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Editor's journey


Letter to a friend in trouble

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — If you’ve ever had a friend who betrayed your trust, you know the wound can be deep and the pain enduring. Hearing the words “I’m sorry” provides temporary relief, but a cloud of distrust and disappointment often remains. Even when you find it in your heart to forgive, it’s difficult to forget.

It’s hard to peer beyond your own disillusionment and consider your betrayer’s anguish and shame. It’s easier to cry “woe is me” than to pray for God to change the perpetrator’s heart. Day after day, you fight resentment by quoting Scriptures and praying with endless tears.

Thankfully, in time, the Lord heals your heartache and you begin to see your friend through the eyes of Christ: Anger gives way to compassion, and disappointment is replaced by hope.

Some years ago, I wrote to a friend who had betrayed the trust of many. Perhaps you’ll find this excerpt from the letter meaningful if you are dealing with the pain of disappointment and betrayal.

Dear (Name Withheld):

Thank you for your letter. Please know I have already forgiven you. You are a trophy of God’s grace and mercy. As you humble yourself, confess your sin and draw closer to the Lord, He is going to stamp “new” on your forehead and erase the old ways that have caused you and others so much pain. Despite your mistakes, I believe great fruit can come from your life that will glorify God and restore your reputation. I’m sure you want to pursue reconciliation and seek restitution, but please know your mistakes cannot be corrected with money or persuasion. Only God — and the testimony of you walking humbly before Him — can make things right. Let’s covenant together and believe God for complete restoration and reconciliation. You are loved. Better days are ahead.

Your friend,
Hal Donaldson

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