So Much More Than Words 



The word itself sounds just as brutal as the feeling. You know how certain words just automatically brings an image to mind? Well, when I hear the word “betrayal,” I see a person left alone on the floor with a knife stuck in their chest. Left to die. A person undeserving. A person who didn’t see it coming. A person outwitted by their eagerness to love and open themselves up to a world that can’t reciprocate such loyalty and care. Betrayal is deep. It’s a pain that pierces your soul. It’s an exchange of trust for brutality. It fractures loyalty in such a way that repair seems almost impossible.

However painful, there are lessons to be learned from betrayal. Working through my own experience with it, I’ve gained wisdom that otherwise I would not have.

1. Betrayal hurts because it always comes at the hands of someone you trust—someone you least expect it from. We expect our enemies to act recklessly toward us. We never expect it from our friends. We expect strangers to treat us with contempt; we never expect it from people who once feasted at our tables. This experience is not unique to you. All throughout history people have been betrayed. It didn’t start with you, and it won’t stop with you. Jesus was betrayed by someone who walked with him throughout his ministry. Someone who saw the powerful things he did—someone who saw him heal the sick, raise the dead, feed the 5000. Someone he broke bread with. Joseph was betrayed by his own flesh and blood. Can you imagine your own brothers plotting to kill you? Can you imagine being sold by people who should be biologically hardwired to love you? Betrayal is not a new phenomenon, so stop constantly asking “Why did this happen”? Instead, recognize that it can happen to not just you, but anyone. As long as human beings exist, unfortunately, betrayal will.

2. There’s always a lesson to be learned from instances of betrayal. Allow yourself time to mourn, but don’t let it leave without gaining something from the experience. What have you learned about yourself? What have you learned about the kind of people you want to be surrounded by? What have you learned about boundaries? Sit with your betrayal and garner wisdom from it. It will pass and time will heal, but you want to take that wisdom with you as you continue your journey throughout life.

3. Forgive and move on. Yes, sometimes people do things unintentionally that end up hurting us, but it’s their response to what they do that matters. If the person is unapologetic, then that’s really not someone you’d want in your life long-term, regardless. Maybe the betrayal was a gift. If that’s what came out of them, imagine what’s inside of them. Deep stuff. Forgive and move on with your life. There’s really no desire to stay there long-term. There’s really no desire to demand justice. There is an entire life to be lived ahead of you. There’s life after betrayal. Learn the lessons and love on. You resolve to be a better person. You resolve to not treat people the way you were handled.

Ultimately, if you’re dealing with feelings of betrayal, remember that betrayal has a price. God honors loyalty and faithfulness. It’s all throughout scripture. Vengeance isn’t ours to give though, God is the judge. God is a just judge. He never wants us to get our hands dirty or to be burdened by what another human deserves. Cast your cares on God and accept His peace and freedom instead. You can do this by simply shifting your focus. Instead of ruminating over what happened, focus on the good in your life. Instead of staying stuck in that place of disappointment, flip the script and focus on what you’re grateful for.

Betrayal is a vile thing. It is so important that we treat people how we would like to be treated. We must always remember that the seeds we sow will always bear fruit. Ensure that you live in such a way that the fruit you reap is sweet and juicy. Sow good seeds.


Guest Article Written By: Lashanté Stubbs

Connect with Lashanté on her Instagram account at "shantestubbs"

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This is something that I have become somewhat of an expert on in the past two years of my life. We all know the sting of pain, whether it be emotional pain, or physical pain. If you’ve ever been injured or had to deal with an illness that causes physical pain, then you know how uncomfortable it is. You understand the frustration and the sadness that dealing with the pain oftentimes brings. In the same way, dealing with emotional pain can be just as difficult. Any sort of trauma like grief, depression, or even disappointment can spark a fire of emotional pain that can sometimes burn away at your peace of mind and sanity. The point I am trying to make is that pain is hard to bear, no matter what shape or form it comes in.

I’ve been thinking a lot about pain lately, and how God wants me to process it as a believer. In this season of my life, I am often prone to chronic physical pain that causes a lot of discomfort and frustration. The physical pain that I often deal with ultimately causes emotional pain, and I often find myself struggling to grapple with the intensity of it all. In moments like these, I attempt to negotiate why it is that a good God would allow such pain into my life? Why is it that I have to walk through something so difficult, when I know that He can bring healing to my body and my circumstances? Have you ever asked this question? I think, deep down, we all wrestle with questions like these, and that’s okay. Walking this journey has not been an easy one, but God has taught me, not to accept that the pain I feel will always be a part of my life, but to see it through a different perspective. When you’re walking through something hard, it’s easy to focus on the bad. It’s easy to meditate on everything that is wrong, or everything that can go wrong about the situation. We all do this at times, however, God has taught me that in moments of pain, instead of focusing on what’s wrong, I must look at the situation through the lens of scripture. What does God’s word say about it? What promises do I have access to as a child of God regarding my situation? Whenever I turn to God’s word amid my pain, my hope is renewed and I am reminded that despite how things may seem in my life right now, God’s word is true and once I continue to believe, the healing that I am praying and believing for will come.

In the midst of my pain, God has also taught me that instead of allowing pain to push me away from Him, it should make me pursue Him even more, because only He can truly provide the sort of comfort that I need in the midst of it. I know what it’s like to deal with painful situations that cause you to drift away from God. You become so disappointed and confused that the only thing you know to do is focus on things that distract you from your pain, and often, these things are not what God has in His plan for us. If that’s you, I understand—I’ve been there. However, in the midst of your pain, cling to Jesus. Cry out to Him, pray to Him, ask Him for the strength that you need to overcome it. Whenever I think about the importance of turning to Jesus in the midst of pain, I remember the woman with the issue of blood in Mark 5. She had been suffering for twelve years, and experienced not only the physical pain of bleeding, but the emotional trauma of wasting all of her money visiting countless doctors who could not help her. If you ask me, this woman had all the right to turn away and stop believing, however, she didn’t allow her pain to plunge into hopelessness; instead, she pursued Jesus. She pushed through a crowd and fought until she could touch the hem of His garment, and in the end, she was freed from her suffering. In the midst of your pain, cling to Jesus. Do all that you can to remain close to Him. In Him is the healing and freedom that you desire.

There’s so much that walking through pain has taught me in life. The journey is definitely not an easy one, but I am always reminded that in the midst of it all, God has a plan, and it is for my good (Jeremiah 29:11). The same is true for you. Whatever pain it is that you may be walking through right now, whether it be physical or emotional, remember that peace of mind is available to you in the midst of it. Pain doesn’t have to control your life. Remain in God’s word and remain close to Him. It is only in Him that we can find true peace and the healing that we need.

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I think we’ve all felt this emotion at some point in our lives. Many of us experience sadness for different reasons. Someone may feel sad because they lost an opportunity, while another person may feel sad because of unmet expectations. The list can go on and on in regards to the things that we often feel sad about in life. Lately, I’ve been thinking about how I handle my very own moments of sadness as a believer. When I first came to know Jesus, whenever I felt sad, I never confided in anyone about how I felt, especially God. I never felt free enough to express my sadness, because, truthfully, I felt ashamed. How can I let someone else know that I am struggling with sadness, when God calls me to rejoice in the Lord always (Philippians 4:4)? How can I feel free enough to express my sadness to God when His Word says that the joy of the Lord is my strength (Nehemiah 8:10)? These are the sort of questions that I often pondered in my moments of sadness. Whenever the feeling came, I did my best to tuck it away in the trenches of my heart, never to be acknowledged. As I grew in my walk with God however, I quickly learned that I was wrong. I learned that sadness is not an emotion to be ignored or pushed away; it is an emotion that we should acknowledge and take to God. I find that in the moments when I express my sadness to God, I not only find the peace that I desire, but He always reveals and reminds me of His truth in the midst of it. I have learned, and I am still learning, that there is an intimacy that is developed the more you welcome God into your broken places.

A few days ago, I felt really sad. There were circumstances in my life that made me feel very disappointed, and this disappointment led to sadness. I remember sitting on the floor of my room, and allowing the tears to flow. I felt tired and broken. In the moment, I remember opening my Bible and reading the Psalms. Through my tears, I poured over the cries and the petitions of the Psalmists, and in the midst of reading, I made my own petitions to God. As I prayed, I felt the Holy Spirit remind me that my sadness and my tears doesn’t offend Him. He reminded me that letting Him know that I feel sad in no way takes away from who I am to Him or how He views me. My sadness isn’t a reflection of my lack of faith, it is an emotion that I am sometimes subject to as a human. Psalm 34:18 (NIV) says, “The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” I love this verse because it reminds me that God isn’t looking down from heaven shaking His head in disapproval when we are sad. His word says that He is close to us. If He never expected us to feel emotions like sadness, then why would He promise to be close to the brokenhearted or save those crushed in spirit? One of my favorite authors writes, “Part of really living is being willing to face sadness. Not wallowing in my pain and refusing to be comforted, but honestly and openly telling God where I am and asking him to show me truth.” (Quote from, "The Scars that Have Shaped Me" by Vaneetha Rendall Risner) I resonate with this quote so much, because I believe that it is an accurate picture of how we should handle the sadness that we feel. We should be honest and open about telling God how we feel, and most importantly, we should allow Him to show us truth in the midst of the sadness.

I pray that if you feel sad today, you’re reminded that God isn’t offended by it. He invites you to acknowledge the sadness that you feel and bring it to Him. He wants you to welcome Him into your broken places, not try to hide them from Him. In His presence is the peace and the joy that you need. One of the things I love about Jesus is that He allows us to feel. He allows me to feel. I wish I could share with you all of the moments when I cried out to Jesus in my sadness and He comforted me, embraced me, and reminded me that weeping may endure for the night, but joy is coming (Psalm 30:5). If you’re wrestling with sadness, I want to leave with the truth of Psalm 34:18 with you: God is close to the broken-hearted and saves those crushed in spirit. Welcome Jesus into your sad place, and allow Him to envelop you in His presence and save you, like He promised.

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