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

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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

Help

33 Days. I am still on the couch, this is creating terrible sleeping patterns and body aches. But often I find each night on the couch, makes me love my wife more, makes me want to spend more time with her. It is creating a renewed love and passion for her and who she is, an amazing woman of God, with so much grace.

33 days of freedom from guilt, shame, and betrayal. My body and brain are according to professionals, is recalculating what it means to be excited and what it needs to produce adrenaline and serotonin in my brain. I am resetting my brains patterns, routines, and rituals. This is both a great thing and a very exhausting exercise.

I am often moody, exhausted, and more than anything on edge. But I see the change that I want to become and it will be worth it. With my wife’s help, I have been looking into a treatment center for sexual addiction…called yesterday and went through the assessment and waiting to hear from them.

I am still not 100% sure this is the answer, and I want to go because I want to go, not because of my wife. There are answers in my life that I need to find, resolve, understand and process. I am at a crossroads, this will mean informing my church, my leaders, and myself. It is a big, massive, huge, and whatever other adjectives, I can find.

I am still processing this step, rectifying it in my brain. Is this the help I need, the answer to my longing questions in my life and my behaviour?

“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;  I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. Isaiah 43:1-2

Love

3 weeks! So the latest…My wife would like me to go to a specialised treatment center…still not sure about this, I am still looking into this option. I know that there is more about my behaviour that I could understand and dive deeper into the reasons why…but a treatment center? Praying about this and asking God if this is the right plan.

Love! I have wondered even in the good times that I am unloveable. That I don’t deserve love from anyone….especially God. My life is ordinary, the themes and moments in my life have proven to me that, I do not deserve to be loved or that I am unworthy of anyone’s love.

I am often confused by love. I am the type of person that will do anything, say anything, or act anyway to avoid conflict or to make sure the other person is safe or ok….to a great sacrifice to my own personal well-being. This has proven to be a wrong approach to life…when will I realise that I can not live this way anymore.

Love! It baffles me. Honestly my wife is the first person that has loved me despite my best efforts. She exemplifies 1 Corinthians 13, and I wish I could understand love, like she does. I am baffle by her unconditional love, maybe that’s why I keep, messing up….I do not understand her love for me, even her love for our children…the measure and length she is willing to show us love is incredible…why do I continue to hurt her? to question her love?

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13:13

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