock your faith, beliefs, values and focus. But no matter what happens, it is what you do about what happens, that matters most. You can make your heartbreaks and disappointments your stepping stones, or you can make them your stumbling blocks. The choice is yours.

Decide before you decide is a wise counsel I gleaned from Pastor Bidemi Mark-Emodi. She taught us that the best way to handle a situation, or make an informed choice, is to decide on what you would do before that situation presents itself. What that means is, always have a conversation with yourself about a probable scenario before that situation happens. So, for the context of today’s topic, ask yourself: “what would I do at the face of heartbreak and disappointment?”

The best time to ask and answer that question is NOW, before you are confronted with that situation. This does not mean that you’re focusing on the negative. No, it means that you’re proactive and prepared for any worst case scenario, even as you pray and work towards having the best.

Every battle, success, failure, breakthrough, etc., is first received in the MIND before it manifests physically, so program your mind with the right mindset towards disappointments. Program your mind right with the word of God, with the things you tell yourself, with the people you surround yourself with and the information you expose yourself to via books, movies, trainings, etc. These are the resources that your subconscious mind will reach out to when disappointment strikes.

Learning to decide before you decide is one sure way to avoid being a victim of any circumstance. Hence, always decide before you decide, not just in issues relating to relationship and marriage, but also in other issues pertaining to life in general.

Next, forgive.

Back to the story I started with; with the conviction and help of the Holy Spirit, I totally forgave my ex. Taking that decision and commensurate action, helped me  to move on joyfully with my life.

When we hinge our forgiveness of others on some conditions, we are only hurting ourselves and delaying the healing process. I bet you’ve heard this before but I’ll still say it, “let go and let God”. You can’t live a fruitful and fulfilled life with bitterness and unforgiveness living in your heart.

I will not try to make light of the hurt, pain, heartbreak or whatever negative feelings you feel or hold, as a result of some past experiences. They are valid.

Yours may not be money. It may be something as bad as rape or betrayal from a loved one. It may be something that has scarred you so badly emotionally and/or physically. But whatever it is, you have to wholly forgive the offending party and just let it go.

Heartbreak hurts. Disappointment stings. But unforgiveness will keep you blinded and stuck in the rut. The irony is, you may not even realise this; you will think you are fine and moving on. But someday, sooner or later, something will happen to trigger the hurt and you will realize that the pain is still as raw as it was when you first experienced it. What is worse is, these feelings affect and influence your interaction and relationship with others, causing you to (un)consciously transfer aggression, hatred and bitterness to others.

Today, choose to forgive those who have hurt you in the past; set them free in your heart. Forgive yourself, too. You may have made some mistakes or done some things that you are not proud of. But you need to forgive yourself and begin

to live in the light of God’s love and forgiveness for you. That is, after you have repented and asked for His forgiveness.

Most importantly, always seek the counsel of the Holy Spirit and trust God with ALL your heart. Don’t let anyone or circumstance steal your joy.

Till I come your way again next week, please internalize and practice what we have talked about today. I love you and I’m rooting for your wholeness and fruitfulness on all fronts!

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