Broken Trust: A Healing Journey
Have you ever had someone betray your trust? I have, more than once. To say it feels like you’ve been sucker punched in the stomach is an understatement. Betrayal is like a large rock being cast into a pond - the impact is immediate, violent, and then the ripples start to flow outward touching everyone and changing everything. It is devastating. So devastating I withdrew inward and then put a lock on my heart.
I needed to feel safe and the only way I could was to be alone. No one could hurt me again if I stayed in my own four walls and those of my workspace. I consistently refused all overtures of friendship or any other relationship. Disillusionment turned to bitterness. The negative self-talk began to wear away at the small shred of self-esteem I had left because I actually believed the lies.
Have you been in this place?
The walls of self protection I had put up around my heart grew thicker and thicker. I was safe inside those massive stone walls and my heart was protected. No one could ever get in and I was content...for awhile. It took about 6 months for me to realize this place of safety I had created had turned into a trap. I was the sole prisoner inside my self-made prison. Despair began to whisper its familiar refrain and I cried out to God for help.
He heard my cry!
To this day I can vividly remember watching Jesus approach and ask me if I would allow Him begin to take down the walls around my heart, but not all at once. Brick by brick. I remember holding my breath as I said, “Yes, Lord” and watched as He slowly took down one brick, then another and another. As the Light of His presence filtered into the depths of my heart, the despair and hopelessness that had taken up residency fled. Jesus stepped inside my heart and held me as I cried.
Then the tears flowed
As I mourned the losses created by those who betrayed me, I realized I needed to forgive them. The thought caused me to recoil in horror. “Lord, you know what they did!” I exclaimed indignantly only to stop and listen as He replied, “Yes, and you know what they did to Me on the Cross.”
I had to obey. There were no other options. I asked the Lord to give me His strength to forgive these people and then I released each one into His hands because judgement was not mine.
Did you hear me?
Judgement was not mine and neither was watching these people get what they deserved. Vengeance was not mine either, it is the Lord’s!
This entire process, from beginning to end, took about a month of me coming to the Lord and allowing Him to remove another brick or two each time. Finally, the day arrived and the last brick was gone. I was undone at the sheer magnitude of God’s mercy and grace extended to me. I also knew I could never allow myself to build a wall like that again. The sweetness of His presence filling my heart, soul and spirit was amazing. It flowed through, over and around me simultaneously. If I had been an extrovert I would have probably yelled it from the rooftops, but being an introvert, I simply put pen to journal and poured out all the love and gratitude I was feeling into the ink covering the pages.
If you can relate and find yourself stuck inside your own self-made prison, I have good news! There is a way out and His name is: Jesus!