May this blog be a blessing to you as you seek to understand the why's behind addiction and where to go from here.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Transformed Hearts

I've had some amazing things happen in the last few days.

I just got done reading "Surfing for God:Discovering the Divine Desire Behind Sexual Struggle" by Michael John Cusick. Wow. It is timely in that a number of things have hit the fan recently for me.

So first, the context of what is happening in my life. As I have mentioned, I have still been struggling in some areas of sensuality and with masturbation. When I reported this to my wife, she asked me what my patterns were, what triggers I was failing at, and it was the same old, same old - movies. She was angry and upset that I would keep trading in my family for a bit of entertainment, knowing full well that seeking those visuals inevitably leads to sexual sin in some manner (if even just lusting over fully clothed women on the screen).

Her anger sent me into a deep depression (yes, it's the same old relationship addiction and co-dependency causing me to be paralyzed by fear, and I realized that I needed to let go of that and re-focus on my walk with Jesus again) and I at first swore to myself that I would read more scripture, find tougher accountability partners, and get rid of all movies for the rest of my life. While those are simple fixes that can help in the short term to re-focus, I've already found that just asserting boundaries and "white knuckling" does not work for me. I need real and lasting change.

And that is the core theme throughout Cusick's book, that you have to allow God and other believers into your deepest darkest pits of despair and secrecy, that you have to ask Jesus to take those places and bring them all into the light, to transform your heart's household into a mansion of light. Jesus is in the business of healing the broken-hearted into people of courage, integrity, and faith. He wants to heal and transform our hearts, so we can be the amazing creation He meant for us to be. But He wants us to seek Him earnestly, to be still and listen to Him. This may take time and some repetition before we understand the abandonment and surrender that needs to take place for us to just sit and hear Him.

For me, I have realized that there is an abandoned, lonely, and scared little boy in me. I think back to all of the formative moments in my life, and realize that I left important parts of my psyche strewn all throughout my timeline, that I became more and more numb to the beauty of life with all of the disgusting things I went through. I later sold my inheritance for the stimulation of worldliness, and I feel that Jesus wants to give it back to me.

The book describes a man that had asked Jesus to connect with him directly and show him what was needed, asking what Jesus wanted to say and show him, asking time and again until it was revealed, and then continuing on this path of healing. About the third time that the guy prayed this, Jesus took him back to a moment when he was a boy looking at Playboy magazines, and told him that He loved that boy then, and he loved the man that he was, broken and disgusting as he was, and that he would always love him and be with him.

It struck me that this was something that I needed to do, and similarly to the experience that this other addict had, I was struck with a vivid demonstration of God's love when Jesus gave me a vision: when I was a little boy of 4, I was sitting in the hallway, already numb with abandonment problems, watching pornography on my mom's boyfriend's projector screen while they fornicated. Rather than the images being the predominant theme of this vision (as is usual when I think back to this instant), instead, the vision was one of Jesus taking me by my little hand and leading me away.

For many of you, this might seem like a silly thing, and certainly not earth-shattering enough to quit all forms of lust. But God is mysterious in the way that He works, and I think that this is just one of many moments to come where He will communicate His way and will to me for my life. He wants to deliver me from this burden and shame, and He wants me to help set the other captives free. It all starts with time - time just sitting with Him and meditating on His truths and asking where He wants to take me next, what He wants to show me and say to me next.

Praise your name, Lord Jesus, for you are my strength and my shield, my fortress and my rock! All true healing of the heart comes from you, and I want to place every facet of my life in your hands.

So, all of that said, November 15, 2015 is my first day of complete purity, and trying to seek a complete healing and wholeness in Christ. May I glorify Him more by serving His kingdom, and by being holy for His purposes.

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