I want to share something with all of you that I went through this weekend.
I (Brian) ran in the PF Chang’s Rock-N-Roll marathon this past weekend in Phoenix, Arizona. I ran to represent xxxchurch.com as well as bringing awareness to the harmful effects that pornography has on one’s life. But more than all that, it is symbolic to my own journey through sexual addiction.
This was the first time I did a PF Chang’s marathon, but personally my second marathon. From the very start there was a DJ, and music playing getting all the runners excited and feeling good about their run. I can tell you, I was pumped! But very nervous at the same time. There were bands and people lining the 13.1 mile course holding signs of encouragement. Total strangers yelling out to all the runners words of encouragement. As I got farther and farther along in the run, around mile 10 & 11 my body was rebelling against me. I was starting to feel the aches and pains of running all those miles. There came a point that quitting seemed appealing. But, every time I heard and saw the crowd of people, I got a burst of energy and kept going.
Also, knowing that my wife and friends were there to see me kept me running, never stopping.
Isn’t that what we are supposed to do with each other through hard times, continuing to encourage one another?
When I started this race, I couldn’t see the finish line. The thought of 13.1 miles seemed so far away. This is the same way I felt with my addiction. All the years that I was chained to this addiction and wanted to be free was like this race, the end was no where in sight.
As I was running, I started to see the comparison to my life’s journey in the same way you run a very long distance. In my journey to sobriety, I have had people come into my life that have cheered me on, prayed for me and never gave up on me. These people were always there for me, always encouraging me along the way. Even when things got really painful in my marriage, our friends were there to help us through. They wanted so badly for me to finish the race that God originally set before me.
I got to that finish line, I crossed it and had a better time than I had hoped for. I got to the finish line because I had support. Support from God, my wife, dear friends, family and complete strangers encouraging me to finish the race that I had started. Most importantly I never gave up. I fought through the pain and believed in myself. I chose life. During the race when pain and fatigue set in and quitting seemed like a good option, I had to tell myself “You are finishing this race”.
I’m overwhelmed at times that I get to start my life over. Not a lot of people go through what I have and then come out the other side and get a do-over. “Perfect love drives out fear” (1Jn 4:18). God’s love, Tami’s love, close friends love, family’s love, and stranger’s love (those of you reading our story and sending encouraging messages) have all helped in bringing me back into wholeness. I’m a very blessed man today and I don’t take for granted for one minute where I’m at now.
Hebrews 12: 1-2
“…let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith…”