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Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms.
~ James ~

One morning this past week, as I was heading to work, I realized that God has answered many prayers. I have been experiencing sciatic nerve pain for quite some time. As I was falling asleep one night, I prayed for a restful night and the ability to go into work the following day (the pain was severe enough to keep me home for several days). The next morning as I was driving to work I thanked God for answering my prayers. I continued to think about everything that has happened the past several years and found it comforting to know that God was still listening. I also had an epiphany as to why I sometimes struggle with my feelings towards my ex-wife ever since that day I was served with a lawsuit to end our marriage. This epiphany helped me to see that betrayal is the root of the ill feelings that I have towards her.

betrayal – to be unfaithful in guarding or maintaining (to betray a trust); to disappoint the hopes or expectations of; be unfaithful in fulfilling; to deceive; mislead…

In hindsight it is clear that my ex-wife had stopped working on being married and started the process of separation long before the lawsuit arrived. Since that time I have learned that only a few people believed the tales that were spread far and wide.

Don’t allow what has been done to you to become bigger than what Jesus did for you.
~ Toby Mac ~

As I continued to ponder the act of betrayal, my mind drifted to a joint counseling session with my ex-wife’s psychologist, whom I will call Dr. Happy, several months before my ex-wife left. After the joint session I was asked to come in for an individual appointment. It was during that appointment that Dr. Happy discovered that my ex-wife had fabricated an extensive lie about our marriage. Dr. Happy stated that I was not the person my ex-wife talked about during her sessions. During the next joint session, my ex-wife had an breakdown in front of her psychologist, which her doctor had never witnessed. As the doctor tried to figure out why my ex-wife was coming apart emotionally, I watched and observed what had become my normal for the past four years. Eventually the doctor turned to me with a bewildered look and questioning eyes. My only response was, “welcome to my world”. A couple of months later I received a call from the doctor stating that my ex-wife had quit counseling.

The lies had been exposed and my ex-wife did not want to address the real issues. Why she was running from her problems remains a mystery. As a spouse, family member or friend, you can only do so much when it involves mental health issues. Ultimately the choice to get help is controlled by the individual.

With betrayal identified as the root of my ill feelings towards my ex-wife, I can now apply what I know and move beyond this stumbling block.

“And truly the Son of Man goes as it has been determined, but woe to that man by whom He is betrayed!” Then they began to question among themselves, which of them it was who would do this thing.
~ Luke ~

Jesus knows what it is like to be betrayed. But the Bible does not state if Judas received forgiveness from God for betraying Jesus? In my search for an answer, I found the thoughts of Billy Graham on the subject of Judas and his betrayal:

No, God did not forgive Judas for his treachery in betraying Jesus—but then Judas never repented of his sins and asked God to forgive him. He was sorry for what he did; he even took his own life out of regret. But being sorry for our sins isn’t the same as repenting of them and asking God to forgive us—and Judas never took that step.

Jesus knew who would betray him. Just before he was betrayed Jesus had asked God if there was another way to save humanity from their sins. Jesus ultimately followed his Father’s will.

As far as the betrayal I experienced is concerned, there is nothing to do but move forward with my new life with Lisa. I know that I did all that I could to help my ex-wife during the most difficult part of her life. God has given me another opportunity to be happy.