“When I heard the news of you and your family back in April 2013, I was shocked of course, but the first thing that came out of my mouth was, ‘Man, I hope they can share their restorative journey with us and give us insight and tools into what led to this so that we can learn and avoid these mistakes ourselves.’
I said that because I am a new pastor myself with a small home church, and us Next-gen folks have seen heartbreak in leadership all around us, yet we never are invited in to see God's redeeming work and the truth about what we hide that causes us to fall in the first place. People, instead, want to distance themselves from trouble and forget about what has gone down. I'm saying, let's talk about it and learn all we can from it, if at all possible.
I've said all of that to say this: I am so proud of what you guys are doing, sharing your honest journey with us. Please be as raw and honest as you can, as insightful as possible - you will help save countless lives, marriages, and ministries if you do."
The message above is just one of the countless responses we’ve received regarding our life story. It is glaringly obvious that there is a great desire for open and honest dialog in relation to the issues we are willing to tackle. Have you ever felt that way before? You hear a story of failure or the fragility of the human condition and long to see redemption of the broken pieces? Are you going through a difficult season right now, and feel as if you are all alone with no hope? The questions have endless potential, yet the prescription begins and ends with truth and vulnerability.
It’s really hard to describe how asphyxiating life lived in darkness can be, unless of course you have been there. This darkness can be brought on by our own choices or thrust upon us by difficult circumstances that we find ourselves within. Through our healing journey, individually, and as a married couple, we found ourselves in either of those dark scenarios at one time or another. We dug deep into the origins of the pain that drove our behavior, and prayed hard to embrace the new life and light God had for us on the other side of the tunnel. The turning point each and every time was simply…truth. Truth that came not only from repenting of our sins and struggles, but also by intentionally replacing the lies that had become our false DNA with the Word of God.
We live in a society where truth is either relative or optional. Neither however, speaks of the transforming potential found in Christ, and yet so many of us who call upon His name are ok living in that stifling place of conformity. The reasons people reside there is innumerable, but the outcome is always the same—spiritual, emotional, and even physical devastation; not only personally, but other precious people are affected as well. We found out very early on in our healing and restoration process that truth was not only the beginning of freedom’s work, but the vehicle for ongoing healthy living. It’s the hard road, but the only one worth traveling.
We realize that there are readers who are presently caught in that asphyxiating place of darkness and feel like there are no options. Please hear our heart when we admonish that there is freedom for you and others, and it begins with truth and vulnerability. It is a real and tangible fact that we as humans are wounded in community, but we are also healed and restored in community as well. Be encouraged! There is a light at the end of the tunnel, and It comes down to making the hard but life changing choice, and truth is the key. We speak this passionately because we have not always done it right in the past, but we have seen the power of God at work in our life when His love and truth reign supreme, and it is indescribable! Take that first step of living a life of truth and transparency in healthy community around you…the outcome is illuminating!!