🎶Beyond this land of parting, losing, and leaving, far beyond the losses, darkening this, and far beyond the taking and the bereaving, lies the summerland of bliss. — Beyond This Land of Parting (hymn)🎶
(Therapist) Tell me about yourself. Where’d you grow up? What do you do for a living? What brought you in today?
(Client) I grew right here in the metro area. Growing up, I looked and acted like your typical aging adolescent boy — good student, somewhat rowdy, seemingly being raised in a close and stable family. However, what people didn’t know was how lost and alone I felt; that was until one day my neighbor invited me to his church.
My very first experience at church was very impactful! I was hooked on day one! Everyone was so friendly. Smiles and welcoming sentiments flocked my way from every direction. I was blown away by the music and congregational singing. Even the preacher had me in his tractor beam. His message of love was so on point with me that I even wondered if he had some intuitive knowledge of my life and wrote that sermon specifically for me.
I left that place feeling overwhelmed with joy and love. Maybe for the first time in my life I felt like I had a place, a community, where I belonged. My church family became my priority for years to come. I even went to college and majored in Bible so I could penetrate the hearts of the hurting just as my own heart was pierced all those years ago. For the last several years, I have been doing just that; or, I should say “had” been doing just that.
(Therapist) Oh? What do you mean?
(Client) Well, a couple weeks ago, I was fired from my ministry position, which is why I’m here today. You see, one thing I kept hidden from others, even my wife, was my affinity to pornography. You see, I didn’t grow up in the best of circumstances. Life in my family was unpleasant to say the least. One day, when I was 12 years old, I found my father’s porn stash. I quickly discovered how exciting, yet calming porn could be. So, when my parents were gone, I’d take the opportunity to consume pornographic…