God's Light - The Best Disinfectant
Jun 12, 2022 | by The Fellowship
Recently, one of our pastors spoke about how letting God shine a light into the darkest places of our lives can be a painful, but sanctifying experience. I can attest, firsthand, to the absolute truth of this statement. My story is difficult to admit as I am the villain who spent most of his life chasing after sin -- instead of fleeing from it.
Beginning as a teenager, I fell hard into sexual addiction. I did not know or understand it at the time, but it is obvious to me now. The addiction took root and only grew in intensity through my 20’s. I got married in 2011 and thoroughly believed the addiction would fade, but it continued to haunt me. Even being married to the love of my life was not enough to quell the insatiable lust inside my heart. It continued to grow. And as it grew, it escalated. I looked for new ways to satisfy the addiction, and as I did, I began to take more and more risks.
By this time, I had been married for several years and had a newborn daughter. My wife knew nothing of my addiction. I had compartmentalized it into a dark, desolate place inside my soul, growing exceedingly skilled at manipulating and lying to others in order to secretly feed it. On the outside I had a great career, a loving family, great friends, and was active in my church. Nobody knew what was really brewing beneath the surface.
In reality, my life was a mess. All my manipulation had wreaked havoc on my relationship with my wife. We were distant and struggled to communicate effectively. I was depressed, though too proud to admit it or seek help. Barely present in my child’s life, I chose instead to focus more on my hobbies or anything that could take my mind off the guilt I felt inside. I did not realize it yet, but my addiction had grown so much that I could no longer keep it from affecting the other areas of my life. I remember praying to God for help, thinking there would be an easy way to be rid of this addiction -- but the simple truth was that I was completely out of control.
One evening in late 2017, God stepped in. The plethora of lies grew to be too much for me to maintain, and my wife found out about my addiction. At that moment, I confessed some, not all, of my activities to her. I only admitted to what she had discovered. Packing bags for herself and our daughter, she left to go stay with her parents.
Alone, in our empty house, I finally realized the cost of this sin -- everything I had worked so hard for … the love of my life … my child. All of it was suddenly gone. And in that moment, God broke through!
I fell to my knees and prayed like never before in my life, making a million promises to God if He could help me put my life back together. And for once in my life, I was not lying!
Over the next couple of months, I went to therapy and got involved with the Castimonia group here at The Fellowship. This group is a 12-step recovery program for men facing sexual addiction or sexual purity struggles. I began working through these steps, and with the help of a therapist, I began putting my life back together. My sin had broken me completely, but God began filling in every crack and crevice. God showed me that the only way to really overcome this addiction was to be willing to tell the truth and shine a light into the darkest places of my life.
I confessed everything to my wife, and for the first time in our marriage, there were no secrets left between us. I thought there was no chance that our relationship could recover, but the Lord proved me wrong there, too! By His grace, my wife gave me a chance to prove to her that I could be the man she thought I was all along.
Everything I had prayed for became a reality, and God showed me just how powerful He really is! The Lord’s work in my life was shining through! My relationships with my wife and daughter were renewed and stronger than they had ever been! God helped me every step of the way to be able to combat my addiction!
It is now more than five years since my addiction was discovered, and I am in awe at God’s providence. We now have a second child and are going strong, almost 11 years into our marriage. My family is living proof of the power of the Lord’s restoration and grace.
If I am the villain of my story, God is the hero. He reached down and saved me from the miserable life I had created! He rescued me from my sin, and He pulled me from the depths of despair! No matter how far your sin has taken you, or how alone you may feel, God can and will help you -- if you surrender to Him. I cannot promise that it will not be painful, but I can promise that you will be amazed at what He is capable of!
…with God all things are possible…