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BREAK-UPS HURT! An Interview with Brandon Heath

Dale Lipscomb

Everyone goes through breakups of one kind or another. Sometimes a breakup is between a girl and a guy. At other times, a breakup might happen between members of a family or even between God and us. Every breakup comes with a different set of struggles and challenges, so it’s important to remember the big picture: Each of us will face disappointments, but God gives us hope and strength.

On his new CD, Leaving Eden, singer-songwriter Brandon Heath draws from his own experience to express the feelings of pain and disappointment that follow a breakup. I talked with Brandon after a live rehearsal about some of the breakups that influenced his new record.

Brandon Heath

Learning to Express Your Grief

“The record is a lot about growing and not letting the world tell you what you think,” he said. Instead of reacting as the world tells us to, Brandon believes we should think about how Christ would act in difficult situations.

We also talked about how he has learned to heal after difficult breakups, because acting in a Christ-like way does not always make the process easier. Brandon admits that sometimes we try to be strong, acting as if nothing is wrong and hoping that we will just get over losing a friend or a relationship. But he knows that holding in our pain is not the most effective route to healing.

“What’s important is that you grieve when those things happen,” Brandon says. “When something hurts, mourn it, let it hurt you, and go through that; and then you will find your joy on the other side.”

Breakups hurt. We do not need to feel embarrassed or weak when we grieve, especially when we express our feelings to God.

Finding Strength in Weakness

Brandon experienced a breakup in his family that God used in profound ways. His dad and stepmom divorced when Brandon was young. After the divorce, he lost contact with his stepmom and her kids.

Years later, Brandon wrote the song “I’m Not Who I Was” about this situation. “She heard the song but didn’t know it was me singing and definitely didn’t know it was about her. But God used that.” When his step-sister found him on Facebook, they were all reunited. “God used my greatest weakness, the experience of that broken relationship, in a song. And fifteen years later, God used that song to help reconcile that same relationship and so many others for other people.”

Relying on God

As we work through breakups, it’s important to remember that God is ready to help us reconcile these relationships and the emotions that hurt most. The lyrics from Leaving Eden echo Brandon’s words about holding on to God to get through our breakups. Scripture tells us that God can use all things for God’s glory. Even when we break off our relationship with God, God is ready to offer us a safe haven in a world so far from perfection, so far from Eden.

DIG DEEPER

Brandon says that part of healing broken relationships is “forgiving people, letting them off the hook, and giving them the benefit of the doubt.” What relationship in your life needs healing because you have not been willing to forgive?

Through the lyrics of “The One,” Brandon expresses his belief that one person can be the difference in another person’s life. How has showing God’s love made a difference to the people in your life, especially when they’re facing heartaches and breakups?

In his song “As Long As I’m Here,” Brandon imagines being in heaven and asking God, “How well did I love?” In what relationship is God calling you to love more, to love well—to love as Christ loves?

Dale Lipscomb is a 21-year-old English major at Lipscomb University who loves to write and play music.

from devozine (November/December 2011). Copyright © 2011 by The Upper Room. All rights reserved.

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