"Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His will in all you do, and He will direct your paths."
- Proverbs 3:5-6 NLT
Many years ago, before I met my husband, Joe, I had a three-year relationship with my high school sweetheart. When this young man decided to abruptly end our relationship one day, I wanted to know why. When he refused to give me an explanation, it just about drove me mad. I remember saying things like, "I think I deserve an explanation," and, "You owe me that much." And for years afterward, I was tormented by the fact that my questions were never answered to my satisfaction.
I hear from a lot of people involved in relationships that end badly, and who desperately want "closure." This is basically a sense of something being settled or resolved. Often, these people are suffering mental anguish because they have questions that they want answers to, questions that in many cases have no real answers. As I look back, I realize that my old boyfriend most likely didn't even know why he broke up with me. And I suspect that this is often the case in other relationships that end badly.
I believe that there are some serious dangers in seeking closure that many people are completely unaware of. For one thing, it has the potential to draw us back into relationships and situations that God wants us free from. Sometimes, a breakup is actually God's best for us. If we can't accept that, we will press the issue, and perhaps end up becoming entangled once again in a relationship that wasn't right for us to begin with. An unhealthy desire for closure can torment us by prolonging our pain, confusion, and misery. It can keep us bleeding, by keeping our wounds open, instead of allowing the healing process to take place. Many times, God's will for us is to let go of a relationship or situation. And if we don't follow His lead in this area, the peace that Jesus died for us to have will always escape us. In some cases, we may get some perverse pleasure from putting those who have hurt us on the spot. We don't want to let them off the hook too easily, but we want to see them squirm, so we demand answers from them. This kind of pride will always produce a bitter harvest for us.
When our oldest son began making plans to move thousands of miles away with his wife, friends and relatives began bombarding my husband and me with questions of why. Not until we began trying to give others reasonable explanations did we realize that we weren't even sure ourselves. My husband and I could have gotten bitter and resentful. We could have become indignant, and confronted our son with a "you owe us an explanation" attitude. But we didn't. Instead, we chose to put the matter in God's hands, and to trust Him. Sometimes, seeking closure can seriously damage, or even destroy, the relationships that the Lord wants us to preserve and protect.
I've discovered that when we're tempted to seek closure in a situation, a good dose of humility can be the best thing. It can help us to heal faster from our hurts and heartaches, and it can lead us into the new beginnings and blessings that the Lord has for us up ahead. My heartfelt advice to you today is - seek God about seeking closure.
Prayer: Lord, when I have a desire for closure in a situation, please remind me to seek Your will in the matter. Show me which relationships You want me to let go of, and which ones You want me to nurture and protect. Thank You that as I commit my hurts and my hopes to You, You will heal me, and lead me into better and brighter things!
- J. M. Farro