The Helicopter Dream
In 2012, I began writing stories about my past and sharing them publicly. I wrote them for several reasons. One was that I needed to be healed from the fear of what people would think about me if they ever found out about my past. With the help of my friends, I finally dragged the skeletons out of my closet and dealt with the fear and insecurity once and for all. Instead of the rejection I expected, I found people drawing even closer to me. It was a very liberating experience.
I suspected that if I opened up about my past, other people would too, but I didn’t anticipate the degree to which it would happen. After I began writing about the troubles I’d had (mostly involving failed relationships) dozens of friends began discussing their past, and many of them began to receive healing of rejection, shame, and guilt. Some even started support groups. But one story in particular touched me more than any other. It involved a dream from God that was given to a woman I didn’t know named Sara.
In the dream, Sara saw a rescue helicopter hovering above her town. She knew that the helicopter came to deliver an important message, but she didn’t know what the message was. In the dream, she heard conversations with a grieving girl who was healed emotionally, and as the transformation on the inside of this girl occurred, she was changed on the outside.
After she had the dream, Sara began looking for the helicopter image and when she got to my Facebook page, she realized it was the same one from her dream. She sent me a private message sharing her dream, and asked if I could help her interpret it. I didn’t have a good interpretation of the dream, but we kept in touch over the next few weeks.
About a month after her dream, I began writing on my blog about the affair I had in 2005 that ended my first marriage. I wrote that I felt like I’d been emotionally abandoned by my wife and that I knew that my actions had destroyed the trust of my daughter. My blog post prompted Sara to send me another private message:
“Wow, I read your post today. My dad did something similar when I was your daughter’s age. I remember the shock of it, up until that day I always wanted to marry a man just like my dad. What your post made me think was, wow, he had a side of the story too. He was probably tormented too. He probably felt terrible too.
I read your post and just felt respect for your courage to expose yourself. I felt mercy towards you, felt like you deserved grace. And you’re a stranger. Shouldn’t those things be extended first to a loved one? Like my own father?… how in the world did it take 18 years to realize his decision wasn’t personal? It was his own mistake, not made intentionally to hurt those he loved, just an attempt to find something HE was missing.
The truth shall set you free, interesting that truth is a person too. Liberating to realize sometimes we need to be set free from other people’s bad decisions because it was never about us anyway. Thank you.” ~ Sara
During her parents’ divorce, all Sara could see was her father’s selfishness. She couldn’t see his pain or loneliness. She had no empathy for him and never considered his side of the story, until she read my story. She realized that she needed to forgive her father and let the mistakes of the past be healed.
God has used my story to touch the hearts of a lot of people in ways I never imagined. That doesn’t excuse my sins. I did some terrible things that can never be justified. But when we’re willing to talk about our mistakes in a desire to be healed of the shame, guilt, and anger they can bring, there is healing for ourselves and for others.
Reply to the Helicopter dream.
This is an excerpt from my book My Craziest Adventures With God, Volume 2.