healing from heartbreak and heartache

Martha Graham Company

this week, i have needed to focus a lot of attention and energy to healing.

there has been, recently, a resurgence of my heart’s flowing wintry river of grief. i have felt as if i am in the middle of an extremely painful furnace of sanctification. and while i’ve felt scathed, scalded and charred,  i have also experienced the wonder of not being consumed by those flames, and can feel them purifying me. in this blaze, i am miraculously healing.

part of this healing is choosing to claim peace over understanding. my heart and mind cannot understand all the complexities that have brought me to this great hurt, but:
the peace of god, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds…
-philippians 4:7

yes, there are so many things i don’t understand. but there are few things i feel i can believe for sure. and the peace of those things passes understanding and allows the flames to refine rather than consume.
**first, i believe that god is aware of me, and that he will continue to watch over me and he won’t let the good get away. i believe in redemption – that if i continue to strive to be golden hearted and lean into the sanctification no matter its connected pain, all the things that seem so wrong to me now will be made right. i believe, even though it’s so hard for me to imagine or conceptualize, that there are better things ahead for me. somehow, quite incredulously it feels now, i believe that, deep into my bones.
**second, i believe that love is always beautiful and good, and never wasted. i will not attempt to forget, erase or discount any of the beautiful, sacred, romantic, magical, lovely experiences i have had preceding my broken heart. instead, i will always cherish them as mine and continually strive to glean lessons and memories and goodness from them. i will not allow a heartbreaking destination to negate in any way the wondrous, spectacular journey. no matter the ache it has caused, i am so very, very grateful for for this wild ride, and its good will always outweigh its bad.
**third, i believe i can choose hope and refuse bitterness. this has taken some quite grueling work for me (for a few weeks i could hardly see a baby or hear of a marriage without welling up with a yearning that cut deep and sore; i have been tempted to feel angry or jealous or cheated or defeated), but i believe i have the power to decide to triumph with optimism rather than wither with spite.
**lastly {and probably most passionately, as i have expressed before – i really have to remind myself over and over}, i believe in beauty for ashes. i believe, amazingly, that all of this will be worth it, and that one day i will be truly healed by that peace that will no longer need to pass understanding, because i will understand – if not all, enough.
what, therefore, may seem now to be mere unconnected pieces of tile will someday, when we look back, take form and pattern, and we will realize that god was making a mosaic. for there is in each of our lives this kind of divine design, this pattern, this purpose that is in the process of becoming, which is continually before the lord but which for us, looking forward, is sometimes perplexing.
-neal a. maxwell,
but for a small moment (such a good talk)

every morning now i tell myself with all the conviction i can muster: i am going to have a really awesome life. great, great, great love is ahead.


  1. Charity - you really do "drip with passion". I love your hyperbole.

    Advice - men can sense desperation in a woman. Like an animal can sense fear. When your next love comes along - and he will! - make the relationship the main thing. Not the being married and having a slew of kids - it's like the wedding and life has been planned out - just insert groom/husband's face in the blank space.

    That scares men to death. Your family, while loving and wonderful - is LARGE. Go slowly introducing your new love to all of them. Imagine his trepidation when they see that your parents have 9 kids - and most of them have 5 or 6 kids - and that you can't wait to follow suit.

    I hope you don't mind - I just know that most men would be frightened out of their skull at such a proposition - even though they might love you.

  2. I am guessing your prospects for men who meet your criteria are slim where you live. Find a bigger pond. I realize your family makes their living off the concept of family. There is more to that concept. You can parent without a husband. Every desire you have can't be dependent on another persons relationship to you.

  3. This is so heartbreaking to read. I met my husband when I was 28 and at the time it felt like such an excruciating wait. Now I think of how young I was. Please remember that your good, rich, wonderful life is your very own; it's direction does not belong to your parents, religion, or culture. Maybe it's time to grow and question. Does God really have a hand in shaping each individual life? Maybe instead God is the Devine light that lives within each of us and allows us to connect with love to each other.

  4. What a beautiful post! I truly love your writing style and ability to express yourself! Very very brave of you to be so open in such a public forum...:it may expose you to insensitive and wholly ridiculous comments.:) But, even though I don't know you--I feel like I know what you are going through as I am sure many others do and I know that it will be alright in the end---mostly because of what you believe and who is standing beside you---lifting you up.

  5. Yes I resonate with some comments written above. I have been reading your blog for a year now and think maybe your religion and family and your culture are blocking you from that man and family you so want?

    I think praying to God over this may not help at all. I think you really need to start looking in other spaces than your own network and community for love...and agree that your family will be overhwelming to the new guy when he comes with all the pressure and expectations for a woman as young as you still are.

    Maybe it is time to take a year off outside of your comfort known zone (religion and the rules) and find that man you sooooo deserve Charity!!!

    Or get that baby and be a parent through other ways!

  6. Magnificently written! I love your soul!

  7. You don't know me, but I have followed your blog for a few months. I was an avid Joy School mommy when my children were small, so came across your blog by reading your parent's blog. Anyway, I just want you to know that I love your writing, and I KNOW that someday all your dreams will be realized. Stay true to what you believe in......be patient, it will happen when you least expect it.

  8. Charity, I'm in a similar situation to you except I'm a few years older. (Single, LDS, 30.) Your words have totally resonated with me. I really appreciate your honest feelings and description of your process to grow, change, and heal.

    I barely have words of wisdom to share other than to let you know that today Jonathan Sanderg just gave an AWESOME BYU Devotional about Healing. It was wonderful and I totally recommend it.

    Also, all the work, effort, and hope that you put forth is worth it. Every ounce of effort matters. Every desire is valuable. To me, YOU are the beauty from your ashes.

    Thanks for your excellent example. :) - Amy

  9. I have to say that I was SO surprised that you and The Boy broke up, the main reasons being that you seemed great together and, as silly as it may sound, I figured you both would know how hard it is to find someone who fits so well within a narrow pool of candidates. I'm really sorry that didn't work out.

    My advice to you would be to do whatever it takes to get to a point where you know you'll live a happy life even if marriage and children doesn't work out. Focus on what your passions are outside of that vision for your life. Focus on the life you can create yourself, because a husband and kids isn't something you have total control over, sperm-bank aside. Ideally at some point during this process you'll think, "I've got this" and you'll start to realize that there's a lot you actually give up when you have to share your life and all your decisions with someone else. And you'll be grateful and excited for your single life. Only at this point, in my experience, does one exude the self-confidence that is so attractive to guys. And THEN it will happen. That is just my two cents:) That was my experience, and I got engaged last month at my 32nd birthday. Wishing you good luck, truly.

  10. Hey Charity! Heartbreak... is a rough time in life. I once heard (during a heartbreak chapter) that you have to let go of the WRONG person...in order to make room for the RIGHT person in your life.

    Even though that kind of advice doesn't help the heartache...your Soul CAN help your physical heart "get it". I've never bought into the concept of "ONE Soulmate"...I am a firm believer there can be more than one "Soulmate" in a life time.

    During your time now...start reading books on what makes a healthy relationship. Relating to another person in love isn't about just being nice to each other...or doing nice things for each other. There are skills involved. We all need them...and we can all learn them. There is a WONDERFUL book to start with called "Conscious Loving" Written by a couple who have been married many many years. Their whole series is fantastic. The most important thing this taught me...was am I loving with my Ego...OR...am I loving with my Conscious and Awake Soul? There is a HUGE difference. Loving with Ego...the disaster and failure is built in. It isn't sustainable. Loving with TOTAL acceptance of your partner and complete NON-JUDGMENT...(Conscious Love)...is a Love that emanates from the authentic YOU...your Soul. This IS sustainable.

    Above all...keep staying hopeful and optimistic. Love the blog! Happy Hunting!

  11. Charity - have you ever (seriously) considered to use your talent of writing outside of the blogging world? God has given you a beautiful gift!

    I would like to share an Old Testament quote that I love and that I came across in my Bible reading this morning. It is in Ecclesiastes 3:1-22.

    "1 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
    2 A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
    3 A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
    4 A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
    5 A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
    6 A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
    7 A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
    8 A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.
    9 What profit hath he that worketh in that wherein he laboureth?
    10 I have seen the travail, which God hath given to the sons of men to be exercised in it.
    11 He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end."

    I hope you can find some comfort in these words today!

  12. Charity, you are amazing. Your wisdom and strength inspire me. You remind me that being a wife and mother are cherished gifts. We all have trials and sometimes it's a challenge not to let those trials define who we are. You are so talented and you have so much love for those in your life. The quote from Elder Maxwell is right on. The joy and the heartache work together to create a beautiful tapestry. Thank you for sharing what is in your heart. Hang in there!

  13. Oh Charity,

    You don't know me - but I so feel we are like friends..I've been reading your blog for, well, longer than I can admit!
    You truly are an amazing person and I couldn't agree more with what Lina said up there - the Old Testament quote, honestly, your "time for dance" is so close and I am sure you'll dance beautifully.
    Much love


  14. Let go and let your God.

    I always remember this quote from that movie from years ago "Under the Tuscan Sun" -

    “How are you ever going to be happy if you keep wallowing? Listen, when I was a little girl, I used to spend hours looking for ladybugs. Finally, I’d just give up and fall asleep in the grass. when I woke up, they were crawling all over me.”

    The best things come when you stop looking. Praying for you...

  15. I'm just blown away by the depth and wisdom in you. Just. Blown. Away.

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  17. "His plan for us is always better" is the part I have trouble understanding. What about people (not Charity, for sure) who are born into horrible circumstances and lead horrible, painful lives..abuse etc. Should they trust God's plan for them? Is that really God's plan?

  18. Interesting comments.

    I believe, "God is in the details of our lives. He knows us perfectly. . ." --Elder Maxwell

  19. I found your blog through your sister, Shawni. I read here every so often. I'm closer to your sister's age with three kids. I dated a lot of wonderful frogs back when. But didn't meet my prince charming until I was in my young 30's. He, and everything that came after, was so worth the wait, and the heartbreak along the way. I so wish I could have told my young, single self to not waste the tears, but those naturally come with the territory.

    I have no idea what the future holds for you. Stay true to yourself and what you believe in. In the meantime, take care of yourself.

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