The Grand Ex-ception

I’ve read my fair share about broken love.

From mental health forums to psychiatric advice columns…
…I’ve heard it all.
And while I’m not a reincarnation of Hitch or a New York Times best-selling author on relationships, I am a humble wordsmith undaunted by subject matter in proximity to my ex-weaknesses.

Not to sound like an obsessive reminiscer seeking reassurance, as if I need to feed off any cliché insecurity.

However, like any normal person, looking to replace past justification with present advancement, there’s a hunger for validation…a desire to occasionally place a specific emotion or experience on the altar to gauge its normality. Thus, I have no problem diving into a stranger’s testimony in hope to glean some illuminating awareness, especially if its content carries the potential for spiritual application. Why? Because hidden within the bunk of a broken world full of broken people are powerful truths ready to be discovered and employed.

So whether I’m reading a story from the lens of a venting ex-girlfriend, a clueless ex-boyfriend (#beenthere), a confused newly-wed or an indecisive commitment-phobe, I can’t help but vicariously root for the author to find breakthrough. Consider it the “fate” of any hopeless empathizer who first and foremost connects to a story’s pathos when stumbling upon a tale of “bad romance”*.

But biases aside, it’s pretty remarkable what can be learned from an outsider’s perspective.

For instance, have you ever noticed how the majority of breakup testimonies are voiced from sentimental hopefuls who either miss their ex, are fond of their ex or both? Or have you ever wondered why so many exes place notable emphasis on the positive aspects of a roller coaster relationship?

Granted, as said before, I’m not an expert on the matter. But I would vouch these people might be on to something…

…for there’s a beauty in vulnerability worthy of admiration…of courage seeking to encourage…and hearing people letting the words fall out… inspired by what they’ve gone through for the sake of maturing, educating and growing in gratitude.

And perhaps it’s here where I draw inspiration…from people pursuing the joy of what’s to come, yet understanding and accepting the process that lead them to that point.

‘Cause regardless of what the world says, at some point, we have to accept the road untaken and move on from the glory days lost in the wonderful unknown.

And who knows? Maybe for some, it takes a bout or two of “bad romance”** to fully understand God’s grand inception (i.e. a moment when God takes our mistakes and out of His grace, plants a transformational seed within the tender soil of our achy-breaky hearts). After all, some people have to learn the hard way.

However, this doesn’t mean we have to be inactive spectators on the sidelines.

Rather, we can help the dejected recapture the dream they feel they've lost. We can stand up and cheer when we see them getting on their knees, crying out for help. And we can dare them to ditch their shadows to show the world how big their brave is. ***

I mean, heck. Why not?

Then again, perhaps you struggle with sharing your testimony and frown down upon transparency, writing it off as a superficial means to affirmation.

My advice? If you want to let your life speak, sometimes you have to open up and get loud. Trust me, I know how hard it can be to expose a bittersweet episode. But it’s important to remember the spark you have to give far outweighs the risk of concealing it.

Besides, with God on your side, what do you have to lose?
* And by “bad”, I mean fizzled, given not all stories are tragedies or horror shows). So perhaps “relational breakdown” is more appropriate.
**Technically, I prefer the phrase “almost true love
*** Closing inspired by the Sara Bareilles song, “Brave
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