A Naked Confession: I Have a Problem With Lady Liquor (A Guest Post By Seth Haines)


Today’s guest post is brought to you by Seth Haines. I first came across Seth’s blog while following the story of his son Titus. Seth is a true gentleman, a deep writer, and the kind of Christian I hope to be someday. After reading this guest post by him, head over to his blog and check out some of his other poignant writing.

Welcome to a naked moment.

Today, I reckon it’s time to let you in on a little secret, and I won’t talk much about it again for a while. I hope you’re okay with that. We’ll call this a hit-and-run confession. I reckon I should tell you to “listen up,” or “pay attention,” but since this is a place of semi-permanence, I’ll just come on out with it.

I have a problem with lady liquor.

I reckon I could spin the whole story for you; I could tell you the moment when my drinking went from something resembling social to something resembling moronic. I could tell you about a sick child, or the pressures at work, or the burnout of living a typical American life, or the plaguing doubt that nags, that makes me feel like the finest of Christian frauds. The precise excuse for my over-indulging ways, though, isn’t really the point—not for this particular piece, anyway. The point is this—I’m not so much different than some of you.

Am I?

Do you know this pain? Perhaps you’ve been stung by loss of the runaway father, the dead mother.  Maybe you’ve felt abused by the church, or otherwise accused by it. Maybe the Christian clique had at you. Perhaps you’re friends turned tail. Maybe you’ve been singled out for your sinner’s ways. Maybe you’ve been abused, raped, or murdered in some small way (there are a million ways to die alive, you see).

In any event, I don’t suppose I’m special among you. I reckon there are more than a handful here that sing the hymns of the risen Christ on Sunday morning and drink, or eat, or spend, or puke, or sex, or systematically theologize their way into the icy numb during the rest of the week. It’s such a convenient escape from dealing with the underlying pain, such an awful comfort. Isn’t it?

I had a therapist once ask me why I ran to the bottle. He asked what I heard in the quiet moments. I told him that I heard the accusers, the accusations from all the perceived injustices. They were in the cave of the soul, he said. I know he is right.

Sit for a moment in the silence. Listen. Do you hear them, too? Are the accusers in the cave of your soul? Do you deal with their voices, or do you avoid them? Do you confess it to your husband, your wife, your friend, your therapist? Or instead, do you shrink deeper into your most favored coping mechanisms?

Don’t make a deal. Nothing to see here. No eyes on me.

Shrink violet, shrink.

Perhaps this post is all too much for you. After all, don’t we all feel alone in our out-of-placedness? Yes, maybe some of you were quite comfortable in it, and then, along comes this stranger here at Mr. Smucker’s place, and he’s confessing the same things I’ve felt for years.  I’m here to tell you, you can hide behind your vices, pretend that I don’t see, but my vision is x-ray. I see through the drinking, the affair, the over-systematized theologies. I know that the thing, the addiction, is not really the thing at all. I know the addiction is a just a coverup, a ruse to hide the pain. And if you strip those ruses away, what comes screaming to the surface?

That’s right. The pain.

Ask yourself, in moments of clarity, of stone-cold sobriety, do you ask whether Jesus is a figment of your imagination, whether God is real? Do you have fond dreams of dying–not suicide–but of dying? Do you see the prospect of death as release?  Do you lust after money and power so much, that you poor yourself down and skinny yourself up to try and assuage that guilt? Do you have so much money and power that it scares you, that you wonder whether you are the rich man who’ll sooner be screwed than enter the eye of the needle? Perhaps you love your spouse, perhaps you don’t, but do you know whether God loves you? Do you know whether he likes you? Do you wonder whether God will ever speak again, and whether he ever spoke in the first place? Do you wonder whether it’s just your noggin talking to you? Do you hear your accusers casting aspersions, telling you that you’re unloved, unworthy, a thing to be discarded?

I know that the pain makes you ask these questions. How do I know this? Because you are my brothers and sisters. Because I’ve heard these accusations. I’ve lived with them, and by-God, I’ll live with them again unless a better way finds me.

See, the truth is, you can see through me, too. Your vision is x-ray if you let it be.

It’s been decided for me—I’m moving from a place of addiction to freedom. How you ask? I’m not running from the pain anymore. Instead, I’m sitting in it, I’m asking how it feels, and whether it’s true. The process hurts, there is no doubt, and I know I’m not finished just yet. The voices in my soul-cave are myriad, and the guano in here is hip deep. But if I sit with the accusers long enough, if I ponder the lost father, or mother, or the haunting injustices, if I still my soul, if I pray that simple prayer, “Lord Jesus Christ, son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner,” something magical happens.



I hear the echo of something still and small. It tells me that no matter the pain, no matter the doubt, no matter the addiction, “I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matt. 28:20)

This is my naked confession.

Please take a moment and check out Seth’s blog.

104 Replies to “A Naked Confession: I Have a Problem With Lady Liquor (A Guest Post By Seth Haines)”

  1. Seth,

    Do you ever wonder if you’ve been trusted with this particular pain to steward its story from the bottom of the cup? To have lived it on the inside so you can tell it to the outside, to give voice or identification to those who don’t know what to do with their own addictions?

    Two of the most powerful words I know are “me, too”, they’re a glue that draws people together….no matter the flavor of the addiction.

    1. “Me too…” Yeah.

      I think there is such community in “me too,” but how often are we ashamed to admit it. How often do we think we are the only ones, especially those of us who are accomplished gamers, if you know what I mean.

      Me too… come on collective and say it… me too.

      Thank you Robin. You are a good egg.

  2. thank you for your courage
    to stand in the fire
    and not run anymore
    the novel God had me pen
    is about those voices
    the ones that scream far too loud
    and only tell lies
    haven’t met a soul yet
    who doesn’t hear them

    I pray for you
    His voice rings clearer

    1. I haven’t met a soul yet who doesn’t hear them either… but I’ve met many (including myself) who pretend that they don’t. Oi… it’s a trap.

  3. “there are a million ways to die alive, you see” i am familiar with a few and they are leading me home. everything i once shamed myself for and fought against is leading me home.

    1. Isn’t that ironic? Isn’t it nuts how our messy canvases serve a purpose. I learn a lot from you, Mandy.You are a living secret message.

  4. Love you brother…you are brave and courageous…maybe the bravest and most courageous I know.

  5. I get to see the hard work of it, how your family goes with you into the pain, and how that is best, after all.

    I hear that preacher in you come out. Sometimes I wonder if he’s not half who you were trying to hide.

    I fell in love with all of you, especially this naked you.

  6. This had the feeling of a quiet conversation between old friends. Thank you for inviting us in – both to the part where the pain comes “screaming to the surface” (which could not have been said better, I might add) AND to the part where you learn that avoiding legitimate suffering is what shuts freedom in a cage – you, choosing to sit with Sister Pain, instead.

    Honest and naked don’t have to mean weak, friend. This is very, very strong.

    1. Sometimes it’s hard to believe that honest and naked don’t mean week. I know it’s right, but our examples in the church? Where are they? Yes, yes… I know they are there. But one shouldn’t have to look so hard. You know?

      1. I know exactly.

        But maybe I find my church with Teddy Roosevelt (and Brene Brown and so many others) in this:

        “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again … who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly … ”

        Peace to you, Seth.

  7. The magic? There is also some of that when we begin to share, write our stories, and expose the dark. So this may be a hit-and-run, but the magic will find you, and the magic will continue to work in others long after you’ve written this. Thank you for that.

  8. To just sit and feel our feelings. Rather than outrun. This is the most brave kind of ordinary. It’s so hard. It is so brave. You and Amber are my kind of brave, Seth.

  9. Seth and Amber
    My husband celebrated 7 years of continuous sobriety in October of 2013! The road is long to finding yourself in the throws of addiction and it is a long journey out as well…but God meets you there. Both of you and while you may not walk away unchanged, unmarked…you will walk away with a deeper love and understanding of God’s grace….so much so that today I can say the struggle, the pain and heartache was worth it. We are both better people because of it. Praying for you both and so proud of your courage!!!

  10. It is amazing how simple honesty is remarkably powerful and poignant. I am proud of your steadfastness and courage.

    Don’t forget that your honesty helps others become a little healthier. Or at least a little less sick.

  11. You’re telling a tale that most of is know, but swallow. You’re walking a path that scares the lights out of ordinary. You’re being strong but not alone. I can only wonder at my own family’s walk in that similar vein. More than anything, I want to say there are hard days ahead, and no matter what, NO MATTER WHAT, there is always grace. Keep going.

    1. Grace is about the only thing that keeps it going. You know? I wonder if it’s not time for more of us to stop swallowing so many secrets. I think we’ve been taught that addiction is a sign of weakness, or sickness, and maybe that is good. Good? Yup… I heard a teacher say once that it’s not the healthy that need a doctor.

      Anyway, thank you for your words. I’m keep walking through the hard days.

  12. I am bawling over that last line. “I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” He is our deepest longing, and this is our deepest fear, that we can drive Him from us, that our pain somehow means He isn’t with us.

  13. Seth,

    THIS is good writing. Also, it’s a fresh breath of air to hear someone talk about their x-ray vision and face the otherwise underlying pain the moment it happens. So refreshing. It reminds me of the movie “Anger Management”. In the movie, Jack Nicholson teaches Adam Sandler how to be angry in the moment instead of bottling it up and reacting in other ways.

    “guano in here is hip deep” Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!

  14. Hearing your words, now through Auden’s…

    “All I have is a voice
    to undo the folded lie,
    the romantic lie in the brain
    of the sensual man-in-the-street
    and the lie of Authority
    whose buildings grope the sky:
    There is no such thing as the State
    and no one exists alone;
    Hunger allows no choice
    to the citizen or the police;
    We must love one another or die.”

    I love you, friend. Keep undoing it.

    1. Kreider!

      There you are! I was actually thinking about you just the other day, wondering where you might of skirted off too. They have the internet in the great white north, right?

      Kidding aside, thanks for these words. They’re good and just want I needed. Leave it to a poet to speak to another in verse. You made my night.

    2. Dang Kreider… I just keep coming back to this poem. I want to tattoo it on my arm, or maybe my brain.

  15. Tears. This is so beautiful. Thank you so much for your honesty and courage. We are all just walking wounded – I see that more and more, as I grow older and fight my own demons and come alongside those who are fighting theirs. Thank God that He carries us and never, never gives up on us. I have been praying for Titus and your family, and I will pray for you in this journey, too.

    1. Thank you for the prayers for my boy and my family. I so appreciate it.

      As for walking wounded, yes. The older I get, the more I see it, too.

  16. Wow. God sure works in wondrous way to bring me here today. It is darn scary to get naked and tell the truth. I ran and numbed my pain with drugs from an early age and it didn’t matter what it was as long as it kept the pain at bay and quieted the demons that lived inside of me. I found freedom from drugs in my early 20’s and it has been one hell of a journey. My relating to addiction is really not why I am responding to your words. You see, I keep a dirty little secret. And just this week I am getting honest and seeing that this secret is killing me. The secret is that my husband is a functional alcoholic. He drinks every day and when he doesn’t he is miserable as hell. He isn’t mean to me and he holds a job that he goes to every day. He functions well in society. In a lot of ways he is a good husband and father. But in a lot of ways he is so disconnected from me and our little’s. He comes home from work and starts drinking and drinks until he falls asleep. He is disconnected and shut off. I know there is a reason he drinks like this and I’ve asked him. He answers me with silence. I have confronted him and time and again and he admits that he has a problem and that he is hurting me. In his attempt to correct it he will abstain from drinking for a day or a couple of days during which time he is so miserable and even more cut off and disconnected and short with me and our little’s. The thing is he is still functioning for the most part, quite well. When I was in the middle of my addiction I did not function well. I was a big fat mess and it was very obvious to everyone, including myself that I had a major problem.

    On Monday of this week I talked with him again. I’ve asked him to get help. I’ve asked him if he is unhappy in his life with me. We are raising his daughters 2 children and have had them since they were both babies and we are in this for the long haul. I’ve asked him if he wants to continue this task of being a daddy again. Of course he say’s he is happy with me and that he wants to be a daddy to our little’s but I wonder if he is lying and I wonder what pain he is keeping quiet????? I’ve told him that I cannot be the one that helps him. I will love and support, encourage and stand by him but I can’t be the only one. He leans so much on me for everything. He really doesn’t have friends. Always been kind of a loner. He depends on me to carry the burden of most of the care of our littles that are now 8 & 7 even though he has come along way on this journey. So I really don’t know what to do for him at this point. I know I cannot make him stop drinking which is why I have never nagged him about it. I rarely if ever have a drink because it not only doesn’t do much for me, I hate it because of what it is doing to him. He’s not a mean drunk but he is so emotionally void and disconnected that it is hard to get anything out of him. He say’s he wants “us”. So the last 3 nights he has not drank that I know of and he’s crabby and still disconnected. He looks miserable. By not drinking he is giving me what I want but I know all too well that it’s not the drinking, it’s what is underneath it. I know it’s only a matter of time before he is back drinking. He will think I have forgotten our talk and that will once again slip back to where it was, just like all the other times. I am finding myself holding my breath waiting for this to happen. It breaks my heart to see him so miserable that I want to tell him to just drink.

    So how does someone functioning like him in addiction stop? When consequences for my addiction to drugs were so big and far extending it almost seems easier to stop and get help. How does someone who seems to function so well get help??? And how does he really see that this is ruining our marriage and our life as a family????

    1. Lori – I am so sorry for this pain in you, and in him. You are right – you cannot ‘make’ him stop drinking. And it may well be that he cannot make himself stop, either. Have you ever gone to AlAnon for yourself? We have a group that meets weekly at our church and it is a lifeline to those who are living with loved ones in the midst of unresolved addiction. He will need help, too. But maybe you need it first.

    2. Lori,

      First, I was a high-functioning addict (probably until the end, and by that I mean the last 2-3 weeks). I never beat Amber or the kids; I didn’t lose my job; I didn’t get a DWI (by God’s providence, only). That being said, I was in such a bad spot. I tried to quit a few times and only made it a couple of days and then it was too much, so I was back at it.

      All that to say, I think I know where your husband is.

      Honestly, Amber tried talking to me about it and I blew her off. It took a real wake-up call in the form of a friend who had the courage to look me in the eye and say, “you know you have a problem, right?” It was a very mystical experience for me, and that’s the word I needed.

      All that to say, I think Diana is right. I’m not sure what you can say, but you can go to meetings yourself and understand the addiction better. You can listen to stories about underlying pain, and love your husband well, knowing that the alcohol isn’t really the thing. You can pray, and surround yourself with people who pray, and counsel your children to be patient and love your husband well.

      Let me also say this: if you husband is telling you he wants to be with you and the kids, he’s not lying. I promise. He’s just got some stuff (i.e., pain) to work through first.

      Be patient and graceful. And yup… I’ll throw some petitions to the air myself.


    3. Hi Lori,
      My husband was a Christian, functioning pill addict in ministry for almost 15 years before he lost everything but his family. He relapsed over and over again. I write about our journey at http://www.enduringandafter.com. It’s hard for someone who is able to function through their addiction to hit a point of desperation and begin the recovery process. Never stop praying. Only God can get his heart.

  17. Inked with such beauty.
    Words that resonate deeply with our own hearts and with dozens who surround us in our many circles.
    The road out: protected professional support, new emotional learning, internal WORK,prayer, scripture’s promises, compassionate loved ones, internal WORK, prayer… repeat. Seek the LIGHT of God, and stand strong.

    1. The new emotional learning and internal WORK *is so hard* but it’s also so very good. You know?

      I have a friend who said, “sometimes miracles look like showing up for work.” I think she’s so spot on.

  18. Whoa, Seth, just–*thank you* for being honest. You cannot know how many you will touch through this moment of bare-nakedness. Because we are all fallen when all is stripped away, yes? And you can.not.know. how I needed this today. Today. It was for me–I *know* this pain. And–I nod yes, the whole way through. Yes, I wonder if He’s real, yes, I sit with the voices, I hear them too. Yes, there is pain so real and so overwhelming, I wonder if it will take me down and out. This kind of bravery, friend, it quietly reverberates Jesus. You say shrink, violet, shrink, but oh, I see a soul shining Jesus. Thank you for this.

    1. Thank you, Nacole. I so hope you listen to those voices and then ride them down to the death. It’s brutal work to kill those voices, but it’s the only way I’m finding freedom.

  19. Seth, your honesty and vulnerability brought to my mind the picture of the woman caught in adultery in the Bible. Jesus was standing WITH her. Her accusers were all around her. If I close my eyes, I can hear the accusing voices, hissing and spitting and casting venomous words…because we’ve ALL been in that place. The place that makes us small because of our own sin; and the pain grows exponentially greater until it threatens to kill us. Jesus is with you. He cares, and I can see him, just as he did with that unnamed woman so long ago…he is picking you up off the ground, wiping the tears and dust and fear from your face. He is shielding you from the enemy and anyone who would stand in accusation and looking directly into your eyes. Do you see the love? Do you see his concern? Do you see his mercy? Oh how he loves us. How he loves you. Trust his protection and mercy and love. Trust him in your journey of healing.

  20. Encouraged by these words, Seth. And the sentiment behind them – grace and truth. The pain is the same, we all hide it differently. I’m thankful God is prompting so many to speak these truths and squint and struggle and walk into the light. Praying for your journey.

  21. An old chorus that I belt out when the lies come bombarding …

    “I hear the accuser roar the ills that I have done.
    I know them well and a thousand more.
    Jehovah findeth none. He findeth none. He findeth none.
    I’ve been washed in the blood of His Son.”

    Not a fix but it does help me to hear truth.

  22. It seems so obvious, now that you’ve said it, but I’ve never thought of sobriety as a conscious choice to sit in the pain awhile, to let it marinate and really feel it – every inch. When you put it that way – and I think that’s exactly the way to put it – we are all that addict who’s running away. I think it’s time to sit awhile.

    GAH. I almost regret reading this, Seth. Not because I don’t want to know this about you but because I don’t want to know it about me. Thank you. Curses! But, seriously, thank you.

    1. “When you put it that way – and I think that’s exactly the way to put it – we are all that addict who’s running away.”

      That’s it exactly. And thank you for regretting reading this. I think that’s a good sign. :)

  23. I told Amber – as a daughter who desperately wishes her dad had dared to ask himself those questions years ago, but instead allowed the escape to kill his wife and children while they were yet alive – I am so, so proud of you. And if I may be so bold, thank you on behalf of your sons, who by God’s grace will never know what they are missing.

  24. Yes… before revival comes repentance, confession. Jesus is bringing life in you and through you, Seth. Thank you for having the boldness to speak these words of truth, because they call all of us deeper — to face the pain. I spent the past year in depression, and hated how numb I felt. Now, I’m embracing the thinking and the pain and the joy. Sometimes I run to beer or television or sleep to hide from it all… but I want to embrace this abundant life.

  25. It is NEVER too late – as long as you are alive !! There must come a time when you find yourself able to renounce liquor in any form and turn to Jesus who can remove even the desire!
    Get into a good Bible believing church group and into a recovery group. You can make it!!!

  26. Seth, thanks for writing this out for the rest of us. I’m leaning into those silent places lately, too. Praying for grace to be still there. Grateful for your words here.

  27. You know I love this. And you. Thank you for writing real, for asking those hard questions, unafraid (mostly), and for choosing to walk out of the numbness and right smack into the pain. There are times when pain is cleansing. This is such a time, my brother. Praying for you, believing for you and in you.

  28. Someone confessed something to me privately, and I told this person, “God’s Spirit is so obviously at work to bring you here to speak these things aloud and stop holding them in the dark, quiet, secretive place. You’re looking for help and forgiveness. God loves you to pull us together in this moment, to be here, listening, speaking words of forgiveness, and helping you.” We read 1 John 1:9 together. This person seemed to almost fall back into that truth, that reality, relieved.

    God is at work in you, Seth. Thank you for writing these words.

  29. The part about the x-ray vision and seeing through the whatever to the pain underneath. That. Until my husband and I walked through infidelity and sexual addiction, we were blind. And while there are days that I hate those storylines in our life, without them I would lack compassion and grace. Sometimes I still forget … thank you for speaking this.

    1. You know, Lisa, I think we *all* have those storylines (or similar ones). Some just forget, or conveniently hide them. Glad you have found compassion and grace through them.


  30. You are brave, The last paragraph I have read three times. Just soaking in all that you are saying. “I’m not running from the pain anymore. Instead, I’m sitting in it, I’m asking how it feels, and whether it’s true.”

    Yes, friend, Yes! You will walk in the pain, and in the new life. But you will make it! All new life begins with a certain amount of pain.

    1. Diane, I know this is true, and I”m still learning how to do it. Sitting isn’t easy for me; sitting in the pain is especially not easy for me. But it brings a measure of mindful clarity. I’m thankful for the therapist who’s taken the time to lead me to this water.

  31. Just tremendous. And here’s the thing, if you’re real and frank and transparent and such, you’ve got limited patience with fluff and posturing and beating-about-the-proverbial-bushes. Well, at least I do, and I find it hard to keep up the all-is-swell banter in the church lobby.

    In our adult Sunday school class I feel like an epic Debbie Downer though I’m quite a joyful person. But, see, we go around the room telling how we’re doing, how our week was, etc. and more often than not everyone is “fine” and then they list some cheerful anecdote or lament (or boast of?) their busyness. Then it gets to me. The troublesome missionary. “I’m depressed and need prayer. We can’t pay our bills. My faith feels shaky”.

    I raise a glass of water to you with a prayer that Christ fill you with peace while you sit with your pain.

    1. Man… ain’t that this the God’s truth: “if you’re real and frank and transparent and such, you’ve got limited patience with fluff and posturing and beating-about-the-proverbial-bushes.”

      The all is swell banter has to give way to the real banter if we’re gonna find that narrow road. And I’m just still searching. And prayers for your missionary ways. Amber and I know how difficult that can be.

      Thanks for raising the glass of water… I see you… and raise one back.

  32. Amber must be beyond proud of you. Brave & honest are some mighty fine traits. God bless you & your sweet family, you & Amber are an example to many & a breath of God-honest air. All God’s children are strengthen by truth.

  33. I sat here for a long time thinking about what I wanted to say.

    I feel like I’m on holy ground, after all. Your soul laid bare before God and everybody. My shoes are off.

    Thank you for being brave enough to be real in this space. I am so proud of you. For shucking the insanity that comes when we think we have to act like everything’s already redeemed. (It’s not you know. Like thorns in our sides, some things are never redeemed this side of glory.)

    You’ve given the gift of “not alone” to so many with this post. And I want to give it back to you in this: you are not alone either.

  34. Again, you find words for nameless things. Yes, always the accusers, blaming us for our own grief.

    It wouldn’t be credible for me to try to commiserate or blow sunshine in this space, and you don’t need me to tell you anything, anyway. But I am deeply grateful for your journey, and for the ways in which it has intersected mine.

    You and yours remain in my prayers. Much peace to you.

  35. I have been rising up, moving forward, taking ground and Seth’s words… oh my!

    No, not so much different.

    So here is my naked truth.

    I fell for a girl. In a confused way. Where friendship blurred and lines started to distort. That which was never on my radar was suddenly in an orbit of grey.

    It started with a soul connection and a rapid friendship develop, a sleepover of friends in a bed for two, a look, a touch lingered and something becoming more. This not my heart but unexpectedly finding my being loved and adored by one herself crying out for love, I found myself being slowly sucked in wanting to satisfy her cry and knowing I could in that temporary way of covering over a wound.

    Grace rescued before one body was made, but walking away emotionally bound tore hard. How I found myself in that place? One who was saving my all, waiting, never even kissed a man though that is the marriage my heart has dreamed.

    It has been years since I walked away for the sake of the holy. Since she reacted devastation and extreme. Oh the shame that made me shy away from light. Shame that I fell into that hole, went where I never thought I would, finding ways within it to soothe my soul pain. Still finding now that sitting with the painful makes want of going back there in mind and body.

    Light come, shine away the dark.

    Now it is that heart and soul are brought before my God, to the Only. Heals and satisfy my heart cries.

    Yes to – “Lord Jesus Christ, son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.” And He does.

    Word out loud confession to the fellow pilgrims on the way.

    This my naked moment.

    1. Lois, these kinds of moments show dependency, don’t they? “Lord Jesus Christ, son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.” You and me both.

      I wish I knew what else to say, but keep praying that prayer. A good number of us are praying it with you.

  36. I love how you talk about sitting in the pain instead of running from it. I think in the process of facing it, freedom can be found. Seeing the same in others, having those ‘me too’ moments…we all need more of those and a safe place to find them. Knowing that Grace sits with us in the pain and brokenness, changeless in His love for us…

    Thanks for this.

  37. First of all, thank you. Second, prayers for you all. Naked is right. I wanted to offer up a “me too” and say that for as much as I can nod along and swap stories, I can even more so speak of God’s faithfulness and tender care as I have sat in my own cave and stumbled along my own path of recovery. I have often been so very afraid at how deep the pain can actually run but His love is always deeper still. There is such hope and encouragement in hearing a “me too” but I am certain, (through much trial and error), that it is the confessing that launches us toward healing. (James 5:16.)

  38. Me, too. I am now feeling real pain and peeling through the layers of residue left from the years of hiding and pushing it down. Nasty thoughts, emotions and feelings creep up and I try in the best way I know how, to deal with them. I have resolved to understand they will always be there serving as a reminder of how far I have come. Peace to you.

  39. Too much of the church is cloaked out of view, trying to give the impression of something that is unattainable. They seek to present a Nirvana of sorts that is not attainable whether by “Faking it until you make it” or by ascetic means. Our faith is centered around a confessing heart not a political figure head.

  40. Seth, I am so proud of you. Proud that you are willing to do the work here and endure the pain and catch the arrows and check them for poison before tossing them aside. It’s hard work, it’s brutal, really. But this is the path to freedom. And I know, because I too have walked it. Listen to the Spirit when the darkness falls. Let Jesus tell you who you are and who you aren’t. And then walk in faith. There’s a crowd of witnesses, cheering you on.

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