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Discouraged
By man4healing
9/6/2012 1:12:56 PM
I've been trying so hard lately. Attending my meetings, trying to believe in God as a loving, merciful, being of blessing rather than one who is out to punish me and send me to hell. I've really been working the 12 Steps, including 4 and 5, in uncovering the "deeper" issues of my addiction and everything that holds me back (lack of self-forgiveness, self-hate, losses of the past/childhood that I am sad/angry about, selfishness, etc, etc. - WAY too many to list here). And then last night and this morning I relapsed with porn/masturbation. All the old feelings came back - anger, bitterness at myself and God, etc, etc. I feel so discouraged, like all my progress was just thrown out the window, that God is angry with me.

I honestly am having a VERY hard time understanding grace. It doesn't make sense to me. I know I NEED the Savior but I don't understand him very much at all.

:(

Comments:

With me    
"I still struggle sometimes as well, but not very much. I haven't mb in 4 years, and when I struggle with porn it is few and far between. I am 24 now, I started when I was 7. One thing I have learned that you need to try to learn as well is that you are never going to be able to save yourself. I think you struggle with the same thing I did in that I tried to do everything right without ever making a mistake and PUNISH myself with depression and anger when I did relapse. I thought if I could just "enforce godly sorrow into myself" THEN God will forgive. God's grace does not start when we are clean! Just let go of whatever it is that you are holding onto inside"
posted at 14:43:23 on September 6, 2012 by BillW
I think of grace as compassion    
"For me, grace is about having compassion for others. As a parent, I know my kids are going to goof up. There is very little they can do that would ultimately make me disown them. I will give them chance after chance. And if they apologize and humble themselves, it's really hard to be angry and my compassion gushes out. With the same analogy, Im always amazed how my children judge each other so harshly. When I show grace on one child, often another child is upset that I let it go. One time I paid a debt that one child owed to another child. She refused to accept it because she demanded my son to pay the price. I was amazed. Do I do this with my relationship with my brothers and sisters and God?

I think God sees us the same way. I read a commentary that stated that the greek translation about the Anger/Wrath of God would better be translated as the disappointment of God. When we goof up and make mistakes -- even doozy mistakes , I like to imagine God as still loving me but disappointed in me. As many times as I goof up, he is willing to shower me with grace/compassion to let me try again.

I also believe we are only eligible for grace if we show grace for others. Can I have compassion\grace for others when they goof up or do I judge them harshly?

That's my 2 cents. take what you want and leave the rest."
posted at 16:01:36 on September 6, 2012 by hurtallover
Grace    
"Doing everything we can is great. Nobody else can force us to go to the meetings and truly participate. Nobody can work the Steps for us. Doing my dailies, attending multiple meetings a week, reaching out to others and working on my current Step all help me to stay in a better place, but if I don't turn the temptations and triggers over to God I fail. If I try to fight it I get beat up. If I turn them over to my Father, He cleans Satan's clock. That is the power in my program.

I heard this one time and for me it is the best explanation of grace: “Justice is getting what you deserve, mercy is not getting what you deserve, and grace is getting what you don't deserve.” I can't earn grace. It is something I am given from above that I am unworthy of. When I had been looking at porn for a few hours and then had a moment of clarity and realized that wasn't where I wanted to go and asked Him to take away those feelings and desires, they disappeared. I was able to move on with the rest of the day like nothing had happened. I wasn't haunted by images or lust. That was grace to me. I can't earn the healing power of the Atonement. That is given to me through grace. I can't make it through the day without turning to my addiction. That miracle comes to me through the grace of God.

After my first relapse in recovery I felt the same way. I had just thrown away all my progress over a number of months. I was right back at zero. Another plan had failed! Then I realized a couple of things. I wasn't right back where I had always been. I now knew what worked. The plan hadn't failed. I had messed up in my execution of the plan. The 12 Steps worked in applying the Atonement and the Atonement really worked! I had experienced more real success in the last 9 months than I had experienced in the rest of my life. The other thing that I realized is that all those negative thoughts were actually Satan's lies. None of them were true.

I prayed for some time to see myself as God see's me. As that came it not only improved my image of myself, but improved my relationship with them (Heavenly Father & Jesus Christ). As I have spent time study Him and talking to Him I have discovered a being that is more loving and patient than I had ever imagined.

“Remember we deal with [addiction] cunning, baffling and powerful. Without help it is too much for us, but there is one who has all power. That one is God, may you find Him now.” - Alcoholics Anonymous (the Big Book) At least it says something like that. I have to run and didn't have time to look it up. I think it is from the chapter “How it Works”

I wish you luck in your journey. We fall, but we pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and take it up where we left off.

Love,
John
Heavenly Father's Favorite (we all are)"
posted at 19:22:57 on September 8, 2012 by justjohn
Just thoughts, take what you want, leave the rest    
"These are my own thoughts....

Man4Healing, you are a beloved child of God, and the son of a King, your Heavenly Father. He loves you. You are of infinite worth. He is a God of Love. Guess who wants you to feel that God hates you and who wants you to feel discouraged? The adversary. It is the adversary who hates you. He wants to destroy you.

I'm an addict also. It's the hardest experience I've ever been through, and I've been through some hard things. It can be so discouraging at times. But there is hope. A power higher than ourselves, our Heavenly Father, can restore our sanity.

On Grace--You've probably heard of the Parable of the Bicycle. I'll share it with you now. I read this version on the church website.
___________________

I was sitting in a chair reading. My daughter, Sarah, who was seven years old at the time, came in and said, “Dad, can I have a bike? I’m the only kid on the block who doesn’t have one.”

Well, I didn’t have the money then for a bike, so I stalled her. I said, “Sure, Sarah.”

She said, “How? When?”

I said, “You save all your pennies, and soon you’ll have enough for a bike.” And she went away.

A couple of weeks later I was sitting in the same chair when I heard a “clink, clink” in Sarah’s bedroom. I asked, “Sarah, what are you doing?”

She came to me with a little jar, a slit cut in the lid, and a bunch of pennies in the bottom. She said, “You promised me that if I saved all my pennies, pretty soon I’d have enough for a bike. And, Daddy, I’ve saved every single one of them.”

My heart melted. My daughter was doing everything in her power to follow my instructions. I hadn’t actually lied to her. If she saved all of her pennies, she would eventually have enough for a bike, but by then she would want a car. I said, “Let’s go look at bikes.”

We went to every store in town. Finally we found it—the perfect bicycle. She was thrilled. Then she saw the price tag, and her face fell. She started to cry. “Oh, Dad, I’ll never have enough for a bicycle!”

So I said, “Sarah, how much do you have?”

She answered, “Sixty-one cents.”

“I’ll tell you what. You give me everything you’ve got and a hug and a kiss, and the bike is yours.” Then I drove home very slowly because she insisted on riding the bike home.

As I drove beside her, I thought of the atonement of Christ. We all desperately want the celestial kingdom. We want to be with our Father in Heaven. But no matter how hard we try, we come up short. At some point all of us must realize, “I can’t do this by myself. I need help.” Then it is that the Savior says, in effect, All right, you’re not perfect. But what can you do? Give me all you have, and I’ll do the rest.

He still requires our best effort. We must keep trying. But the good news is that having done all we can, it is enough. We may not be personally perfect yet, but because of our covenant with the Savior, we can rely on his perfection, and his perfection will get us through.

__________

So my understanding of Grace is basically that He, God, does not require us to be perfect, He only requires that we try. And we must simply do our best, but make sure it is our very best. He will make up the difference. Be patient with yourself. Perfection comes not in this life, but in the hereafter.
________

Recently, I saw a YouTube video of a man who died, but came back to life. He had what is called a Near Death Experience. He stood next to the Savior to review his life. When he came to the parts of his life where he made mistakes, he thought, "Oh. That was really bad." He even felt the feelings of others that he tormented in life. The Savior said to him, "It is neither good nor bad. It is a learning experience."

I couldn't find this video of this NDE, but I do hope the Savior says this to me when I stand before him in review of my life, when I get to review all of my successes and shortcomings. I hope."
posted at 13:27:10 on September 9, 2012 by g1rlie


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