Who ever said “…but words will never hurt me?”
Angry, cruel words can be like arrows tipped with poison; irreversible barbs laced with poisonous lies puncture deep without warning. They hurt, they shock, they immobilize. The Psalmist said, “They sharpen their tongues like swords and aim cruel words like arrows. They are quick to spread their shameless lies; they destroy good people with cowardly slander.” (Psalm 64:3-4, Good News Translation)
“GET OUT, I told you!” he screamed at the top of his voice.
Laura sat dumbfounded in shocked disbelief. It seemed she was frozen in time as she watched pile after pile of clothes being thrown out their second floor apartment.
“Didn’t you hear me?” he yelled into her face, shoving her towards the door. “I said LEAVE! I never want to see your ugly face again. You sicken me! I can’t stand to look at you!”
With one final shove, he sent her sprawling down the long wooden stairs, hurt in more ways than one. Laura slowly picked herself up, feeling her sore sides, and took note of her scraped elbows and knees. A tear threatened to spill down her cheek. I won’t let him see me cry! She choked back the tears and pain as she stuffed clothes into her arms, but her heart was pierced to the core by his calloused words. Her heart felt broken in two.
She hadn’t seen this coming. Sure, there were tense words spoken when she left for work that morning, but they had had their tussles before. Nothing ever came of it. What was different this time? What did I say wrong? What did I do? Where will I go?
The assault comes mindlessly, the attack vicious – not thought through, not planned. The ambush catches the heart by surprise. The tirade begins and ends in insult. Shock and dismay are the ugly result… “I can’t believe what I just heard! This cannot be happening!” Stabbing words cause damage to the spirit; when tipped in poisonous lies and slander, they wound the soul. A physical puncture wound drains the body of strength; a verbal puncture drains one emotionally and mentally as well.
“Insults have broken my heart and left me weak, I looked for sympathy but there was none; I found no one to comfort me,” said King David. (Psalm 69:20 ) “Hope delayed makes the heart sick…” states a proverb.
Laura’s broken heart attack caused such intense reaction, she felt stripped of meaning. Her friends didn’t understand. Her job or hobbies no longer brought any joy. She felt hopeless and alone. She tried to pray, but felt no one was listening. She wanted God to act on her behalf, to come through with an answer, but it seemed He was asleep in the boat while her storm raged around her.
“God, why?” her heart screamed. “Why did you allow this to happen? What did I do to deserve this? You could fix this –so, why don’t you?”
Whenever she glimpsed the slightest light of things getting better, something as simple as a song on the radio or a television scene sent waves of pain washing over her broken heart again. Darker clouds rolled over her emotions spiraling her into even deeper depression. She felt as if her very life were being squeezed out. Poisoned with doubt, every painful memory tangled around her hope in a death stranglehold. She was weakened within and without with hardly enough strength to face each day. I can’t even think straight. The pain is too great. Will it ever stop hurting? she wondered. Laura’s hope was crushed and gone. It seemed nothing would ever get better again. She was ready to give up.
MENDING THE BROKEN HEART: NEW HOPE
Mending a broken heart is never easy. There is no quick way to stop the anguish. Amelie Chance says, “Some even experience physical pain with a tight chest, nervous stomach, or terrible insomnia when dealing with a broken heart.” The most difficult task for a person with a broken heart is to keep going in spite of jagged raw edges.
The Lord heals the broken-hearted and binds up their wounds (griefs & disappointments) (Psalm 147:3–NIV)
Though your first reaction may be to run away from the pain or to give up – don’t. Though you cannot see God in the midst of your storm does not mean He is not working on your behalf. Neither can you see the sun when the rain clouds hang low, but it is still there. God most often has a deeper plan. He wants to walk you through your storm so you can learn to lean upon Him in the toughest battles.
Draw closer to God by asking for His guidance, praying and reading through the Psalms. Get encouragement from Christian friends, listen to uplifting music and teaching, and then allow the Lord to lead you. Allow Jesus to speak PEACE into your storm.
A STEP AT A TIME
Accept each day as a new gift. The Lord promises to give light for your path – but it may only be one step at a time. Put one foot in front of the other and keep walking. Put the pain behind you. If you keep thinking about the pain and loss – you keep it in front of you, if you wallow in the pain, you embrace it. So, put it behind – keep walking ahead into the future. Things will get better.
Broken hearts CAN heal, though scars remain. Take time to rest. Step back and review the situation. Lean on the truth and reject the lies. Sometimes there will be reconciliation, sometimes not. Through the loving support of friends and family, the godly counsel of those you trust, strong faith in God, and a determination and willingness to hope again, the wound will mend. The pain will eventually ease and disappear, and you will go on living – perhaps better than ever before.
Don’t give up – there’s still hope!