Almost 24 years ago I started waking up in the morning and telling my Mom I had headaches. I missed a lot of school that year (Grade 5) because of the headaches. I missed so much school that my report card for the middle term of grade 5 does not have any grades listed on it. I had headaches all through school and eventually, when I was 16 I dropped out of school. For a few years I tried working and various ways of going to school. I did not graduate from High School.
When I was 19 I went to Winkler Bible Institute - I spoke to the Admissions guy 5 days before school started, I told him, "I don't have a high school diploma, I don't have any money, can I come to your school?" He said, "sure, we will work things out." During that year I still had headaches...I also met Nicky there, and we married 2 1/2 years later. She always cared for me and supported me when I had headaches. My headaches caused me to miss a lot of classes and get incompletes in a number of my classes.
That summer I made a trip to BC with my Mom to go see a specialist about my headaches (My parents were always searching, they took me from Doctor to Doctor to try and figure out treatment for my headaches, they went to bat for me at school, so that they wouldn't kick me out or fail me in classes - they were my biggest supporters). On the way home from BC we stopped in Calgary at a cousins house. We went to church with them, they prayed over me there with power and conviction asking God to stop the headaches. After that experience, I never had another headache.
1 1/2 years later I spoke to my wife of 6 months, I told her that I had never actually had headaches and that they had been a lie that I had told for 9 years. I remember her crying and asking me how I could do that, I remember feeling deep remorse in some ways, but, having told the lie for so long, I had become numb to much of the remorse. I remember regretting deeply who it affected my relationship with Nicky. Telling Nicky was only the beginning...I spoke to my parents who were deeply hurt but I remember the first words that came out of their mouth so clearly..."we forgive you." I spoke to Nicky's parents, that was brutal because it came at the same time I had lost my job driving truck, so I sat in their living room telling them that I was a liar and oh yeah by the way, unemployed too...so your daughter, who I have been married to for 6 months is in great hands. I spoke to my Pastor at Church and asked if I could go in front of the church and apologize to the whole church - since I had shared there many times about my headaches and people were always praying for me.
I remember people telling me that they would have taken that secret to the grave. It made me wonder how many secrets people carry around daily. I probably would never have been caught in this lie, I was the only one who knew it was a lie. People suspected that it was a lie, but there is no way they could ever prove it. I could easily have taken this secret to the grave, but how could I? I remember the relief of being freed from the lie, but I also remember the awkward conversations with people for years afterwards and even now, on occasion. "Oh, by the way, I haven't seen you in a while, how are the headaches?" "Uuuuhhhmmmm." I remember the hard conversations with close friends and family, the questions kept coming and I had very few answers (I am still trying to figure out why I did this). Counseling was necessary for Nicky and I (especially me) and I participated in that. I do remember though, that the more I talked about it, the more I allowed people to talk with me about it, the more it seemed there was healing. Healing from a wound that they did not even know existed, but healing just the same. Through this experience I believe that some of my good friends became even better friends. I was a more authentic person, I shared my struggles with them, I had always tried to "look" good, now I was able to show what was actually going on, not just the good stuff.
I am free from this lie now, I believe I have received a full pardon, I believe God granted me that healing when I admitted what I had done and asked for that healing, also believe that he did heal me that day in Calgary when people prayed over me. He healed me of the need to have the "headaches." I believe that a lot of my friends and family have forgiven me as well. I still suffer some consequences, however, for example, when I get sick for real I always know that Nicky is a little unsure...is it for real? is it being exaggerated? I don't blame her for the doubts I blame me...it's 12 years later and I am still building the trust, but if I had kept that secret the trust might be there, but it certainly would not have been warranted. I would much rather eventually have trust that is warranted.