Friday, March 11, 2011

The Moody Radio Interview

Moody Interview

After 10 years of an extremely broken father/daughter relationship, dad and I were finally, fully reconciled in June of this past summer (Don't fret, there will be plenty of posts to come on how that miracle happened).

Two weeks later, I was diagnosed with a form of arthritis (Again, no need to worry, I'm going to be blogging a lot on that too). As I prayed and wrestled through what it would mean for me to now take on the very disease that debilitated my father and destroyed my family, I reached out to my friends and extended family to help get me through this new phase of a very prolonged, painful story. And as I shared with them about why I was so broken about being diagnosed, I also began revealing the truth behind my family's tragic story.

Then my pastor asked me to share my testimony at our church's new campus. I cried all of the way through it but so did a lot of folks listening.

Then I was asked to share at an all-church Christmas service.

Afterward, I was approached by a producer at 90.1 Moody Radio and asked to be a guest on This Is The Day, one of Moody's daytime programs. "This is happening way too fast," I said in shock to the friend standing next to me. "For years, God has told me that I would eventually tell my story, but this? Wow..."

Over the course of the next few weeks, my family struggled through what it would mean to actually publicly tell the story we've kept quiet for 28 years. Oh, but the conversations that ensued - and the continued healing that took place - it was all worth it. Even if the radio interview never came to fruition, the process of preparing for it revealed a kind of beauty and wonder none of us could have anticipated.

See, it was my mom and I who worried and fretted over who would hear the interview, what it would do to dad's reputation and the gossip that would spread. One week before the scheduled interview, I was minutes away from pulling the plug.

"Gretchen," dad began when I called him in tears. "Do you honestly think that this story will be a surprise to anyone from my past who hears it?"

"No, probably not."

"Neither do I. I think this will make sense to a lot of people who knew our family. Something was very obviously going on. Don't you think I've thought through who could possibly hear this interview? Do you think I would have told you to go ahead with it if I wasn't okay with it?"

(Sniffles and sighs)

"Gretchen," dad continued, "Your mother is worried about me, but I'M OKAY with it being told. It's a story that NEEDS to be told."

"But why, dad? Why are you okay with me telling it?" I choked out. "The last thing I want to do is hurt you. I don't want to put our family through any more pain."

"I'm okay, Gretchen, because I'm changing. I'm growing. I've realized my mistakes and there's been some healing. God has told you to tell this story and He's provided an opportunity. Go and tell it."

Then I really broke down. I can't remember the last time that my father comforted me. I can't recollect a time in 10 years when he calmed me down, when he supported me. Later, when I talked with my mom she told me that he had had the same affect on her.

"That's one of the main things that made me fall in love with your father. His ability to comfort people. I haven't seen that in him in a very long time."

Several days later, I got a call from my father.

"Gretchen, in one hour I need you to pray for me."

"Uh...okay. Why?"

"Because you and I have had a lot of time to process and heal. I've apologized to you for the ways that I've specifically hurt you. Your brother and I had time to talk when he was home for Christmas. But I haven't apologized to your mom - my wife - for all of the ways I've devastated her and let her down. I just finished writing a 3 page list of all of the things I need to apologize to her for. In one hour, she'll be home and I'm going to start with #1 and work my way through it."

I don't think I made even one comprehensible sound for the next minute.

We serve such a powerfully good God.

Several days later, I spoke on Moody Radio. Friends, family and Moody listeners around the world tuned in. Lives were touched and in the process, mine was changed.

Click here to listen to the interview.

And... I'm Back!

It's taken me way too long to get up and running again after I moved.

Waaaay too long.

So, this is me reassuring you that The Sankofa Journey is alive and well, and lots of posts are coming your way soon!