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Unbroken Heart

Let's talk about love and breakups. How do you move on after a break up? What do you do to cope and move on from break ups? What's the best way to move on?


Heart And Soul – Unbroken Heart  

Martin Zerrudo: You are listening to Heart and Soul. A podcast from the Iglesia Ni Cristo, Church of Christ. I’m your host Martin Zerrudo, and I’ll be interviewing young adults from across the world. Who are living Christian lives, but are also dealing with real-world problems. This is Heart and Soul.

[Show Open]  

Martin Zerrudo: Hi, everyone. We’re back with another episode of Heart and Soul. Wherever you are right now, I hope you and your family are healthy and safe. With me again is my co-host, Shannon. Hey, Shannon!

Shannon Santamaria: Hi, Martin! I’m so happy to be here.

Martin: Absolutely happy to have you. Have you been recently?

Shannon: Good! I’m actually in California now.

Martin: Awesome. I’m very jealous as here in Toronto, it snowed three days ago, but who’s counting?

Shannon: [Laughs] Maybe you.

Martin: Maybe just me. So let’s dive right into our episode for today. Today, we’re talking about the unbroken heart. How to move on from heartbreak. 

Now, I think, for a lot of our viewers that are watching and listening today, we’re all at that age, right? We’re at that time in our lives when we start to consider what we look for in someone we’d consider building a future with.

Shannon: Honestly, that is so true. If you don’t mind me asking, Martin, what were some of your requirements – if I could say that – when you were looking for a future wife?

Martin: Yeah. You know, it’s funny. In my late teens – like eighteen, nineteen – that was very different from my mid-twenties, which is very different from my late twenties to early thirties. But I think the only consistent thing that I was looking for was someone who was going to bring me closer and strengthen my relationship with God. How about you?

Shannon: I think, for me, it’s more about how they can help me grow in my faith as well. I know that sounds very quote, unquote, “basic,” but I think it’s a fundamental value that I would need to have if I am looking for someone. That they can help me in my performance in the performance of my duties. And you’d be surprised. I’m actually really picky about that! 

Martin: [Laughs] No, no. As you should be. You know, it’s funny, like, aside from them being, you know, extremely faithful and active, I also wanted to find somebody who got along well with my family. You know, being able to get along in various situations, various instances – whether it’s a gathering or a dinner or just hanging out – a lot of the time when you’re married, it’s spent with family and friends. And so long as that dynamic is solid and is smooth and everybody gets along, it’s such an important, important requirement for a healthy relationship, I think.

Shannon: I think for me, as well, if I could talk about one more trait that I am looking for, it’s that independence, it’s that independence that, you know, the person that I’m going to have and build a future with can understand how to be independent, you know, relying and trusting in God more than they are on me. I think that’s a good foundation to have as well because, yes, you know, we’ll build a future together, but at the end of the day, you need to have a solid foundation within yourself.

Martin: Right. You’re still, you’re two people coming together as one.

Shannon: Yes.

Martin: Right. Two unique individuals. And, you know, these are really great requirements. Somebody who’s independent, has a great foundation, obviously, God fearing, and someone who will challenge us and push us to grow in our faith. As well as, you know, being able to relate and have a good time and connect with family. But here’s another thought: What was that first heartbreak like for you?

I’m going to you, Shannon. You don’t need to go into too much detail, but if you could just let us know – vaguely, – what happened? What were those human emotions like that you were going through?

Shannon: Yeah. Heartbreak is not an easy thing to go through. I mean, for the first couple days or even a couple of weeks, I was crying a lot. I was sad because I had to let go of something. It was something that I really enjoyed having in my life. I think that was something that you know, you spend a lot of time with that person and you build all of these memories and now it’s gone.

And just the idea of not building any more new memories with them or, you know, in the same way that it was before, it really makes me feel sad. It kind of puts a sad, aching feeling that…

Martin: Definitely 

Shannon: … that I had to really go through. Almost, I would say, like grief. Letting go of anything is a little hard and that’s an understatement.

Martin: It’s true. It’s true. I was actually in New York a couple of weeks ago, and I have very vivid memories of past relationships in that city. And it’s true, you walk those same streets, you go through those same places, and you eat at the same locations and you’re like, man, I was at a different point in my life just a couple of years ago with somebody else.

And it’s so eye opening to think, during that time, when it didn’t work out in those previous relationships, you feel like those memories are sacred and that, you know, there’s certain locations that will only ever be associated with that person and that time in your life. And, these areas are spoken for. It’s tainted. You can’t go back to them anymore.

And it’s such an eye opening experience to go back. Now that I’m married with my wife, to go to these similar places and go to these similar locations and kind of re… I don’t want to say rewrite history, but write a new chapter in the same place. But definitely during the time as it relates to heartbreak, it definitely made me feel like that’s it. It’s all or nothing. It was supposed to be all of this, and now that it has ended, all of that has also ended for you.

Shannon: But I think, Martin, what I also realized during that heartbreak, too, is that you can be sad and also happy at the same time. I know that you can have both of those feelings at once. You know, I was sad that I had to let go of what was, but I was happy that no matter what happened, I was just following what God’s plan was for me.

And it’s pretty interesting to see that even though, what we went through was probably completely different, the emotions and feelings we had were essentially the same. You know, we were both sad at one point. And similarly… 

Martin: Yeah. 

Shannon: … there has to be, you know, a proper way to move forward from it.

Martin: Yeah, that’s true.

Shannon: And that’s, I think, something that we all need to learn from, too.

Martin: It’s true. And, you know, let’s ask for a little bit of help on this in terms of being able to move forward, because I know in my twenties I actually went to this minister often for some advice. And so we’re very happy to welcome today in our discussion, Brother Donald Pinnock. Welcome, Brother Donald, how are you today?

Brother Donnald Pinnock: I’m fine. Thank you so much, Martin, also, Shannon, for having me on the program today.

Shannon: And thank you for joining us, brother.

Brother Donald: You’re welcome. 

Martin: So, Brother Donald, I know, I know. Somewhere in the back of your mind, you remember an eighteen-year-old, nineteen, twenty-year-old conflicted Martin, coming to you with so many ridiculous issues or challenges. But I wanted to start by asking; What does the Bible say about heartbreak? Are there any biblical figures that experienced heartbreak? And does it talk about how they felt?

Brother Donald: You know, when it comes to the Holy Bible, there is mention of those who experienced different forms of heartbreak, because heartbreak is not only through a broken relationship. But even when it comes to extraordinary incidences that some of these biblical figures experienced, for example, when it came to an individual whose name is none other than Job. And when it came to Job, he experienced great heartache all in the space of 24 hours. He lost not only his livelihood or his livestock, but also, when it comes to his seven sons and three daughters, of course, it was very difficult – it is very difficult – to imagine the heartbreak that Job experienced. Less for the loss of his material wealth, but definitely more for losing his children, whom he loved so much. And that is why he uttered the following, in Job 3:24 to 26:

For sighing comes to me instead of food; my groans pour out like water. What I feared has come upon me;  what I dreaded has happened to me. I have no peace, no quietness; I have no rest, but only turmoil.”

[Job 3:24 New International Version] 

Brother Donald: I’m pretty sure when it comes to the lack of peace, the unrest, the turmoil – isn’t this what some have had their heart broken also experience? I’m not going to ask you, Martin or Shannon, if this was the case, but for sure there is a very, very difficult experience and feeling that one has to go through. It is as if there’s an empty void inside of us. We don’t want to do anything. We don’t want to go anywhere. Emotionally, we’re pretty down, we’re pretty shattered.

Martin: Absolutely, Brother Donald. And it’s really interesting to see that regardless of everybody’s unique experiences, it seems like these feelings are so familiar. And when the verse had mentioned, you know, “sighing comes to me instead of food,” man, it’s so profound. Because when you mentioned that empty void and you’re breathing and you’re sighing and it’s just emptiness, it’s your breath that is just going in and out of an empty heart at that time, and you just feel so shattered.

Brother Donald: And doesn’t it feel as if it’s never going to end? It’s like when time stands still. You know, sometimes, you may wake up early hours of the morning and you’re just lying in bed and you’re just staring blankly at a wall or a ceiling, and you’re trying to cope with the emotions and you just replaying, replaying, replaying all the events that took place, perhaps the happy times with that individual.

Martin: Right. 

Brother Donald: Definitely. When it comes to the tragic or too sad times, when it comes to the actual breakup that caused the heartbreak.

Martin: It’s funny that you mentioned that, Brother Donald. I distinctly remember, you know, when you replay all those happy times in your mind during heartbreak, I remember going to sleep and dreaming as if we had reconciled, dreaming as if we had found a way to get back together. And it seemed so vivid, it seemed so real. And then you wake up in the morning and you realize none of that happened. You’re still not together. You’re still separated. You’re not together anymore. And that realization is so painful.

Brother Donald: The hope is there. Perhaps, that’s the reason why you dreamt of it, but then the reality kicks in when you wake up.

Martin: It’s brutal. What about you, Shannon?

Shannon: I can’t help but think that maybe heartbreak is so painful for anyone who experiences it because they lose that hope of being together or that hope of what was and what they thoroughly enjoyed that no longer is? Now, I don’t know if I make any sense, but that’s… 

Brother Donald: No, you make a lot of sense. You make a lot of sense. Because if I can just jump in there, Shannon, it’s something that you’re familiar with and you enjoyed and all of a sudden it’s ripped away from you and it’s like you were unprepared.

Shannon: I think, Brother Donald, what really caught my attention was that it’s not really just, you know, something ending that can be a heartbreak. It can be a variety of things that is a heartbreak. And I think one of the things that’s different when it comes to heartbreak is what people do and how they cope after a heartbreak, or even a breakup. Martin what did you do to cope? I mean, you’re experienced!

Martin: Oh, man. [Laughs]

Martin: You know, it’s… a lot of it really is just coming to terms with the intense amount of love and care and emotion that you put into a relationship. Like, your body, I guess, like physically, biologically is producing all of these hormones and chemicals that relate to your emotional and mental state of being in love. And the process of all of that kind of going away is a real shock to your body. So, I guess, that empty feeling, that walking around aimlessly, all of that relates to you being at such an emotional and chemical high of being in love and then now it’s gone. 

And so, for me, in order for me to cope with that, I just found myself just sitting there listening to music and just staring off, and like, giving my body a chance to reset, you know? Not about the whole rebound situation, not about jumping from one thing to the next, but just giving my body and my mind and my heart and, most importantly, my faith, a chance to just assess and just be in the moment of heartbreak and just let the process, you know, play out the way it’s meant to.

Shannon: Right. Right. I remember, you know, when I was experiencing that really sad moment in my life, I surrounded myself with friends and family and people who were helping me, you know, go through the emotions of just dealing with it and coping with it. And, you know, one of the things that I looked to was a minister of the gospel.

You know, I asked how can I get through this? This is painful, this is sad, this is something that I don’t want to face. But you’re right, Martin. I did sit with it. I sat with it. I let grief, I guess you would say, or sadness, just feel it out and go through the motions.

So, you know, yes, I decided to go hang out with friends a lot, eat a lot, and force myself to start new activities. I actually started crocheting. 

Martin: Oh, wow

Shannon: And started making, like, bunnies, like, stuffed animal bunnies. And I would give them as presents to my friends and family. But despite all of that, I think, one thing that I kept turning back to is really prayer. And I know it’s sometimes hard to pray when you have a heartbreak because you don’t know what to say. You just want to cry. But I think that’s the perfect time to just cry and cry, cry to God.

Martin: Absolutely. 

Brother Donald: Yeah, it’s really strange. Because just last week someone contacted me and she was just beginning to go through the emotions of heartbreak. The one that she cared for actually just professed that he didn’t want to be with her anymore, so she was in the early stages, of course, a lot of tears, a lot of tears, a lot of pain.

And you know, exactly what you said, Shannon, when it comes to prayer, I mean, the most immediate step or action that one should take when in the midst of feeling so down, due to whatever is causing the heartbreak – including a failed relationship – is to really reach out to the only one who can really help. And of course, that is none other than God. But you know, what can that do for us at such times? We can read here, in Psalms 34:15, 17 to 19, the following:

The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous, And His ears are open to their cry; The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears, And delivers them from all their troubles. The LORD is near to those who have a broken heart, And saves such as have a contrite spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, But the LORD delivers him out of them all.  

[Psalms 34:15, 17-19 New King James Version]

Brother Donald: This is the reason why, when it comes to members of the Church Of Christ, they’re always being admonished to put into practice God’s words, because when they do so each and every day, this helps them to be counted among those who are righteous – obeying God’s commandments makes us righteous. And just as we read here, God is near to His servants who have a broken heart. Not only that, He’s prepared to deliver or save those who are afflicted, whether it be due to sickness or even those who are emotionally feeling down, when, for example, a relationship just did not work out.

That’s why – and you’re quite right in stating this, Shannon – it’s so important for one to draw near to God, to pray to God and to ask for His help during such very troubling times. We should also take care of ourselves, if you don’t mind me mentioning – Brother Martin, Shannon – even our affections, because such feelings can affect not only our emotional but even our physical health. As we can glean here in Proverbs 4:23:

Above all else, guard your affections. For they influence everything else in your life.

[Proverbs 4:23 The Living Bible] 

Brother Donald: This is the reason why, even though one may be going through extreme duress when it comes to issues that they are tackling in life, when it comes to those, again, who are suffering that broken heart because the suddenness of a relationship that just didn’t work out, we should not resort to desperate means or ways in an attempt to… to take away the hurt or the pain or to solve the problem. You know, sad to say, there are people who resort to abusing alcohol or drugs, or even when it comes to self-harm in an attempt to alleviate what they are feeling or going through in life. Again, we should place our hope and trust in God and at the same time, we should guard our heart.

Martin: Definitely. I think, you know, for those of us who have experienced that intense – almost traumatic – heartbreak, you know, it’s easy to be tempted to do certain things, so that you can feel a certain way. And because you’re at your lowest point, sometimes those tempting, easy way outs seem like the best solution or the best route to take to deal with heartbreak.

But for myself, I actually turned to journaling. I’d write every single day about how I felt. It was almost like a conversation that I was having with God through my journal. I would listen to positive music. I would try and binge a new show, you know, play some games with my friends and really just distract your mind. Because that can also… When you mentioned your affections, your affections come not only from your heart, but your mind allowing your heart to entertain it, right? And so, to shift your focus from things that are healthier, healthier methods of dealing with heartbreak is definitely so important versus finding a reason to stay in a consistent state of heartbreak.

Shannon: Yeah. I mean, I even recall there were moments where I would fight myself. Almost like, “I shouldn’t feel sad about this. I want to move forward.” But at the same time, I had to choose to allow myself to feel that way or to feel that way, and then move on from it, and understand that there might be days where I am sad, but it doesn’t mean it’s going to be forever.

And, you know, I think when you go through a heartbreak, you know, there is that broken trust that we have. So, you know, what about repairing that trust? I know when I went, or even other people who’ve gone through breakups, it’s hard to pick themselves back up and try again because they’re scared of being hurt again. And that’s a normal feeling, I think, everyone faces, you know, I want to know, how do we deal with that? Because for me, it’s a struggle I still face.

Martin: Yeah, that’s true. And I do know some of my friends, they haven’t tried to engage in, you know, romantic pursuits in a long time because they don’t want to get hurt again. They want to, you know, [stay] single forever! Right? Alone forever. That’s like the term, right? And they think it’s better [to be] alone, so that, you know, you don’t set yourself up for disappointment. There definitely were moments in my life where I felt that way, you know. And correct me if I’m wrong, Brother Donald, but Apostle Paul, right, was single and devoted his whole life to serving God. So, there’s always that example. Like, well, if Apostle Paul was happy and was single and was able to serve God and give his all, then if I’m meant to be that, then that’ll be me. But how do we get over that? For those who are hesitant to give love another try? Brother Donald.

Brother Donald: Yeah, well, first and foremost, you’re quite right. When it comes to the pain and the harm caused to a broken heart, I mean, when it comes to physical hurt, you know, it may scar over. It’s going to heal. But when it comes to harm, when it comes to the heart, it takes a long time to heal. And you’re quite right – nobody wants to feel that again. Once you’ve experienced it once, you just do not want to open your heart immediately to somebody who may show interest, just for them to also cause pain once again. But it all goes back to actually trusting God. Because, you know, if we place our hope and trust in God, then God has so many promises for His servants who do so. For example, in Jeremiah 29: 11:

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

[Jeremiah 29:11 New International Version]

Brother Donald: We should notice how the Lord our God – and when God makes a promise, it’s a solemn promise – He wants to fulfill it as long as we also fulfill His expectation. And one of those expectations of God is to place our trust in Him. God says, He knows the plans He has for us, plans to help us prosper and not to harm us, not to harm our heart. And also plans to give us a hope and our future. 

So this is why, when it comes to Church Of Christ members, they’re always being reminded, in every endeavor or pursuit in life – whether it be their career, when it comes through personal goals, and also when it comes to the hope that they’re going to meet Mr. or Mrs. Right – they have to rely on God because God knows best.

Shannon: I think that’s absolutely true in every way, it is true in every way that God knows what’s best for us. I know that even though what I experienced and what I went through was really painful, honestly, a little sad when I look back at it. But, you know, I did come out stronger and I came out learning something from it and gaining, a lesson that was also a blessing from God.

Martin: Absolutely. And I could say that after, my similar experiences in terms of heartbreak, I was able to find the one that God planned for me. You know, the title of this episode is “Unbroken Heart,”and it’s really about growing from grief, accepting that it didn’t work out, but also realizing that we’re a lot stronger than we give ourselves credit for.

You know, the heartbreak doesn’t define the rest of our life. The heartbreak doesn’t tell us, doesn’t define the rest of what God has in store for us. And you come out of these experiences feeling like, you know what, I’m a lot stronger than I give myself credit for because God was with me the whole time. You know, eventually, you do wake up one day and the heartbreak is gone! And it’s just proof that God has healed you, that enough time has passed and that your heart is a lot stronger for it.

Brother Donald: Yeah. When it comes to what you just mentioned, Brother Martin, that is the experience of many, many people, many members of the Church, also. It really boils down to being able to adapt when it comes to such experiences. But again, when it comes to our foundation, stone, our rock, it is, of course, God. We revolve around God when it comes to our life. And again, we mentioned earlier God has many promises for us. And even when it comes to finding the right person to share our life with, we can read in Proverbs 19:14: 

House and land or handed down from parents, but a congenial spouse comes straight from GOD.

[Proverbs 19:14 The Message] 

Brother Donald: When we say “congenial,” meaning to say, somebody that we have many matching attributes – perhaps the same taste, habits in ways, temperament, somebody who has a pleasant disposition, friendly, sociable, somebody who was really compatible and just right for us. You know, it’s very, very wrong for a person to base their intention and also base their hope that a certain individual is right for them just on physical appearance. 

It’s wrong to just leap into a relationship without really getting to know a person, and then expecting that you’re going to live happily ever after. It really takes time. It takes patience. And again, it takes God. God will be the one to introduce us to Mr. or Mrs. Right. So, let’s not be impulsive, for our dear friends who are listening, who are not yet in a relationship. And even those, when it comes to a relationship, let’s try to learn about the other person. Let’s not be carried away by our emotions. Let’s have that personal devotional prayer and ask God for His guidance, because God alone again can give the right spouse for us.

Martin: That’s so true, Brother Donald. I remember, before I met my now wife, I think [for] a good three or four months, I had a nightly devotional prayer just asking God, you know, when we get to the Closing Centennial Ceremony, hopefully I [will] find her. You know, I’ll do the best that I can on my end, you know, eat right and work out and brush my teeth every day and stay as active and helpful as I can within the Church Of Christ, and then when I get there, if it’s your will, God, then hopefully she’ll be there. And she was! But to your point, Brother Donald, even though, you know, there was a spark, there was some interest, we took a good five to six months of getting to know each other before we even progressed to the point where we acknowledged that we had romantic feelings, and that it was time for me to talk to her parents and request for permission to court her. So, it definitely is, you know, I don’t want to say it pays off, but definitely to what you were saying, take your time. Nobody’s rushing you. You’re not competing with anybody else, regardless of where your friends are in life. 

Brother Donald: Exactly. It’s not a race. 

Brother Donald / Martin: It’s not a race. 

Martin: There’s only one race, just the race of faith. There’s no race of having a kid as soon as possible. So, it’s really up to you. What about you, Shannon?

Shannon: I’ll definitely take my time finding the one! [Laughs] I’m in no rush! Definitely not in a rush, but I think just the, us talking it out and even looking back at how heartbroken I was and seeing how happy I am now and how much everything has changed, is really proof that God is really guiding my, you know, guiding my life. And, you know, He knows the plans, and I just have to trust it. And the more I trust God, I’m sure, I’m sure I’ll find the one – sooner or later. Maybe later. 

Brother Donald: If I can just add something, Brother Martin and Shannon…

Martin: Yeah. 

Brother Donald: … before we end. When it comes to meeting Mr. or Mrs. Right, it is not going to make you complete. In the sense, you are already complete as an individual. You are complete in many ways. It’s supplemental if we’re able to meet somebody. So, let us not drive ourselves crazy, for those listeners who are not yet in a relationship they may be seeking. Let us not get too, too anxious, but rather let us continue to trust that our Almighty God will be the One Who is going to introduce to us, or have us introduced to someone whom we can spend the rest of our life with, somebody who accepts us for who we are, and we in turn also accept them for who they are. And in so doing, we can receive those bountiful blessings that God has in store for those who give great importance to the institution of marriage. TAre trying their best to manage their marriage in accordance with His teachings. And this we can see when it comes to many, many many marriages, many couples inside the church.

Martin: Definitely, Brother Donald. And before we wrap up, I do want to say that in the many years, almost a decade plus that I’ve known you, Brother Donald, you’ve always been such a foundation in my spiritual growth. And for our listeners out there, having the ability to speak to your spiritual leader, to your worker or minister within the local or district, is invaluable.You know, having a shoulder to cry on, your friends to hear you out, your family to be there for you, all of that is super duper important for sure. But nothing beats being able to pray to God and receive spiritual guidance from your worker or minister. It was instrumental, Brother Donald, in my emotional growth and my spiritual growth. So, I do want to thank you for always being a pillar in helping me through my many instances of heartbreak during my twenties.

Brother Donald: Yeah, you’ve been a beacon of light in many ways, Brother Martin. I’m very proud of you, as I am when it comes to many members of the Church. And for those who I’ve known for many years, you are included. It’s just really marvelous to see how God’s hand has been in your life. You have met Mrs. Right. You have a wonderful wife in Sister Erika, and I’m very sure that the blessings will continuously flow to you and your loved one. And hopefully, God be willing, when it comes through a future family.

Martin: Thank you so much.

Brother Donald: Same for you. Same for you, Sister Shannon. I hope you also meet your Mr. Right.

Martin: In due time.

Shannon: In God’s time.

Martin: Absolutely. Absolutely. 

Brother Donald: There we go. 

Martin: I really, really want to thank you so much, our guest today, Brother Donald Pinnock. Thank you so much for joining us in our discussion today. I hope everybody who was listening had a great time and learned just as much as I did during this episode.

Shannon: I know I did. So thank you to our listeners. 

Martin: And thank you so much, Brother Donald, for joining us.

Brother Donald: It’s my pleasure. Thank you so much, Martin and Shannon.

Martin Zerrudo: That’s right. So, thank you to all of our listeners. We hope this episode was helpful to all of you. And actually, we want to hear what you thought of this episode and what you gained from it. So please leave us a comment on our Instagram at Heart Soul Conversations, because we definitely want to hear from you.

That’s it for us today. Hope we were able to help and hope you’re able to listen with all your Heart And Soul. Take care.