Forgive them? No Way!
Category : Blog
If you are ever to have a good time, you cannot plan your life to include nothing but good times.
Pleasure is like beauty; it is conditioned by contrast.
Fireworks would not delight us if they were set off against a background of fire, or in the blaze of the noonday sun: they need to stand out against the darkness. Contrast is needed to help us see each thing being visibly itself. – Archbishop Fulton Sheen, Way to Happiness
I was traveling to Melbourne to attend the graduation of my eldest son when a friend in Manila asked me for help.
“Jojo, please make time as you transit through Hong Kong to meet my friend and heal her. She has extreme trauma experiences,” she pleaded.
Sure, I said.
“the pain is unbearable. Actually, I needed to inject myself with painkillers to numb the torment.“
So I met Jennifer in Hong Kong, a young, petite nurse of 24. Sadness was written all over her face. I also noticed some scars that looked like burns or deep cuts on her arms. She limped slightly with her right leg and I wondered why it was so.
“It’s difficult for me to forgive my father and mother,” Jennifer began. “I tried but it seems there is no way I can forgive them. My wounds are too deep.
“At the age of seven or eight, my father would beat me up for any grade below A minus.” (I guessed rightly that the scars on her arms were from cigarette burns he had inflicted on her.)
“Sometimes he would ask me to clean my room with my tongue!” she continued. “He treated me like a dog. Why? I don’t really understand till this day.
“I ran away from home more than five times, but each time, my father would get me back somehow.”
I could see the pain in Jennifer’s eyes and I was getting mad at her father. Looking at Jennifer, I knew she was sincere and that her story was all true.
She went on. “My first boyfriend was my knight in shining armor since he rescued me from my father during one of his violent bouts. We were planning to get married but it didn’t work out. I’ll tell you why later.
“The worst time was when I was 16 years old. My father attempted to rape me but I managed to escape and run out of the house. I was lucky. I think the Lord gave me an opening. I ran, crying all the way to my friend’s house.
“‘What happened to you?’ my friend asked, alarmed. I told her my father tried to rape me. My friend quickly reported the incident to the police and things went public. It was painful going to the courts to testify against my own father. Newspapers had a field day reporting his abuses.
“One time, when I was alone with my mom, she screamed at me. ‘You have betrayed our family! You have brought shame to us all.’ She drew close, then suddenly, wham! She kicked me hard on my right leg.
“Till this day, I suffer from a very painful nerve compression from that kick. I’ve had many surgeries but I’m still in constant pain.” (No wonder she had this slight limp, I thought to myself.)
“The courts placed me in the custody of a religious congregation of nuns. The trial was over in a year and my father was sent to jail for rehabilitation. I thought life would start to change for the better. But it didn’t.
“My boyfriend turned into a ‘black’ knight. He forced me to have sex with him but I refused. So he beat me up too! He even took whatever personal savings I had. I finally decided to break up with him. Oh God, I can’t live in this world anymore!
“Jojo, the pain is unbearable. Actually, I needed to inject myself with painkillers to numb the torment. I’ve been praying almost every day for years now to be healed from these painful memories.
“I know I must forgive my father and mother to be peaceful again. I tried, but deep inside, I just can’t!”
Can You Help?
I gazed at Jennifer with much empathy and told her, “God works in mysterious ways. He has allowed us to meet today. I’m only in transit to Melbourne with a few hours here in Hong Kong. I am sure He has a plan. I am sure He will heal you today of these memories.”
We prayed. Then I used the fading painful memories technique of NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming). We spent a total of three and a half hours because we had to process seven major traumatic experiences in her life one at a time. I was drained but fulfilled.
At the end of the session, Jennifer’s face transformed! She had a certain glow and I could see she was peaceful. It was nothing short of miraculous, considering the number of tormenting experiences she had.
But, what made me shed tears of joy was what she said before we parted.
“You know, Jojo, I had a great realization during the process. If I were to live my life again, I will live it exactly the same way!” she said.
If I were to live my life again, I will live it exactly the same way!” she said.
What? I was surprised. “After all that pain — both psychological and physical — you’d still want to live your life the same way? Why?” I asked.
“I realize now that I would not be as patient and able to empathize with the patients in the hospital if I hadn’t experienced what I had. Through my wounds, I can heal others who have lesser wounds!”
I rode the plane to Melbourne that night praising and thanking God for this great healing.
Today, Jennifer continues to be joyful and at peace. My friend, who connected her to me, said her Facebook account messages suddenly shifted from being pessimistic to optimistic and peaceful. Jennifer said she has truly forgiven her parents and just looks upon them with compassion now.
Wow, I reflected. If this (NLP) stuff works for traumas like Jennifer’s, then it will work for all other painful memories and traumas. I asked God to help me touch more lives.
Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and slander be put away from you. (Ephesians 4:31)
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