BROKEN AND REDEEMED

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By Fritz Boyle

I think the most embarrassing thing about my freshman year of college was the fact that I struggled with lust. If reading that makes you feel uncomfortable— don’t worry about it because I can 100% guarantee I feel way more uncomfortable about you reading it than you do.

This struck me as the most fundamentally humiliating thing there was to know about me. I had absolutely zero intention of telling anyone about it, well . . . ever. (Which should explain to you why I’m writing about it now on a public forum.)

I ended up going to a local church Women’s Night because my friend Kate Arnold told me they had really good food. You can imagine my surprise when I found out that actually, the point of the women’s night wasn’t just the good food, but so that everyone could sit around eating good food and talk about Jesus and their feelings and everything else going on in their lives. Anyways, there was maybe 35 women there and at some point they had an open mic session where anyone could stand up in front of the whole crew and talk about how God had been working in their lives.

There was about two minutes of intensely awkward silence before Kate Arnold (what a gem) went to the front and shared some things, and sat back down and the rest of us were left sitting there staring at each other.

I can’t really explain to you everything going on in my brain at that moment. I knew that I had to say something, because, really, what sort of Christian would I be if I couldn’t even stand up in front of a group of other believers and talk about how good our God was? But the only thing I could think to talk about was how I was struggling with all of this sin in my life and how I knew that God loved me so incredibly much that he sent his son to die for that sin.

I also knew that under no circumstances would I ever, in a hundred million years, stand up and talk to this group of 35 adult women about how I was struggling with lust; but I serve a God who loves me enough he sent his son to die for me so I could trust that he wasn’t going to just up and leave because I couldn’t get my freaking Christian act together.

So, though I wrestled internally, I got up behind that microphone and shared – except there was a whole lot more blubbering and tears going on.

And I remember sitting back down and having three or four people offer me tissues and just thinking that that was the most humiliating thing I had ever experienced ever and it helped absolutely no one because Dear Lord in Heaven I was crying so hard no one could even understand me.

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I wanted to leave right after the thing ended but Kate wanted to gab with every single person there individually, so I was stuck awkwardly smiling and nodding at the stream of well-meaning-middle-aged women who came up to me afterwards to tell me that everything was going to be alright and so on and so forth. We were finally headed out the door when someone else stopped to talk to me.

“I just wanted to thank you, because your testimony was the only testimony that touched my heart this entire night.” She looked like she was about to cry, which made me feel a little bit better because I was still hardly holding it together. “God has felt so distant from me, and I’ve been wondering what else there is I can possibly do to be close to God again. But you’re right. He’s not just going to up and leave us because we’re struggling.”

God uses everything to further His kingdom, even the most unattractive parts of us. Of course, I’m not saying that we shouldn’t address the sins in our life. Being proactive about the kind of change God is bringing to fruition in our lives is essential to following Jesus. But He uses sinful people, and broken people. That’s just the way it is.

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