How do you mend a broken heart? That is a question that has echoed through time since humans first existed on this earth. I’m guessing that both Eve and Adam had broken hearts after they took a bite of the apple and found what that cost them.
None of us ever think of a broken heart until we have one, and then “how do you mend a broken heart” becomes the most important question in life. It’s a plea for survival, coupled with the question “do I want to survive?” It’s an anguished entreaty to God, “will I ever hope or trust again?” First and foremost, it is a timid whisper emanating from an injured soul, “will I ever feel safe to love again?”
I’ve had a broken heart, and it almost killed me. Every dream destroyed; every promise betrayed; every element of my life ravaged because the “game” was such fun. Although the “game” was fun for him, it wasn’t for me. It cost me my heart as it shattered into so many pieces that I couldn’t imagine ever finding them all, much less putting those pieces back together. The pain as it broke was so excruciating that I was sure I was having a heart attack and needed to go to the emergency room. BUT…I wasn’t. I was simply one of the broken who had to give up believing in the man I chose to be my forever, who had to grieve the death of a dream and find a way to come back.
Finding a way to come back, to beat again, has to be one of the greatest challenges of the human heart. I once heard a renowned heart surgeon say that, despite all his years of experience and training, he still didn’t know why a transplanted heart “chose” to beat again. My heart was dead, but I wasn’t a candidate for a transplant. So, how was I supposed to “choose” to let it start to beat again? Why would I ever even consider that kind of agony a second time? I felt so much safer inside the cozy fortress I had built around myself. No one could hurt me in here as I withdrew from the world and chose to exist rather than live.
Honestly, allowing my heart to start beating again was monumentally difficult for me. Only the horror of realizing I had built a prison around myself instead of a fortress was powerful enough to blast me out of my stupor and seek healing. First, I had to find enough of the broken pieces to glue back into something resembling a living heart. Then, I had to muster up the courage to dream a new dream that would inspire my damaged heart to face the hell of growing whole again.
I knew I wasn’t strong enough or brave enough to make the quantum leap to a gloriously healthy, loving heart. I could only manage one small step at a time, and inch by inch I crawled my way out of a cold, living death. The journey was not one I could have imagined from a place of love and safety. It was not one I would have ever chosen voluntarily, but it was the one that ultimately defined me.
Today, I wake every morning and thank God that I am free. To those of you who are members of the walking wounded, I say this. Rise up and embrace the possibility of a life filled with love and wonder. No one can take away your ability to dream unless you let them. You are glorious beyond imagining because that is who God created you to be. Face your fear and shine; your light will transform the world…and YOU!