But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
2 Corinthians 12:9 NIV
One Year! We celebrate and honor one year so often in our culture. It is a milestone that seems to say, “If we/I have made it this far, we/I can make it through anything.” First Birthdays! First Anniversaries! One Year Reminders! Reading the Bible through in a year! There are so many things that we use one year for. In addictions, one year is extremely important. It is the milestone of “I can do this.” The first year isn’t always the hardest and many relapse after the first year, yet the first year is so profound.
Today, August 29, 2015 is my One Year Anniversary. One year ago today, I chose to stop living out of, being controlled by and being defined by my addiction. One year ago today, I chose to allow God to redefine my identity and to look to God rather than sexuality to help me cope with life.
It has been a rollercoaster ride. It has been exhilarating. I have had my highs and lows, my times of feeling like I was falling to times I felt like I was flying, and my times of feeling like I was going to fall off track. It has been a difficult year but also a rewarding one.
As I reflect on the past year, I am struck by the things I have learned as well as the all-sufficient grace of Jesus. A year ago I made a decision, a decision I only shared with a few people. A decision I thought was going to be very private. God had other plans. Very early on, I became aware of God’s call to share my story, my journey, with, potentially, the whole world. As we decided to launch Value in Purity into the business world and to put ourselves out there publicly, I knew the time was coming to share my story.
The sharing happened in stages. I first shared with friends, and then with some of the groups I talked to, and then, most difficultly, my family. I felt I had failed them, and they responded with such grace. I now was ready. Ready to launch my story out for everyone to see. Miraculously, with each sharing, I became more aware of God’s grace and the shame under which I had lived for so many years began to fade away. I began to understand true freedom, true grace.
Yet the temptation did not end. Satan has attacked over and over and over in the last year. I have had to learn how to change habits, routines, and choices. I have had to learn how to protect my dreams. I have had to learn how to recognize when I am headed down a dangerous path and to change course. And I have learned that in all situations, I must turn to God for strength as well as to others. Recovery does not happen in isolation.
And I have learned that in all situations, I must turn to God for strength as well as to others. Recovery does not happen in isolation.
One day that will stay with me forever (even though I can’t remember the date) is the day that I realized sometimes, you just have to tell God the crud! It was a day that I was being attacked and I was praying and resisting and the thoughts just kept coming. Finally, I just told God all the thoughts that were going through my head as well as what I wanted to do; even thought I did not want to do it. I have never understood Romans 7 so well as I have this year. I learned that day, in a way I never had before, that God isn’t afraid of our crud. He wants to take it and cast it away. He offers redemption and freedom not just trying and laboring. His yoke is easy and his burden is light.
One year is done, but I have a lifetime of years to go. I have not reached the finish line and I have a long journey ahead. I have not had a perfect year, but I have had a successful one. I have made mistakes, but by the grace of God, I have not fallen. I’ve heard it recommended that you not make any major life changes in the beginning of your recovery. I quit my job, started school, started 2 businesses, and moved. I did not succeed through all of that on my own power, but through the power of God. His power was made perfect in my weakness.
As I sit here today, I am so thankful for the support and love I have around me. I am thankful that I took the step to reach out and choose God. I am thankful that though there will be many trials ahead of me, God will get me through.
If you are struggling with an addiction of any kind, and especially with sexual addiction, know that there is grace forgiveness, help, redemption, and freedom. If you have not taken steps to recovery, I pray that you would. Hope and Forgiveness are there for the receiving.