Ladies, you’ve been there.
You broke up with a boy and you go through the stages.
You eat ice cream.
You call your mom.
You cry some more.
You watch Nicholas Sparks movies.
You cry a lot.
Your friends take you out and make you do something fun.
You aggressively sing along with Beyoncé.
You move on.
This looks a little differently for everyone; it’s a process. But I think we can all relate to the rollercoaster our emotions take us on after a breakup.
I happen to be on the aggressively singing along with Beyoncé step in the process. One of my friends has deemed it the “angry stage”. I refuse to speak to him, even in passing. I constantly rant to my friends about him. I pick apart everything from his haircut to the new girl he’s hanging out with.
Last Sunday in my church small group, our leader was talking about loving even the difficult people in our lives. He talked about Luke 6:32-33: “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that.” Jesus continues in the passage telling His audience to love their enemies. Our group leader told a story about the woman who lives in the apartment above his and his attempts to love her even though she is extremely rude and difficult.
You know the feeling when you hear something that God is using to convict you? When His message hits you like a ton of bricks and you can’t pretend you didn’t hear Him. Even though I’d heard those verses in Luke plenty of times before, this time their message for me was clear as a bell. And I thought, Come on God, you’ve got to be kidding me. You saw the way he acted! You heard all the stupid things he said to me! Loving him? That’s not fair.
Now obviously, loving someone you’ve recently broken up with doesn’t look the same as loving other people in your life. But the point is this. I was content to camp out in the angry stage. Trash talking him had become something I did without thinking twice. And that is far from loving.
I need to be walking toward a place of forgiveness. Regardless of what has or will happen, Christ calls me to respond to everyone, even my ex-boyfriend with grace. That won’t always come easily, I need to ask for God to grant me supernatural grace more often than not.
The bottom line is- the angry stage is not biblical. The Bible warns us not to let our anger take over. It’s okay to feel; it’s ok to grieve a relationship. We may feel angry, but we can choose to respond in grace. So to myself and to all of you: Do what you need to heal. Blast the music, eat the ice cream, cry the tears. But let go, move on, forgive, and quit hanging out in that angry place.