Hurting Families, Healing Churches

By: - July 21, 2013

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As I write I am in the dormitory suite, inside my room with the shades drawn. I am dressed for bed and the lights are out. It is 2:00 in the afternoon on Friday. For those who know me, I am not a napper. Most of the time, I can sit still for only about two hours. That’s it. That’s my limit. But today, I am so exhausted – physically, emotionally, and mentally – that I welcome any opportunity to rest.

These last two weeks have been spent in the Adult Attachment Interview (AAI) training and they have been the most wonderful and intense two weeks of training I have ever experienced. As much as I was looking forward to the training, I was terrified. This has been something that I have wanted to do for years, but the idea of spending time with people who had so much knowledge and experience in the world of attachment was intimidating.

When I saw the first email to the participants, I also had no clue how to say most of their names. Seven countries were represented; the United States, Norway, Korea, Italy, Canada, Belgium, and one from the Netherlands who lives in Sweden but is married to a Mexican. If there were prizes to be handed out, she would have won for the most global and the most elegant. These participants work for universities, hospitals, government organizations and clinics. Half of the participants were clinicians developing programs to help families in distress. The other half were researchers who would be using the Adult Attachment Interview for data collection and analysis. However, there was one thing about my attendance that seemed to be unique: I was representing Tapestry and Irving Bible Church.

There were people of different faiths and beliefs, though I certainly wasn’t the only Christian in the group. However, I did have some explaining to do. Why would a church want to send someone to the Adult Attachment Interview training? How did I plan to use this training within my work at Tapestry? I assumed the trainers (who were amazing) would need to approve each applicant as an appropriate participant for the training. After all, this is a two year commitment to become certified to give and score the AAI.  However, I had no idea just how much they would learn about Tapestry and Irving Bible Church before I got there. It is unusual to have the support of a church ministry to attend this training. This led to several conversations about the church’s role in helping hurting families. Those who worked for agencies wanted to know where they could find churches that could help support their families. There is no shortage of hurting families, only a shortage of healing churches.

I know God can heal my heart. I know He will not leave me when I face my most difficult moments. I know He hears me and answers my prayers. Yet, I also know I would not have fared as well when I have struggled without the support of my church. I know I needed the prayers of others and I know God placed people in my life to help me move forward when I didn’t want to. I also know the Adult Attachment Interview is a reliable and loving assessment that provides insights that lead to relational healing and a deeper understanding of what may be blocking us from the love God wishes us to share with one another, even in our relationship with Him. It is a tool that we can use as we seek to become the healing hands of God extended to hurting families.

So as I rest this afternoon, I am filled with gratitude to work for a church that is committed to being and becoming a healing church. With this in mind I will rest well.

Also Found In: Resources for Churches, Tapestry Blog

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