I’ll Never Get Caught.

12 Dec
Note: Having recently celebrated 10 years of marriage, I began a series of stories, or rather mistakes I’ve made in those 10 years. I hope that through these deep, personal stories, you’ll come to see, as I have, the gloriously beautiful experience of the Gospel that is marriage.

I'll Never Get Caught Part 1

These may be the last words you ever read from me. Not because of some proverbial notion that I get hit by a bus, or I’ll never write again, or that I have run out of things to say, but because honestly, these words will tell a story that’s difficult to share. One that you probably won’t enjoy that much.

Enjoy is not a very good word to use there so let’s go with the word hate.

Hate is a much stronger word, I know. But it’s the most accurate word I can grasp right now.

I use it because I have felt this tension inside me, building throughout this series, knowing it would lead here.

And I hate here.

I have lost friends because of here.

I have seen smiles turn to blank stares because of here. I know you know what I’m talking about, the disapproving, disappointing blank stare. The ones that stay with you forever. The ones you never forget — ever.

My marriage has never been the same because of here.

When I look at the photo above, I’m reminded again, and I grieve some more from the loss that here has handed to me.

Let me tell you, we reap what we sow alright. No one in their right mind can deny that. It’s a spiritual certainty. (Tweetable.)

It’s something like the spiritual equivalent of Newton’s 3rd Law.

Even suggesting to tweet that phrase above just seems silly in the context of the gravity of this story — eh, this mistake that is.

I remember growing up and hearing that phrase again and again, you reap what you sow, always thinking I would be some sort of exception. Like for some unknown reason I would escape punishment, I could avoid being caught. Caught for what I didn’t know then, but whatever it was I would sow, I just imagined that the reaping would be for someone else, not me.

Boy was I wrong.

I’m sure by now you’ve discerned that in the story of my marriage exists some darkness. Some places I’ve been, decisions I’ve made, and patterns of behavior I’ve committed of which I hate. Stuff that, sure, The Father, in only His loving-kindness graciously redeems, but the wake of which continues to pierce old wounds.

Trust is an extremely sacred thing. Once it’s fractured, it’s not so easy to repair. Only affections of the heavenly realm can mend that which is broken.

I understand that now more than ever.

For me it started early as child, discovering a stack of Playboys in the bathroom — at least that’s how I remember it. That beast grew as I fed it, until there were just remnants of innocence left. Pornography sank its ugly teeth in me early as a child and wouldn’t let go till it nearly took everything from me.

I know God has a plan, I’ve always known that. Some of the fondest memories I have of my grandmother are her writing those words in birthday cards, holiday cards and handwritten letters. I know He takes our messes and turns them into messages, but that doesn’t mean I’m not allowed to hate who I was back then.

I’d give anything now to be able to travel back in time and rescue that little boy, love that 13-year-old or even beat the crap out of that 20 something.

I was so foolish to think that I could hide it forever.

It wasn’t but a few short months after our wedding that Mary caught me the first time.

Somehow I wasn’t as careful as I thought and she found some traces of something disturbing on the computer. Suddenly I was found out. I was trapped with nowhere to hide.

To be honest, I was scared and embarrassed. I mean we had talked about it a little bit when we were dating. And when I say a little, I mean, I did what all of us men typically do when we’re sorta kind of fessing up to something; we try to candy coat things. Like how when we’re late for something we’ll tell someone we’re farther down the road than we actually are.

Only when Mary refused to come home, did it really start to sink in on just how serious things were. I couldn’t ignore the plank in my eye any longer.

I hate that it didn’t stop there.

I hate that at that moment things would change for years to come.

I hate that for years to come I would continue to struggle with pornography.

The greatest storytellers in the world talk about story in the context of redemption. They tell how we all have parts of our stories that God redeems. I certainly talk about that a lot as well. But it’s always nicer and neater in the context of someone’s else’s story. It’s always easier to tell someone else’s story, than the dark parts of your own.

That is until the sunlight breaks the dawn, until the freeze lifts and makes way for new warmth and until that fateful stone rolls away.

There’s a new song in my heart these days, one that I can’t stop singing. One that draws deep into the well of my soul producing a flood of tears. The words covering each and every broken reminder of that place, that man I once was. It’s called The Rock Won’t Move by Vertical Church Band. The chorus reads:

The Rock won’t move and His word is strong.

The Rock won’t move and His love can’t be undone.

The Rock won’t move and His word is strong.

The Rock won’t move and His love can’t be undone.

The Rock of our salvation.

Even though I can’t say that the story ends here, and that the morning sunrise chased away all traces of darkness and pain, I can boldly proclaim that The Rock didn’t move. He was right there in the middle of it all. His words are strong and His love can’t be undone.

Again, right in the midst of the storm, while the storm was still raging, as scriptures describe, Jesus calls to us all. He certainly was for me and promises to continue to do so for you today. No matter what your storm looks like.

The disgusting statistics of those addicted or struggling with pornography are astounding. They tell us 1 out of every 2 men are addicted to pornography. While I’m empathetic and compassionate for those struggling, can I get close and step on some toes for second? There’s only one thing at the end of that tunnel — death. If you or someone you know is struggling, get help. Do whatever it takes.

Josh Collins

Josh’s series 10 Mistakes in Marriage will be continued here on http://www.morethanabeard.com.  If you can’t wait, you can check out his website at www.thejoshcollins.com.

5 Responses to “I’ll Never Get Caught.”

  1. Dave Wonders December 12, 2013 at 08:22 #

    Thank you for sharing your story Josh! I know it can be tough to be vulnerable about our shortcomings (particularly in an open forum like this one), but I know that your testimony will help numerous men that are dealing with the same things that you overcame. Blessings my friend!

    • sixsteps268 January 11, 2014 at 09:53 #

      Thanks Dave!

  2. Dave Scott December 12, 2013 at 10:06 #

    Thank you for sharing Josh! The vulnerability and transparency is awesome and God will use that to do great things. It encouraged me.

    • sixsteps268 January 11, 2014 at 09:53 #

      Thanks Dave! I’m honored.


  1. I’ll never get caught. Part 2 (Mistakes that I have made in Marriage) | More Than A Beard - January 9, 2014

    […] you’ve previously read in Part 1 and throughout the rest of this series, I’ve faced many demons in my life, least of which was […]

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