Healing Hearts Saving Lives

quote-prints_202020-1

Healing Hearts Saving Lives

In 2012, our 24 year-old son told his father and I that he was gay.  After keeping it secret for two years, we chose to go public in hope of letting others know they are not alone. Within days of posting our video and article, we were inundated with messages and emails from people across the nation with a son, daughter, brother, sister, or who themselves are same-gender attracted – sharing their stories, their hurt and their desire for a better tomorrow.

This experience opened my eyes to the masses that are hurting and contemplating suicide, families that feel broken, and hearts that need to heal.

The nagging thought “What can I do?” lead to creating a website dedicated to “Enlighten Minds, Strengthen Families and Heal the Wounded Heart”.  The things that you will find on the Healing Hearts Saving Lives website stem from the many questions people have asked seeking guidance, love and support.

www.HealingHeartsSavingLives.com 

 

Update: Today was the funeral of Mikey Funk, a young man from Logan, Utah who took his life on Sunday who battled same-gender attraction.  And when I say “battled” I’m referring to the judgement, the isolation and hatred that so many deal with on a daily basis. It was hearing too many stories like Mikey’s that lead me to try to make a difference. If something I share can enlighten one mind, strengthen one family, heal one heart, then I’ve made a difference in one. And that ONE is important to God.

 

Christ on a Bench

 

 

How A Father Went From Homophobic To Loving His Gay Son

How A Father Went From Homophobic to Loving His Gay Son.

By Scott Mackintosh, the Father.

In June of 2011, I attended an annual company sales meeting eager to learn how to better my sales skills. In a classroom setting my mind usually wanders, but this day I was all ears listening to a story; a true story, of a sportscaster named Charlie Jones.  Charlie was assigned to announce the 1996 Olympic rowing, canoeing and kayaking events – an assignment that left him less than thrilled, because he thought, “Who watches the rowing, canoeing and kayaking events? Only the rowers, canoers and kayakers …and their families!”

Rowing Team

What he discovered, however, was that it ended up being one the most memorable interviews of his career. AND what I didn’t know is that two and a half years later, this story would significantly change my life.

Preparing for the broadcast, Charlie Jones interviewed the rowing team starting with the basic questions such as “What if it’s raining?” “What if the wind blows you off course?” “What if you break an oar?” The answer to every question was the same,

“That’s outside my boat.”

Finally Charlie asked the rowing team what they meant by their repeated answer “That’s outside my boat?” They explained that they focused only on what they could control, and that was what was going on INSIDE their boat. They refused to waste energy focusing on things OUTSIDE their control.

When the sales meeting concluded it was obvious by the chatter in the room that everyone was impacted by the story. I seriously thought; “Great story, but it doesn’t really apply to me.” I dismissed it and that was that.

Seven months later my entire family was home for the Christmas holidays. I have seven children; three sons, four daughters, and four are married. My son Sean is number three in the family and the middle son – his three week holiday dedicated to the family, was quickly coming to an end and he would soon be heading back to college in Hawaii.

On the night before he was to leave, precisely at 11:11pm, my wife and I received a personal message via Facebook from my son Sean. I opened it and began to read. He cut to the chase pretty quickly after telling me and my wife how much he loved us, and then he dropped a bomb, he told us that there was no sense in beating around the bush and might as well come right out and let us know that he is gay.

I went FREAKAZOID!

I blurted out some things that in retrospect I am very glad that he was not around to hear. (The damage may have taken many years to repair) I didn’t care about his feelings; he obviously didn’t care about mine! He most certainly didn’t care about anyone in our family and obviously the ONLY person that he cared about was himself! In my uneducated way of thinking on this topic, selfishness had to be the single cause and I was sure that this sort of thing was brought on from delving into pornography or other ill meant materials. Why else would he “choose” such a vial and disgusting way of life? (I’m now embarrassed of my ignorant thinking)

I messaged him right back and told him to come home immediately so we could talk. He was out visiting friends and saying his goodbyes for another year. I was furious and again told him to get home NOW! He said he would gladly talk to me, but that it would still be a little while before he’d be home.

I anxiously paced the floor waiting his return. By midnight he was not home and I angrily went to bed.

I woke up at 4:00 am as my wife crawled into bed next to me. She had been talking to my son for the past few hours. She briefed me a bit on their conversation and then I got up to go see him. She begged me as I left the room to be kind and considerate. I assured her that I would.

I knocked on my son’s door and he opened it to find my outstretched arms offering a heartfelt hug. I spoke only for a moment and made a slight joke about something to ease the tension and then said, “We can talk another time, it’s late.” I went back to bed and tossed and turned for a while trying to figure out what I was going to do to “fix my son”.

Hours later, I was at work and he was on a flight for Hawaii. Every-so- often over the next year, I would send him emails suggesting that he give God equal time and to study “good things” instead of filling his head with the gay articles that he was reading. I had it all figured out that he should get rid of these silly notions that he had conjured up in his head and get married and raise a family. We weren’t getting any closer in our relationship and I was spending my time on deaf ears. They seemed deaf anyway because every scenario that I could come up with, he would answer with a comment like; “Dad, don’t you think that I know about that? Don’t you think that I have read and studied about this? I have known that I was like this for nearly my entire life and you think that these emails that you keep sending me are going to fix me?”

I had not taken into consideration that this was NEW to me, but that he had been dealing with it for MANY years.

The following Christmas we didn’t get around to talking about “it.”  I didn’t want to bring it up and maybe if I didn’t it would go away.

Two years from receiving this shocking news, Sean was home once again for Christmas. I’m a big outdoorsman and an avid hunter so like any good father would do, I took Sean and my younger son Skye coyote hunting across the state line. (No hate mail please, we didn’t shoot anything, they out smarted us)  On our four-hour drive back home we talked about hunting, school and life in general, but I could tell that he wanted to talk about “it”. Finally Sean said “Dad I thought we were going to talk – really talk.” I don’t remember who started what, but all of a sudden we were delving into everything we had both held in for the past two years.

I wanted so badly to fix the situation. That’s what I did as a father. I fixed everything, that was my job, and this was just another “fix-it” project. At one point in our conversation, I asked; “Why would you choose this lifestyle?”  I was met with a look of shock as he replied,

“Are you serious? Why on earth would I CHOOSE to be associated with one of the most misunderstood and hated groups on the planet?”

His answer resonated deeper than anything said in our prior two years of sending messages back and forth. This made sense! Although I had read many articles stating that same-gender attraction is NOT chosen but is something they are born with, I couldn’t get it through my thick skull until that moment. FINALLY we were actually able to have a really good conversation where we really talked and listened.

That is when it hit me….

A light came on in my head and the story of Charlie Jones that I had heard several years prior came flooding back and NOW it made perfect sense to me. It applied to this situation. It was a game changer.

For the next few days, I began to take an inventory of what was actually IN my boat. I had focused my energy on fixing my son only to discover that I had done a great job of raising a wonderful young man and the things that he was going through were outside my boat. Nothing that I could say to him would “fix” him and would most likely do father-son-relationship damage. Therefore, I took my fears and worry out of my boat and placed them in my son’s boat.

Next, I pondered on my ability to judge. I was his father and felt that I had that right. My mind reflected back on my Christian upbringing that taught Jesus Christ is the judge.

I realized that I needed to STOP judging him – it wasn’t my job to judge, Jesus Christ had taken that role upon himself, so I took that out of my boat and placed it in my Savior’s boat.

As I focused on what was in my boat, I realized that I had only ONE item left and that was my ability to ACT instead of REACT.  I then split it into two categories: to act harshly or to act with love, and because I had placed “judgment” into Christ’s boat, I realized that the ONLY thing left in my boat was to ACT with LOVE! I thought to myself, “I CAN do that!”

I have a wonderful son whom I love dearly and our relationship has drastically changed for the better. It is now stronger than ever, because I no longer focus on what’s outside my boat, instead I focus on what’s INSIDE my boat … LOVE! 

To read my wife Becky’s story recounting her journey and love for our son, along with a video of Sean telling his own story. Click here  

A Short Little Post: Be Real. Be Authentic.

Be Real. Be Authentic.

funny face

If you follow my blog or follow me on Facebook, Pintrest, Twitter or Instagram you know I’m pretty much an open book.

I’ve had people ask how I can so brave or stupid as some may put it.  My answer mimics one of my favorite family movies; We Bought A Zoo …”Why not?”  Seriously the bottom line is this; I have found that being REAL and AUTHENTIC is a lot easier and makes a lot more sense to me than to keep things hidden or bottled up inside.

I admire people who openly share their fears and challenges along with their triumphs …they are simply being real and authentic …and it helps others know they are not alone!

I’m not a blogger that targets a certain audience or has a certain theme.  I’m kind of all over the place just as my blog title states.  I post about Family, Fun, Travels, Teens and DrEaMs!  A bit of “Mild Chaos!” just like REAL life …a bit chaotic!

I don’t post, follow or support people or organizations who seem to thrive on being rude, bash political or religious beliefs or who pretty much have a NEGATIVE attitude about life.  Life is challenging enough on it’s own without having others bring you down. Life is too fragile and too short to wallow in misery.  I like to look for the rose amidst the thorns, and one thing I’m certain about is that we ALL experience thorns …everyone has challenges!  CHEERS to those who spite their challenges they focus on the ROSE and CHEERS to those who rally around and support one another, boost one another and love one another.  That’s what life is really about… Serving others.

If you follow me on social media, you have been exposed to my travels to India, the ups and downs of career changes,  my love for God and family, the JOYS and CHALLENGES of parenthood, my love for people of all nationalities and religions,  the surprise of  GOING VIRAL and everything from battling depression, to meeting incredibly inspiring people, to becoming an author and member of the NSA (National Speakers Association) and now SPEAKING. And last, but certainly not least, the wonderful journey of having a gay son and all THAT has taught me about people, compassion, love, empathy, tolerance, intolerance, …and who your true friends are.

Life’s a roller coaster, so CHOOSE to be HaPpY!

It’s that simple!  Attitude is everything. Be REAL. Be AUTHENTIC and you just may discover that the neighbor you thought was PERFECT has challenges too only they focus on the rose and CHOOSE to be HaPpY!

The Meanest Mother In The World

I had the meanest mother in the world …

As a teenager I was asked to give talk in church on Mother’s Day.  I remember rummaging through a book of poems and short stories (this was long before the internet and “google”) and coming across one that described my mother perfectly. With a few minor changes the story became ‘my story’.

“The Meanest Mother”

I have the meanest mother in the whole world.  While other kids ate candy for breakfast, I had to have cereal, eggs or toast. When others had soda and candy for lunch, I had to eat a sandwich.  As you can guess, dinner was also different than the other kids. But at least, I wasn’t alone in my sufferings.  My two sisters and two brothers had the same mean mother as I did.

My mother insisted upon knowing where we were at ALL times.   You’d think we were on a chain gang.  She had to know who our friends were and where we were going.  She insisted if we said we’d be gone an hour, that we be gone one hour or less–not one hour and one minute.

I am embarrassed to admit it, but she actually spanked us.  Not once, but each time we had a mind of our own and did as we pleased.   Can you imagine someone actually spanking a child just because he disobeyed?  Now you can begin to see how mean she really was.

We had to wear clean clothes and take a bath. The other kids could wear their  clothes for days.  We reached the height of insults because she often made our clothes herself, just to save money.  

The worst is yet to come.  We had to be in bed by nine each night and up early the next morning.  We couldn’t sleep ’til noon like our friends.  So while they slept-my-mother actually had the nerve to break the child-labor law.  She made us WORK!  We washed dishes, made our beds, learned to cook and all sorts of cruel things.  

I believe she laid awake at night thinking up mean things to do to us.

She always insisted upon us telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, even if it killed us-and sometimes it nearly did.

By the time we were teenagers, she was  much wiser, and our life became even more unbearable.  None of this tooting the horn of a car for us to come running.  She embarrassed us to no end by making our dates and friends come to the door to get us.  While my friends were dating at the mature age of 13 or 14, my old fashioned mother refused to let me date until I was 16.

Through the years, things didn’t improve a bit.  We were expected to be honest, dependable, trustworthy and kind to others. As the years rolled by, first one and then the other of us was put to shame.  We graduated from high school and went on to further our education.                                              

     My mother was a complete failure as a mother. 

Each of my siblings went on to marry and raise children in the same horrible conditions.  And whom do we have to blame for the terrible way we turned out?  You’re right, our mean mother!  Look at the things we missed; we never got to march in a protest parade, take part in a riot, burn draft cards, and a million and one other things that our friends did.                                                                                                                                                                                               

She forced us to grow up with a testimony of a loving Heavenly Father and to know our Savior Jesus Christ.  She taught us the power of prayer.  She taught us the importance of families and to love and serve and love one another.                           

NOW YEARS LATER ….

I confess!  I have raised my seven children in the same MEAN way that my mother raised me.  Six of my children have graduated from High School, the youngest at home is on track to do the same.  Three have their bachelors degrees, two daughters have their cosmetology license. (they keep my gray hairs covered)  Four are married and are raising their children in the same mean way.  

Thank you mom for smothering me with your love and most of all for your example of  living life with integrity,  dignity and for the courage to teach morals and values that I pray  will carry on for generations to come.

THANK YOU MOM for being the meanest mother in the whole world!                                                                                                 

IMAG1541

This blog post is dedicated to my mother, who I love with all my heart.  I owe who I am today to her.  She passed away March 12, 2014.  Until we meet again mom.  I Love You!                         

What Happens Next?

Sign Up for a FREE chapter from my book "My Husband Wears the short shorts in THIS family!"

What Happens Next?

Sign Up for a FREE chapter from my book "My Husband Wears the short shorts in THIS family!"