Letting Go of My Relationship for Good

Written by Kathy Lim, Singapore

“Do you trust me to provide for all your needs?” I heard God ask.

Through tears, I was staring at a piece of paper with the words “REQUEST FOR CANCELLATION OF APPLICATION BEFORE BOOKING FLAT”.

Yes, I trusted that God would take care of me, but having to physically pick up a pen and sign on the form in that very moment was the hardest thing I ever had to do. I was saying goodbye to everything I had planned for my future, and nothing would be the same after that.

It was the beginning of 2019, and I was at a point in my life where I thought I had it all planned out. My boyfriend and I had been together for three and a half years—the design of the engagement ring was settled, we were soon to complete our Marriage Preparation Course, and we had a good number in the queue for our future 4-room apartment. We were both going to graduate from university that year, and I had found great comfort in knowing that even though I wasn’t sure about what I would be doing career-wise, I would have someone who was my constant by my side, supporting me as I ventured into the unknown.

Never would I have thought that God would one day allow for it all to be taken away.

It all started as we were about to embark on our Marriage Preparation Course, and I felt prompted to step back and re-evaluate the relationship. Marriage was a big step, and it was important to make sure we were actively choosing each other for the rest of our lives, not passively progressing in our relationship since we had been together for quite a few years.

We decided to spend some time apart from each other to individually spend time with God—to go on a “relationship fast”. It was hard to do, but I had confidence that it would only make our relationship stronger. Until one fateful day, my phone lit up with a text message: “I don’t think we should get back together.”

My relationship was suddenly over—there was no more future wedding, no more future house. I had gone from “In A Relationship” to “Single”, from “Student” to “Unemployed”.

The biggest blow came when I was scrolling through Instagram a month later, only to find that there was a new girl in their family photo. The person I loved now loved someone else.

Grief flooded my life, and I found myself entering into a new season of loss, of questioning, and of searching. In His mercy, God revealed truths and life lessons to me through prayer, reading the Bible, and the community around me.

 

God Never Changes

After my sudden break-up, there were weeks that I would just feel grey, where I wasn’t sad but I wasn’t happy either. Time seemed to move through me and I felt stuck. Where was God? Was He doing anything? I honestly couldn’t tell.

But God was faithful, and over time as I continued to go to church and attend cell group, I was reminded that God is never changing. Even when I couldn’t see Him working, even if I didn’t believe that He is good, my disbelief did not change the truth. God is good. God is merciful. God is compassionate. And God has good plans for me.

 

There is a Kingdom Way to Respond

Knowing that God had and has the best plans for me was one thing, truly believing it while I worked through my grief was another. I knew that there was a high chance I would close myself off from the world and listen to sad secular songs on repeat (which would usually make me feel worse), so I went in search of a better way to respond.

I put together a playlist of songs that echoed a Christ-like response instead of a worldly one; songs that were written in times of darkness and uncertainty, that cried out to God for comfort, or that were filled with hope for what is to come despite the current circumstances. Listening to these songs over and over again helped me to get my heart in the right place, where I was listening to words of truth about God instead of words in my head about how I would never find love again.

This helped shape the way I responded in front of others. God had surrounded me with a community who loved and supported me, both spiritually and practically. I was invited out for meals and to watch movies, and people would pray for me, share their lives with me, and even cry with and for me. As a young leader in church, I knew that I had the opportunity to make my response an example of one that glorified Christ. While I didn’t hide my pain and anger when sharing with others, I also made sure I didn’t hide my absolute belief that God would see me through all of it.

I was given the opportunity to travel to Canada to live with my best friend for a month, and God showed me how He loved me—often through people whom I had just met for the first time. In the quiet moments, away from everything that was familiar to me in Singapore, God spoke.

 

My True Identity is in Christ

God showed me how I had placed my identity in the things of this world. I had anchored myself in my status as a student. I had found my identity in being someone’s girlfriend. In a person who had her future all planned out. But my one true identity was, and is, in Christ. I am a Child of God, and nothing will ever change that.

 

Forgiveness is a Choice

In an effort to move on, I went through devotional after devotional on the topic of forgiveness, hoping that if I could figure out forgiveness, maybe some of the pain I felt every day would go away. I knew that I needed to forgive my ex-boyfriend, but I had so much difficulty in accepting that he had moved on so quickly. Was I ready to forgive?

Then, God challenged me to pray—for him, for his new girlfriend, and for their relationship. I thought it was the craziest thing God had ever asked me to do. How do I even begin? Every time I even thought about it I was in tears, I was grieved, hurt, and angry.

But I knew that God was calling me to obedience, to forgive, to love, to bless—even if I didn’t want to. It was through this process that I truly understood that forgiveness was a choice, a decision I had to make day after day, especially when I didn’t feel like it. It was something that could only be done because Christ gave me the strength to.

 

Growth Came After Loss  

I was told that this was going to be a season of growth, but I never truly believed it until I sat down and thought about my life. I realised that amid the loss, God had allowed every other area of my life to flourish—I had drawn much nearer to God, I was given more responsibilities in church, I was exercising more and was healthier, I was picking up new skills and hobbies. Seeing all this gave me so much hope; if God had already done such a work in my life, what other plans did He still have in store for me?

Now, almost two years later, I can look back and see God’s hand in all of it, even though I couldn’t see it then. Does it still hurt when I think about what happened? Yes. But does the situation still have a hold on me? No. God was with me through it all, and He brought me out of the darkness and into the light. He gave me the strength to reach out to my ex-boyfriend and let him know that I had forgiven him. Now, I might still be single—but I am content to be. I am continuing to trust that God has the best plans for me, and I am motivated to live a life in obedience to Him.

If you are going through a difficult season of your own, I pray that God will speak to you in His own way, so that you too can smile in anticipation of the wonderful things He has in store.

6 replies
  1. Adele Chung
    Adele Chung says:

    Thank you for sharing. I was in similar situation, so yes I feel you. We go thru roller coaster of emotions – from hurt to self-reproach to anger to forgiveness. I too was seeking solace from scriptures which gave me strengths and much needed wisdom to move an ich. I listen to sermons every night to help me to sleep. I listen to worship songs every morning to help me start the day. It has been a difficult 3 months and it will take time to heal, learn to be still and to completely put the past behind and to forgive. Above all, this too shall pass, and Jesus is our defender, our protector, our healer. If He brought us to it, He will take us through the emotional storm.

    Reply
  2. Alicia
    Alicia says:

    Thank you for this wonderful piece! I’m still new in finding my identity in Christ, but I’m grateful I no longer define my life by the brokeness of the past.

    Reply
  3. Sandy
    Sandy says:

    Thank you for sharing, I just came out of a similar situation. I felt God was speaking to me through your sharing. 🙂

    Reply
  4. Sarah
    Sarah says:

    Thank you for this. I see God in other people and saw Him through this article as this has shown me that God continuously works for us to see the goodness in the life He has blessed us with. I broke up with the person who I felt was the love of my life, because I didn’t want to hurt him and to get hurt anymore as I felt that our priorities right now have become different especially during these trying times, during the pandemic. I also kept listening to worship songs and it really helped me see things clearly and I have been humbled by God that it is not anyone’s fault that our breakup happened, but it was His will as He has better plans for the both of us. I pray that anyone reading this and going through the same thing will experience peace as you go through this season, and trust that God will bring us comfort and has something beautiful and amazing in store for us. You are not alone and you are never alone, because God is always present.

    Reply

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