Lesson 7: continuation of Lesson 5

“I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions and your old men will dream dreams.”
-Acts 2

As mentioned, Tuesday morning was a beautiful day. Clear, crisp, and calm. I sauntered through the forest, tender from the two-day storm, but very grateful for the glorious forest.

When something remarkable happens, often you can recall every detail; where you were, the scenery, the shadows – every detail. That is what happened to me.

Backstory:
Despite the good things I am about to relay, I had a pretty messed up childhood. My very early years were chaos and my Mum and Dad faced significant trauma. My parents had immigrated to Zimbabwe (former Rhodesia) just before I was born. Dad was following his dream of being a miner. Fast forward to just before I was born, people had been gassed in the mine and died. My Dad was pulled from the mine unconscious, but he survived. The mine was then shut down, and their struggles began, just as I came into the world.

My psychology friends would say “That’s the basis for your ambivalent attachment”. My other friends would just say “Shit start.”. Both are right.

At age 5, I was sent off to live with my aunt, as I was too young for boarding school. By age 6, I was a border and remained at boarding school until I was 17.

I forgot to mention, that for the duration of my teens, the Rhodesia-Zimbabwe Liberation War was fought. By then, we were farmers, and for most of my teens, my Dad was enlisted in the war for as much time as he was farming. They were stressful times – for everyone.

Part of my journey to wholeness has been to engage in counselling, I have had hundreds of hours of counselling.

At my core, my problem seems to be a sense that I didn’t belong. I had a constant need to prove myself, to achieve. Failure was terrifying to me as it meant that I had no worth.

Over the years, I have come to understand that I had some attachment issues, specifically ambivalent attachment disorder. A real mouthful, and not a pleasant diagnosis. The mantra that I had taken on was:

“Mum and Dad did their best BUT it wasn’t good enough.”

I was walking along the edge of “Deer Forest”, my pet name for a particular forest where I had seen a deer, when suddenly it seemed as though I was watching an oversized TV screen. As weird as it may sound, I felt like I was watching, but somehow there at the same time.

The picture was crystal clear! As I observed, I watched my Dad undoing my knotted fishing line. It was amess, but he patiently pulled out the line, reeled it back in, baited my hook and gave me back the rod. The scene was so beautiful and real that I started to weep. Then I was simply in the forest again, astonished and awed all at the same time.

A small amount of time passed and suddenly, my Dad was making me a pair of water skis. This had happened in real like and again, the details were perfect. I saw details such as a small mole on his skin that I had long since forgotten, as he has been dead for 30 years. Again, I wept and rejoiced all at the same time, its tender love was beautiful.

The next scene emerged, and he was making me a bird aviary, one of many he had actually made for me. The detail of the account was extraordinary; something that had happened 45 years ago was picture perfect in every detail.

The experience went on for an hour or so, though I didn’t look at my watch. Scene after scene just tumbled out, enough to fill almost a full A4 page when documented.

At a certain stage everything settled, and I had this extremely clear inner voice saying:

“What your father did was GOOD ENOUGH, it brought you here.”

Here I was, in the forest with some inner consciousness, inner thoughts, maybe even God saying exactly the opposite to the mantra I had taken for most of my life.

“He did his best, and it was good enough. It brought you here.”

So big deal – “I saw some memories”, “I relived some memories”. The big deal is that everything changed. From that time to now: “I do belong.”. I don’t feel I have to prove myself to you, to me, to God, or anyone else. I’m okay; not perfect in any way, but I’m okay. I like who I am, and I belong to me.

This is one of the greatest gifts I have ever been given, and my genuine hope and prayer is that other who need it would gain the same assurance.

So why have I been so raw and vulnerable to share this? I assure you it is not because I want my tough, farmer friends to think I am off with the fairies. There’s only one reason: Now more than ever, I believe, “if you know the door will be opened; if you seek you will find.”.

It’s not about the experience, it’s about the fruit of the experience. It’s about belonging, knowing that you are good enough – just as you are. That is my hope for you.

Please, keep knocking.
Keep seeking.
The storms will come and knock you around.

Maybe, just maybe – that’s exactly what you need to open up and receive your healing.

With much love,
Andy