How can a person fully describe the places their sexual brokenness has taken them? There is the spiritual reality of sexual brokenness; a reality that speaks of the condition of our soul; a condition wrought by another's sexual brokenness or by our own; even the condition of a soul as it learns to allow the Almighty to mend their brokenness. There is also the physical reality of this brokenness. For many this reality comes in the form of the strange beds they find themselves waking up in -- strange places in even stranger situations. For me, it is a reality of which I am far too easily reminded every waking moment as I sit where I sit -- concrete walls, steel bars, and razor wire.
My name is Dennis and by invitation of Be Broken Ministries I share my story. It is a story that, when my world first started crumbling, I thought was unique. I felt alone, singled out, and scared. It is also a story that, as I become more involved in healing and connecting with other broken people, I see is far more common than I first could have imagined and is becoming more common every day.
If you and I had met between 2005 to 2007 you might have walked away thinking to yourself, "Now there is a young man who has got it together. He's got a beautiful, smart wife, a lovely home, a promising career, a sprouting music ministry, and a very bright future." If you had asked me, I would have only confirmed your thought and added, "Yes, I'm living my life-plan exactly as I have planned it. Life is good!"
And life was good -- at least on the surface. I was a young 30-something. I had married my college sweetheart. I was an established professional musician and private instructor. I had started a career as a public school teacher and real estate agent. I was living in a new home my wife and I were purchasing. On the surface I was a pillar of the community, a future leader. Yes, I would have told you, "Life is good." The world was my oyster and I thought I held the pearl of great price. My curriculum vitae had been established and I was living it. Today, I scarcely can remember what that life-plan was.
Late in 2007 the "good life" ended for me. My sexual brokenness had come to a breaking point, my sin laid out in front of me, my family, and the world. It started wit the FBI banging on my front door at 6:00am in the morning and by the end of 2008 I was indicted on child pornography charges. I lost my career, my home, my wife, my reputation, my very freedom.
I remember during this process crying out, "I am a broken man!" I was financially broken, socially broken, emotionally broken. All caused by my sexual brokenness. I had been content to ignore my sexual brokenness -- up until the breaking point. I was busy living my life-plan. But God had a different plan for me.
In 2010 I reported to a Federal Correctional Institute to surrender myself for a 100-month sentence. For 100 months I will sit in my physical reality: concrete walls, steel bars, and razor wire. Yet I rejoice because my spiritual reality, though once broken, is on the mend.
I still struggle to surrender all the world tells me is good. I struggle against the temptation to write for myself a life-plan that is outside what the Gospel tells me my life should be. But I recognize my brokenness. I pray that your brokenness never brings you to such a place as my current physical reality, but that instead you allow it to show you where your spiritual reality is deficient and begin, by the grace of God, the process of healing.
For me the first step in healing was saying, "I am a broken man." In recognizing and embracing my brokenness I also recognize and embrace the One who can mend me and make me whole.
Be broken, but be encouraged...
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