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August 10, 2012

Well, the porn shop is still there

Made you look, didn't it?  (:

A little over a decade ago, I packed everything I owned into a little Uhaul rental truck, drove through the night listening to REM, and moved into a shoebox 8×16 room on the corner of 14th & 7th in New York City…above a porn shop. (The ultimate NYC experience). I unloaded all my boxes, sat on my wrinkled sheets, and watched the sun rise in this new foreign land of sirens and taxis. I’ll never forget the way the morning light danced off the concrete and glass. It was one of the most beautiful red sunrises I had ever seen.

Every time I come back to this city, I remember that girl. I remember the way she felt, the way she saw the world. I remember how insecure she was, how much she was struggling with food and her body, how every day seemed to be a wrestling match between the truth and the lies she believed. I remember the week she locked herself inside that little room, depressed, weeping, petrified of the future and what the world held. I remember her sitting on the floor, holding her guitar, and pouring out her heart while writing the song Drift Away:

I’m drifting out to where the ocean meets the sky

It’s been awhile since I’ve forgotten what it feels like not to cry

I’m needing You to help me not to drift away, drift away, drift away from You


As I stand in front of my old apartment, I feel like I’m remembering a movie or a story someone told me long ago. I’m so far removed from that girl, locked in her cage of self-hatred, addiction and depression. As I look down and kiss the head of my son, Moses, while holding the hand of my Studhubs, Lucas, I’m in awe of what God has done.

“You really are a miracle worker,” I whisper under my breath.

You can’t make it to freedom and not try to bring everyone with you. When you get a taste of it, when you begin to live it—you want everyone to have it. Why? Because it’s what we all deserve. And no matter what has happened in the past or what you’re currently experiencing, it’s available for everyone. Freedom isn’t just for people struggling with the ‘big’ things like addictions, depression or eating disorders. It’s for anyone who battles anxiety, fear, insecurity, self-hatred. It’s for those who find themselves jealous of others or unable to forgive. It’s for every moment you look in the mirror and judge what you see—believing it’s not good enough.

If you’re still breathing, then you’re a candidate for freedom. No matter what has happened to you, or how old you are—no matter what you’ve done or how impossible it may seem to ever be completely free, I’m here to tell you, it’s not only possible, it’s inevitable when you let God get involved. The purpose of God Loves Ugly is to take the hands of strangers, and guide them in the direction of freedom. Not partial freedom. Not sometime freedom. But total freedom. Either the promises God makes us are true, or He’s a liar. I’ve found out, first hand, that He’s anything but a liar. I’m free because he’s a promise-keeper, and I live to see people discover the TRUTH about this aspect of His nature.

You were made to live free, and there IS a way to freedom. Free from insecurity, free from shame. Free from addiction, free from depression. Free from self-hatred, free from fear. Free from worry, free from anxiety. Free from torment, free from slavery.

Free. Totally free.

Is there an area of your life that you truly believe will NEVER change? Does it seem too big? Too strong? Has it been with you for so long that you’ve surrendered your hands and given up? Hand it over to the God of the impossible. Give Him another chance.

‘God, I surrender _________________ into Your hands. I confess that I don’t believe I can ever change, or that You can really change me. I let go, I give up, I surrender. Come show yourself strong. Come do what You will say you will do. I RECEIVE the truth about You in my life….that You have come to see the captives free—in EVERY area of my life. I won’t live for anything less. In Jesus name, Amen. ’

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