After years of distance and misunderstanding, 3 kids, 3 countries, 14 years in the pastorate, books written and TV appearances, a doctorate degree, miles of missionary journey, multiple changed lives in my psych clinical work, countless mistakes, and learning a thousand smiles, I’m reunited again with my 79-year-old Dad and 78-year-old Mom in the Ortigas family condo this Christmas time.
My Dad and I have hours of sharing. Mostly, with tears and reminisces from him! Before, hurt as I was for years, I can’t see him. I was focused on me. Now, by God’s grace, I’m able to “defocus,” see him better and more completely – his wounds, his dreams, his longings, his hopes. I could go on and on, but a point is that I feel the miracle of God’s love and forgiveness in my life that now I can embrace my Dad, accept and love him as he is. Chasing down the shadow, I found my Dad — and my self.
I say the same with my Mom. One place where I frequently ran across hidden issues in my much younger years was my desperate tries to avoid being under her control. She came from a poor home and deprived background, which clues me to some of her powerful drives. So, when I’m already older, as soon as I realized I still get stuck, it’s not about her but about me. This makes room for me to have a better relationship with my Mom. And have all sweet smiles with her!
Healing and freedom is being able to choose whoever and whatever you want to be at any moment of your life. I had hidden wounds from my own parents for so many years. And suddenly, here they were inside me, just as clear as day. The shock of discovering this leaves me in tears. Yet, they’re healing tears, because I choose to love, forgive, and be my own hero — healed, whole, free.