So for the last few months I have been going to see a counsellor. I had wanted to for a while but never really plucked up the courage but realised there was a lot of stuff that I needed to deal with.
And hey if it’s good enough for Rob Bell and Don Miller it’s got to be good enough for me right?!
But going each Monday morning and speaking with someone has been really beneficial. You see porn was a problem for a long time in my life but even since I have been on the road to beating it there has still been some underlying issues that probably contributed to my porn problem.
And one of those came to a head in my last session.
During the conversation with my counsellor we started to talk about things in my past that I had forgotten about. Sometimes it’s those painful moments that we suppress and therefore don’t really get to deal with. And for me it was a moment that happened when I was around 11.
My father had just died and I was at a church event where I was taking part. The thing was that I was taking part in a father son race and having lost my father very recently you can maybe see where this might cause a problem. So I turned to the nearest man I could see, who happened to be a close family friend and asked him to race with me.
Now I should say, he wasn’t trying to be mean. Or he wasn’t trying to hurt me. But left there standing in front of a lot of people rejected felt great…No like really great. And by great of course I mean horrible. Completely and utterly horrible.
You can maybe begin to see why I didn’t recall this memory too often.
Talking to my counsellor though helped me see that this was indeed a good thing. He helped me to think through why that moment in my life created an outlook about God, about myself and about others (so everyone really) that’s not healthy. In fact, destructive.
How does an eleven year old whose father just died react to being rejected, not just by anyone, but by someone who was considered, even if I didn’t call it that, a father figure.
How does that shape his view of God? Or other people? And himself?
I have trouble with being confident that God loves me sometimes. Is that linked to being rejected by a man close to me?
I also have trouble with believing I have worth and that I have value. Is that linked to to being rejected?
Or how about when I don’t want to offend people or wanting people to affirm me or like me or not speaking up in case I am thought to be stupid? Is that linked to the fear of being rejected again.
Sitting in my counsellors office talking through all this it started to dawn on me that I had lived most of my life with a dark cloud hanging over me. With feelings that were choking me, stopping me breathing fully.
It wasn’t like someone had switched on a light bulb. It was like I was standing in the middle of a dark stadium when suddenly the floodlights turned on.
And then my counsellor asked me a question that quite possibly changed my life.
Is there a possibility that this moment from my past and the stuff it created could have played a part in my porn addiction? That perhaps my longing for acceptance was misplaced somewhere that I thought would always accept me.
It was one of those questions where we both knew the answer and I didn’t really need to say anything.
It was like finally the moment I should have experienced when I was eleven had arrived. A moment I had literally waited my whole life for.
God showed up in that moment. God revealed Himself to me in a way he has been doing my whole life but now was I just seeing it clearly. When I think about that moment now I don’t feel sad. I feel encouraged and I feel hope because I am not rejected.
And neither are you.
What is the point of my story?
I think God will reveal that more and more as I deal with it.
But central to it is the simple truth that I do have a father. That I am loved. That there is only one place that I should put my trust and faith for my value in. That being rejected as an eleven year old was to do with my friends uneasiness and nothing to do with me.
And that all those years ago when I felt alone, was actually the one moment where I couldn’t have been less alone.
Time to race now I think.
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