100% Truth; 100% Grace

These words mean so much to me, and I use them as the guidepost for myself and my family.

In March of 2001, I had just married the most amazing woman in the world. She was kind, innocent, we shared our faith tradition, and she deeply loved God. All of these were things I  value. At the time, I was finishing up a Masters degree. Two days after the marriage ceremony in Colorado, she moved with me to Virginia, and the honeymoon began.

Three months into our new life together I started getting up early and began the habit of using our family computer to view porn. One morning I looked up and saw her standing in the doorway with fear and hurt in her eyes. She asked me point blank, “Aren’t I enough?” and my heart broke. I wanted her to be enough, and in truth, she was all I ever wanted. That night, by God’s grace, she allowed me to hold her. As we talked, I told her about what I had been doing and that I felt trapped. I couldn’t stop, but I didn’t want to continue with it.

Trapped in an Addiction

I thought it might be an addiction. She listened to me, and God must have been at work. Two weeks later, she had ordered me two books on pornography addiction. In the back of one of the books were resources and support groups for those who are addicted. I knew we needed help, so I called the number and was directed to a ministry called Set Free. God pressed upon my heart to tell my wife the whole story: the type of pornography I was viewing was same-sex.

My family had invited us to join them in Ocean City for the Fourth of July. It was then that I felt God’s leading that I needed to tell her the rest of the struggle. So, as we were in the family condo (sleeping in the front room, no less), I confessed the full story to her. She held me as I wept the years of secrecy and shame away. Later on she had told me that when she thought it was heterosexual pornography, she had all kinds of insecurities show up. When I told her it was same-sex pornography, she realized this problem wasn’t about her femininity and completely surrendered the whole thing to God.

Six months after this process began, we were moving back to Colorado. I had completed my studies. I was fearful about leaving Set Free Ministry, and they kindly referred us to Where Grace Abounds. This became our home, and I love this ministry. The depth of resources, support, guidance, discernment, prayer, and community has meant so much to my wife and me. I don’t know if we could have made it this far without this amazing, loving place. The 100% Truth, 100% Grace message helped me as I began the journey of accepting my brokenness and walking with other broken people to help support one another. There is no doubt in my mind that WGA has God’s spirit, and I thank all involved for being God’s body, heart and love on this Earth.

Lighten up and have some fun

Dealing with sexual sin is not fun, and it causes me to want to hide. I think of dark muted colors and a very lonely place. I am well aware of my hurt, self-loathing, disgust and isolation. But WGA is a relief for that. On Thursday nights, I would drive to the meeting space, likely in a state of shame, and be greeted with love and enthusiasm. Often times I would hear, “I am so happy to see you,” and  I would be introduced to others gathering in the foyer. As the meeting began, the icebreaker questions were…. well fun… not, “How have you sinned this week?” There was usually a lot of laughter as we all shared our answers.  And there were also announcements of social gatherings that the group was doing.

Next up was prayer and then a short teaching, followed by group time. After small group, people would gather in the halls and visit again with much laughter and fun. Did they not hear what I just shared in the small group? Were they not supposed to gather stones and recoil from my sight? WGA for me is a place of acceptance, a community where I am welcome. All are welcome; it is my sanctuary where I can be myself and distract myself from the self-wallowing I am prone to indulge in.

By experiencing this group, I learned that I can be loved, even in my broken state. I can have fun, and I am accepted. I belong. If you are fortunate enough to have this in your life, count your blessings. If you feel as though you might have a deficit in this area, I am honored to introduce you to Where Grace Abounds. Have you met Mary? Roger? Scott? If you haven’t been to a WGA white elephant you are in for a treat.

When I have nowhere to go I go to Where Grace Abounds.

It is nice for me to know that WGA is still around. Our culture is confusing. It seems I need to accept everything, even when my heart says it is wrong. When I have questions about my conflicted heart I can go to WGA to find answers. They will point to scripture as the guide post and offer solid advice. They will walk with me as I explore “my issues.” Have you ever had someone walk with you without judgment? I think Jesus just walked alongside others, and I see Jesus in WGA. This is also a place where I can find discernment, resources, and prayer.

I just recently found myself again in need of WGA’s guidance. An issue of a sexual nature rose up within my family (not my issues this time), and I didn’t know what to do. I called WGA, and we received wise, discerning direction, as more importantly, prayer. I am so grateful for WGA and their continuing availability to my family and me.

Anonymous Authors

Anonymous Authors

 

Due to the sensitive and personal nature of many of the issues Where Grace Abounds works with, some of our blog authors wish to remain anonymous. We encourage people to move towards being transparent and known by those significant relationships in their lives. Testimonies and personal experiences are powerful tools to be shared. We hope you are encouraged by reading this article.

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