“That particular unwanted sexual behavior can lead people to be put in jail,” she said. Her unfounded accusation delivered a neatly wrapped dagger into my heart.

I had been reaching out for a lifeline, and instead was cut short of one from someone who seemed safe. Sometimes, even people with the best credentials, don’t qualify.

After leaving my hookup lifestyle, I had to learn to make new friends, to reach out, and get help from others. But risking that, like in this case, was hard sometimes.

However, the risk was worth it, because I was able to find comfort from forgiving her through living amends, as well as kind words spoken by several other loving friends who had been long-standing in my life.

These men and women were much more understanding of my prayer request for change. Their prayers and understanding helped turn me towards seeing myself as a child of God, and who He made me to be, rather than being defined by addiction.

My wonderful Christian friends didn’t define me, and neither did this woman’s caustic comment, but rather, this whole situation pressed me to further seek out my true identity.

Scripture tells us a good tree bears good fruit and a bad tree bears bad fruit.

God has defined you and me as a good tree, and although I had once bore rotten fruit through my sexual behavior, I am no longer bearing the fruit of that life anymore. God cut off that branch! I was set free!

Now that I’ve seen how I’m made in the image of God, I see myself as a good tree!

If I had to pick what kind of tree I could be, I would pick a Sequoia. Have you ever marveled at the beauty of the Sequoia trees in Sequoia National Park in California?

They’re massive at almost 300 feet tall! They’re beautiful even though they’re thousands of years old! And they only grow near other Sequoia trees.

Looking up at them, silent, stoic and sturdy, takes my breath away, every time I visit that forest.

The Sequoia trees have a root system that is VERY shallow, which is approximately 6-20 feet. But there’s only one reason these tall trees that grow in close proximity to one another stay standing strong, some for thousands of years.

Their roots are completely intertwined with the trees near them! In other words, Sequoia trees, and people, literally only grow strong and sturdy in community.

Have you ever been hurt by a painful comment in response to you reaching out for help? I have been hurt by other people too.

Part of the risk in telling your story is potentially getting hurt or shamed by those you share with. But God tells me a different story than a few mean comments from broken people.

God says that I am loved by Him, no matter what.

God says that I am forgiven for anything I’ve done, because of His Son’s work on the cross.

God says that I can forgive others for anything they say to me because they don’t define me.

God defines me!

My Dear Friend, you have to look for other Sequoia trees who see you as one of their own, made in God’s image. And know that your strength and depth are only found in the place where good trees grow together.

We are your Sequoia grove!!!

Please join us here within a small group! We’re here because we’ve reached the way of change – through combining our roots with each other, to grow in an environment that can bring you growth and healing, and set you free in ways that only a safe community can.

We welcome any questions through Office Hours you might have about porn, masturbation, hookups, affairs, and how to break free from any or all of it. That’s why we exist. 

Know that I’m praying for you, Dear Friend, that despite any hurt you may have experienced, you may find freedom from that, too. 

We’re here to help you grow to new heights today!

If you want to support our ministry effort that is tirelessly working to restore lives and relationships, consider donating today to help with our year-end fundraising efforts.

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