A SHATTERED HEART: FINDING GOD AMIDST A DATING BREAK-UP
PDF files (below) of every chapter of A Shattered Heart: Finding God Amidst a Dating Break-up are made available at www.NeedNotFret.com free of charge for use by individuals, churches, or other groups. At this time, no limit is placed on reproduction and distribution of paper copies of these PDF files, which are free of charge. Under no circumstances may a charge be rendered to the recipient, nor may the contents of these files be altered in any way. If you link to A Shattered Heart, please link to this page not the PDFs themselves, so I can analyze the page traffic.
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Copyright© by Kevin L. Howard, 2009.
(1st ed, January 2009)
Contents of Book
Full Table of Contents, etc
Chapter 1 The Romance Sizzles
Chapter 2 The Shattering Begins
Chapter 3 The Heart Breaks
Chapter 4 The Healing Continues
Chapter 5 The Arena of Love and Dating
Chapter 6 The Fretting Ceases
Bibliography & Suggested Reading
The Entire Document
Aim of Book & Sample Excerpts
A Shattered Heart aims to minister to Christian single adults facing pre-marital break-ups. It declares the greatness and glory of God among real pain, pain that I have personally felt. The guiding principle of this book is simple: In our brokenness, God is working out his perfect plan to bring us joy and to demonstrate his glory, as he defeats his enemy the devil.
Here are a few samplings of the writing:
"Dear Lord, today I write to you about my secret life of emptiness. It's the issue of loneliness, that feeling of despair, that sense of longing and incompleteness. Yes, to be alone and to be lonely are two different things. But I sometimes feel lonely even when I'm with others.
"I suppose some would prescribe ready-made cures for such an ill: find a hobby, make more friends, buy a pet, get a wife, work harder. But I have a suspicion that what I struggle with is not so different than what others face, the old and young, Christian and pagan, married and single alike. It is that odd sensation of being dissatisfied, incomplete, somehow empty and broken, yet hungry and yearning to be filled.
"Maybe in the heart of every human lies this void, spoken of by saints of old, that only you, God, can fill, something that no mere human, no activity, not even a spiritual discipline can actually satisfy. It is that place that only you yourself can dwell and appease, Lord. It is the untamed soulishness that only you can befriend, the storm that only Jesus can soothe.
"Our pain reminds us that we are not yet fully redeemed, and that the battle flares on. We are called to participate in spreading God's glory, rather than the expansion of our own kingdom. 'All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation' (2 Corinthians 5:18-19). In the midst of sorrow from a break-up, we can't forget about the people who haven't yet tasted the morsels of life with Jesus."
"What do these reminders of God's larger plan have to do with the indignity of a break-up, the sorrow of parting with a loved one, the stench of sour earthly love? With each blow life gives us, Satan wants to wedge a knife of bitterness into our side, hoping the agony will cause us to see God as the enemy. We must not cast aside the larger vision of God's plan when pain dials our number. We can keep walking in faith, crawling perhaps, if we stay mindful of God's greater plan. Admittedly, this sounds superficial. But it's the truth. We must cling to the truth if we are to survive. We must cast our eyes upon beauty, upon something far more stable than ourselves."
"When every song you shared becomes a curse, when certain dates on the calendar open your wounds afresh, when every movie becomes a sad reminder, when the announcement of a newly engaged couple provokes tears instead of a smile, when every restaurant you dined in becomes a memorial to heartbreak, realize that you have a great opportunity to humble yourself and look heavenward."
(Posted Jan 2009)