A Plan I Didn’t Know About If you don’t believe in God or any sort of divine plan, you may not grab hold of this post too tightly. That’s OK, and I hope you keep reading. You still may see some things in a new light. At the very least, I hope you can see there just may be available grace to your recovery that you’re not truly aware of yet. I lived in a secret for over two years. A public personality, alleged to be of superb moral character, only to be exposed literally overnight, disappointing a large sea of people. Relationships Samantha and I had built for over 12 years were seemingly gone and dissolved in an instant. To this day, I’m still somewhat amazed by how rapidly we were isolated. When I was about 27 years old, I began to pastor and speak at several churches across the state. While doing some fundraising, I came across a gentleman in his late 50’s who was a very high profile leader in one of the largest Christian denominations in the country who heard me speak and had nothing but affirming and encouraging words to say. He went on to mention that I reminded him of a certain pastor who once held crusades and, though he wasn’t Billy Graham, was gifted in his own right. Everyone at the table knew who he was talking about. He even expressed a desire to mentor me in my gifting and speaking. But he had one warning. He said “Though you remind me of this person, do not turn out like him.” I was stunned and obviously said “Well, what did he do?” He looked me right in the eye and said, “He cheated on his wife and lost everything.” I laughingly excused such behavior. At 27, I assure you I had no desire to cheat on Samantha at any level. But here I was, 10 years later and every friend, every pastor, every employee, every accountability partner I had, vanished. I literally had nowhere to turn. It was just a week after discovery, and I was suicidal. (This was months before we would eventually come to meet Rick Reynolds and his team.) At this point we met with two therapists who were clueless on how to help and described me as the worst case they’d ever seen; almost sociopathic. Hopeless, broke, and suicidal, I was in my back yard praying late into the evening. I remembered the story of the gentleman who I had heard was just like me. He had cheated and lost everything. Say what you will about what voice it was, but I felt the urge to call him and see if he’d talk to me. Somehow a stranger who I had never met seemed like a comforting friend I could talk to who wouldn’t shame me, hate me, or yell at me. Then again, who knew where this man was mentally, emotionally or spiritually. Thanks to the internet, I found his name and reached out immediately. I had to trick his secretary into giving me his personal email address, but no matter what she was not giving me his phone number. I emailed him and shared who I was and the story behind me reaching out, and he agreed to talk to me on the phone. That same day we spent an hour on the phone and low and behold, yes, he’d lost everything. Except his wife. And his faith. And his calling. Within a few days, Samantha and I would drive three states away to be with them and spend time with them. With a church of several thousand, and a staff too big to count, they opened up their home to us and began to mentor us. They were absolutely instrumental in our early recovery and were the very voices that kept us from separating early on and from believing the therapists who said I was “the worst they had ever seen and Samantha was best to divorce me and move on.” To this day they are great friends and an example of what we did not see coming…but God did. Isn’t it funny, yet comforting, that some 10 or 12 years before my fall, the Lord knew to plant that name in my mind? To know He saw it coming and knew it was going to happen, yet still loved me and cared enough for me to give me a plan, is awe inspiring. To know he had provision for Samantha and I to find hope, moves me in ways I find hard to describe. I hope today you’ll realize you too are not alone. You too have provision for your recovery. You too have a plan available for healing, even if you don’t see it now. It’s not a guarantee your spouse will cooperate, but it is good solid comfort that there is hope for you too. There is a God who loves you and cares for you and will meet you right in the middle of your pain.