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Instructor at Loyola University and Judson College in Illinois
Master’s and Doctorate in Pastoral Counseling
Tuns private psychotherapy practice
Teaches Bible Study
Nancy Heche married her high school sweetheart, hoping to live happily ever after. She and her husband Don were, after all, that cute couple that everyone knew could “make it.” Both intelligent and ambitious, they made it out of their small Indiana town, through college life, into parenthood, and out into the “real world.” Nancy and Don, both raised in a Methodist church, were actively seeking God’s will in their young lives. After finishing college in Indiana, Nancy and Don and their oldest (and only, at that time) child to Ohio, where Don planned to pursue a medical degree. During this time, Don felt called into ministry. The Heche family became involved in a fundamentalist Christian church and decided to move to an Amish community, where they lived during the late 1960’s and early ’70s.
Nancy was isolated from the outside world. She didn’t know what was happening in the news, in fashion, or in Hollywood. Eventually, the family, which now included four children, left the Amish settlement and went east to pursue Don’s business ambitions. With the family often facing financial ruin, Don tried to convince Nancy that the next deal would make them millions.
Although Nancy was no longer closed off from society, as she had been in the Amish community, she was still in the dark about her own life. She had no idea that her husband was having homosexual affairs. All she knew was that he wasn’t giving her what she needed. She turned to other men, in a series of affairs, to fill that void. “I had chosen lots of substitutes for God’s never-failing love. No one measured up, of course,” Nancy says.
It wasn’t until after Don died of AIDS in 1983 that Nancy realized he’d been living a secret life. All the clues, all the pieces came together showing Nancy a side of her husband that he’d hid from her.
Nancy was coping with her husband’s death and lies, when she was struck with another blow. Just three months after Don’s death, her 18-year-old son, Nathan, died in a car crash. He had been an answered prayer, conceived four years after her infant daughter died, four years trying for another healthy baby; and now, he too was gone. Nathan’s death brought Nancy unbearable sorrow.
After that, Nancy continued to face trials. Fourteen years after her husband’s death, she was confronted with her daughter’s, actress Anne Heche, highly publicized lesbian affair. Anne announced that she was in love with Ellen DeGeneres and wouldn’t hide their affair. Nancy says Anne’s lesbian affair was, “Like a betrayal of an unspoken vow: We will never have anything to do with homosexuals.” She couldn’t believe that her daughter could walk into the same lifestyle Anne’s father had lived, that had taken ended their fairytale life.
Through all her trials, Nancy relied on God’s grace and strength to help her through. She slipped from time to time, and made mistakes, but she always came back to Jesus. In her new book, The Truth Comes Out, Nancy opens her life and her heart to readers. Nancy’s personal account is full of tragedy—the death of three of her five children, including that of her oldest daughter, who died in January 2006 from a brain tumor. But rather than promote despair, Nancy’s story is one of faith and survival as she learns that the only person you can change is yourself. Through the memoir, Nancy shares how to respond lovingly, yet appropriately, to homosexual family members and friends. Find God’s presence and power for any situation—His grace is what offers anyone who has faced disappointments of difficulty, hope and encouragement for the future.
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