7 things to remember when your heart is broken

7 things to remember when your heart is broken April 8, 2015


Last week, I did one of the most difficult things of my life.

A friend of mine from church who has suffered with chronic pain made the desperate decision to end his own life. I got the call from his heartbroken sister. I learned that my friend’s mother didn’t yet know the tragic news. I felt that I needed to be part of walking with this family through their darkest hour, so I volunteered to go with with the siblings and tell my friend’s Mom that her son had died.

It was a surreal experience. There’s nothing natural about a parent having to bury a child (at any age). It creates the kind of wound in a parent’s heart that never fully heals on this side of heaven. I held his heartbroken mom as she wailed over the loss of her son. I prayed with her and her family, and despite the raw emotion and broken hearts, God penetrated the darkness with an unexplainable peace.

As a pastor, I’ve celebrated with people during the most joyful moments of life (births of babies, weddings) and I’ve grieved with others in their moments of unspeakable tragedy. In those moments of despair, I’ve learned some lessons that have given me peace and perspective in those moments when all hope seems lost.

If you’re facing heartbreak, depression or difficulty in any area of life, I pray these words bring you hope and comfort as well.

7 things to remember when your heart is broken:

1. God has a plan.

On this side of heaven, we probably won’t see how all the broken pieces of our lives are being put together to create something beautiful, but faith gives us the strength to believe in God’s promises even when life doesn’t seem to make sense. For more on this, read my most popular post on 4 things God wants you to remember when life is hard.

Dave Willis quote God is in control

2. Take time to grieve (but not too much).

Sometimes we think crying is a sign of weakness, but I see tears as a gift God gives us to help us process pain in a unique way. It’s okay to cry and grieve, but don’t say in the grieving process too long, because grief is like a sauna…staying in it for short periods can be healthy, but staying in it too long can be dangerous.

3. All pain is temporary.

This tough season you’re in is a temporary season. It may feel like it will last forever, but it will pass. Don’t lose hope.

Dave Willis quote quotes God's timing

4. God is not distant from our pain.

For me, one of the most comforting verses in the Bible is the shortest verse of all. It simply says, “Jesus wept.” Those two words give me hope, because I’m reminded that we have a Savior who isn’t distant from our pain.

5. You may not get “over” this, but you WILL get through this.

Some tragedies leave wounds that never fully heal on this side of heaven, but even though you may always carry a scar from this, God will carry you through this and bring healing and hope. Give God the broken pieces of your heart, and He will create something beautiful with them in time.

Dave Willis quote quotes God said everything would work out not make sense

6. You are growing stronger through this.

We feel weak in our pain, but we’re actually growing stronger as we endure it. One of the only things that we can experience in this life that we won’t be able to experience in heaven, is pain and the growth that always come through it.

Dave Willis quotes quote easy days hard gift from God

7. You are not alone.

Grief makes us feel isolated and alone, but those feelings are an illusion. You have many people who love you and you have a Savior who has promised to never leave you or forsake you. Don’t lose hope. God will carry you through this.

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Guest

    I believe the word he used was “desperate” decision.

  • Guest

    I believe the word he used was “desperate” which in my opinion does not show judgement.

  • Guest

    It seems to me that you have some deep pain associated with this topic. For that I am sorry.. I work in geriatric mental health so I see the pain both physical and emotional. I also have a beloved family member who struggles with a horrible chronic illness for which there is no cure or successful management of symptoms. They have been in that dark place (many times) where there seemed to be only one way out. It is
    ONLY by their faith in Jesus Christ that has pulled them out of the pit each time.
    So I agree with what Dave is saying. I still don’t see a tone of shame.

  • Kim Valentine

    I will not debate with you. In the course of defending your position I feel you have berated mine and I will not feed that fire. Have a nice day

  • Rocko19


    That sounds to me the cowards way out, how is it not:
    “I have already left DNR instructions for certain medical situations – that’s how brave I am and how consistent I am with my opinions. I am no coward”
    It’s said to be a Mortal Sin, (e.g. felony …very different sentence then a misdemeanor.

  • Rocko19

    Funny, you being on this site, seams the site for you,
    would be The Hollywood Reporter, Variety, HuffPost,
    LA Times, etc..

  • z–man

    “God has a plan”…… In the 20th century alone, hundreds of millions of people murdered by war, maimed, tortured, etc…… some plan.

  • Renee

    Thank you, David Willis
    I am going to use these 7 things!
    I really needed this right about… Now! Actually! I’m stuck in “the valley of the shadow of death” and I fear…. Oh, boy, do I ever…
    So, thank you for simplifying it.. the grieving process… that is.

  • Renee

    God’s plan is Jesus… Find Him… Understand Him… then… Become like Him

  • karunaratne

    when we go through a tragedy which leaves a permanent scar and after we give that peaces of broken heart to god for repair, who will tell us that it is repaired? i think that the time is the one who tell us it is repaired.