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#340896 - 09/26/10 10:01 PM Thorn in the flesh Mild triggers
Justafarmer Offline


Registered: 08/03/10
Posts: 27
Loc: CO
2 Corinthians 12: 7-10

"To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given to me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weakness, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weakness, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong."

There it was again. Those verses have been hovering around me for a long time. At church today, it was the topic of the sermon. How many times I have prayed for my personal "thorn in the flesh" to disappear and to never come back? Until I didn't want to pray anymore for fear the answer will still be NO.

For a time the verses gave me comfort. Then, they tormented me. Now, I have a better understanding of them. The key part has always been about the "thorn in the flesh", or so I thought.

I just want to be a normal man. You know, like, most men who go to church on Sunday. Or like the men at the Friday night high school football games in my home town. Normal. Without a huge weight around my neck. Fearing I would be found out, isolating myself, living a life within a small room when I could have access to the whole world. Hiding in fear. Living a lie. Wanting so much to be free.

Wait! I am a normal man. Just like the men who are on MS. Most likely, just like the men at my church or the men attending the Friday night football game. My guess would be that all of you appear to be "normal".

Among my many sins are those of a sexual nature. Just like you men. Some of the men I think are normal most likely have some of the same sexual sins I do. They are struggling with it much like I am. Each of us has his own way of dealing with it. His own small room where he feels like he is the only one. A place with a lot of self loathing, of hating our self.

If what I have been reading is true, and I have no reason to doubt it is not, 1 in 6 men have been abused sexually. That is 1 in 6 of the men in my church, of those walking down the street in any town, those attending high school football games. Some have been molested by their parents, some by siblings, uncles and aunts, friends, older boys, strangers. Some have been brutally raped while others have been groomed for the abuse with kindness. Many were in the wrong place at the wrong time.

There I was, in the wrong place at the wrong time. The first was one of my brother’s friends masturbating in front of us. I was 8 or 9. This was the first loss of innocence. The second time was another friend of my brother’s trying to stick his penis up my rectum, thankfully failing. I could have been 9 or 10.

This started a life long confusion for me. While I still like women, I have this longing to see a male with an erection ejaculating. At times this was the overriding sexual desire for me, leading to watching porn. In the course of my reading, starting when a girlfriend of mine revealed to me she had been sexually abused by her uncle, I have found out I have what is termed Same Sex Attraction-my thorn in the flesh. Oh, how I have wished this would have never happened to me!

Now, after years of being in isolation, sometimes thinking, “Was I was gay?”. Being afraid to date for fear it was true, being fearful I would be found out. I want to have what God has given to most men: a wife. I am tired of being lonely, tired of letting satan throw his crap at me and making me feel less than a man. But, is it too late for me?

This is where the last part of the verses I typed above come in, the words I highlighted. “For when I am weak, then I am strong.” This “thorn in my flesh” has made me into the man I am today. I am more understanding, compassionate, have a softer heart and am more forgiving and more giving than I would be without the lost of innocence that was thrust upon me when I was 8, 9, or 10. Like Paul, I am more humble than I would be otherwise.

I have taken control of my life since I was out of high school. A few times I have made a mess of it. Other times I have succeeded beyond my dreams. Now, it is time to let God take it and to be “weak” so that I can be “strong” through Him. It is time to follow His plans and not for me to hide in fear.

Greg



Edited by Justafarmer (09/26/10 10:05 PM)

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#340905 - 09/27/10 01:38 AM Re: Thorn in the flesh Mild triggers [Re: Justafarmer]
nltsaved Offline


Registered: 08/26/08
Posts: 842
Loc: Kc,Mo
the only thing i could ad to this post is this "thorn in the flesh" is the one thing that keeps me humble and on my knees's
and i think about often would i consult God as much as i do if it had not been for the thorn in my own flesh? and the answer is always no . i would not even come close to having the relationship that i have with God .

it is not the ideal thing for me to have to use to keep me humble but than again his ways are not mine and his thoughts are not my thoughts. what ever the case may be ,
like it or not the "thorn in my flesh" keeps me humble and it keeps me on my knees' it keeps me in prayer and it makes me strong when i am weak.

i have referred to the my own ssa as my thorn in the flesh and at one time i did look at it as a curse but now not so much
i also have thought several times about just how many people are affected by sexual abuse 1 in 6 . that is one of the reasons i did my video about sexual abuse.

i have found myself even counting heads when i am in church or other crowded places and sit back in awe at the the number of men who have been abused. we are not as alone as we either once thought we where or not alone as we think we are.

GREAT FREAKING POST MAN YOU SAID JUST ABOUT EVERYTHING I WANTED TO SAY ABOUT THIS SUBJECT.

THANKS FOR SHARING

_________________________
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n-uYCAfpxrY
TRIGGER WARNING
Video of me telling my story
you are not alone never were
WRITTEN FORM
http://www.malesurvivor.org/board/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=339159#Post339159
Why i hate Religion but love Jesus
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1IAhDGYlpqY

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#340922 - 09/27/10 09:46 AM Re: Thorn in the flesh Mild triggers [Re: nltsaved]
kb8715 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/16/10
Posts: 808
Very powerful healing words. They so help. Be well all and I will keep trying to do the same!

_________________________
"You can get far in life by pushing except through a door marked PULL...." Profile quote in my oldest son's senior year HS Yearbook.

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#340926 - 09/27/10 10:05 AM Re: Thorn in the flesh Mild triggers [Re: Justafarmer]
EvanCan Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 09/09/10
Posts: 170
Originally Posted By: Justafarmer

This “thorn in my flesh” has made me into the man I am today. I am more understanding, compassionate, have a softer heart and am more forgiving and more giving than I would be without the lost of innocence that was thrust upon me when I was 8, 9, or 10.


This is very insightful. Thank you for all that you shared.

_________________________
Hope Springs 2010 WoR Alumnus
"I'm here, and I'm on the mend."


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#341062 - 09/29/10 08:52 AM Re: Thorn in the flesh Mild triggers [Re: EvanCan]
wayne9 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/14/08
Posts: 161
Loc: alabama
Greg, I feel as if you have written the words I needed to say myself. The last paragraph...."This thorn in my flesh has made me into the man I am today. I am more understanding, compassionate, have a softer heart and am more forgiving and more giving"....This is me to a tee. I embarrass myself for being so tender hearted, I cry so easy when things are sad for me or for others. The past 5 months I have found myself in a relationship with a women who has been my friend for 29 years, but I feel so much guilt for the same sex atraction issues that I have to deal with. This past Sunday I went to the alter after walking up to our retired Pastor telling him I was losing this battle I am in. He knows about my CSA. He prayed with me. Afterward he told me that its Satan who is telling me that I am losing. He only wants me to continue my life as it has always been. The lies he tells me that I am not normal, that I can never have what is normal. I feel better this week after going to the alter but this has happened time and time again. Satan doesn't want to give up but neither do I.

Tim



Edited by wayne9 (09/29/10 12:42 PM)

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#341074 - 09/29/10 11:22 AM Re: Thorn in the flesh Mild triggers [Re: wayne9]
Justafarmer Offline


Registered: 08/03/10
Posts: 27
Loc: CO
nlt, kb, evan, and tim,

Thanks for the kind words. This crap really sucks. Like each of you, I have the good days and the bad days. satan is actively trying to beat me down.

This was a big step for me even to use my first name on the signature line. BUT, I still am not ready to tell some one face to face. I have the person picked out to tell, but the time will have to be right for me.

nlt, I have seen your video and was very emotional as I was viewing it. Thanks for your courage in this type of media to tell your story and your sharing your good times as well as bad.

kb and Evan, thanks for the kind words and may your journey in healing be blessed.

Tim, I really feel the need to cry, but can not. Don't feel bad for this. It takes a REAL man to show his emotions. God gave man emotions, but the western culture has taken that away from us. I admire you for the courage to go forward to the alter and to speak about your abuse with your former pastor. What a witness to me that you can tell others and not be rejected. We will be healed some day, but not completely. Enough to have a good life with compassion for others and humbleness to serve the Lord. Those who life has not been shattered with abuse may never be able to prasie God for for what we are able to overcome. Matthew 5:3-4 "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted."

Greg


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#341078 - 09/29/10 12:04 PM Re: Thorn in the flesh Mild triggers [Re: Justafarmer]
kb8715 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/16/10
Posts: 808
Greg, its till amazes me how tough getting well can be. But a bad day in recovery beats a good day not in my opinion. The first step was huge (asking for help). In my case and others it was God who I first looked for that help from and I know he has been with me helping me every step since. In my few months of recovery I also asked and got support from our family Priest (I took confession which was very uplifting), my wife (incredibly supportive), and an exceptional Therapist. My CSA came from Clergy yet I know God is saving my life now in the ways you describe. Everyday, the good ones and the tough ones, I thank God for leading me through this. Be well all. Keith

_________________________
"You can get far in life by pushing except through a door marked PULL...." Profile quote in my oldest son's senior year HS Yearbook.

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#341084 - 09/29/10 12:38 PM Re: Thorn in the flesh Mild triggers [Re: kb8715]
wayne9 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/14/08
Posts: 161
Loc: alabama
Greg, There's knowing about me to admire. I have told him of my CSA but fear telling him of the SSA. I will tell you that going to the alter is very hard for me. I worry so much what people will think of me. My Pastor always says if someone thinks bad of you for going forward to the alter than they need to be there also.

When I get time I would like to tell you guys "why" I told him. Its very interesting, It gives me chills when I talk about it. I have told a very close friend about why I told him also and she got goose bumps.

Tim



Edited by wayne9 (09/29/10 12:38 PM)

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#341113 - 09/29/10 06:23 PM Re: Thorn in the flesh Mild triggers [Re: wayne9]
wayne9 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/14/08
Posts: 161
Loc: alabama
He is a quick writing of why I told:



I first told of my CSA almost a year ago. I am 49 years old and until that night not one person other than the man who is the perp had a clue about this awful secret I had been living with since around the age of eight. Since then I have told a few close friends, my T of course, and my Pastor and the retired Pastor of my Church. I would like to share with my brothers here on MS the reason for telling this to Bro Burroughs, the retired Pastor of my Church. I had no reason and had not even thought about sharing my secret with this elderly man that I had became close to after I started attended regular services at what is now my home Church.
Several months ago Bro Burroughs came to my place of business and ask if I had a few minutes to talk with him in private. He was troubled about a dream he had had the night before. He had been having trouble sleeping because of bad dreams for a few nights before. His wife had noticed him being restless in his sleep and he had explained that the dreams were mostly about problems with his grand children. On this morning she had ask was his dreams about the grandchildren again to which he replied….No. It was about Tim from church. He was very troubled and thought he need to talk with me as soon as possible.
Going back 3 days, I had a session with my T. We were talking about how hard a time I have with speaking out loud in public. He made the remark that as strange as it might seem now, God might use me to help others with CSA problems in the future.
When Bro Burroughs and I started talking he told me he wanted to tell me about the dream and would like to know if any part of it made since to me. In the dream he said we were both at place where there was a crowd of men. He said he knew in the dream that the sole purpose for our being there was that I had something to share with this group of men. He also said in the dream he felt this “presence” of a bad person or spirit and its only purpose was to keep me from telling what needed to be told. He said in the dream he was going all through the crowd trying to stop this bad spirit from interupting what I was trying to do. He said he wanted to tell me of this dream because he knows me and knows that “my” speaking to a crowd would be a very unusual thing to happen and wanted to talk with me about it.
Before any of this was ever told, before the CSA was ever spoken of out of my mouth. As I was growing in my knowledge of the Lord. Brother Burroughs made remarks to me that he thought God had something special for me. That as bad as I thought I would never be able to talk aloud to others that I might do something special for God and His people. Now I wonder is this what the enemy is trying to stop. Is this why I can’t seem to get any better at turning away from this terrible sin that has troubled me for 40 years………..

Tim

Left this out.......

I told him that day about my CSA, I told him what my T had said 3 days before. He told me to remember John 10:10

10 The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.


I have been living the first part of this verse....now it's time to live the second...




Edited by wayne9 (09/30/10 07:32 AM)

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#341151 - 09/30/10 08:28 AM Re: Thorn in the flesh Mild triggers [Re: wayne9]
Justafarmer Offline


Registered: 08/03/10
Posts: 27
Loc: CO
Tim,

An amazing story. What incredible signs that God is speaking to you. After reading this last post I too believe that God has something special for you. satan will be throwing all the lies at you. Living life more abundantly seems a whole lot better to me then the lies of satan.

And Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but with God ALL things are posible" Matthew 19:26

Thanks for letting us read about this part of your life.

Greg


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#341154 - 09/30/10 08:49 AM Re: Thorn in the flesh Mild triggers [Re: Justafarmer]
kb8715 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/16/10
Posts: 808
I think we are all learning that when we "let go and let God" lead us, recovery begins to really work. This trip is tough for each of us, but who better to take it with day by day than with God. Be well all. Keith

_________________________
"You can get far in life by pushing except through a door marked PULL...." Profile quote in my oldest son's senior year HS Yearbook.

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#341231 - 10/01/10 08:57 AM Re: Thorn in the flesh Mild triggers [Re: kb8715]
Justafarmer Offline


Registered: 08/03/10
Posts: 27
Loc: CO
CSA and SSA are like a root canal. All day, every day of the year. Must be a bad day coming on, kind of sarcastic this morning.

Greg



Edited by Justafarmer (10/01/10 08:57 AM)

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#341263 - 10/01/10 01:22 PM Re: Thorn in the flesh Mild triggers [Re: Justafarmer]
kb8715 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/16/10
Posts: 808
Greg we all get feeling that way. I try very hard to think positively and at times it works, sometimes not. But the bottom line is that we are all using all the tools we have (faith, therapy, MS, etc.) to get well. That is so much better than any alternative. Hang in there, be well, and I will do the same! Keith

_________________________
"You can get far in life by pushing except through a door marked PULL...." Profile quote in my oldest son's senior year HS Yearbook.

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