Healing From Leadership Hurt
Hurt is never fun, and hurt from a leader feels like betrayal. At times it can come out of nowhere. How do we emotionally recover from the shock and hurt?
There is no “right” way to heal, yet there are some helpful tools for the process.
Rest is critical after experiencing deep hurt from leadership. I experienced a deep hurt and betrayal from a leader, and one of the activities that helped me to heal was a mini-sabbatical. I went on a bike ride each day to a local park, and spent many hours praying, crying, and processing. Rather than brushing aside the hurt, allow time mourn the cause of the hurt. If a mini sabbatical is not possible take a few days off of work, or set aside time in the week to have no agenda. Go for a walk, drink coffee, paint, workout, or do whatever is stress relieving for you. Allowing space for your mind to do nothing allows space for healing.
Praying for the person who caused the hurt may not be the first thing that comes to mind, but it is important. Allow yourself to forgive. Ask God to root out any bitterness. If bitterness takes root in your heart it will effect everyone around you. Don’t let it in!
Choose to remember that it was the sinful acts of a person that hurt you, and not God. He does not desire your hurt. If prayer is difficult find a worship song that speaks for you. Let the song play and be the prayer in the moments when words do not come.
It is important to not leave community after being hurt. Often our first response to pain is often to run, or hide. While that may feel alright at first, after a while it will only lead us to further depression and loneliness. Christian community is important. As mentioned above it is probably a singular human being or ministry mistake that caused the hurt. It is not the worldwide church, or each Christ follower that comes across our path. Instead of running from the church community find a place to engage. It may have to be a different aspect of ministry, or volunteering in a different area. Whatever options are available pick one. Remain in the body of Christ, because we were not made to do this alone.
Find trusted friends. Ask them to meet regularly with you to talk about God, and to encourage one another to seek Him. Being surrounded by other friends will be a reminder that God IS at work. He has not left even in the midst of pain. If this group of friends is confidential share about the hurt. Share to allow others to speak truth into the situation. Avoid putting down the leader or speaking out of anger. As healing comes others will be able to encourage the growth that has occurred in your life.
They may benefit from your faith in the midst of hurt.
Keep pressing on. God can heal the broken-hearted. If pain marks your life right now try one of multiple of the suggestions above. See if it helps. The practices are not magic buttons that will take the pain away, but they may aid in the healing.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in the YS Blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or position of YS.