; charset=UTF-8" /> Healing Events : Connecting Voices
Free hacker tools

Healing Events

by Scott Landis, Pastor, Mission Hills UCC

     Ever since my divorce of almost a decade ago, I have carried around a certain level of guilt which has been nearly impossible to let go of.  I have felt the guilt of breaking my marriage vows.  I have felt guilt for hurting the people I loved most – my former wife and children – guilt for breaking up the family.  I felt guilt for being a disappointment to others as my internal struggle over my sexual orientation nearly became my own destruction.  After all, I was a pastor.  Wasn’t I supposed to be a role model for others?  What kind of example was I setting?  I felt guilty for not living up to my own expectations and wondered how could I ever make amends?

     Following many conversations with friends, years of therapy, a radical reorientation of my theology, and a certain amount of rationalization, I have come to a place where I, at least, have realized I am not in complete control of my destiny – good or bad.  I have made some choices the results of which I simply have to live with.

     I carried all of that with me as Randy (my partner) and I made our way to Portland, OR recently to participate in my son’s wedding.  Can you spell apprehension?  While I was wildly excited about the occasion, I was anxious at how Randy and I would be received by my former wife and her new husband whom I had never met, my former mother-in-law, brother and sister-in law, and their spouses.  I also wondered about their feelings about the upcoming reunion.  Had anger subsided?  Would we speak to one another or act as if the other was a stranger?  All of this came to a head as we approached the rehearsal dinner co-hosted by Janet (my former wife) and me. 

     Miracles happen – and sometimes from the most unexpected sources and in the most unexpected ways.  Certainly the initial handshakes and hugs were awkward, but before I could get my first glass of wine, Randy was already talking to Janet’s new husband, other mutual friends were slapping each other on the back and remembering old times.  My kids were making their way around the crowd with the grace and diplomacy of a politician.  And Derrick and Jane (the bride and groom) were publically offering their gratitude to each one of us for the influence we have been in their lives.  While I can’t go as far as to say “We were all one big happy family,” I did feel an unbelievable sense of healing as previous experience, for a moment, was put on hold.  We were here to celebrate a wedding.  Love was the order of the day!

     The wedding was magical.  The setting was picturesque – in a vineyard with a spectacular view of Mt. Hood.  I was a blubbering mess as I nearly succumbed to what Oprah calls “The ugly cry.”  Derrick was more handsome than I have ever seen him.  Jane was simply beautiful.  They exchanged their marriage vows on the exact same day that Janet and I did 34 years earlier, but as they offered their vows of love to one another, they were changing a painful memory into a beautiful renewal of hope.  For me it was healing. 

     Divorce is awful.  Those of you who have gone through one know exactly what I am talking about. Through it we give up the fantasy of “happily ever after” and take on a whole host of painful feelings that, I suppose, never fully leave us.  But my life is living proof that resurrection happens and healing can occur if we are open to it.  It may take years to realize – to fully embrace and to own – but I want to encourage you to be open to its possibility.  You just may be surprised.  It can occur when you least expect it and in spite of yourself. 

     Wherever you are on life’s journey, be gentle with yourself – today.  Open yourself to the grace that can come through healing events as you walk in your truth, accepting the forgiveness that only God can provide. Life if too short to spend it condemning yourself for whatever has happened in the past.  I encourage you, instead, to open yourself to grace.  Healing events occur each day.  Don’t miss the one God is providing to you.  It just may be your own personal salvation.

Speak Your Mind

Tell us what you're thinking...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!

Spam protection by WP Captcha-Free