Then Joseph said to his brothers, “Come close to me.” When they had done so, he said, “I am your brother Joseph, the one you sold into Egypt! And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you. For two years now there has been famine in the land, and for the next five years there will be no plowing and reaping. But God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance.

 “So then, it was not you who sent me here, but God. He made me father to Pharaoh, lord of his entire household and ruler of all Egypt.

Genesis 45:4-8


Joseph’s jealous brothers had done a horrific thing. They kidnapped him and sold him to a merchant who took him to Egypt as a slave. The story starts out being a tragic one, but there is a beautiful twist at the end.

It’s similar to the kind of twist I’ve seen in a situation in my life, one I had never expected. Something that caused me to suffer became a gift – in only the way God can bring about.

As most of you know, Joseph rose to be a ruler in Egypt. He saw a famine coming and was able to prepare the country for it. During seven years of abundance, he ensured that the storehouses were full, prepared for what was to come. When the famine came, it was so severe that people from surrounding nations came to Egypt to buy grain.

Among many others, Joseph’s brothers came to Egypt for grain, because Canaan was also affected. When they came, Joseph treated them harshly. They were very distressed, because they did not recognize Joseph.

The story gets a little involved, so I will now skip to the verses at the top of this page.

Eventually, Joseph reveals that he’s the brother they had sold into slavery. Naturally his brothers feared for their lives. But Joseph tells them that selling him into slavery had turned out to be a good thing. He said, “…it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you.” “… it was not you who sent me here, but God.”

As you know, I too have had some bad things happen to me: traumatic cases of rejection that led to borderline personality disorder (BPD). As anyone who reads here knows, it’s not a pretty diagnosis to receive and brings the worst kind of stigma there is in mental illnesses.

However, personally having seen the pain and damage such stigma can cause, I’ve felt God calling me to help better the situation for others who suffer. And so, today, here is the beautiful twist God has brought about:

I’ve come to see BPD as a kind of gift, one that equips me to help others. With God’s help I hope to use the understanding I’ve gained to increase understanding of BPD, decrease stigma, and encourage those who suffer.

With Joseph I believe that “The rejection I experienced did not bring me BPD. It was God.”

I find myself better able to forgive.