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#76525 - 09/29/01 06:00 AM Re: Does God really care ?
Neil Offline
Member

Registered: 10/17/00
Posts: 81
Loc: Millersville, MD, USA
I went through so many emotions concerning God over the last 30+ years. Anger, confusion, unworthyness, and many times I felt like God just didn't care. I think I felt that way because I felt like I just wasn't worth caring about. The conclusion I have drawn (right or wrong, I don't know but it works for me) is that God cared for me so much He gave me the creativity, stamina, fortitude & insight to make it through the horrible things that happened to me and become a functioning adult with a promising future. Since there is "free will" in our world, there is evil. We have fallen victim to that. If you're reading this post you made it through to the other side and I feel strongly that God played a large part in that. This is just one man's opinion but like I said before, it works for me. I hope this helps a little.


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#76526 - 09/29/01 08:34 PM Re: Does God really care ?
Anonymous
Unregistered


Neil,

I like your perspective....and I happen to agree with you!

Don


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#76527 - 10/09/01 06:28 PM Re: Does God really care ?
Just Call me J Offline
Member

Registered: 07/14/01
Posts: 204
Loc: Inland Empire, California
Still12, I'm so glad that you have a reason for hope. But why do you have to wait for it?

Terrible things have happened in our past, and so they have colored our present, but that doesn't mean that they will always color our future. God has given you the gift of life already! You can make something beautiful with that life, in the here and now, and doing so will only make the next life sweeter!

The things that I am most proud of in my life, came out of doing the things I am the least proud of. Success can be brought from failure, and as the events of 9/11 have shown us, positive changes can come from the most heart-wrenching loss. Life is a precious thing, to be cherished, savored and enjoyed, not to be lugged about as a burden!

OK, where did all that come from? Why the hell am I so hopeful?? I'm still sick to my stomach from all the world news I've been reading, and am frightened by the gnashing of teeth and thirst for blood I see in my fellow countrymen. The hope that I had built over the past 3 weeks, as I saw a president I don't like make the deliberate and thoughtful moves necessary to bring a hatemonger to justice, were dissipated like the smoke from the missiles we fired. I know that the armed conflict was unavoidable, but I really didn't think it would start this fast. And the reactions to it are alarming to me.

This is getting kind of eerie: out of the depths of my fear and uncertainty, I manage to articulate ideas that may have never come to me otherwise.

We're in this together.

Jeremy

_________________________
We're in this together. - Nine Inch Nails

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#76528 - 10/17/01 06:41 PM Re: Does God really care ?
Anonymous
Unregistered


Hi to all,

I am glad for this forum as I would not be where I am today without my faith and belief in the Lord God, his only Son Jesus Christ and the indwelling of his Holy Spirit in my soul.

I was abused at age 15. My abuser was seductive and violent all at once. I lived as a victim for 20 years before I could even begin to utter what had happened to me to another human being. Was God there when my abuser approached, seduced and then raped me? Yes he was. I had accepted Jesus as Saviour when I was 7.

From that point on my life had became hell. My sexuality was all screwed up. I lost my innocence. I no longer trusted men. I hated my father and mother. I stuffed my pain with compulsive masturbation and pornography to the point where I became addicted. I was defensive, sarcastic, acid tongued. Was God there? Yes he was there everytime I masturbated. Every time I bought porn or went to XXX movie or bookstore. Every time I shredded someone verbally. I was never arrested or publicly humiliated as I should have been for some of the lewd acts I committed in public.

My sexuality was screwed up to the point where I struggled and struggled over whether or not I was gay. In my mid to late 20s I attempted to live out the gay lifestyle. Acceptance only when it came time to hop in bed, but otherwise rejection, loneliness and self-hatred pile higher and higher after each encounter. In my gut I knew that I wasn't gay, but I was driven to have male-male sex. Was God there? Yes every time I got into bed with a strange man and had raw unprotected sex with him. I should be dead from AIDS or worse by now from having sex with all those guys and never wearing a rubber. I still have yet to test postive for HIV.

When I was 35 I would awake in the night soaking wet from cold sweats and screaming at the horror which was so deep, so painful, so unbelievable inside of me. Was God still there. Yes he was. Almost within 24 hours of when I thought I could no longer go on with my life the phone rang and very dear friend said God came to him and said I needed help. He gave the number of a minister who was the first of many counselors who started me on the road from being a victim to being a survivor.

For nearly 15 years I served God as a foreign missionary in Africa. In AFrica sources of porn were not to be had, but I constantly fantasized about any good-looking man who came my way. I was like a pressure cooker ready to blow at any moment. On the fateful morning of Jan 17, 1996, something snapped inside of me and I had a nervous breakdown. Why would the Lord take me to the heart of Africa only to have me fall to pieces? Was he there? Yes, I never once thought or tried to commit suicide.

Once back in the states, my addictions to porn and gay sex came roaring back. I found two new delights: the internet and phone sex. Both were safe, anonymous and could be totally controlled by me. Phone sex proved to be even more gratifying than the real thing. No worries about disease or wondering if the other dude is a wacko or not. But was God still there? Yes, the work of the Holy Spirit in my life kept knawing at my conscience telling me that my private life was dirty, sinful and totally unpleasing to God. Privately I hated myself and the secret life I kept from those who saw me as righteous and God fearing. I knew that my acting out with other men, even on the phone and my obession with gay porn or any porn for that matter was sin.

Another day as fateful as that one in January, was on June 15, 1997. I was discovered and confronted. I had been at our main mission headquarters in the US, and my illicit use of the internet to access porn was traced to me and to me alone. I had never felt fear and shame as I had that day. And God would you believe, was still there with me. After admitting to all the accusations without making any excuses, I said something to the effect that it's all over and I will leave. My confronters said we are here to restore you not condem you.

The last three & 1/2 years have gone like this. For two years after my confrontation I was in intesive therapy and accountability. I was starting to see for the first time the depths of my sin and my depravity, but could I really change. Would I always be just a survior and not more than a conqueror as promised to us in Romans 8:37. Would I always just have managed chaos?

At the end of 1999 I found myself back in the smalltown which I had left 26 years previously to which I had vowed I would never return. Away from all my support team and therapist, I soon fell back into old patterns. Phone sex, internet porn and new thrill, the soft homo-erotic porn images in men's fitness-clothing mags. I would go through cycle after cycle of this, vowing this would be the last time and would then get my act together. NOT! As incredible as it may seem, in all my depravity, God stuck to me like superglue.

In June of this year, my life began to move from being just a survior of sexual abuse to one of being a true conqueror of my shame, my abuse, all the sinful acting out sexually, my gender, my hatred towards other men, my hatred of women, the hatred towards my father, the hatred towards my mother and most of all the hatred and vows I held against God blaming HIM for having such a fucked-up life.

My road to conquorership began when I found the NOMVS site on the net. At last there were people who knew and understood what I had been through. A fall retreat was planned in Sept. and I signed-up immediately. In that three day session, I was able to deal with so much of my shame, fears,and phobias that I left more baggage than I brought with me. Years of feeling inadequate and defensive were vanquished. The shame that I had held for so long no longer had any control over me. The defensive nature by which I had survived was no longer valid. My heart grew. It could accept love, because I could now give love without fear of rejection.

Also in August i started seeing a new therapist, who just wasn't empathetic and encouraging of my situation as those I had seen in the past, but had been down many of the roads I had travelled. And yet, here was a man who was more than a conquorer, he was living a spirit filled life with all the blessings that God had intended for him since his birth. And too, he also had to live with all the consequences of his previous unrepentant life. For the first time I felt that I too could experience what my therapist was having.

Then in Oct, just two weeks ago, I went on another weekend retreat this time for four days in eastern PA. It was at this gathering that the Lord then began to work in ways that I had never thought to be possible. It all began with coming to the Lord and humbly admitting that I was nothing more than a man of broken promises. That as a child a of God,I had produced nothing but a string of brokeness that needed his healing. Also all who attended were instructed from the very beginning, to get out of our survivor-recovery mode of thinking and to begin seeing the big picture.

The big picture being, that God's love has never changed for me. And that as his creation, I am able to both give and receive love abundantly. And when I do such, then I will desire to do God's perfect will and not my selfish, self-centered ways of doing things. I came away from that weekend wanting craving the love of the Lord more than anything else. There is nothing within me or creation that can fill that deep hole, that deep, deep need, all those wounds other than His perfect love and grace. And it is by grace alone that I now have peace and contentment for the first time ever in my life.

It is not peace or contentment that the worlds wants, but only what the savior can give. It goes deeper, because when I have a bad day, I don't run to porn or masturbation any more, I run to Jesus, the author and perfector of my soul. And it is only by his grace that I can fend off the evil one and live for him.

So, was God there when all the shit happened in my life. You bet!!! Did he betray me? Never! Was I betrayed by sinful man? Yes, more times than I can count. Was my parents, God, the milkman who drug me down to the porn store for a mag or a trick? Or was it they who made my fingers dial all those numbers for phone sex? Never! Did I have a character flaw and refused to take responsibility and ignore the consequences? Yes, everytime.

And yet, the Lord loves me all the same. His love for me has never diminished and it never really had increased, because he is eternity and his love is constant. I am afraid of Osama or anthrax? No way. My God is bigger than any person or germ.


Enough already. Amen and God bless you all.
Rob


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