Walter was excited. The thirteen-year-old boy was looking forward to a holiday with his family. They were in the United Kingdom, far from his home in East Asia. As soon as they dropped off his sister at her boarding school, the fun would begin. Or so he thought.
Instead of going to see Big Ben or the Tower of London, however, Walter’s father took him instead to a set of imposing brick buildings – another boarding school. Confused and distressed, he realized that this had been the plan all along. As his parents left to return home to East Asia, a deep sense of abandonment settled over the young boy.
Rejected. Unprotected. Helpless. Abandoned. Walter was devastated. “I’ll never be out of control again,” he vowed to himself. The pain festered into anger and rebellion. He started getting into trouble in class, even pretending to be Muslim so he wouldn’t have to go to chapel, eventually getting kicked out of school. The anger towards his parents, particularly his father, lasted for years.
When Walter attended our Fresh Start seminar in East Asia this January, he recognized right away that he needed to forgive his father. Thoughtfully and deliberately, he went through the steps of “Processing the Issues of Your Heart” over two days. After asking the Lord to forgive him for his anger and rebellion, and renouncing the vow of trying to be in control of his life, Walter was finally able to forgive his father for abandoning him at that boarding school so many years ago.
Though Walter said this was the first time he had shared these feelings with anyone, his heart was ready for a change, and the process was quick and effective. Not only did he receive healing for himself, but he also took a booklet home to help his wife go through the process, as well as the children’s version, “Is My Heart a Happy Heart?” for his four-year-old daughter.
“Yesterday I prayed for compassion,” Walter wrote in a note to one of our team members on the first day of the Fresh Start seminar, “and you are the answer to my prayer.”
“The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” Deuteronomy 31:8 NIV