What to Do When Your Heart Is Broken


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On today’s show, we’re talking about trusting God . . . even when your heart has been broken. Then, my friend Jonathan Pitts is joining us to talk about his story of faith. He’s the executive pastor of Church of the City here in Nashville, and I know you’re going to be unbelievably encouraged by his story. Finally, we’ll spend some time journaling through what it looks like to have peace that passes all understanding. Let’s go!

Do This When You Feel Hopeless 

We’ve all had disappointments in our lives. I’ve had my heart broken in many different ways. I’ve been in the hospital with my 3-year-old as he was hooked up to all these monitors to see if he was going to be okay. And he was. But at that moment I was terrified. I've lost family members. I've had family members and close friends go through tragedies in their life. I’ve also gone through seasons of darkness and wilderness where I felt like God didn't see me and didn't remember me and wondered if He was mad at me.

Have you felt like that? Have you gone through disappointments or heartbreaks or tragedies? The kind where all you can think in those moments (even if you’ve had a lifetime of faith) is, God, where are you? Do you even see me? Do you even hear me? Do you know what I'm going through?

We look to our heartbreak and draw conclusions about the character of God. But when you look at Scripture, God never said it would be easy. There’s example after example of disappointment, trials, valleys, temptations and seasons of darkness. It’s full of people feeling lost and scared and forgotten. It's full of those moments when we feel like He doesn't see us, or that He's left us or abandoned us. Or maybe it’s that He's just not good.

But you know what? Scripture also reminds us that even though we’ll go through those seasons, God is with us. Even though we’ll go through darkness, God is good. And even though we’ll go through seasons where we’re full of fear and anxiety of the unknown and experience heartbreak, disappointment and tragedy, He sees us, He's with us, and He’s still good.

How to Overcome Loss With Jonathan Pitts 

I’m so excited to be sitting down with Jonathan Pitts today. He’s the executive pastor of Church of the City in Nashville, co-author of Emptied: Experiencing the Fullness of a Poured-Out Marriage, and President of For Girls Like You. Jonathan had to learn how to trust God after losing his wife Wynter Pitts. His story of faith despite the hardest circumstances really moved me, and I know it will move you too. Here are a few highlights from our conversation:

  • Centering yourself on the present—especially when your heart is broken
  • Choosing a posture of gratitude, even in hard times
  • Knowing who you are and whose you are
  • Having hope despite life’s disappointments
  • Believing that God works all things out for good

Remember This When Life Is Hard . . . 

I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” — John 16:33 (NIV)

There are so many things in life that we want but can’t necessarily have. We can’t have control or every desire fulfilled. We can’t always have our plans work out exactly as we want them to. Things aren’t always going to be easy. But what Jesus reminds us again and again is that we can have peace that passes all understanding despite our circumstances, our heartbreak and our tragedy. Remember: This world is not our home. We will have trouble, but God is still good—He is with us and He is for us.

Here are a few questions to ask yourself as you process what it means to have faith—even in your heartbreak.

  1. Think back on some past times when you’ve been disappointed and remember where God showed up. Write down specific examples of how God carried you during those difficult times.
  2. How did you change as a result of that suffering, tragedy, disappointment or heartbreak? What changed in you?
  3. How did going through that actually strengthen your faith?
  4. Where do you need God to show up right now?