God often does things in ways that surprise us. He did so with my deepest pain, which came from being rejected by my family. It’s the kind of pain that many MBBs face. It plunges the depths of a soul, ripping and stabbing. It’s not just debilitating, it’s way deeper than that.
The first few times it happened to me it felt existential, not because I wanted to take my life (I didn’t), but I thought that I would die from the pain – I could not take it. I’m a very rational person, and could usually handle pain quite well. This was different – it was far beyond my ability to control.
I noticed two things about my reaction to the pain. I wanted to shut my heart, and I wanted to not be around people. Both of these reactions I now know to be completely counterproductive. I wanted to protect myself from feelings and relationships. God did not allow me to go in those directions. He had a prescription for me, one that may be useful to others.
God’s prescription for my pain surprised me. I say prescription because it happened so often that I’m sure that it was not a coincidence. He gave me opportunities to serve someone else. Now, I’m not talking about giving to get. In fact, I often did not realize that there was an opportunity to serve – it just came. Sometimes a friend who needed help would call. They told me of their circumstances, and compassion and scriptures would rise up in me and I would talk with my friend. Or, I would see a need and simply reach out to help.
My unplanned responses came from deep within. I know now that it was coming from my spirit, the one God gave me. The Holy Spirit was making sure that my heart would stay open that I would stay in touch with people. After reaching out, I noticed that I felt better. There was less pain, and it usually stayed away.
I had only been a Christian for a few months or years during this period, but I knew that I could not get into the trap of serving people in order to be healed. I knew that would not be real.
I began to ask God to lead and guide me in that area and to protect me from loving other people for my benefit – which is not love because love does things for others for their benefit. Years later, I woke up one day expecting that same old pain to be deep in my soul. I looked for it, and could not find it anywhere. While there are times that the memory of rejection still hurts, it is easily dealt with by remembering God‘s love for me. The pain of rejection no longer holds sway in my life. God’s prescription worked.
For MBB’s who are hurting, please ask God to heal your hurts, as well as to make you sensitive to opportunities to serve others, especially in the midst of the deepest pain. While that may seem counterintuitive, I believe it will help you. I’m sure I’m not the only person that this has worked for, because it has worked for other MBBs. I also hear it from people that I know that are going through other types of deep pain. I would also ask that you make sure that you are not giving to get, which only adds to pain.
For those who are friends of MBB’s and are working with them, please be sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit regarding helping MBBs serve others. Of course, you will need to use wisdom regarding timing and opportunity, but I trust that God will lead you. You will likely find that as they reach out, they will feel better and become more fruitful than if they had not reached out.
Keywords: MBB, dealing with rejection, discipleship