-Dr. John R. Rice, The Golden Path to Successful Personal Soul Winning
This is not just true of soul winning but also addiction recovery.
-Dr. John R. Rice, The Golden Path to Successful Personal Soul Winning
This is not just true of soul winning but also addiction recovery.
My vacation in NYC has been going so well. This city knows how to rebuild. The only storm damage that I’ve seen is in New Jersey which I have nothing to compare it too since I didn’t see it just after the storm.
There are two marring points that my hosts have no control over: My pastor isn’t returning my calls and someone has come to me for help with same-sex attractions.
I have to tell my school’s staff about my past homosexuality on Monday so changes can be made before school starts of they want to make them. So I’m going forward with it anyway even if we don’t get to talk. I’m a little disappointed, but I know this is how life works.
The young man asking for help with his same-sex attractions is good because he stepped forward. However memories of how I failed Edward are fresh in my mind. I know its different because Edward was straight, but still I don’t trust myself. Yet this is a desperate case; 9 months ago he became sexually active and he doesn’t know how many he has slept with. 17 and facing being kicked out if his parents knew.
Lord, these are two situations where you can grow me to hear Your Spirit more. Let Your will be done and form me to Your will.
In the introduction the authors said that if the reader was college age or older that there would not be much for us in the first chapter. They were right for for the most part. I was not the reader they had in mind for this book.
It has been a while, so I’ll review why I am reading this book. Just Friends by Mike Ray and Cary Schmidt, is about maintaining healthy, godly relationships with the opposite sex. I had read up on this subject when I was younger but my lack of interest in the opposite sex made me not think I needed to pay attention. I had a girlfriend already so following the rules was high on my to do list. As long as no one knew, I felt like I was fine. I did not know how strongly sex addiction had me, or understand the God strong enough to deliver me.
Years later, after developing a deep attraction to the opposite sex, I met Edward. He heard my testimony and did not see me as a lesbian that abused her ex-girlfriend, but as a great story of redemption. He was also in a trap of lust however. Despite this we drew closer. Close enough for my old addiction to kick back in with a Jones for males.
I am treating the addiction by breaking off the relationship with Edward, drawing closer to God and going to Reformers Unanimous. But I want to be able to hold friendships with men soon. I am not the hormone filled teen but I need this book.
They do spend the first chapter on puberty. Ruth, a young girl from the Animal Zoo, or AZ for short, thinks I suffering my way through a second puberty. As I read I noticed why.
The first thing addressed in a rather general tone was physical changes that teens endure. Ruth says that in my case this manifest itself in my body that has health that doctors are just starting to understand. The current problem that we are facing is low blood pressure.
Next addressed change of the teen years is the rewiring taking place in the frontal lobe. I could rant about how I believe that adults use it as an excuse for low standards for teens. But Just Friends agrees with my take on this troublesome lobe. As the judgement part of the brain develops, we need to use it well to reinforce good neuron connections. Part of turning away from addiction is telling the mind that it can do what it wants for satisfaction. I’m rewiring my brain to rely on God for it now.
The last addressed change is emotional. I think this is the change I feel the most in my “second puberty”. Edward and Chad, another AZ, spent hours teaching me to let go of the guilt that I had been using to hold my addiction and attractions where I wanted them. I allowed them to teach me to allow myself to feel emotions instead of locking them out. I dealing with emotions other than guilt to tug at my heart strings.
The major parallel is being new to being attracted to the opposite sex. Sexual attraction in the teens was something I acted on. I am learning how to submit my sexuality to God for real this time.
Pastor asked Edward how badly he wanted to be rid of his porn addiction on a scale 1 to 10. Edward and I both saw 10 as the point you sought castration or suicide. I will answer 10 every time though because it is the right answer. In fact I could dip into emotion and say 100. But Edward was so out of touch with his emotions and honest that he said 8.
"The people that overcome this normally say 1,000," my pastor said.
Even I thought he should at lest be a 9.5.
As I study the fruit joy in RU, I am going to be faced with frustration that I’m to overcome without indulging in my addiction. I did ask God to share people around me from my pain during this time. I think most people were shielded except my mom.
I hate dealing with emotions. But I knew that joy was more than an emotion however. When I was faced with frustration, I was not turning to earthly things for comfort. In fact I was turning to nothing.
Letting the frustration build steels joy. Lose of joy makes you want to reach out to for joy from empty sources. I need to service God and stay on His path.
Dear Lord, show me Your will for me daily. Remind me to continue to seek Your control of my emotions. Fill me with Your joy.
… I began to really draw close to Edward. He moved for training after graduation to where he had no friends outside the the computer. And I was always on Skype and available.
I believe July was the month that he first told me that he agaped me. I told him that was not right for a man to say to a woman he was not in a relationship with. I told him to stop talking to me for a month. But I was panicked. He had just used the word that I required my husband to say. There were other things I asked God that my future husband to do so I would know that it was him.
"What about the sci fi convection?" he asked.
"We should be fine by then," I said. "That is quite some time away." But that was the second sign for a husband.
I wondered how he was that first day. I liked him as a friend. I hoped he did not leave.
But a friend needed the AZ together. I felt the guilt of my past as she told stories that sounded like they could have come out of my ex-girlfriends mouth where I stared as the monster. I began to sing East to West by Casting Crowns only to have Edward join me. I did not he sang out of guilt as well.
Seeing that my guilt was taking away my ability to minister, he began to try to comfort me. But I refused it. I wanted no comfort that I did not deserve. He did not understand anyway.
But he did. On the very day the month ended, he told me that he was a porn addict. I made the mistake of becoming his accountability partner.
Today, Edward and I still aren’t talking. We both need to be clean for 70 days before that can happen. I know recovery can change a man. I do not know what type of man I will meet then. I just hope he is closer to God
On my bulletin from Reformers Unanimous this week, it listed nine warnings of relapse. I thought this was worth sharing.
- Lack of Restraint.
There must be restraints or boundaries in our life. When we start to desire to be out from underneath any and all authority relapse is on its way. (Proverbs 26:3)
- Wrong Associations.
Hanging around those that would promote your destructive behavior is a clue that relapse is right around the corner. (Proverbs 26:4)
- Know it all Attitude.
When you start to think you are always right and everyone else is wrong then relapse is not far away. (Proverbs 26:12)
When you become half hearted in all that you do, it will become a way of life that will lead to relapse. (Proverbs 26:13-15)
When you refuse to face your own faults and make excuses for all you do then relapse is ahead. (Proverbs 26:16)
- Meddling in others business.
When you refuse to clean up your own backyard and start focusing on other and their problems, then relapse is very near. (Proverbs 26:17-23)
Self hatred or hatred toward others is an attitude that will lead you into relapse. (Proverbs 26:24)
- Hoping Others will Fail.
When you desire for others to fail it shows that your focus is totally wrong. Your focus should be on your recovery not on what someone else does or does not do. (Proverbs 26:27)
Lying to yourself or others that everything is ok when in fact they are not ok is a warning sign that relapse is coming soon. (Proverbs 26:28)
There is a war but it is not against people. But against the unseen spiritual evil forces that Satan rules. Even with addiction it is true. I am not treating what my flesh wants; I am treating want my soul wants. When I treated the addictions just focusing on my flesh, I was hurting myself and readying myself to hurt Edward.
Give the heart a longing for God. Keep the heart clear of sinful thoughts. This is a way out of addiction.
"Edward has no day count because he has given up!"
My accountability partner did not know she was tell me a lie. But from the moment it left her lips I knew I was hearing a mistruth.
"I’m telling you on a Sunday so you can lay it on the alter," she comforted.
That was not a comfort. When I tried to talk to her she went to get ready for church. I had been told two nights before that our day counts were the same. I laid it on the alter as best I could but I had to clear the air between me and my accountability partner before this could go on. I had just allowed myself to feel more, and within twelve hours I’m deeply hurt. Not by Edward giving up, but by my accountability partner’s wanting to tell me. I knew recently she was hiding some sort of feelings about him. She thought that he was going to hurt me emotionally, and wanted to drive me away from him. This was her method. It just wasn’t right.
I was not going to let this wreck my joy. I was accepting that she had told me something. But I could not accept it as true until it was fact checked. I sang in church, and sat during the sermon, but my sadness made people assume that I was too sick for fellowship. I refused the comfort of music, milk, wasabi wrapped in pickled ginger or other means of comfort because I wanted to force myself to relay on God only for comfort. That is part of joy after all.
During the church members meeting I was texting Ruth to get data from her. Edward had given up but was trying again. He had forever giving up on marrying me.
Whatever. I still would like a return on the investment I made in him.
We worked it out but damage was done. I cannot know how Edward is doing for a reason…
Temptation to indulge my addiction comes. It feels no different than other bodily needs. I can say no it easier now that my emotions are not feeding my longing.
Even though that is basically how I had for the two years I did not act on it, I felt like I needed something more this time. After all I did relapse while in that state. So what did I need more?
I analyzed the state of mind I was in when I relapsed. My own emotion for Edward were what brought the trigger and the trumping factor to the hold I was using on my addiction. Not that I had much of a hold after I stopped using guilt on myself.
So just like I will eat more seafood even if I have a full stomach because I love it, I well relapse if I love a tempting man.
What is the solution? I believe being completely emotionless about my urges is not good. I should feel badly about the them. How could I, a daughter of the King that gave His Son to die for my sin, not love Him enough to do as He would want me to? Do I not fear God and consequences anymore?
The answer should be no. I know I keep numbing myself to feelings and think it is good. But that is not all ways the case. Sin should always bring negative emotions to my heart.
Dear Lord, please control my feelings once again. Shape the longings of my body, heart and mind. I know that I fear pain that comes from having emotions, but give me the emotions that You wish me to have. No matter the pain it causes.
On Friday I did my first challenges from the joy part of my Transforming challenge book. I was sorry to think that the love part that I had finished hadn’t taught me to love any better. This was disappointing for me.
But than God reminded me of someone other than Edward whom I have had trouble loving. I had to admit that things between us have improved. I’m thankful to God for the change and pray that it continues to improve.
I guess I should give an update on my feelings for Edward. I’m beginning to get some of my objectiveness about him back. He was unable to love some abusive people in his life. He cannot see them as me before I turned around. If he cannot love them, how could he really love me? Yes, I know I am sorry and different now but the true sinful nature I have is abusive.
I still think he is one of the most handsome men in the world. If that is to change I think God would need to introduce a new man.
In His time of course.
Joy is defined by RU as “… a cheerful, calm delight and rejoicing in a particular circumstance.” I think the only time I do not have this is if someone I love is suffering. Coming in to study this fruit I do not feel to far behind on it.
Or maybe I do not know what I do not know.
Wow I love new followers. So for the new people I’m Cheyene. It’s a fake name but I like it. I’m a city girl but I’ve had my time on the family farm. I like all weird foods. I follow politics a little too much and I love people way too much.
I only know love because of my dear Lord showing how much He cared for me at the cross. My love is still tainted with sin though. I’m a sex addict and my last friend with flirting benefits, Edward, and I suffered the consequences from that. We currently aren’t talking till I’m stronger. I know God can deliver me.
I go to a small church that has a bad habit of being abandoned by pastors. I go to a different church for Reformers Unanimous to help treat my addiction in a Biblical way.
I’m looking for a job but in the long run I need to find ministry apprenticeships or a writing gig because that is the direction I feel lead by God to those fields. Currently I have a job in another county as a door to door sales girl of sorts. They can only keep me for weeks though.
I long to use writing for Christ. God only should have that honour.
I love to talk to y’all. I have Facebook and Skype so hit up my ask box for my names.
So who are all o’ y’all?
"I s’pose I’m addicted, ‘cause now ive started readin’ other books, too," she ventured. "I don’t mean bad books, don’t misunderstand. But I must admit, I like readin’ stories — things that are purely made up but that, well… could happen."
Chad’s story line not mine. I am just putting my spin on it.
Chad never thought he would wish he was on the other side of the goal. Why did he ever tell Edward that lie?
He just wanted Edward to lose interest in Cheyene long enough for her to recover from her addiction. It was a lie that Edward should not have even believed. He said that Cheyene had a crush on Brian. And Edward believed it.
The same Edward he was trying to hide from now.
Edward became uninterested in Cheyene and did not speak with her or Brian. Cheyene was heart broken to learn that Edward did not love her anymore. Brian comforted her as best he could. But Chad felt his guilt trying to kill him.
His guilt would have been more merciful than Edward if he ever found him.
Ruth figured out what was going on. She did her best to gently tell her. But Cheyene took it poorly. She did not kill Chad but killed herself in her grief.
If she had killed him he would not be clinging to the shadows with his heart beating loudly in his ears.
The friends mourned. Edward came to her funeral to watch his heart put six feet under the sod. But he noticed that Brian was not doing the same.
He must have seen Chad’s guilt too.
How long would he now have to stay in hiding from Edward’s murderous gun? Should he save him the trouble by giving in to the guilt by taking his own life?