thisisalexThe truth? The truth is, I’ve kept secrets and have deliberately crafted people’s view of me so that I could preserve my image. Preserve the image of being a great Christian meanwhile shoving any of the real junk of my life into a corner to deal with. Privately. Except, I wasn’t dealing with it, and even though I believe I didn’t need to share with the entire world what was happening in my life, I wasn’t even being honest with my closest friends. But that’s easy to justify; they didn’t specifically ask, so I didn’t need to explicitly confess. Right?

It was bad. I didn’t know the abuse from my childhood or the lack of an emotionally open family would set me up for some failures I couldn’t have begun putting together all on my own. My family moved to Canada when I was just about to go into grade three, and I didn’t speak a lick of English. I didn’t learn it quickly either, and felt the sting of failure when my father hit me after the teacher called to tell my parents of what I couldn’t do two and a half years later. I’d learned then how little I belonged. I didn’t fit in this place, and obviously didn’t make the cut for love in my family. Obedience would become so important I’d suppress all I’d felt to get in the good books of my father. I began to fantasize, leaving my realities to void the pain it was bringing me. I don’t remember a lot of my childhood, but I’m fully aware now just how much those little situations became huge building blocks for living in denial. Fear and shame mixed a poison so powerful I’d begun to deny where my life was at, and replaced humility of humanness with the false sense of protection pride tends to bring.

So pride became an enemy disguised in the clothing of a close friend, and I grew to know him deeply. Those real friends whom I’d have travelled long distances just to be close to now took the back burner. Being an architect for clients in wealthy places, I’d begun to let the finer things they drooled for take desire in my heart too. Secretly, I’d started wanting some of those things, the beautiful women, and the life they were asking me to be part of building for them too. Where I used to crave life full and simply, I’d allowed the approval of others and definition of material happiness sink place in my heart. My struggles, which eventually turned into a full on addiction to porn, started when I was fourteen. Though I’d found some freedom in my early twenties from this, so much of my life was unknowingly bound up in the destruction pornography brings. I wasn’t a workaholic, but yes, worked enough for my friends to label me one. And though I thought I’d just had an appreciation for the sleek black BMW I’d owned, pride grew something fierce as people complimented it. As though perhaps they were complimenting me…

Of course when I read that blog about living a life full of the stuff that will matter at the end of my life, I found myself just angry. Was that writer speaking directly to me? If so, why didn’t she just go ahead and say my name? I could justify all this pointless living I’d grown accustomed to because I know how much I care about people. But the truth is that I’ve hidden from people and wavered to commitments for several years. Concealing my hearts true position for so long was getting to me; I couldn’t keep doing this. Going to bed lonely, anxious and afraid was tearing me apart from the inside. I needed help, but I’d left all my friends for the lies. And I’d always see counselors as crutches for the incredibly broken… but maybe it was time I realized I was that person. Maybe I needed to face the truth; I was incredibly broken.

For two years, I sat in that chair and God revealed to me the wayward in my ways. The insecurities I fed with porn and peoples approval, the unmet needs I tried to fill with my addictions, and all those broken places I needed to fill could only be filled by Christ. It was the turning point I’d really been craving. And praise God… I have found true life in Him again.

And that life I found in Him brought freedom so strong I couldn’t help but leave the porn behind. I’ve been free for a year and a half- praising God for the light He shed in my heart about the defiling truth of pornography. And yes, I sold the BMW. Not because I had to, but because I knew it was becoming a hinderance for me personally walking full of life in Christ.

I’d kept secrets and deliberately crafted people’s view of me to find myself lonely in a world of extreme pain and unforgiving addiction. But the truth? The truth is that no one is beyond the simple, incredibly freeing life Christ planned, and continues to hope for our full life. Not even me.