Tag Archives: Redemption

Podcast 21: Hope and Healing After Pornography Addiction – Tina Harris shares her story

 

It’s not easy to share our most personal, difficult struggles.  But that’s exactly what Tina Harris does here on the podcast.  She opens up about her marriage and her husband’s addiction to pornography.  Their story is one of faith and courage and hope and healing.  She shares her story at women’s conferences and has written a book, “Peace Beyond the Tears: Hope after Sexual Betrayal”. You can order her book at http://tinarharris.weebly.com.

Tina is a fierce friend and dedicated prayer warrior.  She is the mother of 6 beautiful daughters and has been married to her husband for 25 years! She is a Certified Christian Counselor and a Master Level Certified Yoga Therapist.

While this is not an easy topic, Tina hopes by sharing her story, other women will know they are not alone. We are so grateful to her for her willingness to share and to her husband for encouraging her to do so.  God is the God of restoration and healing and we get to witness His power and grace through their story!

Tina’s favorite Scripture is Psalm 30:11 “You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing. You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy.”

If you have struggled in this area or you know someone who has, please encourage them to listen in.  If not, we hope that this conversation will give you insight and understanding for those who are affected by pornography addiction.

Please pray for Tina as she and two daughters head out on March 4th for a mission trip in the Dominican Republic.  You can find more information on her website listed above.

 

I Have No Gifts to Bring

wise men What do you think they said when they saw the star pointing the way to Jesus?

What do we say?

We say, “Who me? I am not ready! I have nothing to wear/bring/show!”

Jesus came as a newborn baby…the most vulnerable among us…small, humble.

He is saying to us, “Come as you are, don’t fuss, I just want your presence, just come and see me without expectation or presentation.”

This is our introduction to our Savior.  We want to be more for him, we want to bring gifts for Him and because we don’t feel prepared or worthy, we don’t show up.  But He keeps inviting us.  Again and again throughout his life and death and resurrection, he invites us.

The manger is the beginning, the first time we see Him, the first time we know that this is a different kind of king, that we can show up empty handed because He’s after our hearts.  We can show up with our hearts on display…messy, confused, sorry, hurting, joyful…all of us, He will take all of us. That’s our gift to Him…all of us.  Our hearts.

We can stand before the manger broken and naked and needy.  He has come for us.

And later, we can stand at the foot of the cross, broken and naked and needy as He dies for us.

He loves us that much.

No amount of not ready is going to keep Him from pursuing us.  No amount of messiness or sinfulness or I’m all filled up on material junk and totally distracted -ness is going to keep Him from loving us.

He’s coming here.  To live among us.  He will choose to sit with the sinners.  He will choose to know the people that the world condemns.  He will dine with the drinkers and He will forgive the adulterers and He will surprise us. He will challenge what we think we know and He will show us that we only can be BIG when we dare to get SMALL.  He will show us that we can only be STRONG when we are brave enough to ADMIT WEAKNESS.  He will ask us to get low…He will get low.  He will TURN THIS WHOLE THING UPSIDE DOWN.

He came to hang out here with us.  On our turf.  A King coming down from heaven to live among us here in this messed up place.  He came straight from His father’s heart…pure and peaceful and perfect.

So maybe this year we go.  Maybe this year we bring our weary souls to the manger. Maybe we show up with our open, broken, messy hearts…ready to trust, ready to believe.  He shows up too.  He loves us enough to accept us as we are but the good news is that He loves us too much to leave us that way.

I love this song by Dave Matthews.  In it he sings about Jesus, “So I’m told, so the story goes, The people he knew were less than golden hearted.  Gamblers and robbers, drinkers and jokers, all soul searchers like you and me.”  Love that.  Just like you and me.

This Christmas story isn’t for other people.  It’s for you.  It’s for me.  It’s for all of us.

Merry Christmas!

 

Don Draper: A Hot Mess

don-draper-the-summer-girls

I love Mad Men.

Last night’s season finale was brilliant. (Spoiler alert!)

Don Draper is flawed and he can be mean and he’s a cheater and he’s an alcoholic and he can be cold and manipulative and selfish.  In other words, he’s human.

And in his humanity, he can also be giving and kind and charismatic and loving and generous.  He can be fun and romantic and he’s incredibly charming and sexy.

He’s broken.  Just like the rest of us.

I can get overly excited about TV and movies and books and characters that people just make up in their heads that aren’t real.  Some of you may never go down this road and wonder why is she talking about Don Draper like he’s a real person?

I believe art is an expression of life.  I am inspired when people write authentic characters and dialogue.  When we watch good television like Mad Men, it is like a mirror into our own lives…our own light and our own very real (sometimes not recognized or acknowledged) darkness.

I loved last night’s episode because things are starting to change as Don is starting to change.  It’s time.  He can’t keep running.  He is awakening.

He finally told his story of his childhood in a whorehouse and his longing for love.  Although it was during a business meeting and his boss told him he “shit the bed” in there and it got him fired, I believe it was the first step on his road to freedom. Many people will distance themselves from truth tellers because they don’t want to have to face their own truths.  Don wasn’t supported by his peers because they are not ready to look into the mess of their own lives. Don is going to face this alone.  (Of course, God is with him but since he just went to jail for punching a preacher, I’m not sure that he’s “down with that” right now.) It will be messy but he is going to have to do the hard work of facing his demons.

We are only as sick as our secrets.

See, God encourages us to CHARGE THE DARKNESS.  To boldly declare what is on our hearts.  To admit where we have failed, to share our struggles, to ask for what we need and to bring all things into the light. We’ve all got stuff.  That’s part of life, figuring out our stuff and shining a lot of light on all of it.  Accepting and moving on. This is our journey.

When we do this, we will be free.

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And we do not stand alone in this.  God will stand with us.  Proud of us.  Watching and protecting and saying, “YES…put it out there…you are safe with me…you are free.”

Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. – Ephesians 5:11

Some may think Don blew it last night.  I think he took the first step on the road to saving himself.

At the end when he stood with his kids and showed them the house where he grew up,  I said out loud, “Good for you!”

I want to see Don face his demons.  I want to see him charge the darkness of his past because then I know he is on the road to wholeness.  Wholeness is what I want for me and what I want for all the people I love.

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Who knows what will happen?  I will continue to watch because I believe Don is in the middle of a transformation, I believe that he is coming into the light and into freedom and that’s really exciting.  And, plus…I kind of love him.

©2013 Sue Bidstrup, Great Big Yes™ All Rights Reserved                                                               photo of Don Draper from www.esquire.com, quotes by Dr. Robin Smith from www.oprah.com