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.
Table of contents
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.
Everyone has felt the pain of a broken heart. It can be painful, long-lasting, depressing and ruin your self-confidence. However, it does not always have to be a terrible ordeal. In fact, it can be a great time to learn more about you and grow as an individual and in your faith.
God is there for you when your heart feels like it is shattered into a million little pieces. The most important first step anyone can do during their time of sorrow is turn to Him! God will not only fix your broken heart, He will open it up to the amazing things life has to offer for your future. You will learn to trust in His plan for you. God works in mysterious and awesome ways!
Here are the seven ways that God can heal your broken heart. You just have to let Him in!
Dr. Jim provides advice on healing a broken heart, with a discussion that includes why some singles seem to remain single – and the steps to take (and not take) to regain emotional balance in your life.
Single adults realize quickly that dating involves taking risks. It is a challenging process to find ‘someone’. Perhaps it is even more challenging when that one does not turn out to be ‘the one’ and the relationship ends. The emotional turmoil that follows is often painful. How one goes about dealing with this brokenness is essential to future healthy relationships.
A cycle of relationships that only get so far…
Not everyone who is past a certain age (I will not give a number) is single because they have problems. However, I have noticed that there are a number of singles that remain single many years after a previous relationship ended because: (1) they have never experienced a healthy relationship in childhood or since; or, (2) they did not process through the breakup in a healthy and complete manner. What develops is often a cycle of relationships that only get so far before the one who is not healed completely from a previous relationship chooses to move on.
How to heal from a broken heart – and return to a healthy emotional balance
What are some things that one should do to heal from a broken heart and find their way back to healthy emotional balance?
- Pour your ‘heart’ out to God. His Spirit is the greatest comforter you will ever have. Ask God to work in your mind and emotions and guide you to healthy choices and actions.
- Understand it is a process that takes time AND requires making the right choices. Time in itself will not provide the healing. There are those famous words that many singles in this condition hear – ‘just get over it’! While it is well intended, it takes both time and healthy choices.
- You must not walk around, but walk through the process. It is the shortest distance to peace and restored emotional health. Take it one day at a time, making wise choices one at a time. One wise choice built upon another and the feelings will follow. If you lead with your feelings, you will often get into trouble.
- Set out to make new Christian friends – men and women.
- If appropriate, share with your Pastor and ask for his prayers and guidance.
- Find 1 or 2 other Christian singles of your own gender and develop good buddies with them. You should encourage, support, and hold each other accountable.
- Fill your life doing the things you enjoy, with those you enjoy doing them with.
What not to do when you have a broken heart
What you should not do with a broken heart:
- Do not rush into another relationship. It may soothe your surface feelings, but it is the worst thing you can do for yourself and the other person.
- Do not listen to well-meaning friends and relatives who tell you it just takes time and you need to move on with your life.
- Do not think that you can just take care of it by yourself and hibernate or withdraw. Be busy making new friends and active in healthy activities.
- Do not think that God has abandoned you.
- Do not try to ‘rush’ back to the old relationship. It may be that God desires for that to happen – some day. However, you need to allow Him to do the work and not any manipulation, etc.
The Holy Spirit is the great comforter of our lives. He is God on earth, desiring to lead you through this time to strengthen you. The Bible tells us in 2Corinthians 1:3-4:
‘Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God’.
Make the choice today to move toward healing your broken heart.
Remember: what’s yours, no one can take away. This that has been taken away was never ours, and this that is ours – will never be taken away.
Let your pain be. It’s good: it’s God’s. He’ll put it in the right size. He’ll fill your emptiness. Be Honest: It’s OK you feel so bad. A great part of our pain is us not giving space to it, which can result in feelings of pressure and distress. Our pain asks to break free. Letting it be will enable you to let it go.
Pray your pain. Talk to Him about it every day. If at first you have no words, just say the same word over and over again. Sing a quiet song. If you can’t even cry your heart out, just sit with Him and say nothing.
When you talk about it to other people, be aware of whom you talk about it with. If you’re not sure, try to wait a while and think: is it beneficial? Is it safe? That said, talking to the right person can be very helpful.
Heal your body: Breathe deeply, yoga, exercise, try to sleep or at least rest. Take good care of your health and of yourself. It will help you make physical space for your pain.
Even through your pain, and especially through it, try to be kind to others. Be a human being: that’s all there is.
Be silent. Wait. It’s a hard task, but a reply to all suffering is silence. When Aaron’s sons died, the Bible says: “And Aaron held his peace”.
Remember the bright side of a heart-ache: it can help you build yourself as a new, improved person.
Help other people, volunteer. Don’t give up on it because of the circumstances.
Try to keep your environment clean, tidy and lit enough.
Keep taking care of how you look. It’s very important. Keep yourself clean and tidy.
Remember: everything is merely forms of Him. If you remember this and hang on for a while – this bitterness will turn into honey.
Love yourself. Hug yourself in your mind. Forgive yourself. You are so wonderful. Remember: God loves you so much, and He knows what He’s doing. Allow Him to love you.