If you live long enough you will have someone hurt you. Most heartache comes from relationships that seem so promising and secure, but blow up before we can really make sense of anything. Yes, things develop over time and we can see signs as we look back, but the pain is still real. Picking up the debris from a 9-11 encounter with someone is not an event but a process. Because I counsel so many people dealing with relationship hurt this topic is very dear to my heart and possibly relevant to your life. Here are some things you must know when you feel hurt deeply by someone you really cared about and thought this would never happen.
#1 Step away and cool down It’s been said that sometimes you can’t see the forest for the trees. Even Jesus had to step away from the crowds, cool down, and refocus on the task at hand. If you react out of your heaviness you are bound to say and do things that are out of character. These things will just add to your regret and prolong your pain.
(Luke 5:16)But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.
#2 Recognize your real enemy. Satan is always seeking to destroy relationships and people in the process. Understand that you are in more of a spiritual battle than a physical battle. Otherwise, your words and actions will resemble that of a school boy who feels they have something to prove. As we mature, we have to learn that some of the biggest battles in this life aren’t won with our fists or with words but on our knees.
(1 Peter 5:8) Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.
#3 Process the Misunderstanding. Whether you or they were mistaken I promise you there was some level of misunderstanding. Often the misunderstanding works both ways as we don’t always know what we think we know. We are often so blinded by our own perspective, feelings, and pain that we can’t see the bigger picture. It is very easy for there to be a breakdown of communication between two people. Process what you may have misunderstood about them and what they may have misunderstood about you. This may not fix anything immediately, but it will help you deal with things with a much greater understanding. Not everything has a rhyme or reason. However, many times someone’s behavior is fueled by their level of understanding or misunderstanding.
(James 5:16)Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.
#4 Pray for peace. We will never be able to fully know how, but peace comes when we let go and let God have control of the situation. Turning things over to God assures you that everything is in good hands. Turning things over to God takes the weight of the world off your shoulders. Just a word of great importance…Don’t just ask God for mercy, but repent of any way you may have stepped out of line in your actions. Your prayers should not be about God just fixing them, but you asking God to heal you both.
(Philippians 4:6-7) Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
#5 Leave Justice to God. There is always a great temptation to take matters into your own hands. We want to show them they don’t mess with us. We want to prove that we were right and they were wrong. We want to make them hurt like they hurt us. These are all normal feelings to have when your heart is racing and your blood pressure is rising. Fortunately, we don’t have to take justice into our own hands. God will have the final say and justice will prevail in the end. Either on this side or the other side of eternity.
(Galatians 6:7) Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. People reap what they sow.