I was speaking with one of my mamas about a new direction I was taking for my life. We laughed about how crazy I have been in the recent years. She said she was not surprised though. And then, she reminded me about that one time I stayed in my room for three days straight praying and crying. Truth is, I had long forgotten about it but as she continued to speak, my memory came back to life and I remembered the events clearly.
I had spent most of my time praying and crying out to God. I had just gone through another rejection. It hurt so badly because the people involved, unlike with all the rest, were family that I held so so dear. It was the second time I felt so terrible for having no biological parent alive to fight for me. But, in my distress, I had a book with me. I had just received it as a gift. It was Joel Osteen’s Your Best Life Now. This book changed me. It was the perfect company for a heart broken girl who felt unloved, unwelcome, who felt rejected. So, during those days, through the tears and questioning God, I flipped through the pages of the book. After three days, I was done! With the tears, with the feeling of rejection, with the fear of people. Something more happened during my time of solitude, my perspective changed!
See, I had struggled with rejection for most of teenage into young adult years. Some of it was perceived rejection but most of it was outright rejection. Of doors shutting down on me in my face, of being constantly reminded of how underprivileged I was. Comments that made me feel so low, unfitting. All along I had come to believe these as my definition. So when bad things happened to me, I would go like. Aha, I knew it would happen. That good life if for people like so and so, not me.
My three days sabbatical from humans gave me a perfect opportunity to commune with God intimately. I came to realize that all these thoughts I had allowed to define me were not only belittling the image of God (me) but also robbing the world of the gift that I was. There, in my little room, I decided that I was tired. Tired of being less than the person God had created me to be. I surrendered to God’s way of doing life. In that brokenness, I recall, I prayed that He would mold me into the person He was saying I was when I read Psalm 139. I didn’t even know what that prayer would bring about but I remember hearing the words, “Serve Others, Go out, stop feeling sorry for yourself… Your healing will come through serving others”
I began to put the focus off me and stepped out to serve others. This meant that instead of focusing on what I didn’t have, I reached out to offer what I had. Instead of waiting for people to accept me for who I was, I looked around to find people that needed an extra hug. I started praying for joy. I prayed that God would fill my heart with so much joy that I spread it to people around me. I started feeling happy about myself. I learned about my strengths and the fact that they made up for many things I had always considered as weaknesses. It is then that I also started building genuine relationships with good people. No one wants to be around a gloomy face. I also signed up for several volunteer initiatives at Church. At this point, I was still not sure of what I was good at or not. So I just made myself available to serve. I truly started thriving. Received affirmations concerning what I was good at. God connected me to new relationships and step by step, I made it to my first official employment after university. Serving others on a voluntary basis, can truly be a good training ground if I may say. Not to forget, while serving God connected me with some of my life-time friends and family. I stopped focusing on me to serve other people
Sometimes when we are so self-absorbed, we miss out on our opportunities of growth to the next level.Tweet
If I had stayed wrapped up in my self-pity, I probably wouldn’t be where I am today. I still have a long way to become all that God predestined for me, but, I am thankful for the lessons from that painful experience. I am thankful that I listened to God’s voice and shut down all others. I am thankfully that I didn’t get swallowed up in that pain but as it led me to spend intimate time with God, God used that time to give me some lifetime lessons on MY identity. From that overflow, I begun to see the beauty in serving others.
I am reminded of Joseph’s response to His brothers in Genesis 50:20, “…you meant evil against me but the Lord meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive.”Tweet
Whoever you are that is reading this, maybe you needed to hear that no matter what you face in life, God’s grand plan prevails. Sometimes His plan involves you picking up some lessons from the situations you face for the greater good. May you discover your why, and when you do, may nothing ever stop you from going forward to fulfill it!
By the way, in case you need with where/how to serve others, reach out to me. I will be glad to make a few suggestions!