Like many, my betrayal story has been the most difficult period of my life. So much of what accompanies betrayal trauma feels out of control: emotions, triggers, distrust, and interactions with loved ones. This lack of control might cause women in our situation to get frustrated with ourselves because we just can’t seem to get it together. We find it difficult to function in everyday life. We plead for peace but can’t keep our thoughts from racing. We long for laughter but it eludes us. It becomes a war with our bodies – one where we keep losing the battle.
A Hot, Angry Mess
Not too long ago, I was having a heated conversation with God – a lot of me talking and very little listening. I had a lot to say and numerous questions for which I desperately needed answers. The first was, “Why me”, followed quickly with demands of “I don’t want this story! I cannot do this! It’s too hard!” My heart wanted to trust God and let him work through this horrific betrayal mess, but my mind and emotions kept this trust and peace under constant fire.
One afternoon in the midst of this wrestling, I fell asleep emotionally exhausted, frustrated for having such negative feelings and so little power over them. My emotions controlled my world, darkened my interactions with my children, fueled my irritation with colleagues or anyone I met in the grocery store. My hurt bled on all those around me, and I felt out of control, my sense of failure drowning me. I was angry not only with my situation but with my body for feeling so, so, so much.
The Messy Truth
My attitude and emotions whirling, I picked up my bible desperate for some relief. God extended His grace and revealed a few things to me as I read 2 Thessalonians 4:7: “this precious treasure–this light and power that now shines within us–is held within perishable containers, that is in our weak bodies.”
- My body is simply a perishable container; it does not work in God’s full glory all the time.
- Everything that is perishable in me is accustomed to reject the eternal in God.
- My perishable body fights against all that is eternal.
Punishing myself for my feelings was ridiculous! God’s word clearly said I was a perishable container. I am not condemned for having certain feelings; it is only when I let my body choose the perishable over the eternal. For example, if I had gotten up from my bed, rampaged through the house complaining about its untidy state — perishable. Turning on worship music and allowing the Holy Spirit to speak — eternal!
The Eternal Internal War
The words eternal and perishable are constantly at war. Our spirits cry out for the eternal, but our bodies wage war for the perishable, so that means I have to fight for the eternal things in my life. The only way that the eternal can shine within this perishable me is by focusing on the second part of the verse: “so everyone can see that our glorious power is from God and is not our own.”
In my betrayal journey, I’m reminded DAILY that any power I have (to forgive, to trust, to break the bondage of pornography in my home) comes directly from Him. For everything in Him is eternal and when He lives in me and works through me, I become non-perishable. This might look like
- replacing negative thoughts with scripture spoken aloud.
- singing worship music through angry tears.
- writing out scripture instead of binging Netflix.
- attending a group support meeting and not napping.
- calling a friend for prayer rather than vindictive venting.
- praying with power to take back the things Satan has stolen.
No matter the action we take, the smallest choice will push back the perishable in our lives and let the eternal of Christ shine through.
A Fellow Hope Traveler,