Question: How do I let go and trust again when I’ve been hurt in a previous relationship?
If your broken heart has healed, how do you let go to trust again so you can be in another relationship?
Two signs you are emotionally healthy:
- You aren’t bashing your ex.
- You aren’t thinking, “What is wrong with me? If I had just done this or I was more like that.”
[Note: More emotionally healthy signs, such as not letting your woundedness paralyze or pervert your future, are discussed in my first SingleRoots post, Healing a Broken Heart. Consider it Part One of this conversation.]
If your ex broke up with you, or even if you ended it, concentrate on the fact that your ex wasn’t God’s best for you and you weren’t God’s best for your ex. This isn’t sour grapes, but a realization that you haven’t missed out on something.
Don’t forget: The ultimate goal for Christ followers isn’t marriage but our relationship with Jesus Christ.
Letting go may be complicated for some because deeper issues such as abandonment, rejection, or other childhood issues may be exposed.
When I’m ready to free myself from emotional slavery or woundedness, I prayerfully apply my Letting Go Principles. They are based on 2 Corinthians 10:5, “We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ.” These principles help me override my emotions so I can make a choice as an act of my will.
A first step in letting go is remembering your self-worth. You are made in God’s image and according to Jeremiah 29:11, He has the very best for your destiny in mind.
Letting go releases you to move on, to live more effectively for God in the present, instead of being enslaved to your past and unable to move forward.
Letting go allows you to start the process of understanding the rejection issue. God Himself was rejected by Israel, who wanted a human king. Beginning to understand this develops a new level of intimacy with God. Don’t rehearse your hurt.
Letting go gives you more insight into God’s incredible love for and patience with you.
Letting go jumpstarts your process of emotional detachment. Be careful. Don’t allow your emotional detachment to create resentment or bitterness. This detachment is an essential step if God is releasing you from your previous relationship into a new one.
Letting go helps you understand that your situation is bigger than you and not just about you. Let go of the self-pity. Don’t worry about how your situation appears to anyone else. Looking like a failure to others isn’t the issue—your relationship to Christ is.
Letting go can lead to the time of your life as God wants to increase your intimacy with Him while He continues providing you with opportunities to grow spiritually. God desires to connect you with people who want celebrate, not just tolerate you!
Letting go is about mastering your emotions. Emotions are good; they let us know when our core values—like self-worth, purpose, desire for control, or companionship—are being attacked. Jeff Shreve’s new book, Runaway Emotions will be a tremendous help for understanding and controlling your emotions.
Letting go is taking risks. Taking risks with a godly mindset, desiring to glorify God, is more an act of faith. Trusting God isn’t a blind trust.
*More details about the Letting Go principles can be found in Clarence’s book, Single and Free to Be Me.
If you know someone who is struggling to trust others after a bad break-up, will you email them this post?
Photo credit: robertsharp