How does one truly reflect on the previous year? Does one base a successful year off of spiritual achievements, overcoming certain things, or worldly gain? Or is it all three? I am not truly certain.
What I am certain of is this:
Looking back can be both joyous and sorrowful, for I have felt both as I reflected over 2014. Last year, despite all that God did in me, through me and for me, was one of the hardest years I have experienced in a long time. Part of the Celebrate Recovery 12-Step programs success is taking a daily inventory of ourselves. Right now I NEED to take an annual inventory of myself for multiple reasons. I need to understand why I am where I am at now and to try to understand where God wants me to go from here.
I truly began the year thinking positively as I had what I thought was a relationship that could be a life changer. It’s amazing how God will bring someone into your life at the right time and place to help both parties. I grew to love this beautiful women with a heart for God during the previous year. We spent time both on the phone and in person with each other. We talked openly and honestly with each other. We prayed for each other.
It was looking good. I felt joy for the first time in years. Then the phone calls stopped as did the lovingly cute text messages with the smiley faces. Grieving the loss of a child takes time. I realize that, so I just continued to pray for her and send little “Have a good day” messages. Even today she is on my heart and mind. I still pray for her and will continue to do so.
Then God gave me the chance of a lifetime..well two actually. One was the Honduras mission trip in July and the other was to be invited to attend the Porn Harms Coalition to End Sexual Exploitation meeting in May. Both would be a blessing in my life and I would learn from both experiences. On one hand I would learn more about pornography and how to possibly help others better. The Coalition meeting was to have several speakers including doctors and ex-porn stars speaking not only about pornography but human trafficking as well. On the other God would be using me to bring the gospel to others in a new and unique way via the Celebrate Recovery program. I had to make a choice and quick. I chose the mission trip, as I felt God really calling me to go. So thankful that I did. I was sent a video link to the highlights for the Coalition meeting and got to hear and see some of the things that happened. That was cool and very much appreciated.
I have had financial setbacks that have caused a lot of stress in my life. And that stress did cause some health issues. I had my psoriasis flare up badly, weakness and fatigue to the point of having to leave work for a few days. Bed rest for two days. I basically slept the entire time. I had a few boughts with depression. And a new issue where my fingers will go numb and look as if the blood has quit going to them. Fun times….not!
I finished my first 12-Step program while working through my depression, loneliness, anger issues, lust and addictions. It truly has helped me to grow spiritually. And I learned several ways to cope by with my depression and issues by not just praying and seeking asylum within myself but speaking openly and honestly with my brothers who were there. That helped me tremendously. And by the way….seeking asylum in oneself in order to cope never truly helps…it usually makes matters worse.
As far as my blog went in 2014 let me just say WOW! I am humbled. And I truly want to say thank you to everyone who takes time out of their hectic schedule to drop by to read a post here and there and to those who comment. I want to give a big shout out to my friend at Happy Quitter for nominating me for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award. It was and is still an honor. One that I look forward to carrying on as I continue to write. I do want to inspire men and husbands a like to turn from pornography and false sex and turn to your future or current wife for your sexual needs as God intended. I also want to inspire men to be the spiritual leader of their family whether married, divorced or single.
According my statistical email Word Press sent me 5,400 folks dropped by to view this blog. My busiest day was June 28th with 108 views and the most popular post that day was Dads, Date Your Daughter’s Boyfriend which I reblogged for us dads.
My top 5 posts were (in order by views):
Dear Porn Star: Please Forgive Me ~ This post I wrote with heavy yet free heart one night after God and I had a major conversation about my porn addiction.
This Is What Some Of The Fourth Graders Are Reading In School which I wrote basically out of anger for the common core malarkey (my opinion) in the public school system.
To Drink Of Spiced Wine which was one of the most awesome posts I have ever read on oral sex from a female standpoint and just had to share it.
Porn Stars: Behind The Scenes which I shared because I felt it important.
Beauty Is In The Eye Of The Beholder
Even today it still surprises me how many read the Dear Porn Star post.
My personal favorites for the year were:
Celebrate Recovery Honduras Mission Trip
Beauty Is In The Eye Of The Beholder
I would like to take this moment to thank a few very special people for offering a lot of support, heart-felt comments, sharing a few of my posts on different social media and most importantly for their prayers.
Kerri over at Kerri Chronicles
Chris over at Forgiven Wife
Bonny over a Pearl’s Oyster Bed
Peter over at Recreating Peter
As I look to 2015 with hope I ask for prayer support as I try to continue talking openly and honestly about my struggles, victories and life in general. And also as I continue to grow in my relationship with God.
Thank you everyone & God bless,
4 thoughts on “Reflections, Progress And Newness”
Stu, YOU are a blessing to anyone who stops by to read your work. I will continue to pray for you. God has great things in store for you, my humble honest and heart-touching friend. Your sister in Christ……
I am praying for 2015 to be a year with much joy for you.
Thank you Chris!