Have you ever put your trust into someone who you looked up to? How about giving someone a chance because you wanted to give them the benefit of the doubt? I have done both and both times, I have been hurt.
I’m going to share with you all a testimony of mine that is full of hurtful trials and God’s strength. It was a trial I never thought I’d ever have to face, but God knew I’d face it. You see, God knew the ugliest parts of that trial were going to make me feel like I was breaking. Before I even knew the storm was coming, God was already there, ready to take care of it.
Three years ago, I had an incident happen where I was extremely hurt by people in the church that I thought truly loved me and had my best interest at heart. There was lots of screaming, yelling, accusations, and me walking away from it all. I didn’t want to fight. I didn’t want to disrespect a church house in that way. I just didn’t have it in me to deal with the drama, so I walked out.
It isn’t like me to not say something to someone who upsets me, but the only thing I knew to do was to grab my stuff and get out of there. I tried to get out and escape the madness, but the devil had me trapped in the parking lot, unable to get out and go home. So, I had to make my way back into the church house.
I had decided at that moment I was just going to let the misunderstanding go, but the devil had a different plan for me that day. Instead of letting the issue go, it escalated and everything just hit the fan. I was shocked by the accusations and the hurtful words that were spewed. I was shocked because I thought church people were supposed to love you like Jesus does. I was shocked because I had leaders above me that I trusted, tearing me down and choosing sides.
The ugliness of favoritism reared its ugly head that day. The ugliness of unkind words stung that day. The effects of that day still hurt till this day. The scar is still there as a reminder of what God has brought me through.
Psalm 50:15 says, “And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.”
On that day three years ago, I wanted to throw my hands up and give up on the Lord. I was so angry, embarrassed, and hurt that I just wanted to be justified in my feelings. I had decided within my heart that I was done with God and was done with going to church, but God had a different plan for me.
Instead of giving up on God, I got home that night and cried my eyes out while my mom hugged me on the bathroom floor. I was still in total shock of what had happened. I poured my heart out to God and asked Him to help me through the pain.
I asked and God delivered.
You see, I learned that the church is all about God, not man. I learned that my mind and heart has to be 100% focused on God, not those around me. I learned how to truly worship and praise the Lord in the midst of heartache and tension. I learned that year how to push through the crowd until I ran straight into Jesus Christ Himself.
I learned to push and to not give up. I learned to overlook the things that others said about me and focus on what God has to say about me. I learned to be about my Fathers business.
Psalm 50:15 tells us that if we call on the Lord, He will deliver us. I took comfort in that scripture back then because I knew that even though I was hurting, God was right there with me. I knew deep down that I couldn’t give up on God just because some people I worshiped with hurt me.
It isn’t about them, it’s about God. My relationship with God is just that, it is mine. The words and unkind actions were not from God, so my anger and pain could not be taken out on God.
1 Peter 4:8-10 says, “And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.” “Use hospitality one to another without grudging.” “As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.”
These scriptures tell us to have love above ALL things. Boy, that’s a hard thing to practice and live when someone hurts you. Trust me, it took me a long time to clean out the anger I had in my heart for those who hurt me three years ago. But the scriptures are clear, we are to love one another above ALL things.
Through this trial, I have learned to love those who do not love you back the same way as you love them. I learned the hard way to love my enemies. It isn’t an easy thing to love those who hurt you, but it is the right thing to do. It isn’t an easy thing to pray for those who have hurt you, but you have to remember they have souls that God cares about, so we too, must care for them.
When people in the church betray you or hurt you, do not get angry with God. It is never God’s will for church family to turn their backs on each other. It isn’t God who caused the issues to rise. Instead of turning your back on God, run to Him and cling to Him.
God will heal the hurt and will piece your broken heart back together. God will turn your anger into tears of prayer for those who have wronged you. God will use your scar as a reminder of just how much you can truly handle.
Our faith must be in God alone. Our faith cannot be in those who are above us in the church. Our faith cannot be in friends. Humans will mess up and fail you, but our God never will.
The scars of your betrayal or hurt may still be there and visibly seen, but you have to move past the hurt. You have to allow God into your heart to help you love those who caused the pain. You have to remind yourself that you may never forget what happened, but you have to let it go or else it will fester and grow. You have to let God take care of it and believe that in His time, everything will be worked out to His will.
We never think of our church family hurting us because we always envision them loving us, but sometimes the flesh gets in the way and the devil sneaks in to destroy something good and godly if we’re not careful.
If you’ve been hurt by those in the church or are harboring feelings of hate or anger within your heart, do the following to help get you through it:
- Do not retaliate
- Love them through your words and actions
- Praise God through the storm
- Look forward to the better things to come
- Don’t dwell on the incident
- Claim your victory
I can’t honestly say I did those eight steps when everything happened three years ago, but I can honestly say I wish I had.
God knows what you are going to face before you ever face it. He will be there with you through it all. God will use the ugly things in our lives for His plans. Sometimes it takes going through a trial to become a better person or to have a stronger walk with God.