There is a sentence in the story of Joseph of Egypt that has always gripped me when things go sideways and then turn out good in the end. It’s when Joseph confronts his brothers who had thrown him in a pit and sold him to slavery, he stands before them as the second most powerful man in Eqypt with the power to devastate them with one command, but he choses forgiveness and he says,
As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive. — Genesis 50:20
I have always secretly been afraid of being defamed, I have felt the sting of being misunderstood and misrepresented a few times in my life, and I have carried the scars of them which have kept me in safe small and shadow places. The whole “don’t stick your neck out”. Just stay just below the radar, and do good from there because you don’t want to make yourself a target for nasty bullies.
Well, I recently had something happen to me that turned out to be the catalyst for healing those old wounds which I didn’t even realise had such power over my life. And now in hindsight it explains a lot.
I recently attended the GLS, it is something I have done since 2008, when after realising and weeping over the lost of a dream of being a business owner for the first time, I had someone offer me a ticket to attend the GLS. Long story short, I went and sat through the first session where Bill Hybels spoke about the rouge wave, weeping and feeling hope flood back into my heart, which was the catalyst to me starting Kingdom Business Networking and Connect Magazine which I run until I sold in 2015 to come to New Zealand. I hashtagged GLS19 and that was enough for a person who has obviously from what I saw a axe to grind with GLS gave me a bad rating and posted his crusade on my business page.
As I read through the nasty post my heart pounding and I felt all those familiar feelings rush over and through me, shame, misunderstood, injustice, anger, hurt. It felt exactly like the time I turn in to a corridor at high school on the way to the tuck shop and was clobbered over my head with a (thankfully) plastic 2l coke bottle and the hateful boy shouted something mean and ended with Miss Piggy. It was unexpected, uncalled for and I remember thinking “you don’t even know me and this is not who I am” The problem when you walk away from those situations, where no-one has stood by your and agreed with you, is you start to wonder if what they said has some truth to it and eventually because you keep those dark words hidden close to your heart so no one will see and maybe confirm them, they attach to your heart and their dark roots start to grow. My silence also empowered him to continue his bad behaviour on others. That young man went on to be a famous athlete, but also ended going to jail for beating up his mom. I wonder what dark roots has consumed his broken heart.
Sometimes we can heal from things but they leave us with a slight limp, hardly noticeable but limiting none the less. Yesterday as I read that post and felt those old words and wounds, I did something different, I shared them, I knew keeping them in the dark would allow them to grow, I posted a comment on Facebook, I emailed the local organisation and gave them a head’s up in case any others were targeted. I decided to shake it off and realised that is exactly the type of person I was happy to be opposed or opposite to and decided to take it as a compliment that I was worthy of his attack.
And then the most unexpected and wonderful thing happened, people started to comment and stand with me and then a wonderful friend went and recommended me on my business page and encouraged others to do the same and they did! I watched as people reminded me what I meant to them and stood with and against the hatred and love won. The head of the organisation reached out to me from America (as well as the local representative in campassion and it comfirmed for me that the Global Leadership Network live what they teach, great leadership.
I honestly don’t care about my rating, but the limp I once had, has been healed and I have been filled with love and courage to stop playing small and hiding in the shadows and have realised that you don’t die from the words of haters, it fact those stones can be stepping stones. What the enemy intended for evil, God turn to good. Old wounds were broken open only to get treated for true healing.
Love wins every time.