It’s no secret: I have struggled with blogging the past several months. When YOB started, I was a regular. I was posting pretty much every week. Blog ideas were coming out the wazoo and I was putting them all out there for the readers.

I was reliable. Dependable. Always ready to share.

And then I almost left it all.

I shared a post many months ago that I was feeling like the outcast of this group. In a community of outcasts, I was feeling like the one person who didn’t belong. I was the black sheep of YOB.

Few feelings are worse than that of feeling like a man without a community.

Because of this, I made a terrible mistake. I let Satan grab that nagging doubt in my mind and make it a foothold.

As I looked around, all I could see was every reason for me to leave YOB. All I could see were the differences between myself and every other guy here. I was one of the few who was married. One of two who had kids. To top it off, I was alone in my field of ministry. And I felt like all of my thoughts and ideas were way different than anyone else’s.

All of this pointed to the idea that I was a mistake. Again. And it killed me.

I’ve spent my entire life feeling like the mistake, the “plus one” who was never meant to be added. I have always struggled with this. My parents had me by accident. My brothers told me I was an unwanted burden. I was Mr. Third Wheel of all my friend groups.

I was the oddball outcast everywhere I went. But YOB was one of the first places where I felt like I wasn’t uniquely alone.

And then, the community where I finally felt I belonged was proving me wrong again. By all my evidence, there was one conclusion: I am a worthless and unnecessary addition to this blog. To this community.

I wish I could pinpoint my exact moment of discovering this. I wish I could also pinpoint the way I got out. Honestly, I stumbled out of this conclusion as easily as I stumbled into it.

Perhaps it was how I struggled with a three-week depression episode in the holiday season. Perhaps it was my new counselor who is finally connecting with me in a way no other counselor has been able to do in over a year. Or perhaps it was the enormous amount of sugar I consumed over Christmas.

By whatever path it happened, it seemed that one moment I was questioning how to get out of YOB and another I was coming to realize that my disconnectedness was not caused by facts but by lies. I had completely fallen into a trap and been sprung out of it — mostly without my realizing that it was happening. And that scares me.

These lies had infected my thinking, distracting me and tearing me apart little by little. They were powerful and strong and took root quickly.

By all logical accounts, I should not be free now. I don’t know how I escaped. Honestly, I believe it was the mercy of God.

And I’m so thankful.

It scares me to think that I might have thrown away the chance to let God use me. I cringe at the idea that I almost gave up one of the most important communities God has placed me in. I believe in the vision of YOB whole-heartedly. And I work so hard to connect with my close friends intentionally about the LGBT community.

My story is open to them completely in an effort to help them help others.

I hope that I don’t fall into another trap as I did these past several months. And I ask you to forgive me, dear reader, for how poorly I’ve struggled and how I came so close to failing you and, ultimately, failing God.

I pray that even this mistake will be used by Him for His glory.

Have you ever come *this* close to quitting something or “giving up on God”? What stopped you, or what pushed you over the edge?

* Photo courtesy Perry Wunderlich, Creative Commons.

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