“You will never be ___.”




A little typewriter therapy:

I’ve heard this too many times.

“You will never be enough. You will never be okay. You will never be successful. You will never be happy. You will never be picked. You will never be loved. You will never be forgiven. You will never be trusted. You will never be friends again. You will never be at peace again. You will never be at home again. You will never be better.”

I know it’s a lie most of the time. But in the moment, in the worst of every downward spiral, there comes the voice that says “never.” It’s an irretrievable vacuum, like the lights are shutting off behind me and I’m getting chased by darkness. Getting nevered is to be exiled.

I had a math tutor in fourth grade who used to shout at me. “You will never be smart enough for this.” He made me write the Pythagorean theorem hundreds of times, until my hand was swollen, though I wasn’t sure how it was helping. For months, this tutor kept yelling how stupid I was. My parents never found out. I still think about this all the time.

I have had to grieve when “never” became true. Sometimes “never” does happen. Loss happens. All change involves loss. All loss is change. I have had to welcome “never” with a bitter embrace. I don’t like it. I still don’t.

I think there are times I must refuse to believe “never.” I have to know when to pick those battles. I have to fight that voice.

Are you dealing with this, too? What does it look like? Sound like? How do you get free? How do you fight this voice?
— J.S.

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My Most Horrifying Church Experience Ever

Disclaimer: To protect my family and myself, I am not using names and I’m purposefully obscuring certain details. I cannot confirm them privately, either. These are well-known people in Christian circles who I still believe are doing helpful things, despite the terror behind closed doors.  I must be careful here, because 1) they would absolutely crucify me if they saw this post, and 2) they could also deny having ever met me, despite email correspondences and recorded conversations.  But I have to speak up.

I want to tell you about my most horrifying church experience ever, because it began so ordinary and subtle, and I want to protect you from the nightmare I eventually woke up to.

I know there must be so many more terrible experiences at church and mine is not nearly the worst, yet I hope you’ll know that not every horror story about church happens in a cult of backwood druids sacrificing goats to chanting.  It can happen in the most mundane sort of atmosphere with a slowly tightening chokehold, until it’s too late.

Years ago, I befriended the lead pastor of a church ministry that was doing amazing things in the community and we first became friends over the phone. The pastor explained that every church in America was doing it wrong.  This really appealed to my discontent about the church culture, and our phone calls were filled with tons of encouragement and positive affirmation over my “gifts, talent, treasures, insights, and abilities given by God.”  Whenever I spoke bad about my own church, the lead pastor agreed as loudly as possible.

In the first few months, he offered me a position at his ministry, but I was obligated to my current church.  However, I was still able to visit.  I was completely seduced by the way he and his team did ministry.  Their preaching was fun, their services were boisterous, their praise team was incredible, and they knew every single family by name.  They were well-respected by the community and they were funded completely by other churches and individuals from all over the world.  All the while, they were saying, “We do it better than the other guys” and their website sold tons of church curriculum.  I even bought some.

Continue reading “My Most Horrifying Church Experience Ever”

A Confession: I Once Wrote A Song About Killing My Ex-Gf — Actually, Twice

About social media, moralistic meme cultures, digging the dirt of our past, and a transparent future without privacy — and why this can all be a good thing.


I once wrote two different songs about killing two different ex-girlfriends.

In my college years I used to rap and freestyle, and using what lyrical skills I had, I recorded a song over Eminem’s “Stan” about killing my ex-girlfriend. A few years later, I did the same thing with Common’s “Retrospect For Life” about killing another ex-girlfriend and eating her baby.

These were sick, horrible, disgusting things that constitute assault and battery — and they make me want to throw up at myself. I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry.

If you search for these songs online, you can probably find them on an old music site under my name. I say this to my own shame and horror, and I’m not proud of this in the least at all. I’m now publicly outing myself — not out of some patronizing “reverse humility” or a victim-card, but because I deserve any repercussions that come my way.

If one day I go public somewhere: I want to have outed myself already. I’m tired of keeping this regret a secret. And it’s okay if you’re disappointed or you dismiss me. At least I can finally breathe, unburdened.

Continue reading “A Confession: I Once Wrote A Song About Killing My Ex-Gf — Actually, Twice”

“How Jesus Overcame My Porn Problem”



A testimony from Mark Driscoll’s website by Jake Johnson, a staff member of Mars Hill Church.

Excerpt:

“If you are struggling with porn, the first step to recovery is to be truthful with yourself about your sin, and the second step is being truthful both with God and with those whom you love, including your church.

“… I took my wife to lunch and confessed my sins against her and how I had hid my sinful and idolatrous addiction to porn from her for over six years.

“It was the most fearful moment of my life—and the most freeing. For the first time in our marriage, my wife knew who I really was and I no longer needed to spend so much time and energy worrying about whether she’d find out. Rather than fight the battle alone, I was now able to make restitution and have my wife and my church community fight with me.”

Continue Reading at Mark Driscoll’s Site


Read Related:
— Porn Addiction: An Introduction
— Question: Quit Porn, But What About Masturbating?a>
— Question: So Porn Is A Sin?
— Question: Porn Killed My Feelings For God, Now What?
— Question: Just used porn, what do I do?