Hardship Series: The Difficult Process of Unmasking Authenticity

LISTEN TO EPISODE 27 HERE.

The last few weeks, we've invited different guests to share their stories of pain and sickness, and what they've learned about navigating hardship on their journey of faith. This week we shifted our approach to look at a different form of hardship: not the type that suddenly breaks into our lives, but the type that gradually builds up and eventually reaches a breaking point.

In this week's podcast episode, we invited Greg Faulls - a pastor, blogger, and seminary educator - to come and share about the time he found himself at a crossroads of life after decades of striving for a sense of worth and value. At this time, his life came to an abrupt halt, and he knew that he needed to make a change.

"I've always been someone who has gravitated to achievement and ambition," Greg shared, "But it would take me decades to come to a place where I was understand that I was a workaholic. This is something that I am seeking recovery over."

When Work Becomes an Addiction

Greg shared his story of falling into a pattern of intense striving that gradually separated him from himself. He eventually began to find help and healing in Christian therapy. Greg began to realize that he wasn't living the full and abundant life that he was advocating for to those in his care. He began a long process of recovery and of reconnecting to himself, to God, and to others.

"If you deny your feelings.. if you don't feel and embrace them...then we will all look from something to numb our pain," Greg said, "This becomes a terrible cycle. My wakeup call was my inner pain that had become so intense that I didn't want to be alive."

Greg shared that after making the decision to receive intensive counseling, he began to see how this process of recovery was bringing him to a whole new level of humility.

He described humility as being on one end of a continuum opposite ego. However, ego can take two different forms. We can have a superiority "I am better than you" ego or an inferiority "I am the victim" ego. Consequently, Greg defined humility as understanding "who you are and who you are not." Humility is knowing your strengths and knowing your limits. One of the biggest lessons that Greg has learned on this journey is:

"The real gift of life is found in humility."

Greg transparently shared his process of reconnecting with his wife and children as he progressed in his recovery, and his current commitment to continuing to go therapy and support groups. To end, Greg encouraged any of us who might relate to his story with the following words: "You're worth it. Reach out for help."

Go to a pastor, trusted friend, or Christian counselor and tell them, "Things aren't right." Even if you don't know the next step, be honest about where you are currently at. This is the first step towards healing.

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