Phoenix,

You knowing that you have a hole shows that it has already been filled. Without the quickening to life by the Holy Spirit you would not perceive the hole. In fact you would just be medicating the pain like you used to.

The people that are not alive in Christ do not perceive the "God shaped hole". You, obviously feel the hole, therefore you are a Christian.

I tried filling the hole with business, family, friends and even religion. It does not work because I was not dealing with the shame based thought processes that were unintentionally developed as coping mechanisms. If I did not do the tough work of developing new thought processes to replace the old ones I would still be lying to myself and running from one quick fix to another. I knew the game would come to a screeching halt at some point, but I was afraid to let go of what I knew.

God decided in his perfect timing to blow my whole little world apart. When I looked around and saw that there was absolutely no way that I could ever regain control, I surrendered unconditionally (kicking and screaming). The loss of control, especially for us, is literally a mind blowing experience. The foundation of my mind shifted in such a way that everything is new. I could not mentally handle anyone close to me expressing any sort of love. I would turn into a blubbering mental mess. My defenses were all gone, I was naked in the world without the tools I had developed over 30 years. It was frightening to go to the mall with my wife and four children. Seriously, I am 6'-4", 220lbs and very little fat.

I had no choice but to trust in God. It was the scariest thing I have ever had to do. Dying would have been easier, been there tried that, failed miserably. Yes, I will always wrestle with the feelings of inadequacy, but I know where they come from.

The interesting thing about being delivered from myself is that it really did not matter what happened. If my wife left with the kids, sure it would be more difficult rebuilding but God will help me do it. If I had to start all over again, so be it, I am not alone. I remember the prison I was in for 34 years, I am not going back! This is the hill I will die on! This is the rock that I will build on! I have no choice but to keep moving forward. I have found that even if I stop for a selfish breather, the Hell in my mind starts surfacing again. Yes this eternal wrestling match is difficult, but we already know who the winner is.

The beauty of the world around us is breathtaking without the glasses of being a victim.

Soli Deo Gloria,

Alive