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That Constant Pull

Aug 28, 2022

I am coaching my eight year-old, Isaiah’s basketball team and having a blast. It has been so cool to see him and his teammates grow and improve this season. I love coaching. I was a little surprised last week when I got a call from the commissioner of the league. He called to tell me of some concerns that had been brought to his attention.

A few weeks ago, the Tennessean, a local newspaper wrote an article about RefineUs.  The article went back 5 ½ years and retold the story of the affair, our recovery and how we are using that experience to help hurting people. We both felt like the article was well written and we were thankful for it.

The article didn’t sit as well with others in our community.  There were complaints issued to the league commissioner about my past and my right and worthiness to coach kids.  We had a great conversation. He stated their concerns. He thanked me for being real and transparent, and apologized for even having the conversation. I brushed it off, acted like it didn’t hurt and hung up the phone.

Trisha came into my office a few minutes later and she could see the devastation on my face. Tears filled my eyes, and a familiar feeling filled my heart.

There is a constant pull in my heart toward shame. There is a constant pull in my heart toward guilt. There is a constant pull in my mind toward unworthiness. In that moment, like others before it, there was a battle going on in my mind to not equate their disapproval of me with God’s disapproval of me. There was a battle to not be defined by my past, but to find my identity in my future.

You know that pull? You know that pull toward shame? You know that pull toward guilt?

-You can never make up for your mistake

-You won’t ever be anything but a drunk

-You’ll wear a scarlet letter for your affair for years

-You should always live in shame over your abortion

-You can never live in freedom because of your addiction

If you are honest today, maybe you feel like are losing the battle for your identity. You have equated the mistakes of your past for who you are. You’ve equated what others’ believe about you to be what God believes about you. You’ve resigned to the fact that you can never make up for all that you’ve done.

That is the truth: You can never make up for what you’ve done. And neither can I. That is the beauty of grace. You don’t have to.


You are not your mistakes.

You are not your past.

You are not your poor decisions.

You are not your failed relationships.

You are not your broken promises.

You are not your unfulfilled expectations.

Want to join me in resisting the pull today? Live in this verse:

2 Corinthians 5:17- “This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun.

Allow God to pull you into His grace today.

Do you need to allow grace to overcome the pull of your past?