Lost and Confused
I have been on a spiritual journey for 10 years. I almost hate to even talk about spiritual burnout with so few years in the ministry. I've been at two churches in 10 years and the first church was difficult. Though a majority of the church loved us, there were a few patriarchs who I know loved the Lord, but they had lost their way, and they were rough. I was young and inexperienced and they broke me. Although they never saw it, and I never let on, I was broke. My wife was broke. But we stayed in there until God called us away on wonderful terms. Our present church is a blessing and I cannot complain. Even if I could, I probably wouldn't. So it would seem that all is great in pastor-land. While that should be the case, it simply isn't. Over the past year, year and a half, my life has been riddled with one specific sin. It didn't start out as sin, but my research and bitterness towards my wife, led to internet sin. Before I realized it, I was addicted. As the addiction increased, my drifting from God increased. Over the year, it got gradually worse. I never stepped out on my wife and I have not been unfaithful (by God's grace alone), but the sin consumed my every thought. I'd feel sick to my stomach afterwards and pray in brokenness only to fall again in a week or so. I followed the same routine. Sin, feel sick, seek forgiveness, get better for a couple of weeks, and then sin again. It never failed. I begged God's help. I pleaded for Him to take it away. It didn't matter how hard I tried, no matter how hard I begged, no matter how hard I prayed, He would answer. Thus, I'd fall again. It's been about 6 months now, and I haven't fallen back into the sin! It crosses my mind less and less and I am grateful, yet scared. I thought I should be feeling pretty great, having been freed from the bondage, but I do not. Though I am free from it, I feel abandoned by God. I don't hear Him. He's quiet. He has been for some time and now I struggle to preach and teach. I am piecing sermons together just to get by, because the Holy Spirit is not helping me. I ask and do not hear, I am seeking, yet not finding. I wonder if God has taken His hand off of me. I am wondering if the call is gone? I do not know what to do. I have confessed to my wife. She is loving and forgiving and understanding. Yet, God still is silent. I feel lost. I am doubting His calling at this point because I cannot hear Him. If I cannot hear Him, how can I preach. I think it's time to walk away, for I fear God can or will no longer use me because of my sin. I am numb. I am lost. I am eternally broken. I guess one cannot come back from sexual sins.