information@gracefall.org
503.464.6004

A Fallen Pastor’s Story Part 3: Fantasies & Wrestling with God

A Fallen Pastor’s Story: Part 1
A Fallen Pastor’s Story: Part 2

In the fantasy world, I created as a boy, I was a hero — even a Messiah. I was always loved because even if the love was realized because of my “heroic” death. Bridge Over the River Kwai was one of my favorite films. I became the soldier throwing himself on the grenade to save his friends. After I had died, people realized how special I was. I don’t know how many times I imagined my funeral — the tears, the love — the realization that “you don’t know what you got until it is gone…” One day people would realize what they lost. I felt missed.When I reached puberty, my fantasies shifted. I accomplished faux intimacy I never knew but for which I longed. Nearly everything became sexualized. In many of my waking dreams, beautiful women desired me. My Mrs. Robinson fantasies began in earnest. In other dreams, I punished the women who didn’t see me, or hurt me. The violence and the fury were unhinged and unnerving. In my fantasy world, I was a god. I was all that anyone ever dreamed of being – I joined the Parthenon. My fantasies gave me the strength I needed to live in a reality which continually disappointed,

When I reached puberty, my fantasies shifted. I accomplished faux intimacy I never knew but for which I longed. Nearly everything became sexualized. In many of my waking dreams, beautiful women desired me. My Mrs. Robinson fantasies began in earnest. In other dreams, I punished the women who didn’t see me, or hurt me. The violence and the fury were unhinged and unnerving. In my fantasy world, I was a god. I was all that anyone ever dreamed of being – I joined the Parthenon. My fantasies gave me the strength I needed to live in a reality which continually disappointed, shamed, and marred my soul.

As I grew into an adolescence and young adulthood, I began trying to live up to the expectations of the real world. I worked hard to achieve the promise of the blessing I believed belonged to me. I excelled in the Christian subculture in which I immersed myself and accomplished much – just like Jacob. Inside, though, I knew everything was a farce and a lie. I was just like Jacob. There is a little phrase in Genesis 32 that expresses how I felt all the time for the last five years my ministry. It says, “Jacob {was} all alone in the camp.” Other translations read, “And he was left alone.” That little phrase summarizes my story. I was cut off from the world and any authentic relationships. I was often in the middle of the party laughing and telling the jokes — entirely alone.

There is a little phrase in Genesis 32 that expresses how I felt all the time for the last five years my ministry. It says, “Jacob {was} all alone in the camp.” Other translations read, “And he was left alone.” That little phrase summarizes my story. I was cut off from the world and any authentic relationships. I was often in the middle of the party laughing andjacob wrestling telling the jokes — entirely alone. I became who I needed to be to be loved while masking the unrelenting ache in the center of my soul. I longed for connection and tried almost anything to find even a spark of life, to get an instant’s reprieve. When I found one, it was like a flashcube on a camera going off in a pitch-black room. It only served to blind and hurt me more than the darkness that continually engulfed me.

I became who I needed to be to be loved while masking the unrelenting ache in the center of my soul. I longed for connection and tried almost anything to find even a spark of life, to get an instant’s reprieve. When I found one, it was like a flashcube on a camera going off in a pitch-black room. It only served to blind and hurt me more than the darkness that continually engulfed me.It is that dark loneliness that enabled God to do his work. In the loneliness of failure and complete despair God did some of His best work. He did with Jacob, and He is with me. Jacob was at the end of himself. He’d bet his life and his gamble failed. Esau, who he had betrayed and then escaped, was coming after him with 400-armed men.

It is that dark loneliness that enabled God to do his work. In the loneliness of failure and complete despair God did some of His best work. He did with Jacob, and He is with me. Jacob was at the end of himself. He’d bet his life and his gamble failed. Esau, who he had betrayed and then escaped, was coming after him with 400-armed men. Then God entered the story in ways Jacob could no longer ignore. God came and wrestled with him all night. Just like Jacob, I wrestled with God for a lot of years. I refused to give in. I tend toward arrogance. And just like He did with Jacob; God cheated when he wrestled me. He touched Jacob’s hip putting it out of

Then God entered the story in ways Jacob could no longer ignore. God came and wrestled with him all night. Just like Jacob, I wrestled with God for a lot of years. I refused to give in. I tend toward arrogance. And just like He did with Jacob; God cheated when he wrestled me. He touched Jacob’s hip putting it out of socket. He caressed my psyche and put it out of socket. He created a situation where all that Jacob could do hold on for dear life and not let go until God blessed him. In similar fashion, he made it so all I could do was hang onto Him and keep holding onto him until he blesses me – He seems to like to do that,Designing me in such a way that I would come to the end of myself and realize my absolute need of Him, was not fun for me, but it was necessary. If I weren’t a sex addict, I would never have known my need for God. Without sex addiction, I would never have discovered the possibility of genuine connectedness. Indeed, I would never have connected to Him. My sexaholism is God’s gift to me. My job is to receive it with joy. That is a lot easier typed than accomplished.

Designing me in such a way that I would come to the end of myself and realize my absolute need of Him, was not fun for me, but it was necessary. If I weren’t a sex addict, I would never have known my need for God. Without sex addiction, I would never have discovered the possibility of genuine connectedness. Indeed, I would never have connected to Him. My sexaholism is God’s gift to me. My job is to receive it with joy. That is a lot easier typed than accomplished.

One Comment