Someone Like You … might feel betrayed
"Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other just as in Christ, God forgave you."
- Ephesians 4:32
There is nothing as uniquely painful as being betrayed by someone you know and trust. This situation comes with a two-part hurt. First, there is the offense, whatever the person did to harm you – whether intentionally or not. Second, though, is the reality that the damage came at the hands of someone you know and love.
At the very least it came from someone you trusted. And that hurts.
In Someone Like You, at the crux of the storyline, are two parents who always meant to tell their daughter Andi that she was not biologically related to them. This was difficult for them because she came from them. Her mother carried her and gave birth to her. A concept that would be crazy for an adult to understand, let alone a child. So, Andi’s parents made plans to tell her, but never did.
When Andi finds out, she is crushed by the truth and more crushed that the hurt has come at her parents’ doing – the people she loved and trusted most of all.
On a lesser scale, something like this happened in our lives when our children were still young. Donald was hired by a major high school as head boys’ basketball coach and he chose to bring on a certain assistant. This man had been fired from a competing school, and Donald felt badly for him. Maybe giving him a chance would help the guy feel needed again.
But two years later – years of working and coaching and spending long days and weekends together – this assistant coach began building a friendship with the school’s athletic director. In time, the assistant coach complained that Donald had allowed kids on the team to drink. Of course, nothing could have been further from the truth, and Donald did not immediately know where the accusation came from.
When that lie dissolved in its absurdity, the assistant waited a month and unbeknownst to Donald, he went to the athletic director again. This time he complained that Donald was holding after-school weekly Bible studies in his classroom. This was legal at the time, not an issue.
But the athletic director was not a fan. A meeting was held in the main office and Donald was released of his duties as head basketball coach. I will never forget the feeling when he came home that day and told me. “I’m not the coach. Not anymore.”
I was so mad, so indignant. I wanted to hire an attorney. Rally the parents. Do whatever I could to help reverse this decision. Between us, Donald is the best basketball coach ever. His coaching is a gift from God, no question.
And now he was out of a job because of something completely unfair.
Then the bigger hammer fell. Donald found out that it was his assistant - the man he had brought on as an act of kindness - who had urged the athletic director to take action. And now … no shock … the assistant was named head coach.
It was a betrayal of epic proportion for Donald and for our family at the time. There are still nights when I have to make a point to forgive that assistant and that athletic director. Because God asks us to be kind and compassionate, to forgive as He forgave us. And so I have forgiven them. I will forgive them whenever the betrayal rises up in my heart. Thankfully, much less often now.
Your situation of betrayal may have come at the hands of a friend or a family member or a spouse. It might have been an affair or a lie harbored for years. Whatever it was, whatever it is, God’s teaching on this topic remains the same.
Let it go.
In the Bible, Romans 12:19-21 makes it clear that vengeance is God’s, He will repay. We are not to be overcome by evil, but rather to overcome evil with good. The Scripture expressly says, “Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath.”
Andi needed time to process this, and you will likely need time, too. In Andi’s case, her parents were deeply sorry. Yes, the betrayal had lasted all of her life – the reason it shook her to the core and caused her to leave home for a season. But her parents wanted reconciliation.
That is not always the case. Certainly in our situation, the assistant coach and athletic director had no remorse at all. They moved on as if they hadn’t caused great damage to my husband and to our family.
But God has a bigger picture in mind at times like this. Jeremiah 29:11 reminds us that God has good plans for us. Something bigger that we cannot see in the moment. In time, though, you will be able to look back and see the good God brought about in the situation. Maybe the good is to be separated from someone who meant you harm. Maybe it is reconciliation and a deeper love – the way it was for Andi and her parents.
For us, God showed His plans fairly quickly. A few months later Donald was hired by a new Christian school, where he had the privilege of building a successful and winning program for several years, before we moved to Nashville. Clearly that was where God wanted Donald.
I still don’t know why we need to go through painful things, but I know that the testing of our faith develops perseverance. It stretches us and grows us so that we are ready for what God has next. For Andi, that something next was a healed relationship with her parents, and something she never saw coming.
The chance to fall in love with Dawson Gage.
What do you know about embryo adoption?
How would you feel if you found out you were not biologically related to your parents? Do you think Andi overreacted?
If you can, share a time when you felt betrayed by someone close to you. How did that situation resolve? If it never did, how do you feel about that now?
Read the following verses: James 1:2-4, James 1:12, Romans 5:3-5, Col. 3:25, Eph. 4:32. Is there a Bible verse here that you resonate with in your situation or that you would’ve found solace in during that time? Share it with the group or in your journal.
I Can Do That:
Read Matt. 6:14. Now think of someone who betrayed you or wronged you. Journal about this situation and make a willful decision to forgive that person. Regardless of whether that person is in your life still or not, you can forgive. Forgiveness is a decision you make before God.
God calls us to be peacemakers. Perhaps the person betrayed wasn’t you, but rather someone in your world. Someone who has been betrayed by someone else. Reach out to that person and invite them to coffee or share a conversation over the phone. If possible, ask that person to share what happened, so that he or she has a place to express feelings. Share with this person about Someone Like You, the movie. Explain that this movie may help them find healing.
Read Matt. 5:43-45. Write a list of the people who have wronged you. Where possible, one at a time, journal how God has used that difficult situation for your good. Write about what you have learned.