Monday, October 03, 2005

In my weakness I am strong

I was overwelmed with the sense of timing of todays sermon. Pastor G talked about Paul's weakness and how that made him strong. Why? Because he had to rely on God's strength and not his own. How many times in my life do I struggle to remain in control, how I try my best not to be "needy", how I battle with my sense of being alone. To what extent does this struggle help me. It eventually leads me to the breaking point...argh...I can't do it on my own. I was never meant to walk in this world alone.
1. God is here walking with me...often carrying me, but alas, he is with me...that is his truth and why fight that truth.
2. I should boast of my weakness and in that I will be made strong. That is recognizing my weakness and put my trust in God, who will supply me with all I need. I am reminded of that in terms of this past week, when I got offered a job, as well as some funds came to me via my old job. I keep praying for specifics and God keeps answering. I keep acknowledging my weaknesses to God and others and God intervenes and gives me strength. This past week, having battled a cold, I felt physically weak and with that emotionally. I put my trust in God. I admitted to him my weakness and he supplied my needs. I had peaceful sleeps and I made it through the week at work, despite hacking up a lung or two.
3. In admitting my weakness to others, they have stood faithfully beside me. I continue to do so. I continue to try to be open, even when I feel like shutting down. In the words of a is doing the opposite when thoughts come in to the mind and I want to keep replaying those thoughts over and over again. It is getting those thoughts out...talking with someone.

Last week I shared my Why I am taking Living Waters and this is what I said:

Why I am here?
For the past 30 years...give or take a few sabbaticals, I have been sexually active.
At around 8, I was sexually abused and this opened my life up to pornography, masturbation and a very active fantasy world.
Growing up in a broken Christian home, I did not have the support or knowledge to tell anyone or talk about what happened and this continued to happen to me until I was 17. My father was absent and my mother was the strong one.
I silenced myself with the pain and buried it. Everytime someone teased me at school, or when I was abused, I put that hurt away. I did not want anyone to see the shame and hurt that I felt. I thought this was happening to me because I had done something wrong and because I was different than other guys.
So I remained silent.
I would have been considered a good Christian (the good boy) by most peoples standards. I went on mission trips, went to church, sang in the church choir, did street evangelism, preached the good news of Christ's redemption. Yet, deep down, I couldn't accept it for myself. I lived a double life. Secretly going out and finding some guy to validate me as a man and this almost always ended in sex.
In the early 90's I attended a charismatic church and thought this would be different. I tried to live a life of sexual sobriety, and this would last a few months and then I would have a sexual fall.
I was put in contact with Tye at New Direction and went for counselling. I thought this would help me and I uncovered a lot of hurts from my past. I then attending my first living waters. During this time, I got engaged. I hoped that I was healed enough that we could make this work.
Soon after the engagement, I fell sexually with a guy I knew and I told her and we decided to work this out. Then a year later about 4 months before the wedding, I ended the relationship after another sexual fall. I wasn't going to put her through this again...or was it that I didn't want to go through the pain again. I took the more travelled road. I silenced myself again and basically disappeared.
Now, this took me into accepting the gay lifestyle. My attempt at the straight world didn't work and so I thrust myself into the gay lifestyle, accepting the myth that I was born this way.
2 years later, I was living in Vancouver with my partner who had pursued me for those 2 years in Winnipeg. For the most part the relationship was great. We had lots of fun, I met lots of people and things where going good. Then we started having trouble, and in my pain, I did what I knew best and I sought out casual sex to fill the pain. I again silenced myself off instead of dealing with issues in my life.
This past March I broke off my 8 year relationship with my partner. It was the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. I was disillusioned with my life, the relationship, my past and present screw ups and I knew there had to be more to life than this. Within a couple of weeks, key people spoke into my life and I knew God was calling me to something better. He was calling me out of the silence that I held so dear, yet desperately wanted freedom from.
God spoke to me in regards to my adultery and he led me to read Hosea 2
The abbreviated version reads like this
"you took away everything because of my unfaithfulness and because I forgot you... allured me, lead me to a desert, spoke tenderly to me, gave me back the vineyards. I sing as in the days of my youth, as in the days I came out of Egypt."
So I contacted New Direction for Life in Winnipeg and within 2 months I was back in the city I fled 6 years ago. But this time coming back, grieving, physically, emotionally and spiritually in such a deep way. I had the opportunity to go to an Exodus Conference and that for me was life changing. did it change the struggle? Not really, but it encouraged me in my steps of faith. Where before I prayed that God would take the struggle away, I now pray for his strength to carry me through the very hard times ahead.
So I am here because I admit my sexual and relational brokenness and I no longer wish to remain silent.
What do I want to get out of the Living Waters program?
I want to know God's love for me, regardless of the struggle, regardless of my shortcomings and failures. I want to know him as Father and how much he accepts me. I want to know what it is like to walk out of silence and realize that I don't have to go there again. To embrace the pain and to lay it at the cross. To not be ashamed any longer but to know that through everything God is with me. I have lots of head knowledge and I want to have that transfered to my heart. In todays culture I am taking the path less traveled by taking Living Waters, I want to know what it is like to not be defined by sex, but to be defined by who I am as a man of God.

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