What a meeting
I just got home from speaking with my old pastor. He and his wife are moving to South Africa in 6 weeks for missionary work. They sold their house and GAVE AWAY their possessions.
“I haven’t had a salary here since before Christmas. God has provided for is time after time.”
That’s incredibly cool.
We sat down on a hallway couch immediately after church. People were filing by and chatting. We exchanged minimal pleasantries and he took control of the conversation.
“Knowing what I know of you and how you work and think, you need community. Without trying to go to far here, I think you are looking for God to dismiss or abandon you so you can write Him off so you can claim you tried and just do your own thing.”
The man came out of the gates swinging. Hard. It’s exactly what I needed.
“You need community. We looked at doing Celebrate Recovery years ago, but we were already doing all of those things in our life groups.
I encourage you to go to our Sunday evening service, it’s very intimate. There’s a small crowd and we talk and exchange ideas.
I also encourage you to go to one of these life groups. Wednesday at 7, Friday at 6.”
Fast paced and full of a lot I’m leaving out.
“I’m not trying to sell our church. I’m moving in a few weeks. The only thing I get out of it is knowing I put you on the right road.
Can you get better somewhere else? Probably. But I know the power of Hod that has been moving in these groups. I watched as miracles took place. I had to get out of the way in fear of screwing it up.”
Then he pointed to a lady I was familiar with from when I used to go there.
“That lady there was a whore. She used drugs and frequently had the police looking for her here. She kept coming and we kept living on her. Now look at her.”
I remembered her. Rough is a very nice description of her former self. She was wearing really nice clothes, had a good looking family on her arm and spoke like a normal person. EVERYTHING about her had changed.
He spoke to being in similar circumstances.
“I was desperate to be freed. I did everything I could. I even tried to go with it and descend into depravity. God wouldn’t allow it.
There comes a time, and after speaking with you last night, I believe you’ve arrived, that there is nothing more that man can do will work anymore. You can only be delivered by God.”
:::tears began during that sentence:::
“God, and only God, can heal you and your family. At this point, if you run anymore, you will lose everything.”
::tears turn to sobs::
“God wants to heal you. He loves you. He shares your pain and your agony and it hurts Him just as much as it hurts you. He wants to work with you. He wants to love on you. You are going to have to allow Him to do it though.”
At this point I was in full boohoo mode. Huge tears, weird sounds and snot bubbles. The whole thing.
“Your wife knows you want to be free. She doesn’t know why you’re addicted and will never be able to comprehend it. But she does know you want freedom.”
“To heal your marriage, you have to allow God to work on you. She doesn’t want sex. She doesn’t want closeness. She doesn’t want anything to do with you now. But when a you allow Hod to work on you and let Him make the changes, she will be instantly attracted to you. And it’s not you she’s attracted to. It’s The Father that she desires. He will bring the two of you together but you have to let Him do it.”
::snot runs down face::
“As for dealing with your wife, shut the hell up. She’s heard your promises a hundred times. She knows they’re no good. She knows you want freedom, but your actions will show her your progress. One day, she’ll start noticing things. You won’t even notice that she noticed. Pretty soon she’s noticing bigger and bigger changes. She wants to be with you again. Just shut up and let it happen.”
The interesting thing, he doesn’t know details other than my specific story. I told him the gross and disgusting things. He didn’t know of my apparent mandate to fix everything.
This was the most productive thing I’ve experienced with my recovery do far.
Will I continue celebrate recovery? Some, only when it doesn’t interfere with the life groups.
That was the most productive 45 minutes I’ve ever spent.