Sunday, January 6, 2013


There have been a lot of thoughts rumbling around in my head lately without a lot of time to write any of them down. Between final moments with friends and family, 22 hour road trips and trying to move in and feel like a strange town is actually my new town...'down time' seems to escape me. Maybe that's okay for now.

But...I've been thinking about betrayal some lately.

It's a horrifying word. And, a rather weird word (if you look at it too long). In its simplest definition it means to be disloyal. It's one of those words that I don't think you fully understand until you actually experience it.

I was in that boat a majority of my life. I could give textbook thoughts on betrayal, and I might even be able to empathize with you if you had experienced some sort of betrayal, and some might say that I was even a betrayer at various points (although I certainly hope that's not true)...but I hadn't ever really been betrayed. At least not in the way that shatters your heart, or in the way that makes you want to vomit, or in the way that makes you feel like someone is punching you in the gut...over and over and over again.

In the last few years, my sheltered existence finally caved and opened me up to the harsh reality of betrayal. It's maybe one of the worst things I've ever experienced emotionally before. Someone else's actions cause your entire being to recoil in horror, disbelief, anger, and hatred. Darkness is consuming and before you know it, this emotion is having a physical affect on you. Your hands are shaking, your voice doesn't sound like your voice....sometimes it's hard for you to speak because your level of nauseousness makes you feel uncertain that you can keep it all down. Everything hurts. Any trace of joy has been sucked out of you.

How do you ever recover from it?
How do you ever move on?
Can you ever possibly forgive?

I've had to make some tough choices in the face of betrayal and while my flesh sought vengeance for the wounds I fear I'll never truly heal from, there wasn't a chance that I could follow through with it. I remember specifically being in the midst of one of the most heart-wrenching betrayals and hearing Matt Maher's song Christ Has Risen pound through my head: 'Freely You've bled for us...'

His blood has been shed for me and those who have betrayed me. I am not better than them. I am just as in need of Jesus. Who am I to withhold forgiveness when I serve a God who so willingly gives it even though we reject Him, abandon Him, run from Him...and betray Him...? 

But how I can I? And what does that possibly mean? What does that look like?
I think it's different in different situations, but I think it's absolutely necessary.

I'll leave it here for now... I suppose you could consider this 'Part I' of a blog on betrayal and forgiveness. But... if you've been betrayed (whether recently or long ago) and you're battling through forgiveness and what that needs to look like, let's talk.

It's hard.
It hurts.
It's unfair.

But there's hope.
Stay tuned.

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