In April, 2006 our 22 year old son died by suicide. He hanged himself. We didn't see it coming. We were totally shocked, as we saw his life beginning to take shape. He was supposed to be getting married in two months. Not only did it hurt to realize we were without him for the rest of our lives, but that we were unable to help him through whatever pushed him to it, because we didn't know anything was wrong. We were devastated to say the least.
Several months later my husband and I were offered the opportunity to participate in Theophostic Prayer Ministry training through our church. We accepted.
We had wanted to do this ministry training for several years and even went through the manual and videos before, but there was no opportunity to really be fully trained. This opportunity opened up just at the right time for me, because I really felt the need for healing now if I never did before!
A month or so ago, our teacher warned us about one of the ministry demonstration videos, (One of the live ministry sessions found in the Live Ministry Session Demonstration Series) suggesting we watch it first, before we gathered with our group to view it. The reason was that the woman was receiving ministry because several days before she found her young son hanging from a blind cord in her home. Thankfully he didn't die, but she was traumatized as badly as she might have been if he had died. I decided to read the chapter in the demonstration manual and I cried through the whole thing, being triggered in many ways throughout. At one point I felt sure one of my lies that was being triggered was "God doesn't really love me." Of course as a believer, I know in my head he loves me, but what's deep inside doesn't always match what we know in our head. I immediately cried out to God, "Lord, what do you want me to know about this?" I "heard" him say clearly, "I have ALWAYS loved you, even when you were a little girl." A feeling of peace was immediate. I knew that he had wooed me even as young as 4 years old. Unfortunately, even though I tried to continue the TPM process,I couldn't get any further with the issues that surfaced. It was just too painful.
I talked to my leader and asked her if she would be willing to watch the video with me and do ministry with me right then. She said yes and we set a date.
We watched the video togetherat the beginning of our sessionand I cried through most of it. When it was over she started right in. "What is it you're feeling right now?" I was crying and soon responded by saying, "I feel like I'm being punished." (This was totally from the gut, not from logic.)
She asked me questions like, "Why do you feel that way?" "What does that feel like to….?" and that sort of thing, to help me really get to the deepest layers of the pain. When I finally connected to a memory from my past the lie ended up being, "It's hopeless because I can't do it good enough and I'll end up being punished." Then she asked God what he wanted me to know about that. In the quiet way he has, he "spoke" to my spirit saying, "I'm not punishing you. You're good enough to me." It was as simple as that. Everything calmed down! She had me focus in on the memory from my childhood and it was peaceful where there wasn't peace just moments before! [Note: It is typical for a person to begin a session feeling pain that is assumed all coming from the current life situation (death of her son) yet end up in an earlier memory. When the earlier place is addressed and lies resolved the pain in current place also change accordingly.] Then she had me focus again on the feelings I had concerning my son's death and the video we just watched. Now the feelings there were different. This time what I was feeling was, "It's not fair that I had to lose a child!" She asked God what he wanted me to know. I "heard" clearly, "I know." I knew in my spirit that what He meant by this that he truly did know how hard it is to lose a son! Yes, I knew that in my logic, but till that moment I didn't know it in the deep places of my being. All I could do is cry because I knew that he truly did know my pain. I was deeply touched. I cried some more and peace and calm followed.
She asked me to focus again on Benjamin's death and the video to see if there were any remaining emotions. What came up this time was, "I can't protect my other children," and fear about that. She asked the Lord for his truth and he said, "It's in my hands." My response, to be quite frank, was a fairly cynical, "Yes, but Benjamin was in your hands too, and he's dead." He said, "I'm taking care of it." But then I was suddenly experiencing a visual picture where we were there all gathered around Benjamin, just as we were the night he died. We were weeping and praying for him to come back. I was there but I was also watching from the distance - it was sort of like watching a movie of it rather than being actually in it. But in this movie there was a part we couldn't see with our eyes that night. God was also there. He was leaning over Benjamin stroking his face and weeping right along with us. He said to me, "This is not what I wanted for him. I didn't do this. This was his choice, not mine." [Note: Every person's experience is unique and unpredictable. People sometimes report having visuals that are word pictures representing a truth that the Holy Spirit desires to communicate. A facilitator must always be cautious not to interpret these experiences but rather allow the person to come to his or her own understanding with the Lord.]
God didn't want Benjamin dead any more than we wanted him dead! He could have stopped him but he has given us free will and he doesn't ordinarily interfere with free will and Benjamin made a choice. All I could do was sob and sob as I watchedGod gently and lovingly stroke his face and weeping, just like we were.
My leader then asked me what I was feeling. I said, "All I feel now is just this deep sadness.....and I suppose I will always feel that." She reminded me that what we've learned in TPM training is that sadness is usually based in truth and truth cannot replace truth, but that God can take the sadness away if we're willing for him to if we are willing to "cast all of our burdens upon Him…" She asked me if I wanted him to take the sadness away. I said yes. I have hurt so badly for 15 months and I'm tired of hurting. So she prayed and I felt peace. The empty hole I've carried around for 15 months seemed to ease. Then I was just very tired. I felt like I could go to sleep.
She asked me to focus on Benjamin and his death one more time. I felt peaceful and calm. When I thought about the video, I felt peaceful and calm. She asked me how I felt about watching the video again with our group the following Monday and when I felt around inside myself, I said, "I think it will be ok!"
Saturday, Sunday and Monday were good days. Peaceful and calm and you could even perhaps say happy. Definitely happy compared to the previous year and a few months!
When Monday came I had no anxiety or anxiousness about watching the video again. I wanted to watch it because I wanted to see if I got triggered in any other way we hadn't covered on Friday. Because that had brought me so much peace, I wanted to cover all the bases if something else came up. I was ready to take notes. I didn't get triggered once through the whole thing! Not once! When it was over I was able to testify to the other trainees that I was peaceful and calm, just as I had been during every other video we've watched before this! Since they are all my friends, they were really rejoicing with me.
I know it's possible other things will surface, but if they do surface, I will deal with them the same way I dealt with this. This was the hardest ministry session I've ever participated in so far, but the relief that came afterward was worth every moment of pain. In 2 hours I got relief from some big things revolving around Benjamin's death. It's a week later and I still feel relieved. I still miss him and wish he were here. I don't know if that will ever change, but I am peaceful about going on with my life without him!