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December 13 • Don't Deserve This

Day 522

One of the few people outside of my program that knows of my addiction asked to have coffee with me yesterday. This young man is someone I have 'mentored' for years on his journey through various ministries and illnesses as he's continually sought God's calling in his life. A year ago, I felt obligated to tell him about my failings as a sex addict.

It was pretty clear to me that this would put an end to his seeking my counsel, possibly even my friendship. These realities overwhelmed me as I confessed to him about being a sex addict who had committed the evangelicals' unpardonable sin(s) multiple times, even while offering him guidance over the years. As we continued talking, he began pouring out his heart to me about the burden God has placed on his soul for the people of his community. He asked for my advice, and I began to realize he was asking me to partner with him in his new outreach.

I was flustered and flattered, and dumbfounded. I was humbled and emotionally excited for the remainder of the conversation; I was relevant, or at least I was treated as though I was. This man was flipping the script on me. He was sincere; this was no act of pity on a broken pastor. It was amazing.

Then he left, and the depression quickly began building. I could not dodge the shame of putting him in this position. Then the guilt that caused me to consider his compliments as anything but genuine chased away the sun. I'm still wrestling today with the question I have run from my whole life; who am I to be eligible for positive regard and good things that come my way without the clever calculations and manipulations of my skill set.

It feels like I have to learn about grace for the first time, even after hundreds of sermons and studies on this central theme of Christendom. And why do I prefer to figure this out by myself? I need to make a call, but right now, even that feels like a life-line I do not deserve, probably because I do not deserve it. I have to do it — use it — anyway.

But will I?



Braced myself for the goodbye,

'Cause that's all I've ever known

Then, you took me by surprise

You said, "I'll never leave you alone"

–Taylor Swift, ”Mine"



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