Are we there yet?

If you have or had small kids and you took a road trip, you can probably hear those little voices in your head asking, “are we there yet? Are we there yet?” On the one hand so cute, on the other so annoying. Sometimes they don’t let up until you actually arrive at your destination.

Many men in recovery act the same way. They come into my office and and spend several months doing counseling only to ask the question, “are we there yet?” This is especially true where marital restoration is concerned. I had a husband this week say he’s exhausted, wondering when the hard work of marital restoration will be over; and it’s only be 4 months since the mocha hit the fan! We long for some future destination where the pain isn’t so present and the difficult work is behind us. I even have people ask me that about my own recovery. They’ll say, “so when did you finally arrive and not have to worry about temptation anymore?”  My response is usually to look at my watch and comment about the ongoing journey. We never arrive. And maybe that’s the point!

Sure, there are stages in recovery where temptation subsides a bit. There are times in relational restoration when it seems like more good days than bad. The general trajectory can be forward and upwards, towards a better day. But the destination isn’t so important. It’s what God wants to do, in us, during the journey that is important. He wants to change our character and our hearts along the way. Too many people miss our on becoming different because they just want to arrive at the destination. And, as a side note, most wives who hear their husband ask “are we there yet” feel rushed, pushed and blamed for the difficult journey of recovery.

If you’re struggling with the the road trip of recovery I urge you to remember; it’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey. God wants to do some amazing things inside you during this stage of the trip. Enjoy the scenery as best you can. Play some travel bingo or the ABC game. Do something to remain present on this trip, rather than miss what God has for you while you’re just waiting to arrive.

5 thoughts on “Are we there yet?

  1. As usual, you are right on time with encouraging words! This fits right in our timeline since my husband attended EMB in August. I realize it’s a long journey, he does too, yet he wants it to be done right now! Thank you for this.

    • Wow, I REALLY needed to hear this. I’ve been thinking along these same lines for several weeks but you really expressed it well. My wife and I have been separated since the end of February with little sign of “progress”. I’ve prayed often that she would soften, that she would forgive me, but I think God is still doing a work in my life. I am not referring exclusively to sexual temptation or acting out but to the wondrous deep work He is doing within my heart.

  2. Jason, I agree with Sandy that your post was right on the money this month. It’s been 3 months now since my journey started at EMB and I daily find myself wishing and waiting for the destination, although I don’t know even know what that is. I can testify that I am a completely different man today than I was 3 months ago and my wife tells me that all the time. Our marriage has completely changed and my relationships with my kids as well. I know that I still have a lot of work to do and alot of changes that need to be made. It’s more of a battle between the head and heart. As you said at EMB, I didn’t get into this mess in a day and won’t get out in a day either. I think the hardest part of change is not feeling different. I have spoken with several other men who attend EMB with me and that is the prevailing thought I hear. ” I don’t feel changed”. I can agree with this because the battle still rages on in my mind and heart that no one else is privied to. I have come to realize though that a reason I fell so deep into my sexual sin is because I was living my life based on my emotions rather than truth. It’s hard to act despite your feelings but I’m trying to not dictate my actions based on how I feel. I hope for a day when joy will return in full and I am completely unleashed. I feel it coming but am not there yet. I hold on to the words of Hebrews 12 and think about God’s discipline and how he is discipling me because I am a son and because he loves me. The discipline is flat out hard and humiliating at times but necessary for character reformation. I pray that God will continue the work that he started in me and in every man for that matter. He is a jealous God and wants all of us to be seeking Him. Thanks again for your encouragement.

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