When I first launched “According to Chris” I set out to create an environment where I could share transparently, talk about things that no one wants to talk about, and communicate without judgement; hence the tagline “Real Talk. No Limits. No Judgement.” This particular blog post comes from a place of honesty and transparency. Remember, “Real Talk. No Limits. No Judgement.”
For the past few months, I have been in a state of recovery. I found out that one of the people that I held to high esteem, trusted deeply, and allowed close to my heart had betrayed me. It isn’t necessary for you to know the details and actual factuals for you to follow this posting. If you’ve ever been betrayed in any way, then you know how I’ve been feeling. So often we see people post on Facebook and Twitter about loyalty, or the lack there of, or someone stabbing them in the back with a very defensive, “you can’t hurt me” demeanor. However, the real deal is betrayal hurts…cuts to the core…messes with your psyche…ruins your day…makes your heart hard… Betrayal is NOTHING like the #textgram #instamessage posts that you see on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
I am sharing this situation with you because I want you to know that you are not alone. I want you to know how I dealt with/am dealing with some of the same things that you may be going through. Please remember that this is coming from a place of genuine love and integrity (hence why names and situations have been left out to protect both the innocent and the guilty.) Back to the post…
I want you to know how this betrayal affected me. When I first discovered the act of betrayal, I became angry…spitting fire, boiling lake of lava angry. So angry in fact, that my I threw away all of my “How to Be Angry But Sin Not” tips. [Check out “Same Situation, Different Disposition” for this step by step advice.] Without taking time to process or cool down, I immediately confronted the guilty party. From that moment, I begin to morph into a person that was completely different from my normal self, and my character did a 180. I cursed, I threw stuff, I cried (continuously), I said things that I shouldn’t have said, I spoke hurtful words in a hurtful tone, and so on and so forth. I felt like I was having an out of body experience, watching myself inside this glass aquarium, and there was nothing I could do about it. Normally, I am so resilient (or at least I can apply my mask very well), but this situation held me down. I felt crazy! Then I moved into the phase where I began to internalize the betrayal and blame it on myself. I had convinced myself that it was my own fault that I was stabbed in my own back. Finally, God help me move into a phase of forgiveness. I was able to genuinely forgive that individual not just for what he/she did to me, but for their motives for their actions. BUT I had not forgotten, and the memories haunted me. Anytime I would think about “the situation” I would break down and fall apart all over again. At that point it became obvious that the only way to avoid the cycle of pulling myself together just to fall apart again was to break the cycle… God began to let me heal.
“Don’t let this throw you. You trust God, don’t you? Trust me.” John 14:1 [The Message Bible]
While in in a leadership conference this week, I heard Bishop K.W. Brown (shout out to The Mount) give me a completely new revelation on this scripture; a scripture that is primarily quoted at funerals. The word “let” implies that I have control. (Example: If I say to my brother, “Let me use your car,” he is in the position of control. #1 the car is in his possession, and #2 he has the option to NOT LET me use his car.) Bishop Brown had changed my whole perspective not just of that scripture, but of my heartache. Was it possible that I was ALLOWING my heart to remain broken? Was my daily review of the betrayal chaining me to a place of brokeness? Was my “I’ll forgive but I’ll never forget” mentality stifling my progress?
“…Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes in the morning.” Psalms 30:5 [New Living Translation]
My brother/pastor Cedric showed me a new perspective about this scripture a few years ago. Typically, the emphasis of this scripture is placed on the joy that comes in the morning. Honestly, that part is very important. Shoot…after all of this hell that I’ve been through, I NEED some joy to show up. I’ve also heard this scripture preached with special attention placed on the detail that morning begins at midnight while it’s still dark and it looks like nothing has changed. That is also important because I find comfort in knowing that my joy has shown up even before my situation looks different. BUT… I want to place the emphasis on a simple three letter word at the beginning of that phrase… “MAY“… “Weeping may last through the night…” My brother pointed out to his congregation (shout out to
Shekinah Glory Ministries Int. Shekinah Kingdom Church) that the word “may” (just like the word “let”) implies a sense of control and option. Weeping may last through the night…it may not... With that I begin to think: Was it possible that I was crying my eyes, guts, and good sense out when I really didn’t have to? Was I forcing my body to respond to pain the way I had been taught? Did I really have to remain in this perpetual cycle of hurt and tears?
THE MORAL OF THE STORY:
Betrayal is real, it happens, and it hurts. I won’t lie to you and tell you that you won’t change after pain like that. Actually, you are supposed to change. Ever heard the saying “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger?” That’s the point of this pain…It was supposed to make you stronger. There was a lesson that you were supposed to learn from this situation. For me, I needed to be tried in the area of forgiveness. This particular occurrence of betrayal mimicked a situation that I have been through several times with a few different people. In those previous situations, I claimed to have forgiven and moved on, but there was a small portion of my heart that had been holding a grudge for the past six or more years. Going through this again made me go back six or seven years and forgive FOR REAL! Also, this situation was intended to point out to me how badly I needed to heal. I just told you that I had been through this type of betrayal before, and my past “resilience” made me put a bandaid over top of a deep tissue wound. That wound needed to be cleaned out, sewn up, and covered up so that it could properly heal. God allowed the bandaid to be ripped off so that my wounds could be properly cared for. What lesson should you be learning?
So you get it, this situation is supposed to teach you something and make you stronger, but still you are hurting. Try to look at things with my new revelation glasses. You don’t have to cry up until the point that your joy comes. If you do, fine. Don’t beat yourself up for it. BUT you have power over your emotions, and God is greater that your heart and your emotions. (1 John 3:20). Secondly, you don’t have to let this situation knock you off of your feet and keep you down. Get up! Get yourself together! I’m not all the way “together” yet, but I have learned how to take charge of my emotions and trust in God to take care of my heart. Yes, I still cry, and yes, it still hurts, but God is a healer and He cares about every detail of my life. He cares about you too.
And by the way...
The betrayer and are learning how to rebuild our friendship. After learning the element of forgiveness and getting over my initial anger, I was able to have grown up conversations. To my surprise, he/she was hurt as well. “Hurt people, hurt people.” I am smart enough to be careful but also careful enough to acknowledge how God needs me to help him/her at this time. That is what we call “assignment.” (I’ll blog about that next.)
I hope this helps…