“The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” Psalm 34:18 (NIV)
There’s a line from the prayer my father-in-law prayed over us at our wedding that I think of quite often: “Lord, give them enough hurts to keep them human and enough failures to keep their hands clenched tightly in Yours.”
There were many other lines of blessing in the prayer, but this part made me tilt my head, heavy with sprayed-up curls and a homemade veil.
My face flushed at the realization I’d forgotten to cross that part out.
I’d seen the prayer beforehand. It was all typed out. But in the rush of everything, I’d forgotten. And now, we had essentially asked God for heartbreak. At our wedding. Awesome.
But Art’s dad is a man of wisdom. And I’m thankful he didn’t take it upon himself to strike that part. I couldn’t have understood the prayer on that day full of white tulle, giddy whispers of love and my 3-year-old sister singing “Happy Birthday” during the lighting of the unity candle. But as life has unfolded, I now very much understand the beauty of those lines.
Our life could have been very self-focused. Our marriage. Our home. Our kids. Our plans. Our life.
But God wanted so much more from us. He didn’t bring us together simply to build a life that would make us happy. He brought us together to be partners in the purpose He assigned. Our own strength would not have prepared us for kingdom assignments. It probably would have crippled us with selfishness and pride.
Heartbreak is a part of life.
It’s certainly been a part of different seasons of my marriage. And though every single hurt seemed like an exposure of weakness in our relationship, it actually brought out a strength we couldn’t have gotten any other way. The breaking of us has actually been the making of us ... the God-strengthened us He could use.
I don’t know what kind of heartbreak you are walking through right now, sweet friend.
Maybe your marriage didn’t remain standing under the weight of life. Maybe you’ve never been married, but you long to be. Please don’t get stuck thinking these truths are only for couples.
Married or not, do not let the heartbreak you’ve experienced be wasted. God is still with you. His promises still stand. Soak in His truths and let them seep into the deepest places of your heart rubbed raw with uncertainty.
Don’t let what breaks your heart destroy your life.
Hold fast to Jesus and remember: This breaking of you will be the making of you. A new you. A stronger you. Strengthened not with the pride of perfection, but with the sweet grace of one who knows an intimate closeness with her Lord.
And don’t miss out on the hope God offers in our key verse: “The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit,” (Psalm 34:18).
Using the original language for this verse, you could read it like this: The Lord draws near to the one who’s had her heart shattered and delivers her from exposed grief to victory.
He draws you near despite the sharp evidence of your grieving heart. The anger. The deep disappointment and disillusionment. The questions of why you, and why now? The comparisons that make you feel as though God loves other people more. How could He let this happen? The cussing and banging your fist on the steering wheel. The shame and anguish. All of these are shards of being shattered.
God isn’t afraid of your sharp edges that may seem quite risky to others. He doesn’t pull back. He pulls you close. His love and grace covers your exposed grief. And step-by-step He leads you to a new place of victory.
Father God, thank You for the way You tenderly minister to the shattered places in my heart. I’m so grateful You are able to use every heartbreak in my life for good. I am choosing to believe today that You are leading me to a place of strength and victory. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Psalm 34:17, “The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles.” (NIV)
Learn more Biblical perspectives for making your heartbreak work for you instead of against you with Lysa TerKeurst’s new book, Uninvited. Get your copy today.
Not sure if Uninvited is for you? Take the free assessment today to find out if the deep hurts of your life are affecting you more than you realize.
REFLECT AND RESPOND:
Are you currently walking through a season of heartbreak? How could God actually use it to strengthen you?