Over the last two months I've shared a number of stories about my past. The reasons for sharing these stories are many. One reason is that I needed to be healed of the fear of what people would think if they ever found out about my past. With the help of some very supportive friends, I finally dragged the skeletons out my closet and dealt with the fear and insecurity once and for all. Instead of the rejection I expected – I found people drawing even closer to me. It’s been a very liberating experience.
I suspected that if I opened up about my past, others would too, but I didn't anticipate the degree to which it would happen. After I began writing about my past, dozens of friends began discussing theirs and many are in the process of being healed. Some even started support groups to help deal with their past.
But one story in particular touched me more than any other. It involved a dream from God that was given to a young woman I didn't know.
In the dream, she saw a rescue helicopter hovering above her town. She knew that the helicopter came to deliver an important message, but she didn't know what it was. In the dream, she heard conversations with a grieving girl who was healed emotionally and as the transformation on the inside occurred, she was changed on the outside.
She began looking for the helicopter image and when she got to my Facebook page, realized it was the same one from her dream. She sent me a private message sharing the dream and asked if I could interpret it. I didn't have a good interpretation, but we kept in touch over the next few weeks.
About a month after her dream, I began writing about my affair and divorce. When I wrote that I felt like I’d been emotionally abandoned by my wife and that I knew that my actions had destroyed the trust of my daughter, she sent me another private message "Wow read your post today. My dad did something similar when I was your daughters age. I remember the shock of it,up until that day I always wanted to marry a man just like my dad. What your post made me think was, wow he had a side of the story too. He was probably tormented too. He probably felt terrible too. I read your post and just felt respect for your courage to expose yourself. I felt mercy towards you, felt like you deserved grace. And your a stranger. Shouldn't those things be extended first to a loved one? Like my own father?.............how in the world did it take 18 years to realize his decision wasn't personal it was his own mistake not intentionally to hurt those he loved, just an attempt to find something HE was missing. The truth shall set you free, interesting that truth is a person too. Liberating to realize sometimes we need set free from other peoples bad decisions because it was never about us anyway. Thank you
During her parents’ divorce, all she could see was her father’s selfishness. She couldn't see his pain or loneliness. She had no empathy for him and never considered his side of the story – until she read my story. But she realized that she needed to forgive her father and let the mistakes of the past be buried.
God has used my story to touch the hearts of a lot of people in ways I never imagined. That doesn't make my mistakes right. I did some terrible things that can never be justified. But when we're willing to talk about our mistakes in a desire to be healed of the shame, guilt and anger they can bring - there is healing for ourselves and others.
I would encourage you to share your life with others – the victories and the mistakes. You never know how your testimony might help someone who is struggling with the same problem. God can bring healing and restoration in the strangest ways.