Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Looking Back Moving Forward

Wow guys I just realized a couple of days ago was the one year anniversary of my blog. The last year has been so incredible. I have had more growth this year then in many of the years before it combined. A year ago I was a lonely, confused, and hurting person filled with so much shame I could barely stand never mind move forward with my life. God found me at my weakest point and broke through my intense shame and low self worth to begin to show me His true love for me. He used many of you guys to help me more than you will ever know. Without your support, encouragement, prayers and advice I would still be in that place. I really do love you guys and thank you for responding to a hurting stranger with Christ's love.

I have poured out my soul on this blog and often the posts have been incredibly raw. Sometimes I want to go back and delete them after the fact but then decided to leave them up in case some day another hurting person finds them and they are a help in some way like others blogs have helped me so much.

In the last year I have grown so much. My confidence has grown. I actually go to social events and manage to enjoy them even though I am still quiet but even going is something I never used to do. I shared with a couple of family members about my struggles with SSA after much help and encouragement from several of you who kept pushing me and encouraging me and gave me tons of advice. My relationship with these family members is so much better now that I have shared this and we are more open and honest then ever before and it is so much deeper!

Then I joined a small group at church which is another thing that has always filled me with fear since I always assumed I would have to wear a mask and not share my real struggle. Still I went (after much encouragement from you all) and it has been so amazing for me. To see that these other Christians have very real struggles that they have to deal with has been such a help to me. They have hurts and pains just like me. It may be a different struggle but me having this does not make me worst then them. We all have something to deal with. Seeing them be so vulnerable and real has given me courage!

And moving forward there is another very HUGE thing happening in the near future. I am sharing with my small group about my struggles. The date is already set and I told the leader I want to share my whole story to the group so there is no backing out! I will be sharing next week and this is a pretty scary thing but something I know God wants for me. He has been with me every step of the way on this journey and He won't abandon me now. I know that I will get some freedom after sharing and can finally let them in to see the real me that I always have hidden both the good, and the hurt and pain, everything. Basically I will finally be showing my humanness and weakness and need for a savior and not be pretending I have no problems and "everything is fine". Its great to finally be joining the human race lol. :) Also me being vulnerable with this group will help me to get closer to them as well and show them I trust them. I am hoping it also gives others in the group courage to share struggles that they have and have been ashamed to share.

I will be sharing both my pain growing up with this struggle, my hurts, rejections, feelings of being "less than" other guys and wondering if God could even love me because of this. And also the incredible ways God is working in my life now and how he led me to a group of strangers with the same struggles who showed me the truth of Gods love and how he has used them to encourage and change me. I also will share about my renewed love and thankfulness to Him for how he rescued me from my prison of shame and lies that Satan had been convincing me where the truth about myself. I am going to share how I learned I am worth something to God and loved by Him how I am now. And that I know he won't abandon me on this journey as I move forward even though it will be hard and lonely at times.

Anyways a year ago I never would have dreamed I would be doing this. I never would have even considered going to a small group never minding sharing my biggest secret that has filled me with shame for most of my life! That just shows the power of Gods love and how he can change a scared and shame filled person into a brave person as for me this is a pretty brave thing to do! I know God is giving me the courage to do this as on my own I never would be able to.

Anyways the last year has been the most painful and also the best year of my life because it was the year God finally got through to me and showed me my worth as his Child. I am tearing up as I write this thinking about all I went through this year and how much courage it took and how out of character it was for me. God truly was with me all the way and gave me the courage to do it. Thank you so much those who have commented, emailed, chatted, messaged, talked, and become friends with me for the encouragement and support you have given me. I can never repay you for it.

Praying this year is even more amazing and filled with more growth for both me and you all too! A huge step will be happening next week for me so I have a feeling everything is going to be different pretty quick! I am going to get messy and show people the real me the hurts and pains and the good stuff too. :) I of course would appreciate prayers that it goes well when I share with my group.

Love you guys,



  1. AJ,

    First of all, congratulations on the year you've spent opening up and sharing with others about your struggle through the blog. I'm sure your willingness to let others walk with you has been a blessing to many.

    I'll be praying for you as you prepare to open your heart before others face-to-face. That is a big step, and, as you know, it means more people will be watching you and hoping for you. Your light will shine in a different way and God will be able to use you more . . . but it will be ever-more-important that you diligently seek.

    God Bless,


  2. I'm so excited for you! God's really working in your life. :)

  3. AJ, congrats on your blog anniversary. That's a nice milestone to pass.... and a lot of writing, too.

    Isn't it wonderful to be able and look back at our journey's, and to see progress and that God is doing His good and faithful work in each of us. It sounds like you have grown in so many ways and so praise the Lord for this!!

    I love how you wrote that you "need" a Savior; I really could identify that, because it is so true; everyone needs The Savior!

    I will be praying for you as you share your story in your small group. It is a scary endeavor, but it sounds like there is a lot of love there. Be strong and confident; Jesus will give you His peace to get through. Can't wait to hear how it goes for you.

    Blessings and prayers,

  4. Thanks AJ for sharing in this post, definitely see a different, more confident guy, than a year ago. Good to see such progress. Praying for you for sure as you take this step of sharing with the group. One year, Hallelujah! God bless you with strength and wisdom each and every day.


  5. Wow, man, I don't even know what to say after a post like that! I'm so happy for you. It's amazing how everything has worked out.

    I do want to mention that your blog has been a great help for me during the past year, too. It's good to know that we're not alone in our struggles/pain.

    "And moving forward there is another very HUGE thing happening in the near future. I am sharing with my small group about my struggles. The date is already set and I told the leader I want to share my whole story to the group so there is no backing out! I will be sharing next week and this is a pretty scary thing but something I know God wants for me."

    That is a HUGE thing!! Wow, very brave of you. I hope it goes well. Please keep us updated!

  6. Thanks everyone for your comments and prayers! Just want to say it went amazing! Better than I could have hoped for. They showed me so much love and I finally feel some freedom to be me. Will post more about it soon!

  7. That's GREAT!! Please post ASAP! :)