One of my clients , whom I’ll call Mark, revealed to me a childhood incident in which his father beat him and told him what an awful little boy he was and then said, “I wish you had never been born.” After that, his mother and father only reinforced the lie that was planted deep inside him: “I’m not worthy and I’ll never amount to anything.”
For fifty years, Mark believed the lie that he deserved bad things to happen to him, even during many years when he was a successful businessman. Tragedy was just around the corner, he thought. And then tragedy did happen in 2009 when the ongoing recession brought about the collapse of his business. He believed it was no more than he deserved.
I prompted Mark to go back in his mind to that fateful day and asked, “Who was there with you?” Mark replied that only his father and him were there. I asked the question two more times. He looked quizzically at me and then his face brightened. “Why, Jesus was there with me.”
I suggested he ask Jesus what He had to say about what was happening. Mark lowered his head and was motionless for more than five minutes. I was about to move on to something else because Mark didn’t seem to be receptive, when he lifted his head with tears in his eyes. “Jesus told me this was not my fault. My parents were taking out their own unhappiness on me and that I was really His little boy and not theirs. He invited me to leave the house and go across the street with Him to a playground. He pushed me high in the air on a swing and we laughed together.” There was a great smile on his face, which I had not previously seen.
I asked Mark, “So, then, what is the truth?” He replied, “Jesus loves me and accepts me just the way I am.”
That was three years ago, and Mark is no longer a client but a friend I meet with a couple times a month. His business is still struggling but it doesn’t bother him because he knows that Jesus is right there with him. “Pat, if I were like I was before I met with you, I’d be in deep depression right now, but with Jesus, I can handle anything.”
The truth set Mark free from the bondage of the lie he had been living out for half a century. In the next blog, I’ll tell the story of another client whose outcome was sadly not at all like Mark’s.