A testimony from an attendee at the 2014 Wheaton MPCS:
I was that kid from an alcoholic home. My father did not want me and attempted to abort me when my mother was pregnant. Then when I was three, he committed suicide. My mom truly was unable to experience grief, pain, and other feelings. She didn’t know how to show anyone else how to do it either. I remember when I was about six, I went to her with a whole lot of anger and pain, and she told me I was just selfish and only thought of myself. At that time I remember thinking, This woman is crazy, and what she told me is so wrong. Nevertheless, later on I began to internalize my feelings and to experience shame and guilt when I had a genuine emotion. I went cold and stuffed all my emotions.
I was aware of the anger, rage, and unforgiveness I harbored toward my parents and was actually able to heal a lot by going through an inventory with my AA sponsor before I came to my first MPC conference in 2010. Both of my parents had passed; so making amends and granting forgiveness was not possible. But a lot of healing had taken place just through writing letters to them and reading these to trusted friends.
I took the train to your 2010 conference in Wheaton. On the way I was reading Leanne Payne’s book The Healing Presence. A profound thing happened on that train while I was praying. My father appeared to me, sat next to me, and asked me to forgive him. It felt completely real–as a matter a fact, I know it was real. So I extended more forgiveness toward my parents going into the conference. I cried that whole week. I know I received a lot of healing.
This year on the first day of the MPC school, God showed me that it was the sin of pride that had caused me to become so cold, dead, and unfeeling. I was not about to allow anyone to see how fragile and weak I felt. I had begun early on to be my own god, and he was self-critical, shaming and judgmental. I had such a wall of pride built up in so many areas that it was, and is, impossible to get over that by my own power. I admitted this sin to the prayer counselors on Monday and received some healing. During the next prayer session some ladies prayed for me regarding the same sin of pride. When we were finished, one of them asked me if I needed a hug. As she hugged me, I broke down and cried in her arms. I wept from somewhere deep inside that scared me and soothed me at the same time. I realized after I sat down that what had just happened felt like the first time I have ever allowed anyone to comfort me in a hug–maybe comfort me, period. I’m still not exactly sure what happened. I started to go back up and ask her for another hug, but my pride would not allow it. I knew if I went back to her, I would have collapsed in a heap. Nevertheless, this prayer had a profound effect on me.
On Friday for about the first hour of the healing of memories prayer, I was seeing flashes of myself forgiving my parents once more. The forgiving, however, turned into comforting my parents, affirming them. Little did I know that God seemed to be affirming my masculinity–and maybe femininity as well? It was as if in just a few minutes those manly qualities were being given to me. I see now He was preparing me for something else.
When Sarah started praying about the teenage years, I did not remember anything in particular, but I began to cry. I began to see a boy that had nowhere to go with his pain, and I had compassion for him. It was not like God was walking with me; it was like we were one and the same, like I was in Him. So it was either me now going to me as a teenager, or it was God in me, or both. It was a unique and wonderful experience. Prior to this moment I had always been disconnected with anything other than guilt or criticism for myself. But now we are searching for this kid to comfort him. God is searching for the kid in me to love him. That boy had a safe place to express his pain for the first time, almost fifty years after the pain had occurred. God in me truly comforted him.
Then I eagerly sought out that hurting younger part of myself–me as a small boy. I wept for that child and felt a compassion I have never experienced before. A few times while this was happening, the prideful man in me wanted to go back to the present and look to see if you all were looking at me, but the newly aware masculine said, Forget them; this little boy is more important. And then I went back and comforted this hurting child again. Oh, my God, how the Father works in mysterious ways!
At the break I sat out on the chapel steps next to a guy I had met earlier in the week. I hadn’t said a word about what had just happened to me, but he kept looking at me curiously. “I don’t know what it is,” he said, “but you look more rested. . . . No, you have color in your face.” Then, almost embarrassed, he said the strangest thing: “You look more mature, more masculine.” It blew me away. I told him then what had happened during the healing of memories prayer. God blessed him as well.
So here I am at home on Saturday. Part of me is saying that what happened will not last, and part of me is hoping and praying that the icy pride is cracked and will continue to thaw. I confessed the sin of pride this morning and saw so many areas in my life where it operates that I felt exhausted. I thought, This is too much. Then I realized I don’t have to fix anything. The part of me that wants to take responsibility for handling things is the very problem, Just like at Wheaton, I don’t have to do any fixing–just show up to God. And I thought about what had happened to that little boy and the compassion and the safe place he had found. I actually said to myself, There is no way I would ever be able to go back again to that little boy and love him. That was a one-time thing. Later when I lay down to take a nap, I realized I had just told myself a lie. The love and compassion are still inside of me. The love of God will allow this healing to continue.
What has transpired in my heart is the most beautiful expression of God’s love I have ever experienced. Thank you so much for what you all do.
God bless you all,
A 2014 Wheaton MPCS Attendee