The Project Cross | How To Effectively Break Cycles Of Brokenness As A Single

Originally written for Imperishable Beauty


During my undergrad years, I was doing some spring cleaning and moved the washer out of the way. Walking across the room, I stepped on little pieces of glass barely visible to someone not paying attention. Over the previous month or so, I had continued to sweep and mop that very floor. I had broken a glass in my clumsiness and threw out the big chunks of glass immediately. Next time I swept, still smaller pieces remained and this continued on, smaller and smaller until the day of spring cleaning. 

Sometimes there are pieces of brokenness that have gone unaddressed because they are more conspicuous and harder to pick up without sensitivity to the Holy Spirit. As was the case when Jesus strategically encountered the Samaritan woman: “I have no husband,” she replied. Jesus said to her, “You are right when you say you have no husband. The fact is you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true” (John 4:16).

Jesus didn’t address the woman at the well alongside any of her former partners. He addressed her alone one on one. He did a root cause analysis of her heart. She needed Jesus the man more than she needed any other man and until she had Him she would not be satisfied. She had had a cycle of relationships all ending up the same way. Jesus had to address her past and present because it had a significant impact on her future. Sometimes when God brings to the surface places of past pain it is because He wants to heal us before we repeat that broken scenario with someone new. We can’t carry past broken pieces into a present new relationship or we could completely jeopardize the future of that relationship.

He touched a sensitive spot with the Samaritan woman and likewise, as long as we are overlooking the sensitive areas He addresses in our own lives, He can never address the root and bring the healing we so desperately need. Sometimes God keeps us in the single season to first address the root issues in our lives. Sometimes, in that position, we run away from that encounter with Jesus. We tend to sweep things under the carpet and run away from ever addressing or remembering. If God is surfacing a place of pain it is because He wants to heal it. We however, often run into the next relationship faster than God can heal us and address the real heart issue.

What has been your trend of brokenness? Perhaps looking back, you see a trail or pattern that has been there over the years. There is no record of what the woman at the well went on to do. Maybe she left the man she was not yet married after her encounter with Jesus, or maybe, after meeting Jesus she finally was able to settle and have a healthy functional relationship. Desire Jesus before you desire to be back in a relationship. Jesus is the man that you meet that changes your perceptions, attitude, bitterness and hurt. Sometimes we live haunted by the memories of someone else, attaching similarities to innocent people and on the run every time the person reminds us of someone who isn’t in our life anymore. At the end of the day, despite the cycle, we should desire what the woman needed, what we all need: living water.

Perhaps, you may have just gotten into single hood. Perhaps this season may be your divine appointment, like the woman at the well, to meet Jesus and address the cycle that has been in your life. The woman was there alone and perhaps, if you still stayed with who you wanted to stay with, you would not have had your healing appointment with the Master. You may have been single for a number of years. Sometimes it is just God’s divine season, other times it is our inability to address some habits, places of past pain or parts of our character that delays the process.

Could it be money? Spending habits? Lack of financial discipline? Could it be our character? Anger? Unforgiveness? Bitterness? Integrity? Could it be because we are still holding onto a relationship that is no longer there? In our singleness, in our solitude, the best thing we could ever do is meet Jesus. He needs our hearts for Himself first and as we dedicate our hearts to Him, He heals it from whatever pain or trauma or damage that was done by someone who didn’t know how to care for our hearts. Oftentimes but not always, the partner that God has for us is not awakened until our healing has awakened first.