Recovery Can Be Messy
We all have a story. For more than 20 years, I’ve been involved in recovery and helping others who are on this journey. It’s intense. It can be messy. There are times when it feels like you’re making great progress and other times when it feels paralyzing and like you’re unable to move forward. And for many of us, especially in the beginning, it can feel like a battle.
When you think about this life of recovery, the conflicts you’ve faced—some won with a great victory and some that left you face down in the mud—what does your battle look like? If you were to tell your story, what picture would it paint?
When we listen to someone’s battle story, the picture that forms in our mind tells us a lot about the struggles they’ve faced and their victories. We know it wasn’t easy. We know there were others involved in the process. And we know, even when they experienced minor setbacks, they gave 100%!
Sound familiar? It should. This is what recovery looks like.
No one ever said recovery would be easy. We all have experienced this at some level, either being the one who struggles with addictive behaviors or married to someone who struggles. So, we know, up close and personal, what these battles look like.
For so many of us, we have tried to fight this battle on our own — trying to make our life look clean and put together on the outside so others can’t see just how messy we are on the inside. It’s often during times that our addiction was at its worst, we made sure to say all the right things and look the part. But on the inside, we were a mess. We cannot fight this battle alone.
Does your battle picture show others who fought with you and for you? Were there times when they carried you through the muck of life?
You may wonder, why would we want to fight this battle with others? Pretty simple really. Here are three reasons to keep in mind.
What to Know About Sex Addiction Recovery
1. We Need Others
There is just no way we can do this on our own. This battle is too hard and there are too many obstacles that we cannot defeat on our own. Sexual temptation is coming at us from every direction. And, just when we think we are making traction in the right direction, the enemy starts calling an audible (changing the play). If we are not careful and cannot see the enemy’s schemes, he may call an audible that will totally set us back.
It is very important to lean on others who have gone before you in this battle and can see the enemy’s misdirections. People who are battle-tested, so to speak. People who have beautiful battle scars.
2. There is Power in Numbers
Matthew 18:20 says: For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.
The Bible clearly states that there is power in numbers. We need the support of others throughout this journey. At times, it might get ugly. We might become exhausted and feel like we can’t keep going. I’ve had the privilege of walking alongside and helping guys find freedom. In the same way, there are guys who have supported and carried me through some pretty messy times.
Don’t underestimate the power of your group. A group that runs like a well-oiled machine is strong, dynamic, and influential! God has put you in your group for a reason. Your group is a Band of Brothers (or a Band of Sisters) who can facilitate what we all thought was impossible.
3. Showing Your Scars Makes a Difference
Our scars do not define us. If anything, our scars show just how powerful we are. The trauma, abuse, and pain that we’ve experienced are a part of our story. Our scars are evidence of where we came from; not where we are going. Sometimes, it’s our scars that can make a difference in the lives of others. It can be a symbol of hope to those who are just starting their healing journey.
I can imagine that one day, when I meet God, he will say to me, “Your scars are beautiful.” They definitely got me where I am today. I get emotional just thinking about it. Our scars are beautiful in the eyes of God.
As we continue to live out our healing and help others find freedom, remember, don’t be afraid to show your scars. You may not see it or feel it now, but your scars are powerful.
But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds, we are healed. Isaiah 53:5
I had no intention of writing this today but after a pretty emotional weekend—losing a friend who died in his sleep and dealing with the failed suicide attempt of a guy in my group—I sat down and wrote this.
Although I had tears in my eyes while I was typing, it helped me process my thoughts and how I was feeling. It also helped me recognize exactly how far I have come in my own healing.
If you are struggling with unwanted sexual behaviors and want to find freedom, reach out. Connect with us at Pure Desire. Don’t wait. The battle you’re fighting is not going to be easy but together, we can have victory!
About the Author...
Rich Moore is the International Men's Groups Coordinator (IGC) for Pure Desire. He has been involved with Pure Desire for over 20 years and is a foundational piece to helping churches start a Pure Desire group ministry. Rich is also the author of The Silent Battle: One Man's Fight for Freedom.
This article was originally published at Pure Desire Ministries.