What comes to mind when you think of betrayal? Bitterness, sadness, pain?
In my story of betrayal, I definitely experienced those feelings – but I found an eternal blessing in the end.
I was 11 when I met my first best friend. I thought she was someone who would grow old with me. But I had that hope shattered early on. She had nicknamed me “tomato” because of my size, and would say during meals, “I hate tomato. Tomato is so fat and ugly.”
It hurt. I grew up Christian, but going to God was never my first choice. I didn’t think He would care, because if He did … Why were my friends like that? We soon stopped being friends. I was alone for a period of time, but in time – I found a new friend in class, Jenny*.
But the joy didn’t last. I was scrolling through Facebook when I saw that a mean girl in class had tagged me in a picture of a plus-sized celebrity. She asked Jenny in the comments section, “Hey, look doesn’t that look like Tiffany?”
I waited for Jenny’s reply, thinking she would stand up for me. But she simply wrote, “Ya her butt is just as big.” I stared at those words for what felt like an eternity. Why was this happening again? I was angry but I had no one to turn to.
It didn’t get better when I started secondary school. We got posted to the same school and class. Things actually went well for the first few months until a misunderstanding.
My friend named Daniel* had left his wallet in class, so we decided to keep it for him. Jenny was with me the entire time. But the next day, he claimed $2 were missing from his wallet and blamed it on Jenny and I. He approached Jenny first, and then me.
He came to me saying, “How dare you steal my $2? Give it back to me now!” I was shocked, because I hadn’t taken his money. “Jenny said you were the one who took my money – so give it back you greedy fatty!” What he said had broken my heart.
I asked Jenny, “Why did you say that? You know I didn’t do it.” Her reply cut me in my heart, “I saw you take it. Don’t lie”.
As I didn’t have any other friends, all I could do was to stick to her. But things got worse – it was like reliving my primary school nightmare years all over again. The boys would shoot rubber bands at me and she would laugh.
They made chat groups and Facebook pages with names like, “ANTI-TIFFANY group” – and they would “accidentally” add me in.
I felt tortured. I was so angry with God and I felt like I had no one to turn to. This carried on until I finally blew up at Jenny one day, and went to sit with another group of girls in class.
To my surprise, though they rarely spoke to me or knew me – these girls stood up for me. They took me into their circle of friendship.
Secondary school quickly turned from a nightmare to a dream. I loved school again, and I could finally say that I loved my friends. You might think this is the happy ending. But things began to change again over time. I thought we were going to be forever friends, but we stopped being as close after a few years.
My heart became calloused with distrust and insecurity. I never believed people would love me for who I am. Never wanted to trust anyone.
Hannah was one of my friends from that group of girls in secondary school. I brought her to Church where she accepted Christ into her life.
We’ve been friends for almost a decade. I never knew she would mean so much to me. Hannah never once thought any less of me, especially not for being fat. Through Hannah, God showed me how to trust again.
I knew something was different about this friendship, but I didn’t know why back then. But I know now: We both grew to have the same foundation in our life: God.
I couldn’t have imagined that the God I blamed for the bullying was the same God who placed Hannah in my life. The God I was so angry with became the God I was so grateful to. There were many times I thought I had no one to turn to. But deep down I knew I could turn to God. But because of my pride, I didn’t let God into my troubles – only praising Him in the good.
God is long-suffering. When I think back to how my friends betrayed and threw me aside, though I was a true friend to them – I did the same thing to God. I threw Him aside even when He was a true friend to me. Yet in every season, He was my only constant.
He gave me the priceless blessing of His eternal friendship.
*Names have been changed for privacy.
This is a submission from a participant of our Greater Love Giveaway. From now till the end of March 2018, we are giving away a pack of limited edition Thir.st “Greater Love” Stickers in exchange for every story. Stories must have a personal/local angle and be of 800-1000 words. Send us yours here.