In my family, the Thanksgiving holiday weekend is traditionally when we do all our Christmas decorating around the house. This year was no different, except that it is the first year to be in our new house. We have been so excited and overjoyed to finally be living in the house that we (mostly my father-in-law!) built with our own hands. We have much to be thankful for…
So, the Saturday after Thanksgiving we pull out all the Christmas decorations. I spend time outside stringing up lights on the house. Elaine unpacks all sorts of Christmas dishes and mugs to be used for spreading much holiday cheer (and waistlines!). We all gather around the tree and begin placing what seems like thousands of ornaments onto it. While the kids are gleefully hanging ornaments, I step back and quietly sit on the couch. I drink in the moment; Christmas music playing throughout the house, lights glowing on the tree, a spirit of peace and joy all around. Then I see it.
We stood the Christmas tree in our grand room, in the center of the big windows on the front of the house. I’m sitting opposite the window, watching all the hustle and bustle of the kids decorating. It looks as if they are in a picture, the window being the frame. Then I glance up. Just above the window, scrolled on the archway on the wall, is our family verse: “He does not treat us as our sins deserve.” (Psalm 103:10) As I view this beautiful scene, my heart warms and time freezes for just a moment. I say a silent prayer of thanksgiving. I am once again reminded by God that this is what my heart has always wanted.
As Norman Rockwell as that moment was, I assure you my family isn’t perfect (after all, I’m in it!). But over the past decade God has faithfully allowed these snapshots of peace, joy, love and goodness to remind me that everything I was looking for in the darkness of my sexual addiction was phony and empty. What my heart had always wanted was genuine love built on the foundation of truth. I wonder if your heart hasn’t longed for exactly the same thing.
Love doesn’t make life perfect, but it sure is fulfilling. I’m no longer empty, anxious or searching. Love brings peace to a broken heart. Love fills in all the empty, lonely places in the shadows. Love gives you a home where you belong – and are wanted! Love forgives. Love is what your heart really wants. And love is what can set you free to enjoy a life lived in the Light.
If you are struggling with secret sexual sin, let me invite you to begin the courageous journey to finding Love. The good news is that you don’t have to travel far. God is love, and He is right where you are. His strongest desire is that you know Him; that you know His love. He will then guide you into loving relationships where you can experience the healing power of His love in community. I know it’s a scary decision to uncover secrets, but whatever you’ve tried up to this point hasn’t come close to fulfilling the deepest desires of your heart. It’s worth a try.
What will you do this holiday season with your heart and its deep longings? Will you keep trying to fill it up with lust and selfishness and greed and anything else you can grab on to in the dark? Or will you ask God to fill it with His love and the love of caring Christians? May this Christmas you see snapshots of love, and may your heart rejoice at the grace God so freely pours out over your brokenness.
He does not treat us as our sins deserve…