Gilland: How do you mend a broken heart?

The experience of heartbreak is just about as old as life itself. Going all the way back to Genesis 1, we see that this human condition existed as Adam and Eve realized the depth of their mistake, one that brought about great and lasting loss—both short and long term. And not only for them, but for every living being afterward.

Heartbreak has been the subject of countless songs, movies, Broadway plays, and books. It is as common to us all as the very air that we breathe. And it has certainly been at the forefront of our minds this past week as we watched events unfold in Uvalde, Texas.

An old adage has come to mind in my own life recently: “When it rains, it pours.” If 2020 will be remembered as the year of the pandemic and great change, I think I will look back on 2022 as a year of heartbreak—for many reasons.

In January, our church held a memorial service for a dear friend who also happened to be my oldest daughter’s father-in-law. In March, my father-in-law passed, a man whose life made an indelible imprint on my own, as he was my mentor in ministry for many years.

Earlier this month, on May 4th, my dear Mother went to be with the Lord. Even though Mom was 93, the end seemed to come unexpectedly, and very quickly. I am still in grief over her passing, trying to get used to this “new norm.”

Then, an unexpected email on Friday afternoon—one alerting me to the fact that a good friend and important media representative for The Shepherd Network passed away late Thursday night. I talked to this person every week, and now…he too is gone.

On Saturday morning, the lyrics to a song by the Bee Gees started rolling in my mind. Borrowing a line from the chorus, the song asks the rhetorical question,

“How do you mend a broken heart? How can you stop the rain from falling down?…”

The answer is…you can’t. Part of life is the enduring of difficulty, loss, death, suffering and disappointment. We can’t stop the inevitable losses, no matter how much we try. But there is a solace, a comfort, that we can run toward in such a moment of loss.

In a simple and concise verse of the Bible, Psalm 147:3 gives us a promise:

“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.”

That is the very promise that I am leaning on this morning, as I deal with my own aching heart. My trust is not in my own strength to grit and make it through, but in the power of God and His healing touch. His grace is sufficient for a broken heart. Trust Him with yours.

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