When a study group was being formed promising to promote deeper relationships, she wasted no time putting her name down. She needed friends and had been waiting for such an opportunity for years.

But two days before the first meeting, she received a call saying she would not be included. There were already two members with mental illness in the group. To have her there “would not be healthy.” She learned that she would be the only person not included. Told not to let anyone know of the decision.

She was devastated.

This event marked changes in her. Her life was never to be the same again. Neither was she treated like a real person after this. When no one else was around, she was hurt with words and actions.

She felt her personhood being taken from her. The kind and gentle person she used to be started being angry. A few months later a friend told her. “You have never been like this before.”

At one point she felt as though she was considered a child. It showed in their unkindness and unwillingness to include her or talk to her. Frowns and unfriendly words replaced the smiles she had at one time received. She became a child for whom there was no patience, a child they wanted to send outside to play, a child they no longer wanted around.

“Why? What did I do?”

The severity of emotional pain should have been appreciated by those who might offer support. But she did not receive support—not from anyone. Not from the closest friends or family.

Why not?

She wished she had an advocate. Searched for someone who could speak  for her—someone who would report her experiences to those who needed to be aware. But in each case, she was turned away. Not listened to, not heard. Nobody believed her. She felt a great injustice had been done.  In the past she had done much good in her community. Despite that, no one considered her to have credibility.

But the Bible told her that she did have an advocate in Jesus.  She learned that he pleads for us. He understands, he is just, and he has mercy.

Despite the pain, she continued focusing on Jesus and serving him. And she found she needed no other advocate. Jesus was enough.

“If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever—the Spirit of truth.”  (John 14:15-17)

The apostle Paul wrote, “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” (Romans 12:21) And this is what she did. Through Christ’s love for her and her love for him, she overcame the injustice done to her. With Christ’s love inside her, she served like never before.

The years of suffering from the memories that ensued, transformed her. God blessed her with brand new gifts with which to serve him. Though hurting in one respect, she found joy in another.

For those of you who might find yourself excluded from things, and those who have friends that are, you should remember that Jesus does not  exclude or reject anyone.  God’s great love for us is greater than any love a human being can offer. In God’s terms we are special. He will always have a place for us. A place where we can work and be a part of what he does.

Jesus is the best advocate we can have. He’s more than enough.


This has been Part  23 of the series In the Name of Jesus.  Go to Part 24 – Hungry for God.