Way back in the years 2000 – 2001, my life changed drastically. As I look back it seemed to me like I hit a thick, reinforced, brick wall while going 60 miles per hour. The things that I knew and trusted in were gone in a split second and it was the beginning of the end of a significant part of my life. Shock and unbelief reverberated through my very soul, and I entered into an intense time of my life where insomnia ruled the day. Sleep of 3 – 4 hours a night would be considered a good night. Weight fell off of my body, as food became as tasteless. And, this was just the start of one of the darkest times of my life. All too soon things got worse as I learned more and faced true betrayal from the one I should have been able to trust most. Over the course of the next twelve months I saw the situation deteriorate significantly as I desperately tried to hang on, hang in there, and do what I thought was the right thing, and my Christian duty, during the downward spiral that became my life.
Things came to a head in January 2001 when part of my family’s livelihood was not only threatened but devastated by this betrayal. It became extremely difficult to sort through the near constant barrage of lies and denials. To this day, I am not even sure that I’ve learned the whole truth regarding this time in my life.
What ensued was something that I can only define as abandonment. While the loss of the trust in another, along with some of the household’s income hurt, it was the abandonment of those people whom I thought were dear friends that intensified the sharp pain in my soul. These were people with whom I did life, with whom I did ministry, people with whom I interacted (some of which were daily). It hurt. In my time of trial, I thought that I would have my fellow Christian friends to turn to, to comfort me, to lift me up, to pray for me. But, instead most turned their backs on me. To this day, I have no contact with my former church friends, as they had no interest. Occasionally it leaves me with a small sense of sadness. But it also had some blessings, through the years I’ve learned that those people who abandoned me in my time of need were not what we could define as loyal true friends (covenant friends), and as such, I have since put them in the category of acquaintances and moved on. An acquaintance is someone who is casually familiar to you, but doesn’t have much of a vested interest in you. These are the people who will abandon you in times of trouble. Ryan LeStrange from Impact International Ministries defines this kind of abandonment situation best:
But, through it all, God was there. In the deepest, darkest days, in the sharpest pain that I felt, God was there. When I couldn’t walk another step, God carried me. When the tears wouldn’t stop, God dried them. When I shook my fist up in the air, God comforted me. When my doubts struck, God assured me. When most others abandoned me, God was holding my hand.
When I needed encouragement, God placed others in my life, some of whom really surprised me, to walk the walk with me. They were the ones who cheered me on. They were the ones in whom I could totally confide all of my fears, hopes, and dreams. They were there for me. And, those people are still so very, very dear to me some 16 years later.
Yes, God’s hand was in the details, He was orchestrating the situations that I faced in my life. He was bringing me to better things, more rewarding things. God brought me to an ultimate trusting relationship in Him. And four years ago, God delighted me with a wonderful godly man in whom I could trust and count on – my dear husband Jim.
If you’re going through a tough, dark time in your life, hang on and trust God. He will bring you through it, He will give you new understanding, He will renew your soul, and buoy your faith. We have His promises that He is always with us, always there for us. If you have a friend that is facing a dark time, may I suggest that you be that covenant friend that comes along side them, they need your comfort, prayers, and support. While others will desert them, resolve to be that friend that points them to the love of Christ and the hope for their future.
“for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5b, ESV)
“Do not forsake your friend and your father’s friend, and do not go to your brother’s house in the day of your calamity. Better is a neighbor who is near than a brother who is far away.” (Proverbs 27:10, ESV)
“And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20b, ESV)
“There is hope for your future, declares the LORD,” (Jeremiah 31:17a, ESV)