When The Heart Breaks
Written January 2 & 3, 2020
Only when love is so great can the heart break into a million pieces. The anguish. The untouchable ache. The pain. It doesn’t go away. It penetrates deep into your soul to a place where you wish you could die. You wish you weren’t capable of feeling such intense emotions, because you know that not experiencing love is the only way to make this fierce hurt subside. So you start bartering with the facts. Maybe the foundation of your world will stop crumbling or threatening to swallow you alive if your connection to others didn’t exist. You even start imagining what life would be like if the person you love had never come into your life. You beg God for the endless, mashed up nonsense and swirling commotion in your brain to stop. At some point, you convince yourself if the vice grip in your chest would just relax it’s hold then maybe—just maybe—you could breathe again. That sounds reasonable, anyway. Right?
There’s something overwhelmingly devastating when sin rips the sacred from your life. You’d willingly die a thousand deaths not to feel this way, because unbearable doesn’t even begin to describe the void that pervades every corner and crevice of your existence. You want to wake up from this terrible nightmare, because there’s no way you’re living “life more abundantly” (John 10:10 NLT) in this new reality.
You can’t even begin to describe this gut-wrenching ache to others. It wreaks havoc on every decision and movement you make, all the way down to the cell level in your body. Fog envelopes your senses. Muscles and joints ache for no apparent reason. Functioning seems to be on autopilot, and the most basic tasks bring you to tears. You begin to wonder when you became so sensitive, because someone looking at you wrong could collapse your entire system. So you wish and hope and bargain for a different outcome, for the grief to be lifted, for the burden of sadness to release every fiber of your being from its captivity; and you question what life would be like “if only”—if only you didn’t have to carry this ginormous weight of loss. If only life could return to what used to be. You know God didn’t design you for this enlightened understanding of death; however, here you are with no way back. Something is wrong—terribly wrong, but you have no way to make it right. You find yourself standing in a new normal you didn’t ask for and don’t want to accept. Now what?
When Adam and Eve sinned, the Bible tells us God went through His own grieving. Genesis 6:6 (NLT) says, “So the Lord was sorry he had ever made them and put them on the earth. It broke his heart.” Did you hear that? Long before the cross, humans caused God unthinkable pain. But, don’t stop your reading there. Here’s the catch. God knew what eternity would be like if your presence didn’t grace His world; and that emptiness and loneliness far exceeded the excruciating sacrifice human disobedience might require of Him. That’s why He looked love in the face and took the chance. You justified the risk!
“We know what real love is because Jesus gave up his life for us. So we also ought to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters. …let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions.” 1 John 3:16, 18 NLT