I don’t know how I could have lost it, but I did. My wallet.
I just got back from Christmas shopping at Costco and was so happy that I found some great gifts at great sale prices. But when I got home to unload the groceries and my gifts, I realized — with a drop in my stomach — that I couldn’t find my wallet. It was a pink wristlet, a special birthday gift from a friend.
An hour later, after zooming back to the store, looking in all the shopping carts, and turning my car inside out, I had to accept the truth: my wallet was gone. And something very valuable was in my wallet: a rebate check from Costco for purchases earlier in the year.
All the savings I scooped up that morning flew away, like dollar bills with wings.
But then, I got an idea. I called Costco and asked if they could cancel the rebate check and issue me a replacement. “Yes, don’t worry,” they assured me. Even if someone found the check, they couldn’t use it because my membership number is on it. Only the owner of the check can use the credit.
It reminded me of the love that God says is ours in times we find ourselves with that same pit-in-your-stomach heartbreak or hopelessness.
There are moments in life when we may feel overwhelmed by grief and loss. The person we want to love us has left us. Or the dream we held onto for so many years has slipped from our grasp. And we feel abandoned.
We are not left to despair. God’s love for you can never be lost.
Your name is on God’s heart, and your challenges, disappointments, and losses are always on His mind.
“Can a woman forget her nursing child or lack compassion for the child of her womb? Even if these forget, yet I will not forget you. Behold, I have inscribed you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me.”
It’s true. The one thing that is impossible to lose is the very thing God longs to give you anew today: His love.
As we approach Valentine’s Day emphasizing love and relationships, memories of loss and heartbreak may surface. How do we respond?
First, stand firm in your faith. Remember God’s goodness is like the Costco rebate check holding credit that can’t be stolen: God’s love for you will never expire. Nothing and no one can thwart God’s plans prepared just for you.
Jesus leaves the ninety-nine for just one. God will give you the care you need. God’s love will heal your heart. It’s His promise. “I have loved you with an everlasting love” (Jeremiah 31:3).
Second, take action. When those difficult emotions surface, take these three soul care action steps to rebuild life after heartbreak and loss. They helped me and I know they’ll empower you, too!
STEP 1: Strengthen your faith by speaking God’s loving promises to yourself.
Simply saying, “I’m fine” doesn’t help us. God wants us to be honest. But did you know agreeing with how God sees us — when we tell ourselves the truth about our values and strengths — improves emotional wellness? Studies show you will feel more hopeful, happier, optimistic, and less sad and angry, by writing down your strengths and what’s important to you. What is a Scripture that gives you hope?
STEP 2: Take time for yourself.
It’s okay when difficult emotions come out. Name the emotion, then take action to do what brings you peace and joy. Jesus takes pleasure in seeing you take care of yourself. A UCLA study shows simply naming negative emotions calms anxiety in your body! What can you do today to help yourself breathe in God’s peace and joy?
STEP 3: Sing a song to release emotions and renew your faith with worship.
Singing or listening to worship delivers two powerful benefits: it helps you release the sadness that has built up, and lifts your emotions back up by reminding you that God has been good to you and He will be faithful do it again! Research shows music calms our nervous systems, alleviates pain, and helps us sleep when we listen at bedtime.
As you practice these three soul care steps, your heart will breathe in and breathe out God’s deep, renewing love for you that can never be lost.
Look down as Jesus tenderly folds His hand into yours. Rest in His embrace. You can rebuild life after loss and heartbreak because our Loving Savior who owns the cattle on a thousand hills and knows every bird on every mountain has an unending supply of goodness and treasure reserved just for you.
Which of the 3 soul care steps encourages you?
How is God calling you to rebuild your life with His love?
Want more tips to improve your emotional wellness? Sign up for Bonnie’s free Breathe Wellness Bible Study when you preorder her new book Breathe: 21 Days to Stress Less and Transform Chaos to Calm and register (click here).
Thank you for this word. The first step speaks to me, we sometimes forget to speak God’s promises over ourselves. All of Isaiah 43 is encouraging, but verses 18 & 19 especially give us hope that God will bless us with the new things that He has planned for each of us.
Bonnie Gray says
Judy, it’s amazing how God speaks so personally to you. Thank you for sharing the Scripture that is so powerful in Isaiah 43 – and how verses 18 & 19 refill you with hope!
“ Strengthen your faith by speaking God’s loving promises to yourself.” speaks to me. It’s sometimes hard to remember that God knows my burdens and is there with me when overwhelmed is all I feel. He is faithful and true!
Bonnie Gray says
May you feel the comfort of God’s gentle hand of peace in your hand. Jesus understands you completely and our overwhelm will never overwhelm him. Jesus draws you closer to him, and wraps you in His embrace. Thank you for sharing so vulnerably, sweet Donna.
I’ve lost my son & 4 grandchildren,my heart is broken. Have not seen them for months. There have been problems in our family since he married his wife who is a non believer with many emotional problems. We think our son has done this to keep peace in his family. Pray for some kind of reconciliation, son & daughter in laws change of heart. We’re devastated. I’m trying to find hope & faith that Jesus will intervene on our behalf.
Bonnie Gray says
I am so deeply sorry for the loss you’re suffering through with your son and 4 grandchildren. This is a heavy heartbreak, along with your momma’s heart worried I’m sure for the emotional turmoil you’ve experienced and your family is experiencing. May you feel comforted by the reassuring thought that Jesus’ hearts breaks with yours, and He will not be overwhelmed by the complexities of the situations. Lord Jesus, I lift up “J” and ask that you comfort her and give her an encouraging vision of how you hear her prayers and you are there with her son, her grandkids, or her daughter-in-law, and will never stop loving or woo-ing them back into a place of care. I ask for you to take care of “J” as she walks through this hard terrain — and remind her to take care of herself, because you care about her wellbeing. Give her one word of encouragement that will be the manna, just for today to lift her heart and feel your hand in hers. Give her the endurance for this journey of faith, as she grieves and refill her hope one day at a time for you are never going to leave her or forsake her or her family. Thank you for her tender heart and her loving prayers for her son, grankids, and DIL and give her the gentleness and grace that you’ll first pour into her — so she can be available to offer that some gentleness and grace to her son, grandchildren & DIL, when the opportunity comes. Bring her friends to encourage J and support her. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”
Beth Williams says
So sorry for the loss you are experiencing sweet sister. Father, lifting up J & her family now. Comfort her & help her to feel your loving arms around her. Change the heart of the daughter-in-law. Woo her back to you. Send hope to everyone that they can one day see each other again. Let J know that you love her & are with her every step of this journey. Encourage everyone to wait & hope on your perfect timing. AMEN!
Amada (pronounced: a.m.a.TH.a) says
They all encourage me. My mama (Linda) and I are going through a REALLY hard valley right now, and I’m struggling. Please would you keep us in your prayers! The Lord will see us through this! <3
Bonnie Gray says
Thank you for sharing so vulnerably, Amanda. We all feel your heartbreak in the hard valley that you’re describing. May I pray for you, beautiful sister? Lord Jesus, may you touch my beautiful sister Amanda in a special way today, that helps her feel your loving arms around her. Help her look into your gentle eyes, to see your tears that you’re shedding for her because you understand how hard everythign feels right now. Let the comfort of your warm and tender Voice of Love reassure her heart, with a simple whisper of rest, that is just for Amanda. Remind her to take care of herself, and take time to do something that brings her peace or beauty today, that you know she would enjoy. For you take care of the flowers and even the birds — and Amanda is more precious than any of these things. Give her what she needs, for just this day – like manna, from your heart to hers. Thank you for the many beautiful ways you created Amanda to just be here & I pray she will be reminded just how valuable, important, and worthy she is of rest, peace, and joy. She is your beloved. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
This devotion came at such a good time! On my way to work this morning I was having a conversation with God about moving past a recent breakup (7 months ago) or still holding on to hope for reconciliation. As I poured out my fears and anxieties, yet again, I asked God if he was tired of listening to me about this same thing, over and over again? I’m trying hard to be still and listen and hear what it is I’m supposed to do next. I don’t want to be paralyzed by fear and miss out on whatever God has in store for me. I don’t want to take wrong action and get my heart broken… again. I love the assurance that my problems are not too big for God and that His love is enough to sustain me. I trust that he’ll finish what he started, when he told me that I’m not mean to do life alone. Amen
Bonnie Gray says
Dear Angela, thank you for sharing such a tender part of your heart with us, especially during something as heartbreaking as your recent breakup. Give yourself permission to nurture yourself as the memories of what you longed for and the hurt you’ve experienced surface. This is a healing time and there is no rush to “get over” what your heart needs to mourn – and also refill and rebuild into your life what gives you peace, joy, and beauty. Jesus understands you completely – and He will never be overwhelmed by our overwhelmed. He actually invites us to come to him weary and burdnened, so you can rest and lean into him — because He will never be weary or burdened by you – it’s the opposite! Jesus whispers, “What no one else wants, I cherish. I cherish you. I love you. I want you to rest right here next to me. Right beside me. Lean into me. Let me wrap my arms around you. You can stay here in my arms as long as you want. I love holding you close to me. You are safe with me.” Remember that God keeps our tears in a bottle and each word you’ve heard in this relaitonship, each memory each devatatesd feeling — he records in his book. “You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.
” Ps 56:8 — God honors our losses.
And has God MORE goodness for you, dear Angela. You are worth loving. You are worth valuing. And God has MORE beauty, joy, love, and hope ready to write into your story together — in your journey ahead. I know God is writing a beautiful new story of love in you, because you are His beloved daughter. God will make all things new in time. Just like a flower, when watered and nurtured will blossom and bloom. Water your soul and know that God’s goodness will never expire. Thank you Jesus for the treasures you have planned for Angela. Reassure her of your tender loving care, during this season of healing and repair. Resotre Amanda’s heart and spark new ideas she can take that will bring peace, comfort and beauty to her today and even this week. From your heart to hers. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Dawn Ferguson-Little says
Bonnie thank for what you wrote in today’s reading as words so true. No matter what way we go through heart break and loss. It all not nice. Should it be accident or illness of a love one Child or Adult. Or Marriage that has broken up in family. Or Your Marriage has broken up. Or You and your family are not getting on. No matter what the resin is. Things in your life seem terrible you wonder why all this happening to you and your family. I been their with family break up it not nice. Plus family illness. But you know you have if you are saved have to know your saviour is close to you his loving arms are round you. No matter what you go through. He if you talk to him in prayer will through his Holy Spirit tell you in his still small voice in his perfect timing what to do. To keep standing on the promises in his word. But that might be hard as you might not feel like it. Plus get good trusted Christian people to pray for you and if you can over you. Let you know you are love. No matter what. Like this song that is so true. It golden oldies in my eyes. “What Friend We Have In Jesus All Our Sins And Griefs To Bear What A Privilege To Carry Everything To God In Prayer” how true the words in that song are. You get it on YouTube. With the Saviour help we can and good Christian trusted friends as I said. Get the help we need to climb to the top of the mountain again. Be able to smile again. Say yes God was there he help me through all this. That is why I can smile again through all that has happened in my life. Thank you again Bonnie for what you wrote. Love Dawn Ferguson-Little xx
Bonnie Gray says
I LOVE singing “What a Friend We Have in Jesus”! It was my favorite hymn as a little girl and continues to be now today.
My favorite lyrics – which are really beautiful lines of poetry for the soul –
“Can we find a friend so faithful who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness; take it to the Lord in prayer.
Are we weak and heavy laden, cumbered with a load of care?
Precious Savior, still our refuge, take it to the Lord in prayer.
Do your friends despise, forsake you? Take it to the Lord in prayer.
In His arms He’ll take and shield you; you will find a solace there.”
Thank you for sharing your insights with us and heartfelt encouragement, Dawn!
Christina Ryan Claypool says
I always find connection and insight through your words, which are beautiful, encouraging, and costly. The price you paid to empathize with the depth of suffering, abandonment, and lack of love many of us have experienced, must have been exorbitant. Still, it gives you understanding for broken people like we all are at times, since it is part of the human condition.
Your losing your wallet story resonated with me on a personal level. It was allegorical, because the panic isn’t really about the loss of the Costco rebate. Rather it’s about being harshly treated when making an innocent mistake as a child. There was no mercy, comfort, or reassurance everything would work out, instead there was recrimination for the failure of all one was not. It’s easy to view God like our role model of a disappointed earthly parent, rather than embracing His true nature as a kind and loving heavenly father.
Please keep using your words to bring freedom to hurting hearts. You are helping God’s children immensely. You are loved and appreciated!❤️
This is something I needed to read today. My circumstances are heartbreaking and hard. Last night I wasn’t sure I could live like this anymore. God feels so far away. I am so lonely since the few friends I have all moved to various states/cities. My husband is amazing, but he doesn’t understand why I can’t just move on. I try to remember that God does indeed love me even though it doesn’t feel like it.
Beth Williams says
Great wisdom as always. Loved all three soul care tips. All 3 speak to me on some level. Recite Jeremiah 29:11 often. Reminding myself that even though life has problems now God has plans bigger than I can imagine. Last fall I made some stupid mistakes & have been upset over them. Plus the job God gave me hasn’t turned out to be what I thought & I can’t stand it anymore. Praying hard that God will send another good job my way. Plus have friends praying for & with me.
We just lost our 15 year old niece to a peanut allergy. She was an only child and she grew up in a Christian home. She went to a Christian school her whole life and volunteered in Children’s Ministry every Sunday. My sister and brother in law are heartbroken – our family will never be the same again. Please pray for me and my family. There are times when I am questioning why God took her. So many people were praying for a miracle when she was at the hospital.