Have you ever heard a song that brings you back to a specific point in your life and reminds you of what you felt or experienced during that season? Music can easily be like a journal entry marking significant moments in your life. It never ceases to amaze me how powerful lyrics and instruments can be for our memories and emotions.
Recently, a song came on in the car that reminded me of a long season of healing from a broken heart. I had forgotten what that felt like, but as I listened to each song on this album, I reflected on that time in my life. This album captured very well the emotions of a broken heart and the back and forth emotions you feel in the aftermath—it would be an understatement to say this album was on repeat for a long time. It was almost all I listened to for awhile because I felt so understood in the brokenness I was experiencing. I remember crying in my car often, months on end, wondering if the tears would ever stop, if the pain would ever leave. I remember sifting through all the files of memories in my head, good and bad, comparing them to the truth I currently knew, trying to decipher what to hold on to and what to let go of. I asked myself, should the bad memories void the good ones? It felt like a battle in my heart that both good/bad emotions and experiences could coexist within me. They wrestled with one another constantly, especially because I wanted the good to outweigh the bad, and if I’m being really honest, I wanted the good to entirely overlook the bad, moving on in a continued friendship.
I remember the day that I realized I had to let go. I had many years prior let go of any sort of romantic relationship and I did not desire that anymore, but I still longed for a healthy, good, life long friendship. On the day the realization came, it hit me straight in my heart that it was not possible. There was too much unacknowledged bad. My heart was physically aching–it felt so much grief that reconciliation was not possible. I hated it because I had seen such beautiful reconciliation before—I believed with everything in me that it could happen because God is good, faithful, and He can do anything. But this time it did not happen. The human in me understood, but the Christ in me was sad that the friendship could not be restored.
The human in me knows the Earth is broken, but the Christ in me longs for all things to be made new and whole.
It is hard letting go of people you love—but sometimes that is what you have to do. I think it is okay to feel confused, and to have a hard time reconciling the good memories with the awful ones. It is okay to grieve. It is okay to need time to heal and the timeline for that should not be based off of anyone else’s expectations but your own. Healing is a bit unpredictable and the process is definitely inconvenient–but it is entirely necessary when you feel pain, to work through it, taking however much time you need to do that. If you are the sort of person to ignore your pain or want to get back to positive happy feelings ASAP, I understand. I have been there—but what I have learned is that those feelings have to go somewhere, so if you are not processing them, it does not mean they do not exist, it just means you are emotionally suffocating yourself. This leads to less compassion and less awareness of how you feel and how you make others feel.
There is a verse in Ecclesiastes 7:3 that says “Sorrow is better than laughter, for sadness has a refining influence on us”.
There’s also a Bible verse in Proverbs 17:22 that says, “A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones”.
We have two different sides of the same coin here. While a joyful heart, a heart that is thankful for all it has been given by God is so beautiful, we cannot ignore the first verse. Sorrow shapes you in a way that joy cannot.
Sorrow is not a feeling or experience to avoid. It is also not something to linger in for more time than is needed to process and heal. I want to encourage you to take time to journal, talk to God, go to counseling, talk to a trusted wise friend, and/or cry in the car when you feel sad. You need to feel it. You need to understand it. Understanding what you feel and why you feel it leads to a better awareness of yourself and can even give you emotional insight into the pains of others. There is no shame in sorrow. It is a part of being human and guess what? Jesus Christ himself is called a “man of sorrow” because of how acquainted he is with grief. I do not know about you, but that brings freedom and peace to my heart to be able to have space to grieve loss, rejection, expectations, and anything else that my heart is pondering.
What are some ways that you process emotion? I’d love to hear what has helped you along the way.
To listen to the song that came on in my car, check it out HERE.
Some other broken heart albums that helped me process my pain:
bye, sad girl album -Hollyn
Malibu Nights album -LANY
I also listened to A LOT of worship music, along with music that that particular person showed me (that last part was maybe not the best idea, but it was a part of my process).
Thanks for reading–you’re the best.
For a more in depth confession on letting go, broken hearts, and healing, check out the first boy I ever loved.