We were attending a PRMI Dunamis Retreat. The retreat was a teaching retreat and was on praying for healing, both physical and emotional or inner. Rev. Bob Whitaker was teaching on inner healing and asked for a volunteer. I had the sense that the Lord was urging me to volunteer, so I raised my hand. Bob asked me if I wanted to face the group or sit with my back to the group. There were about 80 people attending and I knew that I would be more comfortable with my back to them. Then he asked me what I needed healing for and I explained that I wanted healing in my relationship with my mother. Even though she had died about 10 years before I still had a desire to be reconciled with her in some way. In my growing up years, I felt as though there was nothing I could do to please her and I certainly didn't experience any love from her. My brother and sisters agreed that none of us felt loved by either parent. She took good care of us, but, for the most part, my brother and sisters and I were on our own. She never asked us where we were or what we were doing. She never appeared to check up on us. It was a small town and my parents had a police whistle which they used when they wanted us home for dinner or otherwise. As a teenager and young adult, whenever I asked her for advice, she wouldn't give any to me, saying "It's your life, you have to live it." I found that very hard to deal with.
Even as a grown up and married, when I was ill or things weren't going right I would find myself yearning for my mother, even though I knew that she wasn't there for me. My mother had hurt me deeply on more than one occasion and I knew that she didn't recognize it. And there were times when I felt that she used me to get back at my dad, especially when she was angry with him.
Bob started explaining to the group the procedure that he used and asked me to visualize a time in my life when I had experienced hurt and told me to ask Jesus to come into that picture. I visualized the time when I saw my youngest sister sitting on my mother's lap and I had yearned to sit there myself but I knew I couldn't because I had already been told that I was too big. I tried to see Jesus there with me, but I couldn't. When Bob asked me if Jesus was there, I said no, that all I wanted was to feel my mother's arms around me. Barbara, a member of Bob's team was sitting just to the right of me, facing me, and she leaned forward and put her arms around me. Suddenly, her arms became my mother's arms and I found myself crying on her shoulder with her hand stroking my head. I cried for a long time, while everyone, including Bob, just sat and waited. Little by little, a peace washed over me and I felt a release of something in me that had haunted me since childhood and I knew that there had been a healing in my relationship with my mother. Finally, when the crying had stopped. Bob asked the group what they had experience during this time. Had anyone else experienced healing during this time? I looked around and saw that many in the group had been crying along with me. It was also apparent that there had been additional healing of other mother/daughter and mother/son relationships. One woman came up to me afterwards and said that she hoped that her husband had experienced healing in his relationship with his mother as I had experienced healing with mine.
Barbara, who had never had a child, told me later that, as she held me, it was like she was holding a little child of her own.
Betty Brice Sept. 18, 2003