Forever defining your life through heartbreak?

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By Dave Henning / February 19, 2021

“Staying here, blaming them, and forever defining your life by what they did will only increase your pain.  Worse, it will keep projecting out onto others.  The more our pain consumes us, the more it will control us.  And sadly, it’s those who least deserve to be hurt whom our unresolved pain will hurt the most.”- Lysa TerKeurst

In the Introduction (“I Still Cry Over What Happened”) of her latest book, Forgiving What You Can’t Forget: How to Move On, Make Peace with Painful Memories, and Create a Life That’s Beautiful Again, Lysa TerKeurst talks about life Before Crisis (BC) and After Devastation (AD).  Lysa describes it as a line in time drawn sharply across your reality.  Above all, that sharply drawn line divides your life.  But it also splits open your memory bank and defiles it.

No matter what form it takes, Lysa observes, grief devastates.  And it’s only natural to clench your jaw when you think about the person or people whose choices struck the match igniting the grief.  In addition, you feel as fragile as the tiniest twig.  But as stuck in the aftershock and fallout as a hundred-year-old tree stump.

Most significantly, Lysa notes, her book doesn’t focus on restoration.  Rather, Lysa’s goal involves helping you figure out what to do when you can’t forget what happened.  When forgiveness feels like a dirty word.

Finally, the author talks about ineffective and effective ways to move forward.  Lysa writes:

“Completely sterilizing [your] life from the physical presence of reminders [doesn’t] remove the pain.  You can’t edit reality to try and force healing.  You can’t fake yourself into being okay with what happened.  But you can decide that the one who hurt you doesn’t get to decide what you do with your memories.  Your life can be a beautiful combination of graceful and painful.  You don’t have to put either definitive label on what once was.  It can be both-and.”

Today’s question: What Scriptures prevent you from forever defining your life through heartbreak?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “Deep woundedness – forgiveness seems offensive”

About the author

Dave Henning

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