This 2013, I've a healing, happy Christmas.
After years of distance and misunderstanding, 3 kids, 3 countries, 14 years in the pastorate, books written and TV appearances, a doctorate degree, miles of missionary journey, multiple changed lives in my psych clinical work, countless mistakes, and learning a thousand smiles, I'm reunited again with my 79-year-old Dad and 78-year-old Mom in the Ortigas family condo this Christmas time.
My Dad and I have hours of sharing. Mostly, with tears and reminisces from him! Before, hurt as I was for years, I can't see him. I was focused on me. Now, by God's grace, I'm able to "defocus," see him better and more completely - his wounds, his dreams, his longings, his hopes. I could go on and on, but a point is that I feel the miracle of God's love and forgiveness in my life that now I can embrace my Dad, accept and love him as he is. Chasing down the shadow, I found my Dad -- and my self.
I say the same with my Mom. One place where I frequently ran across hidden issues in my much younger years was my desperate tries to avoid being under her control. She came from a poor home and deprived background, which clues me to some of her powerful drives. So, when I'm already older, as soon as I realized I still get stuck, it's not about her but about me. This makes room for me to have a better relationship with my Mom. And have all sweet smiles with her!