Have you ever felt betrayed? Whether you’ve felt betrayed by a friend, a family member, or perhaps even God, it probably has left you feeling angry, hurt, and alone.
Two years ago I was presented with an offer to work overseas in Switzerland. I had secretly desired to work in Europe for quite some time and I prayed it was what God wanted for me as well. At thirty-two years old, with mounds of material possessions and a life pretty well established, narrowing everything that defined me to two oversized pieces of luggage was both a frightening and adventurous undertaking.
I began weeding through my belongings as if I would never return; selling the things I could obtain any monetary value for and gifting the remaining material memories to close friends and family. Although the job had a one-year contract attached to it, I felt deeply as I boarded the plane to Geneva, Switzerland, that I would never again be returning as a resident of the United States.
After nearly two weeks as an expatriate in Switzerland my life rapidly came crumbling down and I quickly found myself lost, alone, and broke. The job was nothing near what was promised, which left me in a foreign country without a visa or income. Skyping friends and family 6,000 miles away didn’t seem to bring the answers or peace I needed. I felt like a failure. And for what? To turn right back around and return to the life I was living, except this time, with nothing.
My pride got the best of me. I had to stick things out. I needed to figure out for myself why I was in this country. Unfortunately the only one who knew that answer was the same one who guided me there in the first place, God. I had felt incredibly betrayed by God, which left me feeling resentful and refusing to ask for help.
Frustrated I found myself on my knees begging for an answer. Why was I here? What did I need to learn? How would I make ends meet? Why did I have so much confidence to move to the other side of the world only to have my life fall apart?
It wasn’t in that exact moment that the answers came. In fact, I spent almost five months feeling like I was treading water without any direction, illegally overstayed my visa and miraculously lived in the most expensive country in the world with $600.00 USD to my name with only the tiniest bit of faith carrying me through.
When we are in the midst of trials we may not realize how strong our faith truly is and more importantly how strong we can become with the help of God. Boarding a plane back to the United States I jotted down a list of lessons learned during my time in Switzerland:
- If you give up just because things are hard, you run away from problems rather than towards them and miss out on the learning experience.
- Sometimes you make mistakes and you need to accept criticism and grow.
- Following the guidance of the Holy Ghost doesn’t necessarily mean that things work out as you have planned, rather as God has planned for you.
- Faith means walking blindly knowing you’re doing the Lord’s will, even if you’re not exactly sure what that is.
- God’s abilities are far greater than the human mind can comprehend and it is easy to doubt the guidance you receive when it does not seem feasible.
- You can’t be mad at God when you pray about something, receive guidance to do specific things, and the outcome doesn’t match up to your expectations.
- If you jump ship as soon as things get hard, you miss out on the blessings.
When you feel betrayed it’s easy to lose hope and faith, in yourself, in the promptings you have whole-heartedly trusted, and in your ability to hear and follow God. Although at times it may not be easy to maintain a hopeful perspective, I’ve found that when I look to the source of my negative thoughts and remind myself that God loves me and wants me to experience happiness, I can muster up the faith and courage to press on to brighter horizons.