I woke up early this morning after emailing with a girl last night whose ex is getting married today. Ah, those Friday nights before ‘his’ wedding. I remember them well.
This is the advice I gave her:
“Keep breathing through the pain and tears. Talk yourself through it and reassure yourself it is going to be alright. Your pillow will be wet with tears tonight but there will be a Friday night in your future where you will feel excited for your wedding day.
I also recommend you share your feelings with God. He can handle it and your honesty is part of firming up your lifelong dependence on Him. I have a scripture verse I would like you to read tonight: Ephesians chapter 6:10-20.”
The pain can be excruciating when your ex marries another girl. Like giving birth to a new life without the hope of him in it, you must keep breathing thorough it. You may, at times, experience the rolling waves of hyperventilation in your chest. No doubt, tears will flow. But, just keep breathing. The morning will come and new hope will replace the hopelessness you feel.
This morning there are two funerals being held for locals in their early 40’s. I don’t know their circumstances but I do know that one of them hung herself. Why? We don’t know. All we are left with is the fact that morning and new hope did not come and instead “the flaming arrows of the evil one” did not appear to be extinguished.
During our bible study on Thursday night, we discussed Ephesians 6. I noticed that the Lord’s expectations of us are pretty high. He doesn’t just expect us to cruise through life in the hopes that the “flaming arrows” will not defeat us. No, He expects us to “put on armor” and “fight.” He expects us to “stand strong” and use our “shields.” He expects us to “pray and send our petitions”/requests/needs to Him. He expects us to “be alert”, to have “done everything” and “stand firm.” If we do, He promises to protect us.
The Armor of God
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.
Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints, and pray on my behalf, that utterance may be given to me in the opening of my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in proclaiming it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.” Ephesians 6:10-20
“…the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.”
Many interpret the “Word of God” to mean that we are to just read the Holy Scriptures. No doubt we are to read them but at the time that St. Paul wrote Ephesians, most of the New Testament had not been written or decided upon. Paul was referring to The Word, Jesus.
The Word Became Flesh
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.…”
Your weapon is the Grace that comes from the Lamb of God Who takes away the sins of the world. Jesus, The Word who became flesh. The gateway to grace is the Sacraments. I cannot encourage you enough to stay close to God by living a Sacramental life in Christ. The Sacraments are your weapons which extinguish the flaming arrows of the evil one. They are the “having done everything” in God’s expectations and referred to in Ephesians 6:13.
Talk Yourself Through It
Self-talk may sound silly to some. But if your singleness is extended far beyond where you had hoped or if the one you still love is getting married to someone else, self-talk is a powerful skill. It is a type of inner prayer of confirmation. Tell yourself it will be alright. Tell yourself that there is hope and there will be a spark in your natural curiosity for what will happen in the future. What plan does the Lord have for you? Could it be that He is preparing the way for something you can’t even imagine right now?
Preparing The Way
The “lifelong dependency” I referenced is the beautiful work that God does in our life. He heals us, draws us to Him and makes us dependent upon Him. The beautiful work is done most effectively through the pain we experience in the letting go. The beautiful work is accomplished by breathing through the pain, arming ourselves with His truth and Sacraments and then talking ourselves through it.
My extended singleness was part of that beautiful work. It was a gift. It was a sweet time of mercy and healing and dependency. Did I feel that at the time? No. It is only something I can only look back and see. Never did I imagine I would thank Him for that time alone, together, which taught me to put on the armor of God, stand firm, seek truth, use my weapons, pray and extinguish the flaming arrows of the evil one.
The Lord is preparing and strengthening you to do the same. Keep breathing, talk yourself through it, live a Sacramental life and trust that He is doing a beautiful work through it all.
Write to me anytime and be assured of my prayers. firstname.lastname@example.org
God love and bless you! Cindy
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I’ve never been in this situation, and I can’t imagine how much it SUCKS. Some advice I have heard for situations like this is to travel overseas for some time. If that’s not possible, just travel SOMEWHERE.
Too bad she knows her ex is getting married. That stupid Facebook is probably to blame.
Good advice, Julia! yes, that stupid facebook is most likely to blame. I can’t image what my life would have been like if Facebook had been around when I was dating. Thank you for your comment. I am praying for you! Cindy
Thank you Cindy!
It still amazes me how the Holy Spirit knows what we need to hear when we ask him for guidance. Thank you for doing this blog. You have no idea how many peoples lives your blog touches that are trying to live a single life in the world today and stay true to the sacramental life, and carry on the good fight!
Thank you for your sweet comments, Nisha! I will be praying for you. Write to me anytime: email@example.com God bless, Cindy
“keep breathing” was Man Ray’s advice to artists.