Around the beginning of the new year, it’s often typical for people to set New Year’s resolutions and grandiose goals (which usually last for about 2 weeks tops).
But I do believe there is value to evaluating the year that is approaching and creating actionable changes you can actually accomplish. One such question I tend to come back to in my recovery is the WHY question:
“Why am I doing what am I doing?” “Why does recovery still matter 15 years in?” “What is it I’m ultimately trying to accomplish?”
I would like to suggest that there is more to recovery from sexual addiction than the following:
- Abstaining from sexually compulsive & destructive behavior.
- Becoming a sexually healthy person.
Don’t get me wrong, those two objectives are absolutely important and should be at the top of your list. Otherwise, what are you really doing here?
But I believe there is an even greater “endgame” to our stories. That endgame is greater than how long you can stay sober. Or how many meetings you’ve attended. Or even how much trust you’ve re-built in your marriage.
I believe the real endgame we should be pursuing is HOPE.
This kind of hope isn’t the kind that “hopes” for the promotion. Or “hopes’ that it doesn’t rain today.
The kind of hope that I’m talking about is the joyful expectation of good. It’s the understanding that if my story doesn’t end up good, it’s not over yet. It’s the knowing that all of the struggle, pain, discomfort (you name it) that you’re walking through isn’t meaningless.
I’ve heard it said recently that God doesn’t waste pain. And after losing a parent to suicide almost five months ago, I couldn’t agree more. That event was truly the worst pain I’ve ever felt in my life. My wife & I are still walking through tremendous healing today and will continue to for quite a while I’m sure.
But without a doubt one thing that has been galvanized in our lives because of that event is hope. I love how The Passion Translation puts it in Romans 5:3-5:
“But that’s not all! Even in times of trouble we have a joyful confidence, knowing that our pressures will develop in us patient endurance. And patient endurance will refine our character, and proven character leads us back to hope. And this hope is not a disappointing fantasy, because we can now experience the endless love of God cascading into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who lives in us!”
I love the progression we see here: In the pressures, pain, and really hard seasons of life we can still be confident that everything is going to work out. Even more than that, JOYFULLY confident! Every struggle we walk through in life is meant to make us better, not destroy us! Because we become tougher. Our character is refined as we realize we’re stronger than we knew.
Are we allowing what we walk through in life to turn us back to Hope? Because as Romans tell us here, Hope quite literally the “endless love of God cascading (like a waterfall) into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who lives in us”.
So that is what the endgame should be. At the end of my life, I want to be counted as someone who never lost hope because I experienced so much of it. I want to be able to say I saw the Lord’s hand holding & healing me, my wife, and my family through the hardest moments of life.
Small Groups Online is another perfect place to help you find hope as well as others who are doing the same. Each week, you’ll be able to join others online in a safe, secure environment where you can be free to share the good, the bad, and the ugly of your recovery journey. With NO judgement. Becoming apart of community is so vital, so I encourage you to check it out!
This I believe is what our recovery is all about: Hope from the start, Hope in the middle, and Hope in the end. Make hope your endgame today!
Frank is passionate about helping individuals live with sexual integrity. He also works alongside his wife Tracey in helping spouses who have been devastated by their partner’s addiction. Frank & Tracey live in beautiful southern Delaware with their two children: Nathan and Addison.