One Year Later

One year ago was the public announcement of my disqualification from pastoral ministry.

I still have many regrets. Many. Regrets over the things I have done and the people I have hurt. These regrets are not only over those things directly related to my ministry-disqualifying sin, but over a whole host of other things – things that my exposure in this area brought to light in other areas. At the same time, I am beyond grateful for God’s grace toward me, and I celebrate Jesus’ willingness, in full view of my ugliness, not to be ashamed to call me his friend.

 

One year ago was the public announcement of my disqualification from pastoral ministry. What I want to do in this post is simply to let you know where I’m at today – with the Lord, with my marriage, and with the ministry.

  1. The Ministry: I have no plans of reentering pastoral ministry. Though I deeply and continually mourn the loss of the work of preaching and teaching that I forfeited by my sin, returning to the pastorate is not on my horizon. This is not because I believe that a man with my history can never be restored to office; it’s because my history has revealed deep areas of unbelief that demonstrate that I am not yet ready for that kind of restoration. Over the last twelve months, the Lord has certainly been working in painful ways to ferret out that unbelief, but that doesn’t mean I should to return to the pastorate.
  2. My Marriage: My wife and I are healing and hopeful. God has been so gracious to allow my wife generously to forgive me and to do the hard work of reconciliation and restoration. I can honestly say that our marriage has never been in a better place, though I certainly never would have dreamed that this would have been the path to get us here.
  3. The Lord: From the very first day one year ago, I was committed to repentance, to turning back to Christ. This is not to say that on the very first day I knew all I needed to repent from. I didn’t. Not even close. It was as if I was in a thick haze of my own sin and self-deception, and through months of counseling the Lord slowly caused the haze to dissipate. With each new revelation about my own unbelief has come a new opportunity to repent.

I still have many regrets. Many. Regrets over the things I have done and the people I have hurt. These regrets are not only over those things directly related to my ministry-disqualifying sin, but over a whole host of other things – things that my exposure in this area brought to light in other areas.

At the same time, I am beyond grateful for God’s grace toward me, and I celebrate Jesus’ willingness, in full view of my ugliness, not to be ashamed to call me his friend.

It’s a very strange place to be, but a good one. Sad but celebrant. Mourning the loss, but celebrating grace.

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