"What can a ruined soul, like mine, effect towards the redemption of other souls?—or a polluted soul, towards their purification?"

This blog has been moved to www.fallenpastor.com.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Reconstructing My Heart

I honestly don't know what's happening to me these days. But something is going on.

I reached out and talked to the man who was my adversary after my fall, Phillip Townsend. We made up after I humbled myself. I've written letters to my former in-laws and apologized to them. After my fall, they were all very angry with me, some to the point of threatening violence. I humbled myself to them and let them know I sinned against them.

Today, I wrote a letter to the church that ordained me. I let them know that I let them down. It was a very difficult letter to write. I told them that if they wanted to rescind my ordination, it was well within their rights. No church has ever meant so much to me as that church. It's my home church. I love all of them. Angelica called many of them the day she found out I had cheated on her. I haven't spoken to any of them since. But I wrote to them and told the deacon body that I loved them all and respected any decision they made, because any decision would be a result of the sin I committed.

I'm not bragging about my humility. I don't like being humbled. I don't like the process. I hate it. It's horrible.

Friends, I don't know what's going on with me.

For many months, I was fueled by anger at the way I was treated after my fall. It drove me and kept me going. But now, I feel nothing but humility. I want my forgiven sin to glorify Christ.

I remember talking to many fallen pastors over the past few months. It seems that in the month after a fall, it is a crucial time. There are only one of two paths to choose. One can choose to self-destruct and hate oneself. This is an easy path to choose. The rationale is that everyone in the church that you just sinned against hates you, your former wife and family hate you, so you might as well hate yourself. How do you hate yourself? You take drugs, drink, or engage in some other vice and destroy yourself.

I won't lie. I've engaged in some mild forms of self-destruction. Haven't we all to some degree?

The other path is tough. It requires perseverance and focus. It takes self-examination, humility, and patience. It makes you look at your disgusting heart, recognize that you are indeed a Pharisee, renounce your own self-righteousness and find yourself alone with God. When you get there, alone with God, you must face Him, alone, naked, and full of your sin.

And when you look at Him, He says, "I love you, child. And I gave all for you. I do not condemn you, because of my Son."

That journey takes a long time. But it is worth it. It is painful, requires self-humiliation, the renunciation of self, and the realization that you're not the end all, be all of life.

But at the end of that journey - which I'm not even close to completing - is the One who gave Himself for us. And He is worth every heavy laden, heart-breaking, soul-searching step.


  1. Just found you via twitter and am praising the Lord for your courage. You will help so many people heal from the inside out.

    Your new journey will help remind people that broken simply means you are who Jesus came to heal.

    You have my prayers as you minister on this journey.


  2. Thanks Marie for the encouragement. Your web site looks great and your vision is fantastic as well. Keep up the good work on your end.


  3. I found your blog by way of a google search, ironically for reconciliation. I am now four years out from an affair that destroyed my marriage and my family. Our divorce was amicable, mutual even. He was done with me and I had no desire to stay in the marriage. It took years for the Lord to open the eyes of my heart to what I had done. Oh, I felt plenty of guilt, plenty of public and private humiliation, plenty of sorrow over having hurt my children, my family and other, but nothing that could have changed my heart or my mind about the marriage. I am now thankful that I didn’t choose to marry the man that I had the affair with, as it was only after that relationship ended that began to experience the “broken and contrite” heart of which David wrote about. I find your story fascinating. I know all too well about the profound lack of love and grace among Christians. I am thankful to sit under an amazing teacher of God’s word [David Platt] who [when another local pastor had a public moral failure] stopped his message series to give us a message on how we, as Christ-followers, are to respond to moral failure in the church. the last part of which emphasized that we can: Rejoice that sin will not have the last word.; The victory of Christ ensures our vindication; His resurrection of Christ guarantees our restoration. What that restoration looks like is different in each of our lives. His thoughts are not our thoughts and His ways are not our ways. Thank you for sharing your story. Fallen pastor or fallen member, none have fallen out of His reach as nothing, not even the worst of our sins, can separate us from His love.

  4. Anonymous,

    Thank you for sharing that. It is difficult and those who have not been through it struggle to understand. I am very happy that you have found a good teacher of the Word.

    Your words on restoration are right on. Christ is the only way for those of us who have fallen to find peace.

    I just started blogging on how to reconcile with fallen pastors and it applies to others as well.

    I understand as well the lack of love from Christians. I understand it from both sides. I used to be very judgmental toward those who sinned, but now, from this side am very compassionate. I've learned to be very patient with those who still are unforgiving.

    I will pray for you in your journey. I've learned something else - it takes a long time for us to accept ourselves even though that Christ has forgiven and wiped away our sin.

    But thank God that He loves even though others are unable to.

    May God bless you richly,

  5. Yes, I've found that self-forgiveness aspect is definitely the most difficult in the healing process. I often find myself trapped between praying that God will change my ex-husband's heart towards reconciliation or praying that He will give me the peace to move forward with my life. Perhaps that is what I've found fascinating about your own story and others like it. I certainly have one of the best case scenario's post divorce in which we have remained close and kept our children's sense of family intact; however, it often feels as though this self-inflicted wound will never fully heal - much like Paul's proverbial "thorn" in his side.

    Keep on blogging. It's very cathartic. :)