by Anne Demitre

There’s something about endings that are difficult to forget. Years later, I still remember how the air felt chilled and how everything seemed to switch to slow motion as I went through the motions of walking back to my house after the four-year long relationship with the man I planned to marry came crashing down around me.

I huddled in a little heap on the floor of my room. With my head propped up against the window frame, I could look out past the pine trees into the dark. It was cloudy that night. And all I could hear was the echo those words that ended everything –over and over and over again.

I just tried to breathe, to focus on something, anything. But the searing pain of my heart was too real to ignore. The one thing I hoped would never happen to me? It had just happened. My heart had been broken. I’d been replaced by someone else.  And huddled there, all I could do was croak out a whispered “God–help.”

Our relationship hadn’t been perfect. We’d both made plenty of mistakes along the way.  But I had a dress and we were talking dates. I thought it was the beginning of happily ever after.

One he said that he didn’t think that he cared anymore–not for me, and the next that maybe we could give it another chance. It only prolonged the pain as my heart, my dreams, what felt like my whole world, began to crumble before my eyes. And then I saw the other girl. I saw how he looked at her. And  I knew then that it was really over. I finally found courage to say good bye. I walked away from what felt like everything I ever wanted.I did what I knew was right, what I had to do,  for both of us.

And so we said goodbye. He married the other girl and I tried to let go of everything. I tried to forget. It was the hardest thing I had ever done. Heartbreak hurts.  So this is what it is like to have a broken heart…”  I would tell myself when I couldn’t sleep at night.

I cried like I had never cried before.  I thought when I looked at the piles of shattered dreams and broken pieces of my heart, that nothing would ever be the same. It never was. And I wished, with everything I had left, that I could go back and start again.

The days passed.  The shock and searing pain in my heart became a heavy, overwhelming ache that settled in deep and didn’t want to go away. I felt numb, so very numb, and so afraid of the future.

My life had changed dramatically, but I just wanted it to be the way it had been before — before I knew him. Before it hurt so much. . My heart felt so broken anyway that I didn’t know if it would ever be able to try to love anyone ever again, or if it would ever even stop to throb so much.

Everything seemed dark those days. The sun I loved so much felt distant and cold. And I felt like the sun had been banished from shining on my heart, too.  As day after aching day passed, I wondered if broken hearts ever healed. Some days, I almost believed they never would.

But one day, I realized that things were different.  The sun felt warm again. My heart didn’t throb as much. 

It didn’t happen all of a sudden. The shattering of dreams and the breaking of hearts will never be healed in a single moment. But they do heal.

The One Who had given me a heart to love, the desire to be loved, the ability to dream — He had to gently teach me how to let go of the broken pieces of  the “use to be” days.  I realized that I still clutching them tightly in my hands. I was afraid that if I let go, I wouldn’t have anything meaningful left to show for the last four years of my life.

But as time and distance began to fade the memories of the sharpest pain, God slowly built my heart and my dreams all over again, and began to give them back.

They weren’t the same dreams I had before — those had died forever. These were new and beautiful dreams that were far better than anything I could have dared to hope for.

Years have passed since the day my heart broke.  If you are in the middle of it, it might not feel like the pain and the hurt and the confusion will ever go away. But today, I want you to know that there is hope and joy and a lot to live for on the otherside of even the worst kind of broken heart.

He Who created the World, Who made crippled legs to walk, and blind eyes to see, He makes good His promises.  He can heal the heart that was broken, and bind up the deepest wounds. God never takes something away except to give us something better.

It wasn’t easy to come from broken heart to joy restored, but He was with me every single step of the long way.  He promised that He would make all things beautiful in His time.  Even though sometimes all I could feel was the pain in my heart, and all I could see was the broken pieces of every dream I had cherished, I believed Him.  Through the roller coasters of emotions and the dark days and the confusion, I clung to what He had promised.

He did not fail me, or His promises.  He taught me that even the darkest clouds have glimmers in them.

Some days those glimmers were all I could do to hold on. Other days I could almost forget how much it hurt. But every single day, I had to choose to trust God. I had to trust His promises, to trust that He does all things well. I had to choose to focus on the good things and His blessings, even when the ache was overwhelmingly present. And waiting alone in the darkness, I learned that I could still sing.

Maybe you are where I was, with a broken heart and broken dreams.  Maybe you are afraid to hope that it will ever be better again, that your heart will ever stop hurting.

I want you to know that beyond the pain, there is hope for tomorrow — hope that even the darkest night cannot put out. This won’t last forever. You are not alone. You are not less loved or less beautiful because you have been broken. It doesn’t work like that.

I want you to know that it is okay to cry and to grieve. The tears help to wash away the sting and heal the broken places in our hearts. So let them flow. Let yourself feel and let it go.

But the most important thing is this.  Don’t let the pain and the tears keep you from living. Don’t stop moving forward, even if you have to crawl. Don’t stop holding on to Him, no matter how hard it gets. Don’t stop trying to sing, even if some days all you can do is croak and whisper.

Someday, even if it is a long time from now, you will see things differently than you can right now.  Looking back, you’ll be able to see that nothing is impossible with God. That all things do work for our good in the end. And that no heart is too broken for God to heal.

Even though it seems impossible now, God will take these confusing, shattered dreams, and all the broken pieces of your heart, and heal the wounds, give back dreams.  One day, looking back, you will see that nothing was wasted.

Keep giving Him all the broken pieces. Let Him have all the shattered dreams, so that He can truly heal your heart.  But never let go of the hope that one day He will restore your joy, one day He will give back your dreams. Because He will — I promise.

They won’t be the same exact dreams you had. Your heart will be a different heart than it was before. It needs new dreams.  And The new dreams that God gives back will be perfect and beautiful, because that is how our God is.

I know all of this is true. I know that God is faithful and that He does make good on His promises. All of them. I know because this heart that was broken is a heart that He healed in His time.

All the pain and the tears have faded. Years later, there are little scars to remind me of where I have been, but there is no more pain. I have had dreams come true, and I’ve found new songs and a lot of joy.

And one day, when I least expected it, God gave me love again too. Better, more beautiful, and sweeter than I dared to hope for.

My heart was broken, but it’s not anymore. God put it back together. And He can do the same thing for you. Trust Him on this one.

18 Comments

  1. This was a beautiful, extraordinarily written piece, and exactly what I needed at a time like this. As someone who’s going through heartbreak for reasons similar to yours, this gave me such a glimmer for the fulfillment of my future through God’s promises. It gave me hope for an increased love for Christ through this time of brokenheartedness. Truly beautiful and inspiring article.

  2. Thank you for this. Nearly eleven months ago I lost my fiance when he died suddenly. God is faithful – but I think I needed reminding of that once again today.

  3. Wow.. this is one of the most beautiful article I have ever read. Thank you for writing this post Ms. Anne! I have been through with this situation some time ago when my fiancee broked my heart and married someone else, but yes.. God will help you make it through that painful moments. It’s not easy.. you have to face it everyday..you cannot run and wish you forget that it happened.. But God will help you day by day though you are in that darkest situation, even when you are facing that brokeness alone.. God will give you hope and He will heal you in His time. Just hang on Him. Give your broken heart to God and let Him write your next love story. You may not understand everything His ways are perfect. Godbless you Ms. Anne.. thank you again for writing this post. :))

  4. What an amazing post. I am relating even now, and sometimes it seems as is life is not worth living anymore. But I see there is hope and healing in His arms, so I will seek it there.

  5. Sara (New Zealand) says:

    I have to say this post was such an incredible blessing for me to find just now. A couple of years ago I went through a near-identical journey. I had always wanted my first relationship to be with the one guy I was to marry, – never did I want to give away my heart to someone else, nor have it broken. The relationship I was in had been conducted in a very proper and pure way, and just as marriage was around the corner, God stepped in and took matters into His hands. Those months that followed were the most painful months I have ever experienced, but God knew what He was doing and now when I look back I am so so thankful that God rescued me from the path I was headed for. Two years later I can joyfully share that God has restored my soul, healed my heart, and brought back the joy and peace I used to have. I do not know why I had to go through that experience, but He has taught me a lot – that I can lean on Him and trust Him, no matter what is going on in life. I have perfect faith that He will bring along the right person in His timing, and that this guy will be so much better than anyone I could ever imagine!
    Thank you so much for this encouraging post, it’s really helped me to realise I wasn’t the only one that went through a broken relationship, even when trying to do everything right. Blessings to you and all the other girls out there!

  6. I, too, have a similar story, although he didn’t have a specific “other” at the time. But God works things out so beautifully. His plans are so perfect. I, too, can look back and see how much better things are this way than if my prior dreams had come true. I’m now married to my best friend and the man of my prayers as a little girl, and we’re expecting our first child this year! True love from the Lord is so sweet and worth all the waiting and all the tears… hold on, ladies!

  7. thank you for this post…Like so many others I too could have written this as my own story, although I am not as eloquent. Thank you for the testimony. It made me turn to God again in such thankfulness for doing this same journey in me…taking me from deep despair to a new place of hope and freedom, and just recently to love again which I never thought was possible. God gave me the verse from Isaiah about knowing riches stored in secret places, and that the season I went through was about knowing He is my treasure and the One who will always love me forever, in a way that no human love can ever fulfil.
    God bless you for the encouragement and being brave to share this story.

  8. This was posted on 11th February, the same day he told me that he loves someone else, and he will marry soon. He always made me believe that I will be his wife, all my life seemed settled and I couldn’t wait the day I will become his wife. I thought I found my soul mate, but he told me 6 days ago that he has found his soul mate in someone else. I love him so much, and my heart is so broken right now..and I can’t believe that soon he will live with someone else the life I have been dreaming about. I don’t want to imagine how I will feel on his wedding day, and every day after that. Thank you so much for sharing this story, because right now, it’s so hard to believe that one day I won’t feel pain anymore, and I will understand His plan for me. Right now everything it’s just darkness and broken dreams for me.

  9. Thank you for sharing. Very encouraging words from someone who sounds like they come from the same viewpoint, which most others don’t understand.

  10. Sarah Logan says:

    I am so thankful that I have not had to experience this kind of pain. I hope that God will continue to keep me from it. And I thank Him that He has given you all to me to teach me and be as guides as I get older and start these relationships.

    May He continue to help you all heal and may He continue to restore your ability to love, be loved, and receive love, with out feeling guilty or afraid.
    Be blessed!!!!

  11. Thanks for sharing. It is an encouragement to know that others know and share similar experiences to my own (broken engagement)…. all I know is ‘as for God, his way is perfect’. It does take time to heal and I thank God for his continued grace and healing.

  12. What a transparent humble post. Thank you for your honesty and encouragement. I can absolutely sympathize and empathize as I walked through a broken engagement. However, I can thankfully testify that God is the restorer of life and can heal a broken heart and restore a soul!

  13. I could have almost written this myself, except I could not have said it half so beautifully. As one who experienced a broken heart twice in the space of 13 months and thought she could sure never love or hope again, I can testify that God’s ways ARE best. Having been married for 4 months now, I have found myself repeatedly thanking God with all my heart that He said “no” to those earlier relationships. Each of those young men seemed so perfect at the time, but as I look back now I can clearly see a million reasons we would not have been right for each other – and my husband, the man God chose for me, is far, far better for me (and I for him, I’m sure). I still don’t know all the reasons for what I went through, but I do know that the experiences transformed my heart and drew me to God in a way nothing else could have. I found a beautiful, sweet comfort in His arms and learned to trust Him even when nothing else made sense. He IS good, always good.

  14. Oh my goodness! This gave me chills, especially the “other girl” that made him smile. It hurts so bad! And often we give ourselves reasons for jealousy; he won’t necessarily marry the other girl, but there is that moment when we see that another girl could meet his needs and that we shouldn’t necessarily be dwelling on a future together. The way that the Lord at times brings two together and at other times separates two people is a great mystery.

    Very beautifully written, and very good advice, to cling to Him, our Savior.

  15. Thank you so much for this…I have also had a broken heart and at one point never thought it would be made whole again. God truly is good to give His children hope.

  16. This post meant a lot to me. I could have written it myself! (if I had the skill and perhaps was a step ahead of where I am now.) Does Ann blog anywhere, I wonder? I’d love to read more from her. 🙂

    Blessings and gratitude,
    Ev’

  17. Thank you for this, Anne. I’ve been through a similar experience in the not-so-distant past, and one of the truths that brought the most comfort to me was that He, too, knows what it is to have a broken heart and to be rejected. Truly, He is the most gentle and tender of Physicians–One who has personally experienced the suffering of His own patients.

  18. This was the best post I have ever read on here. My heart was broken almost exactly like yours. Reading this made the pain come back and tears are flowing. But I know, just like you said, God can mend those broken pieces and make a heart anew. It is so comforting to know that. I thank you so much for sharing your story, I’m glad to know I was not the only one who tried to do everything right and still ended up with a broken heart. But praise God we are okay now! Thank you once again!
    Blessings, ~Kelsey

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