Have you ever felt so betrayed and blindsided by someone that it seems impossible to envision a future where you won't cringe at the mention of their name?
I felt this way about someone I once called a best friend.
My friends ask me, “I saw (insert friend's name) walking around campus today! Have you guys talked at all recently? What’s going on with that situation?”
I try to come up with a response that evokes an easy going nature. My voice up about 5 octaves as I reply,
“Oh yeah we haven't talked in awhile! Weird right? It’s okay thought I don’t really care anymore!”
I end the response with a closed mouth smile that looks like a mix between happy and sheer fakeness.
Come on… I am not fooling myself, I am still really mad at this person.
The conversation moves on to a new topic but I am now fixated on the emotions of hurt and confusion.
The thoughts start to flood in:
“Why hasn’t she reached out to me though?”
“Does she even care?”
“I still can’t believe she did that to me after I was such a good friend to her.”
“Why does she not care that she lost me as a friend?”
Honestly I am frustrated that our falling out still has such a tight grip on my heart.
I don’t want to initiate conversation when I walk past her on campus. I don’t want to see her Instagram posts and be reminded of how much our friendship has changed. I want to forgive her, but can I seriously forgive someone who I feel betrayed me?
I am sure you can agree with me on this ladies: Forgiveness is SO hard.
Sure in some situations forgiveness is pretty easy. You know when you are craving a late night snack? I don’t know about you but I always crave potato chips. I go to the pantry ready to satisfy the craving, only to find a few measly crumbs left in the bag. After a few moments of sad realization that my snack is gone, I sigh and forgive whoever left the empty bag.
But when you truly feel betrayed by someone, like they took your love, kindness, and friendship for granted, it is really hard to forgive.
The idea of letting all the hurt go seems impossible and somewhere along the healing process your goal of forgiveness gets clouded with grudges and resentment.
I was reading through Colossians 3:13 when my whole view on the situation changed:
"Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone.
Forgive as the Lord forgave you."
Forgive as the Lord forgave you. *Light Bulb moment* Wait.. the Lord forgives ME. I had been so focused on how I had been wronged that I did not even think about how I am forgiven by the Lord every single day.
Through all of my sin, when I fall to worldly temptations, when I get off track with the path the Lord has set before me, I am forgiven. Does He hold a grudge and have bitterness towards me? No he forgives me and shows me grace and love! How special is that?
As women of Christ we are called to forgive one another because he forgives us.
Come on I am not perfect… I have sinned too, I have hurt friends feelings and made people upset, I fall short of the Glory of God, but I am constantly being forgiven by the Lord. He wants me to show that same grace and love to others.
To the person that left the empty chip bag in the pantry, the boy that broke your heart, the friend that you felt betrayed you... we are no better than any of them. We forgive them because the Lord forgives us when we fall short.
The Lord calls us to clothe ourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. To forgive.
And above all to clothe ourselves in love.
God does not call us to hold grudges. He wants us to let go of the earthly response of anger and bitterness. He wants us to clothe ourselves with love and forgiveness, so we can show the world more of him! So we can be more like Him!
Ladies we can do this! We can put aside our self pride and our grudges, We can rise up as the women Christ has called us to be.
We CAN release the shackles of bitterness and hurt,
And we CAN forgive.
Will forgiveness happen overnight? It would be nice but probably not; however, we can find solace in the fact that with prayers and God's grace we can do it.
I thank God for giving me an opportunity to grow as the woman he has called me to be. I want to show grace and love, because I want to be like Him.
Thank you God for forgiving me.
I pray that when we feel betrayed, hurt, confused, and angry that we can run to you for comfort Lord.
I pray we can dry our tears and resist the temptation to let grudges and bitterness build.
I pray that we can show the same love and forgiveness that you show us today and forever.
Maddie // @maddieowens23
Hello everyone! My name is Maddie and I am from the beautiful state of Oregon! Rain or shine I love this state so much that I decided to attend school here to study Journalism at the University of Oregon. You can expect to see me with my headphones in walking around campus or in line for a concert, eating popcorn, searching for high waisted jeans at a thrift store with my sisters, and sharing my love for Jesus with my Delight community every Tuesday night! I am a lover of listening to other people's stories whether it be strangers or friends, and hope to share some of my own. I am on a journey to becoming the woman God intended me to be, one trial and triumph at a time!