Monday

Monday…

I leave my wife.
I leave my kids.
I leave my ministry.
I leave my home.

With much reluctance and hesitation, I have checked myself into a 3 week treatment program. I explain to my oldest child, that I was going away to be a better man, husband, father, minister, and person.

I am so hopeful of this 3 weeks, but very nervous and apprehensive. I do not even know what will happen but I am hopeful. As the days pass before I go, I am being very intentional about the time with each of my kids. But also, as the days pass, I am getting more and more emotional about the time spent away.

I do not know if you have ever felt every emotion all at the same time being at the surface ready to come out…but that is where I am at. Each day as it closes, I get more and more anxious about this time away, a restful time, I hope to working and focus on me being the best version of me.

Will I change? for the good or the bad?
Will it be helpful?
Is this for me?
What will it be like when I get back?

Nervousness, anxiety, and hopefulness is on the forefront of my brain and body. I just do not know…I covet your prayers for myself, my family, and for my ministry!

No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. Be strong and courageous… Joshua 1:5-6a

Breathe

Last month on this date, was my last interaction with pornography. At the moment I am operating out of fear, but I have no shame or guilt that is usually associated with my online use, because of the freedom in the ability to say I have been clean, sober, and righteous before God in this behaviour that has town apart my life for the better part of 23 years.

I can not breathe. I feel a massive weight everywhere I go, especially when my wife is around. I just can not breathe.

There are serious decisions to be made…Do I go into a treatment center? If I do, that means taking a sabbatical from work? away from my kids with no contact? away from work, with no explainable or acceptable reason? Am I going because I think I could use the help and counselling or am I going because this is what my wife wants me to do? All valid questions…

Questions and excuses rolling around in my head constantly. Where do I go and what do I do?

“No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.”                   1 Corinthians 10:13

Sadness

18 Days! This is not my longest by any means, but I feel like this is my most confident 18 days of sobriety from pornography. I have no reason to look at it or a reason to want to look at it. Each day is a new day to look to God for my strength, situations, emotions, stress, and difficulty.

It is truly a double-edged sword…I am completely stress about my marriage and extremely fearful of the future of our togetherness….but what do I normally do when I am stressed…Porn….So I am learning new ways of dealing with stress. I have started meditating. Sitting in a darken room, breathing deeply from my stomach, paying attention to my breathes, and the feelings that I experience in my body, and focus on the whys…Why am I feeling a knot in my throat, or tightness in my belly, why does my neck hurt? It has truly helped me focus on my stress and where I feel it in my body…never thought I would be meditating…a new experience but has been very worthwhile.

The overwhelming feeling this week has been…sadness. Yesterday in particular, I was just sad, almost every breath I took, felt like I was going to explode in tears..it was the hardest day since wife found out again…I miss her, I miss us, even as I write this post, tears are flowing….What have I done?

I believe that my resolve and resilience to dealing or medicating my stress and anxiety with porn is strengthening everyday….but on the flip side, I am continuing to be more sad as the days go by, I love her, more than I could ever express or comprehend. And I have ruined it….

She is better without me…she is an amazing woman and the strength in out family, but I have made her sad, angry, betrayed, and a different person, because of my carelessness, my stupidity, and my selfishness….Where do we go from here?

I lift up my eyes to the mountains—where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lordthe Maker of heaven and earth. Psalm 121:1-2

Started with a bang

10 Days!

In my last post I spoke of history, my history. Every life has a beginning, and most start of the same way. Two loving people, consecrate their relationship through mutual love and admiration towards each other. This is so nice, abit soppy, romantic comedyesque.

My history, or should I say my beginning started off very differently. My mother was assaulted, well this is the term I use, but in my effort to be honest and transparent, she was raped. This is how I was conceived. You see my life started off with pain, sadness, regret, and a constant reminder of each of those.

Even now as I read those words again, I am caught up in emotions. When I am battling this behaviour that I have come to hate in porn, I often think, is this where this lust in my heart comes from? Is this behaviour inherited? The whole sins of the father will be passed on for generations verse in the Bible, type thing.

Is this from the disconnect that I have with my mom? My mother is a great woman, one of the strongest women I know. She raised four kids on her own, struggling to work and balance the lives of her kids. But Mom, with memories of how I was conceived, has difficulties with our relationship. I wonder if my desire for acceptance through pornography, comes from my desire for acceptance from my Mom.

My life has not been perfect, actually its been quite hard in almost every sense of the word. But it builds a sense of resilience and hope for the future. I live on that hope, I count on that hope, I believe on that hope.

I put a verse at the bottom of every post, I struggle with this verse and what it means for me and the ultimate impact on my Mother’s life.

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. Psalm 139:13

Deep

9 days of sobriety, clean from my addiction to pornography.  This is not the first time I have tried, it’s not the longest I have ever gone, but I want this out of my life, my family, and for the sake of my family.

The other day I was listening to a Podcast of preacher who spoke on lust. As I was driving down the road listening to him speak, I was crying, openly sobbing. As he spoke I could not help by resonate with what he was saying. In his sermon, he reference a book called “…feels like redemption” by Seth Taylor.

Seth in his book speaks about that fact that porn addiction is like any other addiction. Addiction is seeking to medicate something deeper, more internal that we can see on the surface. We must ask the question, “Where does this come from?” Seth again says that there is something in our life we are seeking to ignore or forget, therefore we consciously unconsciously try to medicate, with drugs, alcohol, porn, and any other addictive sedative..

I have in my life always tried to live in the moment of time, forgetting the past and focusing on the now of life. Maybe that’s the problem…maybe I need to look to the past, to gain a perspective on my future?

SO….where does this come from? In the coming days…I have been and will be examining this…I am honestly scared at what may come up….my life is not rainbows and fairies, far from it. But I honestly want to know what I am trying to medicate, cover, ignore, or forget…

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matthew 6:21

Confusion

7 days, clean and pure from my sexual addiction of pornography. 7 days of my wife barely speaking to me. 7 days of my fractured marriage seen in every movement of my wife not to touch me or avoids me altogether. It may be 7 days, but I know that this is my fault, my willingness consciously or unconsciously to grab a device and punch keystrokes until I was able to satisfy a need deep with me.

At this very moment, I am at home alone? with my dog. Wife and kids are gone for several hours. Why did she leave me alone? I know that she is wondering what I am doing right now. Does she not care anymore? Is the weight to big to bear? I know she doesn’t trust me this much, as she did take my phone

Every thought of losing my wife and my children drives me to an emotional rollercoaster. Today as I watched my daughter’s soccer game, I could not help but get emotional at the thought of not being able to watch her to do her favorite thing in the world. My brain and my emotions are so confused. I want to cry, scream, punch myself for being so stupid, and/or rewind the past 8 days, and give myself a good swift kick in the ass.

I have come to crossroads of sorts in my life with porn. I have tried for over 20 years to give it up, put it behind me, leave it to God…it has to start now for myself, for my wife, for my kids, for my God. It is a completely humbling thought to know that the future of my marriage is based on what I do now, today, in this moment.

Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. Psalm 23:4

Discipline

Still sleeping on the couch…my wife let me know she can barely look at me let alone speak to me. I miss her! But I completely understand this is totally my fault in every way. I ruined it, 16 years of marriage, 18 months of sexual purity, and my family.

I was listening to Judah Smith today. Judah spoke about how discipline is training. That using discipline helps us see the future of our righteousness and peace. But discipline always sucks! It may be good, but it sucks.

I struggle with pornography for 22 years. On and off again. Sometimes I have gone really well. When I got married, I thought it would all be over. This hot girl is my wife and we can have sex all the time, I won’t need porn. But it pulls you back in, sometimes not even knowing the how or the why.

Throughout my marriage, I have struggle with it. Hoping that God will remove this thorn from my side. Praying, pleading, and begging for God’s intervention. Intervention always came, but never how I would have like…intervention was my wife finding something on my computer, phone, or iPad.

Discipline sucks! But I am praying for God’s intervention and for the Holy Spirit to produce a harvest of righteousness and peace through this discipline.

No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. Hebrews 12:11

Five Days

Five days! Five grueling days of my wife and I barely speaking to each other. I am trying to instigate communication, even chit-chat, but to nothing much. It’s really hard, very hard to manage how I act and respond around her. It’s completely my fault in every way.

I have also had five days of cleanliness of pornography. Its been really hard, that is usually my relive, my escape, and my release from my day-to-day problems. In those times where I am most frustrated, I try to read, and pray to just help keep my mind straight.

I am currently reading AGAIN…every man’s battle by Stephen Arterburn and Fred Stoeker. It is a great book where the author’s outline their own battles with sexual purity. In the book, they speak about how it is just a minute from fantasizing to masturbation. That the downhill spiral happens before you know it. This is so true for me. I may be watching TV and see a beautiful girl or bare breasts in a movie and then next thing i know I am looking at porn or talking sexually with someone online.

In every effort I am trying to with God’s help, train my eyes and brain to be pure in all my thoughts, actions and the visible elements entering my brain. The brain is a powerful weapon and needs to be transformed by God .

I still don’t know where my wife and I are going. But I hope it’s together!

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2