Perhaps one of the hardest emotional things to do is to release someone from your heart that you still have strong feelings for. Without God, this is impossible. With him, anything is possible.
While letting someone go that you love is extremely difficult, here are 5 things God will do to help you release this person from your heart.
1. God Will Make It Painfully Clear You Two Will Never Become a Couple
God is always speaking. Sometimes, he speaks so clearly about a relationship that the clarity is actually painful. Thus, we often choose to see what we want because the truth hurts too much. We miss it because our hope is blinding us. For example:
- A clear rejection is a clear sign this is not who God has for you. Yes, this person’s feelings can change. But there is no reason to assume they will. All the evidence says this person is not the one. Until there is evidence saying they are the one, you should believe they are not.
- If you’ve always liked someone but never got the chance to date them or express your feelings, you could be waiting for the right time. But if this person starts dating someone else, this means they don’t like you enough for it to be wise for you to wait for them. And if they marry someone else, this is a very clear sign you should move on.
- Sometimes you get the chance to be with that person you always wanted, but then they treat you in such horrible ways it’s clear this is not what God wants for you. You can’t let your previous buildup of this person blind you to the reality of their bad character.
It’s hard to let go of a hope that you had. But when the external evidence is clear, it’s usually a sign God is telling you to move on and let them go.
2. God Will Help You Grieve the Loss Rather than Just Erasing the Pain in an Instant
One reason people can’t seem to stop thinking about a certain person in their past is because they refused to grieve this loss. Sometimes people refuse to grieve because they don’t want to admit that they were hurt by this person. It’s a self-defense coping mechanism. At other times, especially when you never dated this person, you might think it’s silly to grieve a relationship loss that was never even a real relationship to begin with.
But as Proverbs 13:12 states, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick . . . .” If you were hoping for something with this person and it never happened, this can make your heart sick. You need healing, and the first step to healing is usually grieving. The more you resist a healthy season of grieving, the more you prolong your pain.
Allow yourself to be sad, give your pains to Jesus (1 Peter 5:7), and then when the time is right, move on. Don’t grieve forever, but if you try to move on without grieving first, you often get stuck and keep thinking about this person.
3. God Will Let You Be Alone for a While Rather than Letting You Replace Your Old Idol with a New Idol
Idols always let us down (Jeremiah 2:27-28). Nothing can fill our hearts except the one true God (Jeremiah 2:13). Without coming to the Lord through Jesus Christ, our hearts will always be searching for a false god to make us feel better. But it never works.
And so, in love, if an idol has let you down, God will often allow you to feel alone and empty for a period of time before giving you a new relationship. He doesn’t want you to replace your old idol with a new idol. He wants you to let go of all idols and put him first in your heart (1 John 5:21).
Only after you have rightly aligned your heart with Christ can he then bless you with other good things, like a human relationship (Matthew 6:33).
4. God Will Let You Feel the Pain of Wasted Time If You Are Refusing to Let This Person Go
All of our choices have consequences. Perhaps one of the most painful consequences to not letting someone go that God does not want us with is the consequence of wasted time.
The longer you hold onto something God doesn’t have for you, the longer it will take for your heart to be ready to receive what God does have for you. It’s hard, but the sooner you let this person go, the sooner God can bless you with the person he does have for you.
Ephesians 5:16-17, “Making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.”
5. God Will Give You the Strength to Risk Loving Again
When you’ve been hurt by a hope that never came to fruition, the temptation will be to protect yourself from future pain by never having a hope like that again. God doesn’t want you to cut yourself off from love. The pain now is preparing you to enjoy the future relationship God has for you in an even greater way.
As 1 John 4:8 states, “Above all, keep loving one another earnestly . . .”