When You Break Up . . . And The Shame Floods In

In just over three weeks you’ll get the inside scoop on my relationships with guys in Confessions of a Boy-Crazy Girl: On Her Journey from Neediness to Freedom. There’s one story you won’t read in it, though, because it’s super fresh.

After I wrote Confessions, I began to date an incredibly godly man . . . and then I broke up with him about a month ago. Since then, I’ve experienced a whole lot of shame and guilt for not being more “spiritual,” for woman with bouquetnot having been satisfied with a godly man. What more could a girl ask for?

The messages I’ve picked up from the Christian world have taunted me. Find a godly man and marry him is the message I’ve heard loud and clear. He won’t be perfect; you’re not perfect; just get married. I’ve nodded my head and begged God to help me value the things He values.

But at the end of the day there was no peace, no joy in moving forward—only heaviness and tears. And so I said goodbye, and then the shame came.

Last week I realized why, at least in part. I’ve grown up knowing that Jeremiah 17:9 is true:

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?

If I can’t trust my heart, if I can’t know my heart, how can I make good decisions?

At the same time . . . hasn’t God given me a new heart? Removed my heart of stone and replaced it with a heart of flesh? Hasn’t He made all things new, including my heart? Doesn’t Jesus Christ now live in my heart through faith?

And if God can turn the king’s heart—the most powerful man in the land—wherever He wants, can’t He turn my heart too? Won’t He do the same for me, His daughter, who longs to know and do His will?

So I will continue to ask and trust God to turn my heart wherever He wants. And when the guilt and shame and self-loathing threaten to beat me up, I will rest in 1 John 3:20:

Whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and he knows everything.

It’s true that left to myself, I can’t trust my heart. But I can trust the God who is greater than my heart . . . and I can trust Him with my heart.

How is God asking you to trust Him with your heart today?

When You Break Up . . . And The Shame Floods In” was originally posted on LiesYoungWomenBelieve.com.

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  • Liza Hartman

    Paula! I just want to tell you that your rest in the Lord’s work in your heart encourages my own heart to cling to Jesus instead of my own wisdom and a myriad of other things. Thank you for being honest and letting us see Jesus being formed in you! You’re a gem.