Link to Interview:
Our guest for this podcast is Chris Wasman, co-founder of Istoria Ministry Group with his wife Lorri.
Before his life in counseling and creating his ministry, Chris spent many years serving in high-impact roles for several of the fastest growing churches in the nation, along with serving as a VP of sales and marketing in on-line travel, and serving as a United States Marines in Desert Storm, earning multiple service awards during that time.
Chris has a BS in Psychology from the University of Central Florida, a MA degree in Pastoral Counseling from Liberty University and is currently acquiring dual certifications as a Christian Life Coach (CCLC) and Professional Life Coach (CPLC). In this conversation, we use all of these experiences as we begin exploring the role of Spirit in the widower healing process, discussing the ancient art of Kintsugi – Golden Joinery, how to be reflective of your grief pain, how to leverage forgiveness and faith to transcend these hurts. Interview Highlights
Chris – Kintsugi. it started with a Samurai who broke his favorite tea bowl, and he sourced several people to try to repair it, and the repairs did not go so well. And so he was really upset, but he sourced one more potter to try to fix it. This guy, instead of making the lines disappear or trying to hide the brokenness he actually decided to highlight that part of it by taking some resin filled with 14 karat gold, and highlighting those cracks. And so the end result of this is a piece of pottery that was clearly broken, but now put back together it’s actually more valuable because of the gold that’s in it. And it’s more beautiful with all these lines highlighted in gold, and it tells a story.
Tom – There’s beauty in the breaks, and rather than trying to super glue it back together to create the same pot that you had before or the same person there was before. It’ll never be the same. And I think that’s the first thing to realize in Kintsugi is that, “look, it’s broken, it’ll never be the same”. And now we have to create something new out of it. And how do we do that? Well, we want to put things back together. We want to make sure that that pot can still hold the tea, it can still function. But it doesn’t have to be the same. And we shouldn’t be trying to hide those imperfections, hide those breaks. We should instead embrace them. And that’s what I love about Golden Joinery, it emphasizes the breaks, Tom – I think the healed breaks are what makes us beautiful. But like you’re saying, we live in a social media culture where, #LlvingMyBest Life is what it’s all about, right? And it’s not about highlighting the breaks, it’s about highlighting, everything that’s perfect, all those very special moments that most times are rare and fleeting. And what we don’t do, whether it be a church, or in social media, or even with a lot of our friend groups, is share some of these deep wounds and deep pains that we have. The things that might not be healed, where we need some help from our friends and our church brethren too, to maybe help join with gold. Tom – When it comes to forgiveness, I think that can be an incredible tool for overcoming the hurts through the grieving process. You know, many of us widowers are carrying a lot of hurts. Where we’ve been tough on ourselves, maybe we feel like we could have done something differently in the treatment process. Or perhaps we were harboring resentment during the sickness process towards our spouse, and we knew it wasn’t their fault, but that doesn’t mean that you don’t resent certain things, your lot in life that you’ve been given through your partner. Perhaps there were things that were said, or left unsaid that you’re beating yourself up over. And then there are all those past hurts. Tom – So you identify the hurts and the pain. There’s usually something associated with that, that often requires forgiveness. And that could be forgiveness of yourself, for maybe something that you did and you regret. Or something that someone else did to you, whether on purpose or not doesn’t matter. Tom – There’s a lot of widowers who would say, “You know what, for me, I gained faith through this process”. There’s a lot that I’ve talked to who have lost faith, where they’re like, “God, if you’re a loving God, how could you let this happen to my wife who was there for everybody. You know, you left me and you took her, you know, that’s unforgivable”.
Chris – We are not at our best when we’re off on our own, when we go into a silo which is where the enemy wants us. There’s a real enemy out there, and he wants us to be distracted. Isolated and alone, our thoughts can get the better of us in that place. Our habits can go down the tube when we’re not in community, there’s just so much bad that can come from it. And so I think surrounding yourself with a group of people that are moving in the direction that you want to move in.