When Buddying Up Leads to Betrayal

I’ve been thinking a lot about The Buddy System and what it looks like for grown women trying to walk it out. The fact is that we’re all a little broken and it’s just a matter of time before we cut one another. Often it’s the person closest to us that gets hurt the most or, on the flip side, who hurts us the most.

If you’ve ever experienced the betrayal of a buddy, you’ve probably thought one (or more) of these things:

  1. I must have picked the wrong buddy.
  2. I must have been a bad buddy.
  3. I won’t buddy up ever again.

We always seem shocked when someone lets us down, don’t we? Perhaps, we had our expectations a little too high. We expect people to understand us completely and to always behave like we want them to behave.

As I was reading through the gospel of Luke, I came across the passage where Jesus selects His apostles. At this point in time, He had thousands of disciples. {A disciple is simply a follower.} Out of the mass of followers, Jesus was ready to pick his inner circle. He was ready to buddy up, so to speak.

I must have picked the wrong buddy.

The first thing Jesus did, prior to choosing His apostles, was to pray. In fact, Scripture tells us that He prayed “all night” (Luke 6:12.) After spending the entire night speaking to and listening to His Father, Jesus selects the twelve men who will be His closest confidants. What I’m trying to convey to you is that Christ did not pick the wrong people. He buddied up with the exact men that God wanted. And yet…

When morning came, he called his disciples to him and chose twelve of them, whom he also designated apostles: 14 Simon (whom he named Peter), his brother Andrew, James, John, Philip, Bartholomew,15 Matthew, Thomas, James son of Alphaeus, Simon who was called the Zealot, 16 Judas son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor. (Luke 6:13-16) emphasis mine

Do you see it? Jesus prayed fervently and chose the men God told Him to choose and there, in the midst, was one who would betray. There are times when we buddy up with someone who will break our heart. We will invest in them and they will walk away. That doesn’t mean you chose the wrong buddy.

I must have been a bad buddy.

Can we all agree that Jesus was a perfect buddy? There was nothing He did to warrant Judas’ betrayal. Think about it. One night at dinner, Jesus announced that one of the apostles was going to betray Him.

And while they were eating, he said, “Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me.” Matthew 26:21

Did they all give each other a knowing look and give the side eye to Judas? No, they all were shocked and asking the Lord if it was them! Why? Because Jesus treated Judas just like every other disciple. He loved Judas like the others; He broke bread with Judas like the others. He washed Judas’ feet like the others!

Someone’s betrayal is not a reflection on you. Christ was the perfect buddy and, in the end, Judas still chose to be a traitor.

I won’t buddy up ever again.

It’s happened to all of us. We’ve been wounded by another woman and we’ve promised ourselves it won’t happen again. We aren’t playing this game anymore; we’re taking our ball and going home. No one will get that close to us again. It seemed to be all pain and no gain. Peace out, ladies, the buddy system isn’t for me.

The apostles certainly could have chosen that route. They had walked side by side with Judas. They experienced trials and triumph together. They were the chosen few and he had played them. One man short, they could have just tightened the circle a little and refused to allow another possible traitor to join their ranks.

The apostles must have been paying attention because they did what they had seen Jesus do. They prayed about who should take Judas’ place. They sought God’s will on their next buddy. They selected two men who had been with them from the beginning – someone who had been faithfully on the fringe for Jesus’ entire ministry. They presented the two names before the Lord and waited.

And they prayed and said, “You, Lord, who know the hearts of all, show which one of these two you have chosen.” Acts 1:24 emphasis mine

They were brave enough to buddy up again. To risk betrayal again. To not place the sin of one man on every man that came after him.  They didn’t ask God for “a good buddy” this time. They simply wanted the one God had chosen.

Ministry is messy and there will be many who turn away. But those of us who are committed – we carry on. We link arms with another woman and keep moving. There is much work to be done.

You are loved!

 

Broken Things

I drank from the very same coffee cup for over ten years. It went with me everywhere. Everyone in the house knew not to put it in the dishwasher because it had to be always at the ready.

I will readily admit that I was probably overly attached to an inanimate object. But it had been with me through ten years of life.

A miscarriage.

A painful place of ministry.

A near death experience.

Moving.

Moving.

And moving again.

Broken relationships.

Betrayal.

Goodbyes and missteps.

Just plain life.

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That cup had been through it all with me and it had a thousand tiny cracks to prove it.

All of the cracks were on the inside; on the outside, the cup appeared fine. So, we just continued on – my coffee mug and me.

Then, the other day, I went to place the mug on the Keurig and I placed it just the slightest bit off the platform. In an instant, the cup fell over, hit the counter and, just like that, my friend was gone.

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It was a break that had been a long time coming. It was not completely unexpected and, yet, was somehow a surprise all the same. It was the final letting go of many things. I had been holding onto hurt feelings and old wounds just as tightly as I had that mug. The person who gave it to me was no longer in my life and her absence was evident with each refilling of the cup.

Oh, but friend, brokenness is never the end of the story. Just two days later, I walked into church and there was a gift bag on my pew. In the bag was one of the most beautiful gifts imaginable.

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A sweet lady saw that something was broken and she cared enough to restore it. She didn’t have to know the history of the mug or the cause of the countless cracks.

All too often, we fear brokenness. We try to keep our distance from broken people. We attempt, at all costs, to remain unbroken ourselves.

Thankfully, there are people brave enough to engage the broken. To come alongside and restore what they can. To show us that there are fresh starts and new beginnings.

Now, when I take that first sip of morning coffee, I see beauty where there was once brokenness. I see restoration where there was once loss. And I am reminded that, in Christ, all things are made new.

Be brave enough, sweet ones, to engage the broken. You don’t have to know the cause of all the cracks. You may never know the storms that another woman has weathered. But the smallest act of kindness on your part can be the reason another woman makes it through another day.

You are so very loved.

Buddy Up, Buttercup!

The Buddy System

Whether we are walking to church, grocery shopping or playing at the park, our family has a hard and fast rule: always buddy up. This was a way of life even when we only had two children. If they were outside playing and one needed to use the restroom, then they both came in and used the restroom. If one wanted a drink, then they both got a drink. If one child was done playing outside, they were both done playing outside. You get the picture.

These days, we have five daughters; my husband and I are grossly outnumbered (and we love it.) It does present issues when out in public. Zoos, amusement parks and the like would be super stressful if I had to have a hand on each of them at all times. After all, I wouldn’t have a free hand to hold my frozen lemonade! The reality is that I could not physically protect all five at one time in the case of an emergency which is the whole point behind the Buddy System.

Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. (Ecclesiastes 4:9 NLT)

 

A child walking alone is a far greater target than two or three children together. A lone child is also much easier to overpower and carry away. A child without a buddy has no one to help him in a time of need or to hold her accountable in a time of temptation.

Women would benefit greatly from the Buddy System approach. The enemy is prowling around like a lion seeking someone to devour (2 Peter 5:8.) What better target than a woman attempting to make her way all alone! While social media has created true camaraderie among many people, it has also given the illusion of community to others. A woman can have thousands of “friends” and “followers”, yet have no one to buddy up with in real life.

 

Nobody Walks Alone

The main rule of the Buddy System is that nobody walks alone. This may seem obvious but, trust me, I’ve had more than one two-year-old who thought she could be her own buddy. Just the other day, my husband attempted to hold our youngest daughter’s hand to which she replied, “No, thanks. I’ll hold my own hand.” And she proceeded to do just that.

Chances are that we all know a woman who wants to just hold her own hand. Perhaps, at times, we are that woman. God never intended for us to walk alone (Genesis 1:18.) and a woman attempting to do life that way is much weaker than one with a buddy at her side. The fact is that it is foolish to think that we can go it alone or that we can hold our own hand.

Are you feeling weak? Look around and find a buddy!

Are you strong in your faith? Scripture says it is your obligatioto come alongside another woman and shoulder some of the burdens!

It’s time to get serious, ladies. The enemy is seeking weak women (2 Timothy 3:6). Let’s buddy up and make sure no woman is left behind.

You are loved.

Don’t Look Away

Sometimes, when my child falls down, I pretend I don’t notice. Please don’t judge me. I’ve come to realize that, if they think I didn’t see, they often carry on with whatever they were doing prior to the fall. If I make eye contact, however, weeping and wailing may commence.

Sure, I’m watching out of the corner of my eye. But no eye contact – that’s the rule. This parenting tactic has served me well over the years. Here’s the thing, though:

This doesn’t apply to grownups.

You know what I’m talking about. You hear that someone is going through some stuff and you’re afraid of being uncomfortable, so you avoid her. You’re worried you may say the wrong thing, so you avoid her. You have enough of your own stuff to deal with, so you avoid her.

When we see another woman take a tumble, we don’t pretend like we didn’t notice! We don’t avoid eye contact hoping we can all just carry on like normal. Let’s just go ahead and face it: if your eyes connect, there may be some weeping and that’s okay.

If we love Jesus like we say we do: we will not look away. Jesus never looked away. Not from the leper or the lame. Not from the pharisee or the prostitute. Not from you or me.

But you, O Lord, know me; you see me… (Jeremiah 12:3)

Hurting women don’t need us to watch them out of the corner of our eyes. They need us to stare into their eyes, hug their necks, and shoulder their burdens with them.

It’s easy at first. We post a prayer request for them. We take up a donation for them. It happened to be a Saturday so, perhaps, we drop by and sit with them. <—These are all good things, by the way!

But it doesn’t stop there. They still need to be seen on Tuesday when the baby is crying and you’re trying to make tacos. They still need to be loved on as the weeks pass and everyone else’s life as returned to normal.

Don’t look away when it’s no longer convenient. Don’t look away when it’s uncomfortable. Don’t look away because you don’t know what to say.

It’s okay to say, “I don’t know what to say, but I see you and I won’t look away.

Don’t look away.

You are loved. ❤

 

For When You’re Broken and Broke

I’m making my way through Leviticus and, wait for it, I’m learning stuff! I just finished reading chapter 15 and, before you flip there, I’ll just warn you – it’s about bodily discharges. You’re welcome.

Leviticus 15:25-27 caught my attention. It’s about a woman who bleeds for reasons other than normal menstruation. We’re talking about a medical issue beyond her control. Do you know what it says about her?

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She’s unclean.

Her clothes are unclean.

Her bed is unclean.

Anything she sits on is unclean.

Anyone who touches her or any of her unclean things is ( you guessed it) unclean.

On top of all of that, we read in Leviticus 13 that unclean people had to proclaim their uncleanness when out in public. Can you imagine?

I’m unclean! I’m unclean!

What if we had to speak our shame everywhere we went? What would it be for you?

Addict? Adulterer? Gossip? Divorced? Unwed mother? Criminal record? Bankruptcy?

What if that thing that you label “nobody’s business” was, in fact, everybody’s business?

This is the world in which the woman in Luke 8 lived.

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And there was a woman who had had a discharge of blood for twelve years, and though she had spent all her living on physicians, she could not be healed by anyone. Luke 8:43

Twelve years of uncleanness.

She’s unclean.

Her clothes are unclean.

Her bed is unclean.

Anything she sits on is unclean.

Anyone who brushes up against her is unclean.

She’s broken and she’s broke.

And she has to announce her uncleanness everywhere she goes.

Now, go back and read her story (Luke 8:43-48) in light of Leviticus 13:45 and Leviticus 15:25-27.

A weaker woman would have been consumed with hiding. This was no weak woman. This strong woman was consumed with healing.

Do you need healing? Stretch out your hand, unclean as it may be, my friend. Jesus is within reach.

You are loved. ❤