Friday, October 22, 2010

The Shock

     I grew up in what seemed like a typical family. Mom was a "homemaker," Dad drove big rig trucks to bring home the bacon and I had three older siblings, 2 sisters and a brother. This was life as I knew it, until one day around the age of 10 my dad called me and my brother into my parents' bedroom. I racked my brain trying to recall if I had done anything worthy of being punished, but drew a blank so I had no idea why were having this private and ominous meeting. My dad began to explain to us that he and Mom thought it was time that my brother and I knew something. Prior to marrying each other, he and Mom had both been married before and my sisters were not his biological daughters, instantly making them my half sisters in theory. We were shocked. One of us started crying (I think it was my brother. He was always more sensitive than I was). This news could not be grasped. It was disillusioning, painful, and... well, shocking. Things were not as they seemed and I walked out of their bedroom in a fog.
     I remember walking across the street to a friend's house trying to wrap my mind around this bombshell and realizing there was nothing I could do to change this newly revealed truth about our family. And as life went on, things didn't really change among the Couch members. The fact that my sisters were technically my half sisters remained just that, a fact, and never had any bearing on our relationship even to this day.
     A couple posts ago, I guess I dropped a bombshell. "I Was a Two-Faced Pastor" has become my most visited posting on my blog, greatly surpassing all others. And even though I wrote it so it might possibly help others who are struggling, I didn't anticipate the shock value it would have on those who thought things were one way but are now different in their eyes. To those who may be disillusioned or hurt by it, I can understand.
     The book of Nehemiah tells the account of Nehemiah hearing the news that Jerusalem's walls have been burned down and the city is in ruins making it a mockery in the land. Nehemiah was compelled to do something about it so he returned to the city, organized a working crew and watchmen on the walls to protect them as they built, and even endured threats and plots against his life if he continued with his mission. My soul was like that city. I was broken down. The enemy was laughing at me as I lived in shame and embarrassment over my shambles of sin. But the Lord graciously sent people my way to help me rebuild. He blessed me with a wife who chose to forgive me and work with me through the laborious process and is now willing to stand beside me and minister to others who may be suffering just as we were.
     I know there are people sitting in the pews at church silently struggling in similar ways as I did, I know marriages have dried up because of addiction issues, I know there are pastors who are in the same kinds of chains that I was in, and because I know this to be true, I want to help rebuild. That's why I was so candid 2 posts ago. If I hadn't been so honest, I never would have talked to yet another soul this week battered by the effects of pornography addiction. I have to hold out hope. And when people see that I was struggling just as they are because I shared out of my brokenness, they finally see that there is hope.
     So, sorry for "The Shock." In time, I hope these newly revealed facts about my life can be just that, facts, and I hope it won't have any bearing on our relationship... because we are still brothers and sisters.  

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