Opening up and tearing down

Vulnerability is inevitable

Try to protect yourself but your fear is exposed

Trying to scare away threats by puffing up

But you only make yourself easy to deflate

You are as fragile as you are strong

As secluded as you are accessible

We all seek safety; it’s natural and wise

But seclusion and withdrawal are anything but

Your indestructible mask still leaves your core naked

Save face, lose heart

A world full of angry and offended shells of what once held souls

But something ignites us all when tragedy strikes

Then we’re reminded that we’re not made of tin

That a brain will bring you reality, not peace

It’s the heart that hurts that effects most

They leave a mark, not a shadow

That tell stories, not relive scars

The Island Commute

Just a thought:

When you’re at a stoplight, do you ever wonder ‘Who else here thinks like me?’

Look to either side and actually comprehend the other person you see

Take a second to wander outside of your bubble to take a peak in theirs

Drink in the fact that there are other lives zooming by; do you keep them in your prayers?

See the truck driver and wonder if he’s got a family at home

Maybe ask what was the last conversation he had on his phone

See the person at the crosswalk and think about what their favorite joke is

And if they think they’ll ever want to have kids

The Honda behind you has a family and you wonder how close they are

Are they loving or are they basically four strangers in a car?

Every vehicle, every body harbors it’s own little universe of the person inside

Almost everyday you literally get a glimpse into each one on your car ride

It’s hard to get outside yourself, but it’ll put you in a much better place

Take a peek at all the other islands you pass by and mull over the things they must face

There’s probably a divorce in the car behind you and a proposal planned tonight in front

A baby growing, unknown to the mother and a single father on a job hunt

Someone’s trying to keep it together and holding back the tears

And another one’s about to take a risk and push aside their fears

A life being changed and one crumbling to dust

But making sure I make this next red light is a must

You get to witness that every single day yet many of us will never engage

Thinking we’re building our own little kingdoms, but really just getting comfortable in a cage


Everyone’s overflowing with something

What’s really inside is always fighting to get out

For some that means, spending everyday trying not to burst at the seams

To keep the loneliness hidden, the bitterness caged, the anger chained

Others find freedom in what’s seeping from their pores, radiating in their smiles, maybe even showcased in their tears

Not pressured into living within the lines, nor creating their own path

They live as they should, not allowing space for skeletons and secrets

But making their way encountering disappointments as well as dream come to fruition

Not faking fulfillment, not fighting failure

A life lived youthfully, truthfully and fruitfully

You’ve got a gleam about you or you’ve got a gloom

No one’s presence is leaves a space unaffected

You reap what you sow and you seep what you grow

Yep, it’s the porn thing again

So I’ve been asked to give an update on where I am in recovery (a little over-dramatic, but it works for now) and restoration. It’s bittersweet, you know? The sweet part being that people care. The bitter part being that people are watching. Just in case you don’t know what I’m talking about, here’s the nitty gritty: and

The short version is (deep breath) for a long time, honestly I can’t even remember how long, I struggled with porn. As you can probably guess, it had a tremendous influence on my life in ways that I initially couldn’t see, and then when I could recognize them, I was too far in to get out on my own.

That sin became a cancer that I was too afraid to give to God so I built fortified walls around myself and basically rotted from the inside out. I spent a good bit of the last few years as a highly functioning shell of a person. On April 17th, I was in the very beginning stages of restarting my walk with Christ and he gave me a way out of these chains of that sin and it was tailor made for who I am: post an honest blog entry about my struggle with porn; don’t sugarcoat it and don’t be vague. I did so, but only after an epic round of refusals and attempts to compromise. Neither worked obviously.

It’s been 4 months since that post and a lot has happened. I never intended for this to be an ongoing thing, but it seems that’s where I’m being lead so why not? I wanted to share how this has all affected me and how it’s affected others. Keep in mind this isn’t any fairy tale so not everything is tied up in a neat and pretty bow at the end, but it is a miracle so there is a happy ‘ending’. Here goes:

  1. Porn isolated me. Since all of this, I’ve been muuuuuch more of myself (joyous, generous, social, loving, improving, encouraging, engaged, etc) and in return I’ve created some rich new relationships and renewed a lot of my old ones. There’s no longer anything nagging me saying “They see it. If I hang around any longer I’m going to let it slip”. I will say that it wasn’t until recently I realized how paranoid my sin made me. I still catch myself flinching a little every time there’s a “we need to talk” on the horizon because I’m still in that mode of being worried about someone confronting me about it. I still have to emphasize to myself that I have nothing to hide anymore. You have NO idea how good that feels unless you’ve been there.
  2. I objectified MYSELF. Definitely still a big thing for me. I catch myself looking in the mirror a little too long. Caring a little too much about who’s paying attention as I walk by. It’s somewhat funny because when I catch myself doing it I’ll mentally cringe. To always feel hyper aware of what others are thinking about how I look? Not fun, not worth anything. I mean, there’s nothing wrong with liking the way I look, but when I’m that concerned with how everyone else feels about it, I’ve gone the wrong way.
  3. I started seeking out things that used to disgust me. There’s been the most progress here. I cannot say that I haven’t been tempted to go back to porn every now and again (though not as often as I expected) but I can say that I haven’t gone back once and because of that, there’s not a pull like there used to be in this area.
  4. Porn became a way to numb myself rather than satisfy. Well since, there’s been a lot of therapy sessions with God. (It’d be amazing to have a professional one soon just to air some things out but anyway…) Yea, it’s been difficult and really uncomfortable at times, but I know so much more about myself now that I’m not running from facing these things. There’s a multitude of things that God had been trying to address and bring to light so we could deal with them and porn became my chosen distraction. Then it became the issue. Now, there’s still much to be desired in my progress, but we’re facing them head on; sometimes eagerly, sometimes hesitantly, but facing them nonetheless.
  5. My pride swelled as my self-worth diminished. I think this is one of those areas that’s hard to purposefully work on. Rather, as I begin to work on improving other areas of my life, this seems to be falling in line. Though pride still has a big pull, it’s not so much of an issue in this area.
  6. I met/connected with some great people. So while my views after posting were sky high, the actual feedback I received from this was minimal. Of course that induced a pretty potent panic but God constantly reminded me that the post was to release me from this secrecy, not to gain popularity or criticism. However, as time has gone on, there have been a few people who’ve confided and/or encouraged me in my decision to air it all out. These relationships have totally surpassed the (in my opinion) boring stages of slowly getting to know each other and have gone straight to the heart of who we are. Let me tell you, I am FAR from the only person that struggles/has struggled with this… specifically speaking of women.  It doesn’t all manifest the same way, but we struggle with understanding how to handle our sexuality in a way that’s glorifying to God. There have also been very many men who’ve confessed how much they underestimated the similarities men and women have in our struggles.
  7. I met/connected with some… um people who really need God to some into their life like he did mine. I was surprised that I didn’t receive any criticism, but unfortunately I did come into contact with people who desperately need the victory I have. Not everyone who read the post saw pain, shame and self-abuse eating my alive. Some saw an opportunity to (try to) prey on weakness. First and foremost, let me be very clear: having a weakness does NOT make a person weak. I’ve learned much about testing the waters and understanding that not everyone has your best at heart. I was upset and hurt initially, but honestly, I do feel sympathetic for those who think I’m living in some 50 Shades of Gray world where I’m just waiting for someone to ‘set me free’. NO, when I was struggling with sexual impurity, I was not empowered. I was not ’embracing who I really am’. I was not ‘freeing myself’. This, where I am now, is free. If you’re attracted to weakness, not transparency and vulnerability, but the weakness that damages confidence, relationships, and intimacy, then there is something in you that you are not free from…

So I’ll leave it at this, victory is not a one time deal. There’s still conflict here, but now I’m on the winning side. I don’t ever regret my decision, not even once. However, the effect that my sin has had on my mind and my perspective will take a lot of work, a lot of grace, a lot of discipline, and a lot of faith, a lot of God.

It never gets easier to share this part of my life, but the conviction gets stronger every time and it eclipses the fear of rejection, shame, and ridicule that may come my way.

A few corners

Oh, that sweet seemingly unattainable thing called ‘balance’

Blessed to carry so much, but burdened with tipping the scales

Not the well-rounded person; all arcs and no corners

Every surface smooth and welcoming, pleasently ending where it started

Finding the ‘happy’ medium between fierce and meek

The place where ‘unique’ and ‘familiar’ harmonize

The tension is there, but the retention is not

Something’s always shaking, moving, shifting

No such calibration, so good luck with equilibrium

Senseless shuffling to create stability and symmetry

Merciless pursuit of a faulty fantasy

But I’m mostly arcs with a few corners, smooth and angled

Reality Sets

Despite today’s smiles and laughter, yesterday’s tears and heartbreak will not be forgotten

To try to force them out only buries them deeper

To try to forget and discredit them will only disguise and solidify them

To have a sob story or two is no defeat, to have nothing but fulfilled wishes is no victory

All my “This isn’t how it’s supposed to be” brought me to “But this is how it is”

All my “I thought it was supposed to be better” brought me to “This is actually pretty good”

The “I’m so lonely” is now followed by “But I know I’m not alone”

The tragedy only ushered in the reality

When you can accept what’s real you’re not paralyzed by the broken promises that were never made

You can dream as long as you keep in mind that you have to wake up

Solidified in Solitude

There’s power in unity, in community, but surely there are places you can only get to on your own.

The times that are for you and you alone to step forward, to step up, to step down, to step in.

Where the certainty doesn’t quite match up to the calling, but the determination overpowers the doubt.

When “This isn’t going to work” is the smart answer, but not the right one.

You’ve decided to enter in alone, but you’re not going in blind.

If you’ve never gone anywhere solo, you’ve never been anywhere at all

Sometimes in kneeling, you look around and you only see critics

But the real anxiety kicks when in looking, you see no one at all

Not even a heckler made the trek…

But the awareness that alienation is only a vehicle, not the objective keeps you from bailing

Just beyond your line of vision are others who are being prompted to move when all else is still

You begin to realize it’s just a fog and that there are objects closer than they appear

That in seclusion, there can be solitude just as much as there can be isolation

There are some places you can only get to alone

The best thing that can happen realization and comfort in knowing that you were never really alone at all