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How do you process hurt caused by a friend or family member?

Without giving names or any other identifiable info, I’d love to hear from you about what you did–in grief stages or in one fell swoop–when a friend or family member hurt you verbally and intentionally in front of others. Currently, I’m in the process of forgiving someone for a very-very recent, Hurt-Bomb dropped on me publicly, which God is redeeming already for His good. I want to continue to respond to this person with grace and mercy and boundary-setting, but my final step of placing a private telephone call to the person means that I’m going to need to be all prayed-up and feeling kindhearted once again–and I can’t seem to retrieve the necessary kindness factor at this point. Prayers and advice for how to make that quantum leap back to a gentle and compassionate heart (toward this person) are most appreciated! How DID YOU do it?

Comments ( )
  • Katie Brazelton says:


    Hi Katie,
    I had that happen just last week. I was about to lead a Bible study in one of our church member’s homes and one of our members dropped one on me. She is one of those people who can act like she loves you one minute, and drop a bomb in your lap the next. She can be very catty at times. But my guard was down that day and I was sharing a bit of my frustration with a family situation and she very rudely blurted out,”You just resent being a woman, don’t you?” I was taken aback by her tone and sarcasm as well as the biting remark.

    She then proceeded to share something she wanted sympathy for in her own family and brought up another sensitive topic to me. I decided not to let it go this time and I flat out told her that I did not resent being a woman—just the unfairness that occurred in the incident I shared. I then sat down and poured out my heart to God—for Him to help me overcome and for Him to avenge me. I did not hold back my true feelings similar to David in the Psalms. I reminded Him that I had felt very undefended in another situation with my little brother where I wished my Dad had better defended me. I told Him I really needed Him to defend and affirm me, and that I wanted to be an overcomer and let go of resentment (but that I couldn’t do that either without His help).

    Do you know that a few minutes later, she came back and apologized for hurting my feelings? You have to understand that that was a true miracle if I have ever seen one. She is NOT the type of person to do that—especially not that quickly. I was in awe of God’s faithfulness. If there is one thing that I have really experienced with God, it is that He values our raw honesty in our pain. I am sure you have had similar experiences with Him. It is one of my favorite parts of the book—Heaven is For Real. I am sure you have heard of it and probably read the true account of a pastor’s son who has a life after death experience. While he is on the operating table, his pastor-father is “ranting” at God—giving him what my Texan friend calls a “look-here-now!”

    Do you know that when the boy recounted the story later, he said that Jesus told him to go back because He was answering his dad’s prayer?!! I LOVE that! He can handle our REAL feelings! The dad was ashamed, but he had been through so much pain that he just let it out in that prayer.

    I have suffered through much rejection at times and I am presently learning how to deal with it in a healthier way. So, that’s my two cents for whatever it is worth.
    Cheryl Buskirk

    On Aug 16, 2014, at 4:51 PM, cheryl@dyd wrote:
    Bless you, Katie. My first thought when I had read your request on your newsletter was that the enemy plays dirty. He obviously targets those who are making a difference in the kingdom and he uses anyone and anything he can to thwart that plan. He takes cheap shots and looks to hit you in you in your most tender/vulnerable spots. I am speaking from much experience here so I will be praying for you. In John Bevere’s Book, The Bait of Satan: Living Free from the Deadly Trap of Offense (which the oddly enough kept popping up on m ipod all last week on it’s own), he mentions the following Psalm that hits home:

    Psalm 55:12-14New International Version (NIV)

    12 If an enemy were insulting me,
    I could endure it;
    if a foe were rising against me,
    I could hide.
    13 But it is you, a man like myself,
    my companion, my close friend,
    14 with whom I once enjoyed sweet fellowship
    at the house of God,
    as we walked about
    among the worshipers.

    I don’t know the details of your situation, but the closer the person, the harder it is to overcome the offense. This scripture has helped me personally as most of my biggest hurts have been from people closest to me. Hope it encourages you. You are a blessing and I know God has used you to minister to many. Don’t let the enemy discourage you.


  • Katie Brazelton says:


    It is a choice.
    I surrendered constantly back to HIM…that He saw my life, and He heard it, and He had a plan. It’s a choice to forgive and have truth and kindness written on my heart. My job was HOW I REACTED and that I had to own and be accountable for me…hugs of love…Lord, help Katie B stay in YOU and forgive and protect her words. Thank you, Lord. Amen.

    Psalm 139 : 1-4, and 16
    O Lord, You have searched me and known me. 2 You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
    You understand my thought from afar. 3 You scrutinize my path and my lying down, And are intimately acquainted with all my ways. 4. Even before there is a word on my tongue, Behold, O Lord, You know it all. 16 Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; And in Your book were all written The days that were ordained for me, When as yet there was not one of them.
    Love to you,

    Darlene Lund
    Hearts with a Purpose – Inspiring women to step forward with purpose.
    Subscribe to Hearts with a Purpose Newsletter
    Coach. Speaker. Teacher. Author.
    Life Purpose Coach®, Recovery Coach,
    Instructor for LPCCI® Coaching Certification
    2-day Breakthrough Life Plan Facilitator

  • Deniese says:

    Dearest Katie,

    I am so sorry that you are going through such a difficulty. I, too, know what that betrayal looks and feels like and it is not fun by any stretch of the imagination! The embarrassment alone was enough to send me over the edge, but to be lied about and labeled was more than I could bear. For months I was filled with such a rage and a deep longing to lash out. But, I didn’t. Instead, I talked it over with one of my spiritual mothers who encouraged me to wait, to pray and process. I was even mad at her for a little bit! I thought she did not understand and that she was offering me clichés. I felt lost and longed for a black hole to fall into. As I began to talk to God about it though, I learned some very valuable lessons. Most of this you already know, but perhaps it will help anyway.

    1. People hurt other people out of their own deep woundedness.
    2. I could not “take on” his opinion or his words. I could not allow them to live in my spirit.
    3. I had to daily remind myself that while the words cut me to the very core and hurt me beyond….they were his words, not God’s words. And when I say daily…..I don’t mean for just a few days. I mean weeks, months, a couple of years.
    4. I finally had to realize that there was no way that I could forgive him on my own. I had to begin to ask the Holy Spirit to help me be WILLING to forgive. I couldn’t even, at that time, ask for help in forgiving, I just wanted to be WILLING to forgive. Ugh, it was a horrible, hard time, in my life.
    5. As God being to heal the wound and teach me about being willing, and yes, even forgiving, I learned that I could set boundaries and did not have to allow this person to be a part of my intimate circle or my life. I was polite, kind and cordial whenever this person was around, but that was all. The day finally came when the wound was completely healed and I was not longer affected by the memory of it. I still see this person from time to time as we have many of the same friends. And I have finally reached a place where I can truly tell him that I love him. HOWEVER, he is not allowed to speak into my life, be a part of my intimate circle or be a part of any project or ministry that I oversee. My boundaries are very clear.
    6. Last one: don’t put a time limit on yourself and set high expectations of when you should be over this, or perceptions of what God expects. He does want us to forgive, for our own sakes, but He also knows you and how this has affected you. The truth that I know for sure is this: “We are all highly flawed, but we are ALL deeply loved”. Even the ones that hurt us the most fit in that category.

    Love and blessings to you my friend. You are in my prayers today and always.

    Deniese Borel

    • Katie Brazelton says:

      You are so kind, Deniese, to give me such wonderful advice. Thank you so very much!

      And a special thanks, too, to Cheryl and Darlene, who send incredible encouragement also.

      To each of you, I’m sorry for your hurt, and I know you are better women for how you chose to process it! I am taking it to heart.

      Much respect and gratitude,

  • Michelle says:

    I was a gymnast through 7th grade. As a young gymnast, I also had the typical gymnast build: short and strong. A great aunt, by contrast, was tall and lean. Every single time I saw her, she commented on the size of my thighs. It infuriated me, but I bit my tongue and walked away. Years later, she passed away from cancer. I never did get to tell her how damaging her words were to my young, female mind. I never told her how inferior I often felt, and how i had developed a hatred for my legs, regardless of their strength.

    This past year, at 39, I realized the anger still remained. I sat, knowing I could not have a conversation with her, and wrote her a letter. I wrote how her words caused harm, and i wrote that I forgave her, and that I sometimes have to forgive her multiple times.

    Now, when I am hurt by what someone says, I write how I feel out first. I have to let go of the anger and hurt, get it all out, without concern of how I say what I am feeling. Then, I can approach the person, in the right spirit, and with the right motivation. I am more cautious with my words, and am less likely to throw in my own jab.

    Asking God to help me see the person as He sees them does wonders. Quite often, when intentionally speaking harmful words, they are speaking from their own hurts and wounds. It may actually have nothing at all to do with us, but we are the recipients of their own junk being unleashed.

  • Tom B. Bandy says:

    When I read your post, I was immediately reminded of a recent phone call with several accusations that was a very painful thing for my wife and I. Probably one of the most painful things that has happened to us in a long time. Lisa is on staff at our church. I’ve not been able to attend in about 18 months, due to allergies to some renovations. So I’ve visited other churches, and sometimes folks ask to visit with me. I say 3 times: “I won’t be part of taking you away from your home church.”

    One of Lisa’s fellow church staff members got very upset because twp young men whom he was “grooming” as leaders had attended other churches with me . To this staff member it was a criminal offense. I’ve volunteered with him over a decade as a teacher, chaperone, camp leader, and it was simply unbelievable. He told his supervisor, and then immediately the pastor, of my trangression. It took hours of conversations with all to get some clarity in my motives. Then next day I got a phone call of apology, a 1.5 hour “talking to” by the Pastor. 2 days later this staff member came to our home in tears, apologizing again, saying that the Lord had told him to come.

    But, even with apologies, the hurt was there, the suggestions that others didn’t believe in my allergic reactions to our building, on and on with the “dirty arrows”. It has been a slow recovery, since we can make no sense of the attack, and the two young men are still attending “our church!!”

    What came to mind one morning as I was waking: “Let it go! Don’t share it, don’t talk about it, don’t think about it, don’t worry about it. Leave It Alone!” That has been a rock to which we have had to scramble back to many times! I’ve shared this with only a few close prayer friends, as it’s not something to be public. Every time I find my mind, my feelings, me internal defensive conversations going to battle, I have to interrupt and go back to THE ROCK.

    Slowly, but surely, the healing is taking place. There will soon be a church staff party, and I thought: “It’ll be where we have to choose not who to sit with, but who to sit AWAY from!” Once again, that pattern has to be interrupted, confronted, and switched to a higher level!!

    I pray for you (and us!) a full release and freedom from the “hurt bombs” that come by. Already ours has shown some help in actually bringing us closer together…..

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