betrayBetrayed… have you felt its’ sting? Wondered what you did to deserve it? If you could have prevented it, spiraled into shame for not seeing it coming?

I have.  Sitting there with tears running down my face, as I watched the friend of my heart  step back, joining the circle of others who spoke words of  condemnation, questioned my integrity, assumed the worst of me.

My heart broke.  Scrambling, exposed, unprotected,

My temper flared. Defensive, angry, hurt.

Shame surfaced and slimed me with every lie in the book- pointing out my every flaw, failure, mistake, misstep and making an air tight case for why I deserved this.

Even writing these words today, bring that awful, yucky, clammy feeling back to my stomach.  My heart races and I just want to hit delete. Why on earth would I share this?

Because my guess is you have been there too…And maybe you have felt and wondered the same things.

I remember leaving that gathering of friends and vacillating between furious defense, explanation, justifications… and feeling utter humiliation.

Shame whispered, “They have seen the worst parts of me and averted their gaze at my ugliness.  I deserve their mocking and condemnation. I am not worthy of friendship, loyalty, understanding; I made a mess of things. I am dangerous, not a good friend or person, this is my fault – something is wrong with me”

This is the conversation in my head even as I write these words:

 Delete, delete, delete… Why am I sharing this shame laden story, writing these words outside the secret pages of my journal?  This is crazy! Even now shame says, don’t tell them this… keep it locked away and pretend.

But what if “they” have felt these same things, walked this same road or one like it? What if betrayal, shame,  naked exposure has wounded these precious women who read your words.

 In the middle of my fear, I remember, these are the very things I told God I would be more open and honest about…

I don’t have it all together, I have been wounded, I have hurt others.  These places and things we want to pretend don’t exist,  hold us hostage.

I have been there and imagine you have to, so what if we stop hiding and bring light into the dark places, the lies and the yuck?

Jesus was betrayed.  He stood in a circle of friends and waited for the kiss of one closer than a brother. (Mark 14:41-50)

And we know Jesus didn’t deserve it.

Betrayal is an intimate word.  Strangers and acquaintances can’t betray us.  They don’t reside in our hearts.

Friends do.  Loved ones, those we trust and let down our guard with… who see us without the masks,  spit shine or pretense. They know our good, bad and ugly because we allow them into our hearts.

Betrayal comes at the hands of those we love.

I wonder what Jesus thought as he waited for Judas to betray Him. I wonder how the human part of him felt and wanted to react.  Anticipating betrayal, I would run the other way as fast as I could.  No way, forget it, I don’t want or need that, thank you very much!

Sure, the divine part of Jesus was aware, maybe even prepared… but that didn’t change the unfolding story or the reality that Jesus’ very human heart would break.

Judas didn’t simply identify Jesus-point to him and say, “That’s him, the one over there with the beard and dried blood on his brow.”

Judas walked up to him and greeted Jesus with a kiss; a common greeting among inner circle friends.

Jesus stood and waited to be betrayed.

Why?

Because Jesus loved us more than himself. Jesus had set His face, had determined to follow the will of God; Jesus came to live and die as our Savior.

Jesus voluntarily was betrayed and crucified for you and for me. Jesus volunteered to take our place so we would never again be enslaved by sin, shame, darkness, or death.  We can live, every moment of each day, redeemed and free because of Jesus and His love for us.

Jesus knows what it is to be falsely accused, rejected, scorned, betrayed, wounded, abused, harmed and treated unfairly.  Jesus endured all these things because of His love for you and for me.

We are never alone in our powerlessness, shame, anger, hurt or betrayal.  God is with us in the midst of these horrible moments and know exactly how we feel…

God get’s it – because God lived in the mess of this world, with broken promises, disappointments, hurtful friends, shaming words, and betrayal. God understands and weeps with us in our pain.

What if we take our hurt, wounded broken betrayed hearts to God and allow the words, “I know… I understand, you are not alone,” to comfort and hold us in our deepest pain?  Shame wouldn’t be able to whisper lies as we rest in God’s truth.

Have you been betrayed?  How did you or how do you deal with the agony of betrayal? Where do you go with the onslaught of shaming words and thoughts?  Have you found comfort and peace in knowing you are not alone, but that God is not only with you, literally can relate!?

She Reads Truth- Day 30

2 Responses to “Have you felt the sting of friendship?”

  1. Linda

    Betrayal is so powerful. Most of what we perceive as betrayals are really disappointments, frustrations, misunderstandings that we mistake for betrayal. When the intent is deliberate and soul or life threatening, then the words or actions are betrayals, regardless of the whys and hows.
    A wandering spouse, a belligerent child, a conniving relative or employee , a devious co-worker , an untrue friend are as destructive as our self esteem is fragile. Certainly not to be likened to the kiss of Judas or Peter’s denial of Jesus. Those were soul and life threatening.
    Set your face and heart to God. Trust in His love and validation. Try recognizing your culpability in creating and sustaining the circumstances that look like betrayal because few, if any of us, have ever faced true betrayal

    Reply
    • Susie Miller

      Linda,
      Thanks for being part of the conversation! Your thoughts made me rethink mine before responding.
      While I agree that these things pale in comparison to the betrayal Christ suffered, I think they pierce our hearts and can change the trajectory of our lives. Hurt and disappointment, misunderstandings are painful, but betrayal is agonizing as it deliberately and knowingly breaks a sacred trust. The main point for me is Jesus knows this pain we are suffering and can bring hope and helping in the midst of it.
      Grace wins,
      Susie

      Reply

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