Feel like betrayal has left you crushed and brokenhearted? That’s how I felt a few years ago when the betrayal of another left me feeling both brokenhearted and crushed in spirit. I learned 7 essential steps that helped me cope with betrayal so I could move past the hurt and find renewal.

I certainly identified with the descriptors brokenhearted and crushed in spirit through that painful ordeal. Even when I went through the valley of depression, I didn’t describe myself as “crushed in spirit.”

Dealing with betrayal is a profound challenge, and finding ways to let go of hurt and betrayal is crucial for healing.

At the time, I shared about my pain with a friend. “It crushes me to think someone would attribute such malicious motives to me that couldn’t be further from the truth, AND to never approach me about her concerns or give me an opportunity to try to make things right, but rather, just sever the relationship,” I explained in between sobs to a friend as she listened. This friend didn’t know the person or the situation, just that I was pinned under the weight of untrue allegations and my heart was heavy with grief.

Being accused of untrue allegations, and being betrayed by those whom you aligned yourself with and would want to restore relationship was almost unthinkable, and yet, it was all I could think about for days.

All I ever wanted was for others to see Jesus, and yet, somehow the motives of my heart were being questioned and I was being blamed for something I never did. And, no opportunity for discussion or reconciliation was being offered. The grave was sealed.

As I searched my heart, and asked God to do the same, I thought of times when I had had a judgmental heart.

Hadn’t I formed decisions about people that were premature and based on first impressions, not giving me a chance to learn their true heart?

Hadn’t I jumped to conclusions in discussions with my husband and my children, being more concerned about my own feelings than the underlying rational that had driven them to their decisions in the situation in question?

Hadn’t I judged myself to be unworthy, a failure, or unforgivable on numerous occasions, which was in direct opposition to what God says about me? When I’ve done that, I’ve basically judged God to be a liar. And I judged the work on the cross to be insufficient to cover my sin.

Perhaps it was no coincidence that this happened the week before Easter, which is always a contemplative time for me anyway. Jesus’ whole time on earth was a sacrifice: He gave up all of heaven to live on earth in human form to live as an example for us, not just to die as the penalty for our sin, but to teach us how to cope.

I thought of the many times Jesus was wrongly accused: by Satan, by Pharisees, by rulers and men who just didn’t or who refused to understand. Even Jesus was betrayed by those whom He called friend. Those betrayals led to the nails in his cross and his grave being sealed.

As I reflect on the sacrifices of my Savior, I realize He could not have been resurrected if He had not died first. Even in this most horrific of situations, God’s promises are true: He works all things together for our good for those who love Him and have been called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28).

In wrestling with my pain over unjust accusations and the betrayal of another, I know that I cannot control what happened, but I can choose how I will respond. I am thankful that Jesus gave us a perfect example.

7 Tips for Coping with Betrayal

Tip 1. Examining the Heart
The first step in dealing with betrayal is examining the heart. I must be willing to ask God to search my heart and show me anything I must confess and repent of, so that I can be right with God first. In this way, we die to self, just as Jesus did.

“Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” (Psalm 139:23-24)

“You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” (Matthew 7:5)

Tip 2. Forgiveness
The next thing to do is to let go of hurt and betrayal by forgiving the other person. It doesn’t mean that we forget what was done, but we no longer harbor resentment for the action, and we turn it over to God to be the judge and jury.

“For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.” (Matthew 6:14)

“But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father who is in heaven forgive your transgressions.” (Mark 11:26)

Tip 3. Moving On
When you’ve tried to speak with them and make amends but they just don’t listen, it’s time to move on and learn to navigate life after betrayal. You may have the kindest heart and the best of intentions, but there will still be those who only see your weaknesses and flaws.

“If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, leave that home or town and shake the dust off your feet.” (Matthew 10:14)

Tip 4. Staying True to Yourself
Continue to be yourself, do what God has called you to do, and don’t let the harsh judgments of others change you. As Jesus said, turn the other cheek. In a world that is hard, be gentle. Let others know you are His by your love, even in the hard places. When you’ve done what you can do, it’s time to leave it to God to deal with. You’ll gain resilience while you learn to cope with betrayal.

“If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men. Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, “VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY,” says the Lord.” (Romans 12:18-19)

Tip 5. Engaging Support
Because of pain, or shame, or embarrassment, you might be tempted to withdraw, but don’t. That’s what the enemy wants. Instead, surround yourself with those who know and love you best, who will build you up. You’ll find strength in your community to deal with betrayal.

“And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.” (Hebrews 10:25)

Tip 6. Healing the Wounds
Let Him heal the hurt in you. You can’t afford to let a seed of bitterness or resentment take root in you. It only hurts you, not them. Their actions speak more about them than they do about you. But the pain of betrayal is real. Acknowledge it, and ask Him to heal it.

“The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit” (Psalm 34:18).

Tip 7. Empathy and Understanding
Then in the future, you can transform your personal hurt into healing for others. You will be in a position of greater compassion, and you will be able to comfort others who go through similar hurts. Be generous with compassion.

“He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.” (2 Corinthians 1:4)

He came to be close to us, to walk with us in the hard times in life. He was a walking, talking, breathing example to us for how to cope with the devastating encounters we face. When others reject us, He promises to never leave us and never forsake us. If you’re facing a painful betrayal and learning how to cope, turn to the Lord, the one who is close to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.

When have you experienced Him near in your times of need? I’d love to hear in the comments below.

Because of Him, #HopePrevails!

 

 

 

The Hem of His Garment

Now Available!

The Hem of His Garment is now available where books and ebooks are sold.

 

We all experience pain from time to time, and not just physical pain, but also emotional pain, relational pain, spiritual pain, grief and loss.

I’ve been there. I’ve experienced each one of those types of pain. I’ve asked the hard questions. I’ve searched the scriptures for biblical examples and lessons learned through pain and suffering. And I’m sharing a fresh perspective in my new book “The Hem of His Garment: Reaching Out to God When Pain Overwhelms.”

Here’s what Shonda Whitworth, author of Appeal to the Courtroom of Heaven: Petitions for Prisoners and Prison Families and co-founder of Fortress of Hope Ministries, Inc., had to say about The Hem of His Garment: “Dr. Michelle’s courage, compassion, and faith fills every page of The Hem of His Garment. As a fellow pain sufferer, I’ve cried out, “God, can’t you give me a how-to guide?” God has answered this prayer for those who are walking through the valley of pain. Drawing from the experience of her own sufferings combined with biblical truths, Dr. B provides a step-by-step guide on how to walk through the darkness of pain yet radiate the glory of God. This book addresses the tough questions many silent sufferers want to ask but rarely discuss with others. Readers will find encouragement, support, and the inspiration to carry on amid their pain.”

The Hem of His Garment: Reaching Out to God When Pain Overwhelms is now available on AmazonBarnes & NobleChristianBook.comBooks-A-Million, and other fine book retailers.

Click here to learn more: The Hem of His Garment.

 

Feel like betrayal has left you crushed and brokenhearted? That’s how I felt a few years ago when the betrayal of another left me feeling both brokenhearted and crushed in spirit. I learned 7 essential steps that helped me cope with betrayal so I could move past the hurt and find renewal.

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