So, Monday, I posted this on my Facebook writer page:

FB
And one commenter asked, “How does one know when they have?”

It was such an excellent question that I thought I’d try to address it here. I don’t know how anyone but me knows such things, but here’s what happened in my case.

I had the pretty rare opportunity for some additional closure. This good man reached out to me, after reading my blogs, to see if there were anything he could do, anything I needed from him.  So I hesitantly and prayerfully asked him a few questions.  And in those questions and answers, some extra healing came.

You see, my pain in this relationship ending is three-fold:
The end of the hope of a future for the two of us.
I feel like I’ve lost a best friend.
I felt rejected.

And in talking things through a bit more with this man, I was able to set the rejected portion aside.  It was in that where I felt the heart-shift, and that made such a difference. I was no longer having to, for the most part, sift through feelings of not being enough for him specifically or as a woman in general. Huge, huge weight lifted off my shoulders. In fact, I even told a friend that I was choosing to believe that he didn’t feel a peace to move forward not because of my awfulness but despite my awesomeness. (I don’t actually think I’m awesome…it was just something I said to my friend.) But you can see the shift in thinking, right? And you can probably see how that helped me move a bit more forward in my healing.

And with being able to lay that part of the equation aside, I felt myself turn an emotional corner. As in, I said yes to meet a friend for coffee. And I was singing in the car again (I hadn’t sung in the car in two weeks.) And I was, you know, wearing something other than my pajamas. I felt an actual change in how I felt.  Like I said on Facebook, my heart felt light.

But there is a caveat here: Grieving and healing are not methodical. (Oh, how I wish they were methodical.)

Though I turned said corner, I’ve been crying on and off for about two hours now. Because the other two parts remain. I am still grieving what I thought we might have been able to have one day, but even more than that, I just miss him and I miss his friendship and I miss how he made me feel. I ran a couple errands today, and he usually kept me company on errands (technology is a wonder) and so I’m lonely.  And my heart hurts.

Right now, I feel worse than I did yesterday. But on the other hand, I do feel better than I felt two weeks ago or even three days ago. Life is funny. It’s not an every-day-is-better-and-better kind of deal. Things don’t work that way.

So here’s what I suggest if you feel the way I felt…stuck…sad…waiting for a shift…pray. I’ve been praying to feel better. I’ve been asking Jesus to heal my heart. I’ve been asking him to fill up the empty spaces. I’ve been asking him to sit with me in the loneliness. I’ve been asking him to comfort me. I’ve been thanking him for what that experience meant to me and for the healing and strength that I know he will bring me.  So, that’s where you start for sure. You pray, and you wait in expectation. And you remind yourself that stuck and sad and lonely won’t kill you.

But how will you know if you’ve turned a corner? I think in some grieving processes, it’s a moment by moment thing for years. But then I think there are some times when you will just wake up feeling different, feeling better, feeling lighter, like I did.  In other words, sweet commenter, it’s probably a little different for everybody and you will just know.

Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning. –Psalm 30:5b

Oh, give me back my joy again; let the bones you have crushed rejoice. –Psalm 51:8

 

 

If this post encouraged you, you would benefit from “Unraveling: Hanging onto Faith through the End of a Christian Marriage”, found here or “Living through Divorce as a Christian Woman”, found here.