All night long on my bed, I looked for the one my heart loves; I looked for him but did not find him. I will get up now and go about the city, through its streets and squares; I will search for the one my heart loves. So I looked for him but did not find him.
Song of Songs 3: 1-2 (NIV)
These words from Song of Songs (Song of Solomon) are about love not divorce. Yet, I think they say so much. Love makes the heart do both wonderful as well as crazy things.
When we lose our love we may long for it’s return. When that doesn’t happen, we may figuratively or literally go about the city searching for love. We want to find someone to love, and perhaps even more, we want to find someone to love us.
Do you know the feeling? Are you deeply craving someone to fill the emptiness?
Wanting to love and be loved in itself isn’t crazy. It’s human. But, when the need to be loved clouds your judgement, you become vulnerable.
This deep neediness for love is a part of the craziness that divorce can create in your heart. It’s crazy because deep need can make you settle.
Don’t ever settle.
When you settle, you open yourself to:
- Short-changing yourself and not getting the relationship you really want.
- Sacrificing your own self-esteem
- Repeating hurtful past patterns.
- Accepting poor treatment just to feel the illusion of love.
Don’t do that to yourself. It’s like jumping into the fire. You deserve better.
Don’t yield to the urges of a crazy needy heart.
So, what can you do instead?
- Give yourself time to heal to the point you aren’t hurting for love.
- Wait until you’re judgement isn’t clouded by neediness.
- Set your standards and expectations for a loving relationship.
- Learn to love yourself.
- Trust that God has a work to do in you now. Talk with God.
Don’t jump into the fire. Let God help you un-crazy your heart.
Renee Smith Ettline, M.Ed. is founder of After Divorce Ministries, LLC, author of Peace after Divorce, and creator of the Peace after Divorce Workshop. Her Peace after Divorce Workshop group study is widely offered in churches and reaches across denominational lines. She builds on her background as an educational counselor, her Christian faith, and her own divorce experience to light a path for those who need support for healing from divorce.
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