As you may not know, I have been in sexual bondage for nearly 2 decades. The wounds are clear, and the binge/purge cycle even clearer over the years. I have tried (and failed) at conquering the battle for my soul time and time again. In person support group meetings (SLAA), speaking to friends I grew up with, connecting with people at the local church who also struggled, individual and marriage counseling, etc. All had short term, positive benefits in some way,shape or form, gaining me several months to up to 2 years of sobriety. But that’s just it…it gained me sobriety, to me which is such a restrictive-sounding concept. Keeping myself sober from something means that my mission was “abstaining” or “restricting” myself, which is all well and good and I didn’t look at porn for a long while, but at the end of the day, the mission was wrong. I was attending the local in person meeting, (even did a 90 meetings in 90 days) and it was all just checking a box – no real connection to my heart, my deeper being, my faith. Meetings went from every day for 90 days, to multiple times a week, to twice a week, to once a week, to every other week. You get the picture. My guard rails were single threaded, and once that single thread of ‘support’ was broken, it was only a matter of time before restricting myself, white knuckling through stress and pain from my wounds, would hurl me back into that never-ending cycle of sexual bondage.
But doesn’t God call me to “renew my mind and be transformed” (Romans 12:2)?
I genuinely cannot express my gratitude enough when I found the Restored Warrior christian brotherhood. I literally went from zero accountability, zero christian men who could empathize, share, connect and build up…to having 5 teammates who have my back around the clock. And I know it’s only been a few weeks, but I know that these guys are not just in this to beat sexual impurity for their own selves and their wives/children. This group is heaven-bent on destroying the enemy. This group wants to be not just followers but leaders of revival in the broken Christian churches and communities.
I also can’t share enough the intangible of having real people who care about me constantly checking in, calling, texting and sharing inspiration. It’s not just the phone call for 2 minutes asking “the question nobody wants to answer”. Replacing the negative, inappropriate content with the positive, uplifting, encouraging and humorous calls and messages is a God-send. I am the recipient of ‘random acts of caring’ all day long. Guys who listened to me bare my heart via Zoom (not to mention had such grace and acceptance that softened me to be vulnerable in the first place) has made my walk with God stronger and is beginning to help me mend my marriage. But I am already excited about beyond this team! The best weapon against this epidemic is herd immunity! How can I find the friends, family members and people of my community who have been suffering and bound by this, and pick them up, patch them up, and make them strong beyond belief? Man, I am really, genuinely, looking forward to this journey.
I’ll finish with this. Week 1 zoom meeting/intros. I smiled and was kind and polite, but my heart was hardened with pride. “Whoa, certainly think I am in a better spot than this guy…” was the thought stream, I hate to admit. But I have to.
Week 5, I am looking at these guys on the Zoom meeting, listening to the conversation, and I’m thinking “I am humbled to be on this team of all-star guys who are laser focused on spiritual transformation. I look at each one of them as the all-star of the team, who is incredible even with their ‘injury’ of sexual bondage. And it made me smile, and think “wow, team evil is in serious trouble because these guys have the stuff and are well on their way to coming back from their injury stronger than ever.”