Hopeless, confused, and ashamed, were all words that described my mental, spiritual and emotional state in June of 2015 when I attended my first RLI conference. After spending nearly 18 years in full-time ministry, I was broken and had lost my identity. Earlier in 2015, I had betrayed my marital vows, betrayed my church congregation and my God.
Being the Lead Pastor of the largest church in town and one of the fastest growing churches in the region, my fall was very public and very hard. After reuniting with my wife in late spring of 2015, she insisted that I (we) attend the upcoming RLI conference being held in Portland, Maine. Looking back, I am not sure that I was ready to go through the spiritual rebuilding process, at that time. One thing I did want was answers. Why did I do this? How could this happen? Why now? My wife and family deserved answers. I was completely lost and confused about who I had become.
Through the many years of pastoring and growing up in the church, I had been to a lot of conferences. The RLI conference was unlike any I had ever attended. Bryn and Mike did a great job teaching & preaching on the many different topics at the conference. When I fell into my sin, many well-meaning people would offer their support by making statements such as……”You’ll get through this” “God still loves you” “These things happen” But that wasn’t good enough. I wanted to know WHY!
The part of the conference about the “Unloving Spirit” and the “Father’s & Mother’s Love” is where I began to get my answers and finally start to make sense of my situation. I was in a dark place and had no idea if I would ever escape it. Upon hearing the characteristics of the unloving spirit, it connected with me, for the first time, in months, perhaps even years. At that moment, it felt like a light came on in my soul. Though the light was dim and flickering, none the less, it was light! As the teaching of “Mothers & Fathers Love” was presented, more light came into my soul. I finally believed I was getting some answers! For the first time in months, I saw a glimmer of hope.
After attending two additional RLI conferences, I have been able to peel away the layers of pain that I had deep inside of me. Each time, I left stronger and in a much better place. I simply don’t know if I would be here today without RLI. The road of restoration and redemption has been long and painful but RLI has been instrumental in the healing & restoration of my marriage, ministry and my soul. As I continue to move forward, into the next chapter of my life, I can look back at an incredibly dark period in my life and see the light of RLI shining bright.