You’ve heard that God loves and heals the broken hearted, but how does He actually work? When will He heal you, and why is it taking so long? Here’s how to find God and how He heals broken hearts. I was inspired to write this article for a reader who is searching for God’s healing in her life.
“You reference God in most of your writing,” says Fiona on 7 Simple Ways to Mend a Broken Heart. “Does God heal broken hearts and wounded souls? Does he care that I have been wounded? Does not think I have gone through enough with the process? I feel like I should of been healed years ago. People say God is the answer to your healing. How true is it and how long does it take for a broken heart to heal?”
Yes. God does heal broken hearts and wounded souls. And YES, He does care that you have been hurt! But God does not orchestrate our lives to protect us from every bad thing. He is not running a puppet show or directing a Hollywood-style movie over which He has commandeered full control. But He is still here, alive and well. Powerful and holy! Loving and compassionate. Broken hearted and beautiful.
You know God allows us to experience pain. That’s why you’re here: you want to heal your broken heart, and you want to know how to find God.
And you’re questioning not only your faith, but God’s love for you.
When I read Fiona’s questions about God healing broken hearts and wounded souls, my first thought is that there is no set amount of time. And, learning how to find God is a lifelong process because you change, your life changes, and your spirit and soul changes.
8 Tips for Finding God and Healing a Broken Heart
You already know there is no precise scientific formula for how to find God, and you might have guessed that I won’t be offering 10 quick tips on how to heal a broken heart. Instead, I share how I found God and why I owe my joy, spirit, heart, peace, and life to Him.
I’m a believer, alive in Christ, a deeply spiritual Christian woman. But I’m also a very practical writer and blogger. Let’s see what God does with these two contrasting sides of my personality and soul…
1. Expect your life to be filled with “soul-crushing beauty”
God never, ever – not ONCE – promised to shield us from the terrible grief of losing someone we love, the aching pain of chronic illness, the heartstopping regret of making a bad decision, the self-hating sting of hurting another person or animal. Read Scripture. You’ll see it’s teeming with people who want to know how to find God, and who want to heal their broken hearts. Read spiritual books. Every one of them addresses the issue of pain, suffering, disappointment, grief, loss, tragedy.
Our lives are full of pain…and they are also full of beauty. Our lives are filled with laments and grievances, and they are also full of powerful prayers for healing. Our existence is good and bad, bitter and sweet. Life is bittersweet.
2. Know that God is in all of it – the bitter AND the sweet
My mom suffers from schizophrenia, and has my whole life. I grew up without a father – I traveled to Jerusalem, Israel when I was 29 years old to meet him for the first time.
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I was in and out of foster homes throughout my childhood. I battled bulimia (an eating disorder that involves binging and purging) until I was over 40 years old. Not to mention the attempted rape (a guy broke into my apartment in the middle of the night when I was 18 years old), the sister who refuses to speak to me, and the death of all my family members except my schizophrenic mom who I call every Sunday. Oh yeah – and I didn’t get married until I was 35; my husband and I can’t have children because of infertility. And I have ulcerative colitis and a painful bunion I call Bumpy.
And yet. And yet! I love my life because I know God is in every bit of it. Yes, He allowed me to be born to my mom. Yes, He knows everything I’ve suffered and will suffer. But I’ve learned how to find God in the pain, the fear, the tragedy, the loneliness and loss. I have learned what it really means to heal a broken heart. I have found comfort and healing in Scripture, love and freedom in God’s presence. I have found grace and joy, love and compassion.
3. Be honest about what you expect from God
Tell me, what do you expect God to do in your life? How has He disappointed you? You’re searching for tips on how to heal your broken heart for a reason…and I invite you to write about it. You don’t have to share in the comments section below – but writing has the power to help you heal. You can find God in your own writing, your own wrestling with your emotions and beliefs and expectations.
What are your expectations of God? How “should” He be healing your broken heart? What isn’t He doing that you want Him to do? Who isn’t He being in your life, how is God not the power you want Him to be? Dig into your assumptions and expectations of God.
If you could create God, who would He be and what would He do? What would your world be like? Go there in your writing.
4. Ask God questions
Why are you searching for insights on how to find God? The idea of healing a broken heart is important to you. So, what does it mean? What do you expect from God? How do you want Him to heal your broken heart? Who do you want Him to be? Where do you wish your life would go? When do you want things to happen?
Here’s what Fiona said in the comments section of my article on mending a broken heart – she has some beautiful, insightful questions:
“Why I am alone? Why do I run and push people away? Who has my best interests at heart? I have served my purpose for the people around me and I feel it’s my time to find love and happiness. Is it worth the wait? Would I ever find someone that understands me and my heart? I am emotionally unavailable right now but I want to be in a relationship, so I can feel wanted and loved. Yet, I keep attracting hurt, needy, and clingy people. Should I forget about receiving love and focus on getting to a healthy emotional state? I’m about to start counseling and I’m still researching and reading about inner healing and being delivered from what made me broken in the first place. I am looking for answers.”
Ask God those difficult questions. Yes, go to counseling! And read books, share your thoughts on blogs, ask people how and where they found God, try different ways to heal your broken heart.
5. Learn how others find God and heal their broken hearts
In Memories of living and loving shine through grief, John Hoke shares what it feels like to lose his wife to cancer:
“As if you can ever really be ready and at peace with the death of someone who has stood at your side so faithfully for more than 35 years. But I am trying to be at peace, for that is what she wants. And I am learning how to grieve. I try to embrace grief, for that keeps me close to Peedee. I wander the rooms of our now-quiet home, where just about everything is how and where it is because she wanted it so. All the things she was the last person to touch. I try to relish those physical manifestations of our life together — the beach watercolor we purchased on our honeymoon, the oak kitchen table we had built when we lived in the mountains, the giant scallop fossils she and the children found in a grand adventure. I smile and laugh at the memories. Sometimes, I sob. Occasionally, I flail myself when I stumble onto a recollection of a caddish or careless slight I inflicted on her. Patricia “Peedee” Hoke gently died on Sept. 15. She remains at my side as I continue our journey. In peace.”
6. Decide. Choose. Don’t wait for your feelings to catch up
The Psalms are full of actions that bridge the gap between God and man. Here’s a random collection of active decisions from Psalm 119:
- I will walk in freedom.
- I reflect at night on who you are, O Lord.
- I meditate on your decrees.
- I have devoted myself to your commandments. I will put them into practice with all my heart.
- I have chosen to be faithful.
- I have decided to live by your regulations.
Notice how the Psalmist isn’t waiting for God to heal his broken heart. He isn’t searching for “how to find God” because he believes God is already here. You must take action, regardless of how you feel. Don’t be fooled into thinking that you will first learn how to find God and then you’ll heal your broken heart. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking you have to feel God’s presence before your wounded soul will heal.
7. Learn how to find God in your daily life
“How, exactly, do we manage to see through the eyes of faith?” asks Julia Cameron in Faith and Will.
“This is where the daily work comes in, the daily choice to believe. It is possible to either believe or disbelieve. It is possible, too, to want to believe and to have difficulty in believing. This is when we must reach out. Belief is contagious. Morning reading that posits belief is a positive way to begin the day The prayer, always, is ‘Lord, I believe. Help my disbelief.’”
Choose to hold on to God despite your unbelief, your pain, your grief. You can choose to believe at the same time as you search for words of comfort for broken hearts. And hold on to the fact this season of your life will end – if you take action, if you keep learning how to find God, if you keep finding ways to heal a broken heart.
You will find yourself in a new season. You’ll remember who or what you lost with love and a twinge of sadness…but if you keep pursuing and wrestling with God, if you help yourself heal, you will Blossom in a new season in your life.
8. Hold on tight to your faith despite the deepest, darkest clouds
“Until we can come face to face with the deepest, darkest fact of life without damaging our view of God’s character, we do not yet know Him,” writes Oswald Chambers in My Utmost for His Highest.
He adds that in the Bible clouds are always connected with God. “Clouds are those sorrows or sufferings or providences, within or without our personal lives, which seem to dispute the rule of God. It is by those very clouds that the Spirit of God is teaching us how to walk by faith. If there were no clouds, we should have no faith. The clouds are but the dust of our Father’s feet. The clouds are a sign that He is there. What a revelation it is to know that sorrow and bereavement and suffering are the clouds that come along with God! God cannot come near without clouds, He does not come in clear shining.”
The very fact that you have a broken heart is evidence you have found God.
Help Finding God and Healing Your Broken Heart
In Faith and Will: Weathering the Storms in Our Spiritual Lives, Julia Cameron writes:
“Faith is attractive. Far from having the joyless, resigned quality that we may fear from it, faith brings to the believer a renewed vitality, a sense of camaraderie and adventure. Seen through the eyes of faith, the world is a safe place. Life is a great unfolding adventure. Strangers are friends that we have not yet met. Optimism prevails. Seen through the eyes of faith, there is nothing to fear in this world. When challenges arise, we will have the inner strength to meet them. Walking through the valley of shadows, we will have the confidence in our God’s benevolent protection. We will not, perhaps, be shielded from all harm, but we will be given the wherewithal to meet any adversity.”
I love Julia Cameron’s book! I highly, highly recommend it – especially if you’re struggling to find and believe in God.
In The Question That Never Goes Away: Why? Philip Yancey revisits the “Why did God allow this to happen?” question. When he wrote Where Is God When It Hurts 30 years ago, he gave us permission to doubt, reasons not to abandon faith, and practical ways to reach out to hurting people. And now, Yancey revisits our cry of “Why, God” in three places stunned into silence by the calamities that have devastated them.
In Where is God When It Hurts? A Comforting, Healing Guide for Coping With Hard Times Philip Yancey quotes Dorothy Sayer:
“For whatever reason God chose to make man as he is – limited and suffering and subject to sorrows and death – He had the honesty and the courage to take His own medicine. Whatever game He is playing with His creation, He has kept His own rules and played fair. He can exact nothing from man that He has not exacted from Himself. He has Himself gone through the whole of human experience, from the trivial irritations of family life and the cramping restrictions of hard work and lack of money to the worst horrors of pain and humiliation, defeat, despair and death. When He was a man, He played the man. He was born in poverty and died in disgrace and thought it well worthwhile.”
I’ve always loved that passage. Jesus suffered so we wouldn’t have to. This doesn’t mean we won’t feel the pain of this achingly beautiful broken world…it means we are not alone in our pain. We have each other, and we have God.
So, my friend, what do you think about my tips on how to find God and heal your broken heart? I welcome your big and little thoughts. While I can’t offer advice, I do read every comment. I encourage you to respond to other readers’ comments if you feel led, and to share your experience. Writing often brings clarity and insight, and can help you process your feelings.
When God promises us something, He can be counted on to keep it. I had a dream where God promised to heal me in all areas; the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual. Deep in my heart I believed Him.
Jesus said he was sent to heal the broken hearted. This he has done for me. Most of my life I was mentally abused. I was told by my father and later by my husband that I was stupid and crazy. They said I couldn’t do anything right. I was even compared to the neighbor’s kids who were the same age as I. I was asked:
“Why can’t you be like them?”
It wasn’t good enough that I got on the honor roll. Why couldn’t I do better? I studied and tried so hard to make it. I didn’t even make the honor roll.
I could never please my father. There was only one time he was ever proud of me. I had won the American Legion Medal in the eighth grade. My Dad was in the hospital at the time. Nine years later after I got married, he was in the hospital again, dying of cancer. My husband went to see him. My Dad told him that he wished he would have treated me better and that I was the best of the bunch. I was surprised that my husband even told me that. He treated me like my dad did.
The statement my dad made of regretting that he didn’t treat me better, came a long way to heal my broken heart. It helped me to forgive him. It showed me that it wasn’t just my imagination that I was treated badly. As a good consequence, I was able to forgive him but not right away. Even today, when the devil attacks me by telling me how bad I was treated, I remember that. It keeps me in line with a forgiving spirit.
Since I felt I couldn’t do anything right, I decided not to do anything at all when I could get out of it. I became a perfectionist. I set high goals for myself, knowing I would fail. This way I could say my dad was right about me. I was just no good.
My mother wasn’t satisfied with me either. I couldn’t even make a bed right to please her. She would do it herself instead of taking the time to make me do it until I got it right. It was easy to get out of doing anything. My Dad cursed and swore at the family, my mother included. I didn’t see until now that she was hurting inside, too. She developed a martyr complex.
When my dad wasn’t swearing at us, he gave us all the silent treatment for days at a time. This was often worse than his verbal anger. I walked around on tiptoes so as to not stir him up again. It wasn’t pleasant. My siblings had their own way of dealing with it.
I was curious about life and quite adventuresome. When I tried to get close to my mother and discuss things with her, she wouldn’t listen. She wanted to know why I was always arguing with her. I learned to keep my thoughts to myself.
My parents never showed me any love; any hugs or kisses. I was starved for affection. Between my parents and my church, I came to the conclusion that God was just like them. He was stern, unforgiving and unloving. He was ready to punish me at the least mishap. I pulled myself into a shell. I added brick by brick to build a wall around me so no one could get close enough to hurt me. I couldn’t stand rejection
I became the god of my little make believe world. I buried my head in my books where people were always nice to each other. My dream world was much better than the real world was. Outwardly I was doing what normal people did, like dancing, roller skating, going to the movies and so on. I pretended people were different than they were. I could never take them at face value and just accept them as they were. I wasn’t accepted so why should I accept others?
My real life was in my own universe. I pretended all the time that life was different than it actually was. I had my make-believe playmates. They couldn’t hurt me. I could not and refused to face reality. I lived a lie. No one but no one ever knew! I was a good actor. I smiled on the outside while I cried on the inside.
I only say all of this to show you what a mess I was. I know there are others who have had similar experiences or even worse. What God has done for me since the year 2000 when I had the dream, and is still in the process of doing now in 2006, is hard for me to believe. Now, at the age of seventy-five, I accept it. It is making me happier every day. God has healed my broken heart and set me free! He opened my blind eyes. I have been delivered from the bondage of my own prison. I praise the Lord everyday. It is never too late.
I have been able to forgive my parents and realize maybe they did the best they could. I’ll never know just what kind of life they had. My past is where it belongs; in the past. It doesn’t hurt any more. I bring it up, hoping maybe that someone reading this will see that God can do the same for them. I just hope they don’t wait as long as I did to receive the new life God wants for all of us.
I see now that my parents did teach me many good things which I will talk about at another time. My life wasn’t as bad as I made it out to be. I just developed a bad attitude. So many hurting people and I was one of them. If I can help just one person, it will be worth all the problems I had faced for such a long time.
I will write another article about how I could forget the negative and concentrate on the positive. All this is a big part of my emotional and mental healing. God is breaking down my brick wall.
I Praise Him that I am still a work in progress. That is why we have Christmas, celebrating the birth of Jesus. He has come to fulfill the prophecy of Isaiah 61:1 â€œAnd he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up for to read. And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Isaiah, And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written.
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me; because He has anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent me to heal the broken hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord. And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him, (Luke 18, 19 & 21)
And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears. Jesus is the same today as he was yesterday. God’s Word still holds true. I heard the same preaching in this generation as they did way back then. This preaching was for me. I was poor in spirit, broken hearted, captive to my imaginations. I was blind for I couldn’t see the truth. I was set free of all these prisons, including my self-made ones. God is the God of promises.
We serve a wonderful God. God bless you.