when ted haggard’s story first came out, i wrote this post. tuesday, i saw him on CCN. yesterday, i saw him, his wife, and two of his kids on oprah.
the way he addressed his issues was more raw and honest than i expected. the love his wife showed him, and the way his kids talked about him, was nothing short of phenomenal grace.
something he said made me mad though. really mad. although, it didn’t really surprise me.
he had confessed his same-sex attraction to his wife early in their marriage. he was abused by an adult male when he was really young, and that jacked him up. that was the trauma.
a few years before he began acting out on his attraction, he went to some leaders and pastors he knew. he said he was wrestling with these thoughts even more and needed their advice. some withdrew. others told him to keep his mind off of it by working harder for god.
after that, he confessed he didn’t know what to do with the struggle anymore. he desperately wanted them to be gone, and he felt like he needed to hold up the “ideal” of a perfect husband, perfect father, perfect pastor. he made the decisions to not talk, and to act out - but it goes back to show that so many times we feel like we can’t discuss our brokenness with other believers…
we all can choose to talk about our problems, absolutely. and nobody can be responsible for making that decision but us. the environments that the “church” has created, however, tells us something different. it creates an environment where we feel like we need to have everything figured out, or else we’ll face judgment, ridicule, and isolation.
that just ain’t right.
we’ve got to create environments of honesty.
and we have to lead the way.
About 2 1/2 years ago I made a choice. I made a choice and I dove headlong into something that I had no idea how to get out of and something that was clearly and tangibly carrying me farther away from the type of relationship I longed to have with God. I made that choice everyday and with full understanding of what I was doing. About a year ago 1 1/2 years ago I started trying to get off the path I was sprinting down. I started telling people, I told person A who gave me an emotional high 5 and a slap on the back. I told person B who yelled at me and told me that I disappointed them and how could I make such stupid choices. I told person C who just blinked and said ooooohhhhhkaaaayyy and walked away. So I gave up trying to tell people and just kept on skipping along the path. Finally, I told Bobbie. Bobbie who didn't say it was ok, but that it would be ok. Bobbie who encouraged and prayed for me, who listened without recoiling from me and who felt just sorry enough to make me feel loved, but not so sorry that I felt coddled and justified. I wrote a little about it here. Talking to Bobbie wasn't an immediate fix, but with her support I was able to turn from the sin I was choosing toward the grace that she offered. The grace that is offered by a God who longs to reconcile us to him through Christ.
I think that my church does a pretty good job of creating those places for people. Through Life Groups and just the relationships that the open and friendly people that call 4 Corners home build with each other. What are you doing to encourage those around you to share their burdens with you? Maybe you don't call it sin. Maybe you call it stress, worry, grief, depression, whatever, but how do you encourage people around you? Who do you have that you can tell things to, decompress, work through things and yes even confess things to? Who will tell you the truth, the hard and ugly truth, but with grace; not judgement, ridicule, isolation, shame.