How to Deal with Generational Trauma

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Mephibosheth, as a child, spent his first years living inside King Saul's palace, until one day everything was suddenly taken away, when both his father Jonathan and his grandfather King Saul died in battle.

Now, because of a childhood accident, he finds himself lame of both feet, knowing that the dreams of possibly becoming a king are all gone, and he is just a nobody.

Do you feel like that sometimes? Longing for a kingdom that may only live in your dreams? While your history seems to carry the weight of the past, constrained by all the wrong turns of life or wrong decisions made by entire generations that came before you?

Mephibosheth can't believe when he is called by the actual King David, who looking to show kindness in memory of his old friend Jonathan, invites him to come over and have dinner forever as a guest at the King's dinner table. As one of his sons. Next to all his other children. Like family.

There was nothing Mephibosheth could have done to prevent his legs from becoming lame as a child, and there was nothing Mephibosheth could have done to deserve to sit at the King's table now. But I am sure Mephibosheth felt loved sitting at that table.

You won't be able to change your history or your family's history, as much as you won't be able to deserve God's love, as none of us are. But you are able to feel loved when sitting at God's table.

Later in the story, Mephibosheth does not even care for whatever belongings are left of his family legacy, he is simply content with being part of this new family.

What else could matter when the King of Kings has gotten a seat for you at his table? You look around and all you see are King's sons and daughters, equally served, equally loved. Deep inside you know that you are a fluke, that these people sitting around you may be way worthier than you.

But no, my friend, all the king's sons and daughters did not do anything either to deserve such a seat.

If you feel like Mephibosheth, different from those around you, know that I have sat next to Mephibosheth most of my life. And his presence on that table changed who I am. My adopted brother came from a family of generational trauma and being also lame of both feet, he was invited to be part of our family table.

There was nothing he could have done to prevent his past, and there was nothing he could have done to deserve better. But I am sure he feels loved sitting at my family's table.

My brother's very presence at our table taught me that I could love as family someone from a completely different background, different bloodline, different abilities and different struggles.

My friend, all of us, did not do anything to deserve our family history or to be chosen by God to receive his love.

Mephibosheth did not deny his past, he acknowledged it, and yet he was immensely grateful for this new position.

He says: "My lord the king is like the angel of God; do therefore what seems good to you. For all my father's house were but men doomed to death before my lord the king, but you set your servant among those who eat at your table. What further right have I, then, to cry to the king?"

God won't change your past, but he will change your future. There is immense peace in that. Whatever happened won't stop you from feeling loved at his table today.

If you would like to read more about my brother's story you may check this post, and this post.

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