Almost every day, I found comfort within the fellowship of other recovering sex addicts, receiving support from those who’ve been wounded by life, then suffered and survived their own addictions. When I experienced the heartbreak of failure, they guided me from their own experience, helping me to feel a sense of hopefulness for my future and not the hopelessness I had felt in the past. They would tell me they felt themselves being strengthened every time they helped me. They would even thank me for calling them and asking for their help. In a real recovering fellowship, the weak get stronger and the strong get stronger by helping the weak. I experienced true faith for the first time in this way. It came to me before I knew it was even there.
Faith, as we experience it in Operation Integrity, is characterized by a hope-filled belief that compels us to take effective action. By understanding faith in this way, it becomes authenticated, making it an antidote for and the antithesis of addiction. Addiction kills our dreams, but faith gives hope for life.
Like a gift, the simple hope for life gave birth to a personal open-mindedness I had never experienced before. It appeared quiet and close, even before I asked for it, coming from outside of me, but working within. By seeing the changed lives of others, I came to believe that I too could join them in freedom. My lifelong hopelessness had changed to hopefulness.
from When Lost Men Come Home - not for men only
copyright 2012, David Zailer