I’m seeing a common thread for the deepest pain now that I’m going into twelve years of counseling people who are living in all their worst places of their stories, There is one dark night of the soul that seems to bring the most devastation to a person’s heart. Betrayal in a relationship can be such a deep cut that takes a tremendous amount of personal work to walk out of. Sometimes the task of healing seems insurmountable.

The problem with betrayal is that it involves trust. When we open up our hearts to trust we believe the person we’re trusting has our best interests as a priority. When that person betrays us they move from the category of friend, lover or precious family member to a traitor. Our minds do a double-take trying to match up what we expected from the betrayer to the reality of what is. The tension between what we thought and what is can keep our minds tangled for days, months or even years.

There are two truths that can help a person betrayed to find their way out of the abyss. Realizing that betrayal hits all our main lies concerning our identity can be helpful. “I don’t belong,” “I’m not lovable,” “I’m not wanted,” “I‘m not enough” are the typical ways a betraying act can assault who we are at the core of our being. Combating these lies about the truth of who we are can be a slow process but very effective to bring healing.

Secondly, the saving grace about betrayal is that we are not alone in it. Jesus, the one who endured His own dark night, is the ultimate example of betrayal from someone in their inner circle. Matthew 26 in the Message says, “The one I kiss, that’s the one—seize him. He (Judas) went straight to Jesus, greeted him, ‘How are you, Rabbi?’ and kissed him.”

Realizing a person close to us has betrayed us under the guise of friendship is a very painful experience.  Ultimately, there is solace knowing that eventually our hearts will heal and we will be the better for it. No one goes through a dark night this impactful without drawing closer to the One who will never leave, never disappoint and always has our best interests at heart. We arise victorious out of the ashes, learn our lessons and vow never to be a traitor ourselves, knowing firsthand the pain betrayal causes those who are kissed by it.