The other day I thanked the Lord for the friends He put in my life even the friends who ultimately betrayed me. Being betrayed is no fun, but it can be a time to grow in the Lord.
Jesus had big mouth friends- Peter; high maintenance friends (I think James and John might have been a little bit on the high maintenance side.); friends who listened - John & Mary; busy friends - Martha; and we all know He had at least 1 friend who betrayed Him - Judas.
I went steady with a dear boy off and on through high school. His parents and sister were very dear to me. When I married he became friends with my husband and when he married my husband and I became friends with his wife. The 4 of us did a lot together over the years.
He was diagnosed with 2 forms of cancer late in 1998; we were devastated. His wife had carte blanche to call any time of the day or night. I could tell something was going on with her, but I wrote it off to her husband's illness and juggling 2 young children and trying to work.
One day she told me he didn't want to talk to me anymore. I was hurt but thought it's his decision. He has little energy and is saving it for his family.
Not long after that, I discovered his wife was a binge alcoholic and ended up commiting her to a facility on Mother's Day in 1999. I went to her in-law's house that night, her father-in-law asked me why I quit speaking to his son. My mouth dropped open. I told him his daughter-in-law said his son no longer wanted to speak with me. He then told his son.
Thankfully my friend and I had a couple of weeks to talk before he died. We laughed about the silly plans we had in high school. We talked about how nervous he was to leave his children. We also discussed how secure he was in his salvation. I anointed him with oil and then he took my hand and said it was time to say goodbye. He died the next day. I will never forget that dear boy who grew into a dear man.
The Lord was with me as I rode the roller coaster of anger and forgiveness. I can tell you if it were not for grace from heaven, I would never be able to forgive her. She no longer speaks to me. She is very embarassed by her actions and that huge lie. She really does not believe I forgave her. It took almost a year but I can honestly say all is forgiven - I love her, I would be there for her in a heartbeat.
During the process of forgiveness, I grew in Christ and for that reason, I can be thankful for the trial of betrayal.