Death, Divorce, Damnation: Why life can hurt so much

Three years ago, I was in a relationship with a girl who I was with for a little over a year and a half. This was the first girl that I had truly loved. I underwent terrible circumstances within the relationships to help her deal with some terrible things going on in her life. I supported her, cared for her, and, when it ended she told me that she hadn’t loved me for a long time but was scared to be alone. After the breakup ended, she was with someone new within a week and engaged within a few months, I was crippled by this breakup. I invested so much love, energy, passion and endured so much scrutiny from surrounding environments to be with her. Only to be betrayed by constant lies and having reality slap you in the face.

When you love someone, you give them a part of who you are. This is why, things like Death, Divorce and Damnation are so painful. When these things happen, we experience that gaping hole in our hearts from the space that we created for them. To be human is to desire to love and to be loved, so these moments where someone betrays our love, we experience great dehumanization. When we experience such a large part of ourselves, we not only lose the presence of that human being, and, what they provided to us, but we lose a large part of ourselves. The part that we gave away. We lose part of our identity.

We are who we are, because of who we are in relationship with. I am a child of God. I am a Son, Brother, Friend, Coworker, Student. This is what defines me. So when we experience he loss of these relationships, I lose myself. For several years in my mid-teenage years, I experienced great dark nights of the soul with God, that left me feeling like the Philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre when he said “That God does not exist, I cannot deny, That my whole being cries out for God I cannot forget.” Deep parts of me felt lost. When I got a bad grade in college for quoting Rob Bell (The hipster one, not the one that seems cool to hate now), it caused me to experience deep cynicism towards my professor. I have had friends come and go, like everyone else, and, sometimes they leave for reasons I don’t like or understand. When this happens, when we don’t choose it, we feel helpless and lost. This is why so many people becoming controlling and fearful. They fear risking being hurt again, that they stop loving.

And yet, Jesus makes a preposterous statement like “Blessed are those who mourn”.

Mourning comes from loving and losing. So the blessing comes from those who lose, but, still continue to love. Because what Jesus knows is that the only thing that can heal the human heart from the loss of love, is more love. Love is what mends us, completes us, sanctify’s us, recognizes us, sacrifices for us, fights for us, love is what heals us. And, when we risk so radically for another human being, this human being will hurt us more than any other human being, yet, they will be the greatest face of God in our midst. They will show us the value and beauty of life. And, while they reveal to us the cost of living, they will in a far greater sense reveal to us the value of every moment, of every breath. We gladly carry this burden, even though it is still just that, a burden.

This is the importance of this Easter week for us. For a man came down to heaven, to carry a burden that was on his heart. A burden and love that looked like a cross. It is on this cross where we can expose the death, divorce and damnation on our heart and we can find that we are known and loved by this Jesus on the Cross. And, with him we travel through death on a cross, into resurrection. He shows us how to bare all, for the sake of all.

To love, is to risk. But, to not risk, is to become apathetic and numb to my humanity and lose all worth living for.


7 thoughts on “Death, Divorce, Damnation: Why life can hurt so much

  1. phil says:

    The loss doesn’t get any easier but I agtee with you. Risk is a pre-requisite to life. I spent 25 years with my first wife. It’s a long timet to be together only to break up. My conscious mind has come to terms with things but there’s times it’s like we’re still together and I have to wrench myself awake. It still hurts.

  2. Paul S says:

    I like how you closed this out. Well written.

  3. Been there. Still there? Maybe.

    I was working on a project recently. We were presenting our solution, and a client kept trying to poke holes in it, tell us how it wasn’t going to be perfect. Yes, but the alternative to this project is not try, and do nothing. That’s not a solution, that’s giving up.

    Life and love aren’t perfect, and won’t be this side of heaven. We can either try valiantly to love in the model Christ sets for us, or we can do nothing. But if we don’t risk anything, any part of ourselves to love one another, we don’t gain anything either.

    Well said Mike.

  4. Keeley Chorn says:

    I really appreciated your post. I’ve been there myself, wanting to put up walls to keep from making the same mistakes that caused me so much pain. But in the process, I tried to shut out anything that might cause pain or hurt. I definitely had my share of heartbreaks. I couldn’t understand what it meant to keep trying to love when it hurt so much, but this sentence of yours really sums it up: “Because what Jesus knows is that the only thing that can heal the human heart from the loss of love, is more love. ” I have now found this to be so true. What an amazing gift that Jesus wants us to know true love and he gives it freely. I couldn’t really love until I, first, began to understand what God’s love for me meant.

  5. apesydaisy says:

    This is a great post! I went through a divorce back when my son was 7months old (he’s 9 now) and it was painful and it took me a long time to begin to put the pieces back together and find my identity again. But you are right, as Alfred Lord Tennyson stated, “Tis better to have loved and lost to have never loved at all.” I think the blessing is in the fact that we chose to love and the mourning of that losts makes us stronger. If we don’t let it eat us up, then we are able to continue to love. Thanks for sharing this!

  6. Lysa says:

    thanks for sharing this. i have been in the midst of relational struggles for a while now, all the while learning how to love like Jesus. great thoughts!

  7. Erin says:

    I’m scared god will never let me be happy my whole life, for the sake of being “blessed”. I can’t live like that. Walk around half dead forever? I can’t do that.

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