Moving on from a breakup?
Four steps to help you persevere when your relationship has ended.
So you broke up with your boyfriend or girlfriend, or worse - he/she broke up with you. Feelings of hopelessness, disappointment, betrayal and loneliness hit you... need I add more? You never realized just how much of yourself you gave away? Until you consider what’s left of you.
Thankfully, break-ups can teach us how to run the race God has marked out for us. For some time it can just feel plain horrendous. Mourning the loss of what we thought “would be” is always going to be harder than forfeiting what actually was. Regardless, the loss is real. But you can still stand to your feet, lace up your shoes, ask for God’s help and keep running.
1. Don’t give up
Social situations turn incredibly difficult after break-ups. Anxiety and embarrassment loom in the midst of school, sport, and church. You may feel vulnerable, exposed, hopeless, and even foolish for believing he/she was the one. Or worse, announcing, “I’m never dating again!”
But deep down, you know you’ve got to get up. You just have to keep running... because it’s the only way to overcome.
As Christians, we are not in a race to beat one another to the finish. Actually, we are not to try to outdo anyone in anything but in showing honor (Romans 12:10). No matter the duration or depth, every relationship is a tool of Gods for our good and His glory. Relationships are tools because they challenge and push; encourage and motivate; and act as a reminder to one another why and for whom we are running.
After all, the race is not about us.
2. Keep pushing forward
Let’s say, in the middle of a race, you surge ahead only to fall back, again. All hope is not lost. You are finding your stride and increasing your endurance. While one fellow runner stops to retie his shoe, another may be sidetracked with the need to rehydrate. Some will sprint from the start and others will ‘kick’ at the end. But for you, just keep running your race, at your pace.
Believe it or not, our time and place finish do not matter to God. What matters is how we run. What matters is that we each run our own race, together, to the end. Yes, dealing with a break-up is terribly difficult. It will trip you up, slow you down, and distract. It takes time to recover. But you are still in the race. You are still the same runner. God’s Word is your water, and what matters most has not changed. God will use the break-up to move you forward.
It’s time to give your pace to God.
3. Keep your eyes on the prize
In our race we find ourselves besides different persons at various points along our course. This includes neighbors, friends, teachers, and strangers. Those we run beside for the first mile are probably not going to be beside us for the last one. Yet every encounter we have with a fellow ‘runner,’ can help us become stronger athletes with Christlikeness.
Just like the different miles in a race, some seasons in life are going to hurt more than others. Some will be crowded and others, lonely. Some people will sprint ahead and forget us. Others will encourage us to rest, sprint, or change our form. God gives them all and can be tools to reach our goal. Remember, the goal is not dating. It’s not marriage, either. It’s the Finish Line.
Run with your eyes on the prize, for God’s glory.
4. Remember the best is yet to come
Relationships are a unique opportunity to both discover and respect Jesus in another person. It doesn’t matter for how long or how deeply we’ve known them. Rejoice for every running partner God gives you. God is our Coach who wants His whole team to finish strong.
It’s easy to become so fixed on our previous “running buddy,” we miss out on those who God has put on our path today. Not only do we miss out on a chance to grow, we run the risk of getting off course. A runner preoccupied with looking back will never see the blessings at his/her side.
Remember: the race isn’t over until we all get there.
How about you? Will you keep running? Will you compete like Paul tells Timothy, according to the rules of Christ (2 Timothy 2:5) showing love and honor? Will you make God your goal and the Finish your prize. No matter how devastated you may be after the break-up, take hold of Hope. Get up and run your race.
Because the Truth is, this is just the beginning. The best miles are yet to come.
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