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My Grief and Betrayal II: Healing Through Faithful Friends

Posted By Denise Miller Holmes on Monday

Savvy Article #1106

Shredding another’s heart is how some people feel good about themselves. Unfortunately, I’ve been around too many people who think my heart is perfect fodder to boost their self-esteem.

In My Grief and Betrayal, I told of my one-year recovery from the greatest and most devastating rejection in my adult life. I was finding even fond memories about that person too painful to keep.

Even the authority I had gone to for solace and wisdom disbelieved my story and blamed me.But healing comes from mysterious places, and at the time of this writing, I have been healing through the love and compassion of a group of Christian writers who meet regularly, and who know how to care for each other like God cares for us.

In modern Christian culture, we often forget that we are supposed to be part of each other’s worlds. But the dynamic of group healing is taught in the Bible.

[N]ot forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near. Hebrew 10:25

Bear one another’s burdens, and thus fulfill the law of Christ. Galatians 5:26-6:2

And be kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake has forgiven you. Ephesians 4:32.

Confess your faults one to each other, and pray for each other, that you may be healed. The effective fervent prayer of a righteous man accomplishes much. James 5:16

God intends churches to be made of tenderhearted, encouraging Christians. We are supposed to be acting much like therapy groups—listening to each other’s pains, supporting each other in prayer, encouraging each other when we are rejected or brutalized, affirming and validating each other, and being patient with each other’s flaws.

When Christians practice this biblical model, an amazing thing happens—people heal. And people grow, and people find courage, and people change the world.

Christian fellowship is supposed to be active. Ice cream socials do not heal, amassing in large impersonal groups week after week does not heal, and overloading our schedules with Christian duties does not heal.

But loving, open, honest, trusting relationships DO heal.

July will mark the 3-year anniversary of my grief and betrayal. My heart is no longer in shreds. I am not at the change-the-world stage yet, but it’s in sight.

You may also like: My Grief and Betrayal.

About The Author

Denise Miller Holmes
Denise Miller Holmes enjoys teaching biblical topics, and especially researching and communicating what Christians believe about the world around them. She sometimes turns established viewpoints on end. A graduate of the University of Southern California School of Journalism, Denise also has a Masters degree in Counseling Psychology, and has been a Christian for over 35 years. She belongs to the writers’ groups Words for the Journey and American Christian Fiction Writers.


6 Responses to “My Grief and Betrayal II: Healing Through Faithful Friends”

  1. This is so vital for the church. It is good that churches have counseling departments, they are a huge help, but I think the one on one conversations of one hurting person to another is where a majority of the healing comes.
    When we put down our shields and allow people to see that our lives are not perfect they don’t feel so alone. Admitting our failures, and God’s grace demonstrated through them, opens the door for others to confess their failings and embrace the healing that God wants to pour out on all of us.
    It is a risk, a huge risk. You Denise experienced much pain from your betrayal but now you are using that pain to bring deliverance to others.

  2. Danica says:

    Great post, Denise. I think time is an important factor in healing as well. And it’s good to have people surrounding us during that time who can love us through the process.

    (Though I find ice cream socials extremely healing. Bring on the Ben and Jerry’s!)

  3. Joan C Webb says:

    Thank you for this post, Denise. Yes, there is healing when people really listen and hear one another without trying to judge or recite platitudes or Bible verses out of context and without thought. I like this quote from Paul Tournier, “It is impossible to over-emphasize the immense need people have to be really listened to, to be taken seriously, to be understood.”
    I’m sorry people didn’t believe you. And I’m grateful that you found some who did–and listened and stood beside you while you healed in “process.”

  4. Beautiful, Denise. I believe your willingness to write about it so openly and honestly not only furthers your own healing, but it helps bring shades of healing to the rest of us as well. You’re loved! ~ M

  5. Thanks to all of you for your comments. I wish Ben and Jerry’s were a fix, but it’s not. Well, not a long-lasting one. Only love is a lasting fix. I know from having you ladies in my life that I AM loved. I feel it. I love you back!

  6. I say often that my writer’s group has become my safe place (outside of Jesus and my family). What is it about writers that makes them “get it?” Glad you’ve found a place of love to heal.

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