A friend of mine is going through a hard breakup right now. She feels broken and helpless - like she can't go on at all. I wish it weren't the case, but I think a lot of us have been there.
I was 24 when I experienced deep, deep heartache. I'd moved to Atlanta for a boy I'd dated for years, only to find out, a few months later, he'd been cheating on me regularly. I'll never forget the way I felt when I found out - like I was standing still and the whole world was rushing by; crashing around me.
And I'll never forget the way I felt in the months afterward. My mom came down to Atlanta a few days later and I remember standing against the wall in my kitchen, watching her clean - not even attempting to help, as I was so low-energy after not having eaten or slept for five days - and I just slid to the ground sobbing - breaking. I can't believe this happened. I can't believe this happened. I kept saying to her.
I remember thinking that I always thought it was called a breakup because the relationship was broken but, in actuality, it's because it has the capacity to utterly break you.
And I tell you this not so you feel bad but so you understand that I get it. I understand what it's like to feel completely broken and not even know where to begin healing. I understand how helpless you can feel.
Because I was so new to Atlanta, unfortunately, he was my life. His friends were my friends and my social calendar revolved around him. For the following few months, I'd call my mom regularly, crying, and ask her if I was allowed to move home to Indiana. Every time she'd tell me: Of course. You can always move home. But do you really want to?
And then we'd make the same plan, again and again, that I'd give it another day, week or month. That I'd wait until I wasn't so upset. That I wouldn't decide in the heat of the moment.
And every next day, I wanted to stay. Because I wanted to be strong for myself. Atlanta used to be ours, but I wanted to make it mine. And so, I'd begin again. Trying a new activity or restaurant. Blatantly asking girls on dates, hoping someone would become my friend. Going to a yoga class, church and bible study alone. Not because I was lonely but because I knew I could do it.
I'd never wish a breakup on anyone. At all. But for those of you who can't escape it - who are in the depths of it - know that you are strong. Know that, if you let it, this period of life will shape you for the better. It will make you more confident, more sure of what you want and teach you that no matter what happens next, you can handle anything.
This period of life will end. You will laugh again and mean it. You will fall asleep without thinking of him. You will wake up and not have to remember, each and every time, that you're no longer together. You will see him in public and not want to throw up. You will stop posting Instagram pictures of you smiling just so he sees how happy you are without him. Your life will stop revolving around him.
And, know that whatever is coming next will be worth the wait. God's plan is the best thing and He can redeem anything - even the deepest heartache. So don't settle for good. Don't settle at all. Wait for the best thing.