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Abuse

Breaking Down Walls of Self-Protection

I spent most of my life living behind a wall of self-protection. If I was just big enough, strong enough, smart enough or angry enough, I might be able to keep people away, especially those who had power to hurt … Continue reading

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Do I Need To Forgive My Abuser?

My failure to forgive my stepfather for all the abuse and humiliation he inflicted upon me acted as a barrier to greater healing within me. For years I was consumed with anger, hatred and bitterness toward him. The years of … Continue reading

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Overcoming Sexual Abuse

In my early twenties I found the courage to face my attraction to the same sex. After a couple of years of secular counseling, I was able to acknowledge my sexual confusion. Even though I was able to understand more … Continue reading

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A Journey Towards Wholeness

A journey often leads to unexpected places, as did my time attending Living Waters. One evening a man shared his story; while I listened I grew increasingly uncomfortable, fidgeting and becoming agitated. The violation he experienced seemed rather small to … Continue reading

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Learning To Live With Chastity

My journey in chastity as a single person has had its up and downs. As a young child growing up in the Catholic Church I learned that sex before marriage was a sin. I loved God and didn’t want to … Continue reading

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Finding Name and Identity

“I hate you!” It was the first time I actually said it out loud to my dad. I was scared. He knew it, and lashed out at me. There was no return volley from me. I recoiled back to my … Continue reading

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Addiction/Idolatry

Overcoming Romantic Idols

“Those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs.” (Jonah 2:8) When I heard the Living Water’s teaching on narcissism and relational idolatry, I didn’t think it applied to me. Though not obviously narcissistic, I as … Continue reading

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Idolatry and the Internet

Idolatry? Me? I don’t like that word. It sounds so foreign, so pagan, so Old Testament. Yet, it is the reality of today and of a secret part of my life. Addicts or a sexually compulsive people know how to … Continue reading

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Recovery from Sexual Addiction

“My wife and I have been married for thirty years, but we met just fourteen years ago.” I was the oldest of four in a home of constant adrenaline and drama. My father was distant and busy and my mother … Continue reading

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From Idolatry to Intimacy

“But their idols are silver and gold, made by the hands of men. They have mouths, but cannot speak; eyes, but they cannot see; they have ears, but cannot hear, noses, but they cannot smell; they have hands, but cannot … Continue reading

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Anxiety

Freedom from Isolation

A man tells his story of how Living Waters empowered him to live a full and better life!

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Appearing Healthy

Growing into Who We will be “We are not yet what we shall be, but we are growing toward it. The process is not yet finished, but it is going on. This is not the end, but it is the … Continue reading

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Moving Past Isolationing Self-Awareness

In reaction to my early environment I laid a foundation for an egocentric self-awareness. I turned inward, transforming my legitimate need for intimacy into a heightened form of neediness. My relationships were filtered through my perceived needs, which became the … Continue reading

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Finding Hope In God

Believing and Living in Hope I just resigned from ministry. For the second time. Twenty-five years ago I entered the darkest season of my life to date. It was halfway through our second Living Waters program. Within a matter of … Continue reading

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The Idol of Self

As I have grown as a leader, God blesses me with favor through the many things He has entrusted to me. His blessings aside, I find that remnants of childhood insecurities lead me to doubt Him. I am aware of … Continue reading

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Catholic

Infidelity Earthquake

That PTA meeting forty years ago required huge mustering. I had left behind a pile of supper dishes, two little boys adjusting to a newborn sister with grave congenital problems, and a husband who had just told me he longed … Continue reading

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Becoming a Good Catholic Husband

Years ago, a fellow Catholic shared a statement that struck me. It was at a tavern between sets of an Irish guitar player, over quite a few beers on a guys’ night out that my new bride had consented to. … Continue reading

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Living Waters: A Unifying Force

By Maite Rodriguez Living Waters was a place where I was able to receive the healing I longed for. I am still in the process and that is a good sign for me that God has more in store for … Continue reading

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Living Waters: One Body, One Faith

By Dean Greer “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” Eph 4:2, 3 As the day’s move forward, I … Continue reading

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Depression/Grief

The Value of Relationships

As a young believer in a faith-filled family, my early relationships were developed within my home church. However, during junior high, after being betrayed by some of these significant relationships, I withdrew, and from then on, pursued friendships outside the … Continue reading

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Healing from Pain

The message of my life’s experience was to deny that any suffering was taking place—even when much suffering, loss or injustice was present. While I am certain that no-one intended to harm me, the denial of pain was part of … Continue reading

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Overwhelming Grief

Several years ago I had a half-day intensive session with a pastoral caregiver who had decades of healing experience. Overwhelmed by grief, I had a great need for understanding, affirmation and encouragement. I recounted all the extreme sources of pain … Continue reading

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Family Wounding

The Gift of Caring For Others

When I received the request to write an update on our lives, a myriad of things came to my mind which I could share regarding what the gift of healing has made possible. Through the cross of Jesus and the … Continue reading

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My First Defense Was Anger

“Masculinity is an achievement, not a given, and it is vulnerable to developmental injury.” Joseph Nicolosi I knew sex outside of marriage was sinful and that as a Christian I was not supposed to engage in sexual behavior until marriage. … Continue reading

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Walking Away from Addiction towards Healing

Growing up in a Christian family, I was extremely blessed to know the story of Jesus from a very early age. My elementary years were happy ones for the most part, as I was homeschooled while also attending a Christian … Continue reading

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Finding My Father

I am the child of a Latin single mother who loved me so much that she gave me life. Yet I had a couple of strikes against me. Not only did I have the stigma of being born out of … Continue reading

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God’s Treasure

The brightly wrapped Christmas box contained the best thing I thought I had ever made. It was a plaster mold of my six-year-old hand. Spray painted gold and topped with a loop of the same red ribbon that held the … Continue reading

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Fear

Finding My True Voice – Becoming A Lion

Men are meant to be lions—conquerors, strong, tender and victorious in the midst of challenge. Such men are also lovers. They selflessly do good for others even to the point of death. These men are meant to be dangerous and … Continue reading

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Learning To Trust

Trust has always been the issue. Who is trustworthy? How do I place my well-being in another person’s hands? Can anyone handle the secrets I keep? I do not want the secrets. Their burden is heavy and they eat away … Continue reading

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Shining Light On Shame

“Our true selves are not perfect selves. . . . Love alone frees us to admit recurring weaknesses.” The idea of my weaknesses being exposed, let alone actually confessing them, terrified me for many years. I had carried a seemingly … Continue reading

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Overcoming Fear of Rejection

From my earliest childhood memories, I felt defective and uncovered. Instead of the carefree existence that one would hope young children experience, my childhood was marked by a pervasive sense of isolation, alienation and a fear of rejection. I rarely … Continue reading

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Healing Trauma, Fear and Abuse

It wasn’t until I attended my first Living Waters training that I named abuse as part of my past. While listening to the teaching and the definitions for different types of abuse, I realized I had experienced this kind of … Continue reading

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Get Out of Our Bedroom!

My husband, Christopher, and I are in our bedroom, very interested in something other than sleeping. Suddenly, doors magically appear in the walls of our bedroom and people begin pouring in and milling about, wanting to interact with us. I … Continue reading

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Gender

Restoration to Awkward Places

Restoring My Name My given name at birth was Debra; I was probably named after the perky actress Debbie Reynolds and I remember really loathing my name. While Reynolds is five feet tall (if that) I’m six feet and have … Continue reading

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Choosing Hope Over Disappointment

The trees rushed by, a hazy blur outside the car window. As my mother drove, she conveyed important news to my sister and I: my father was gone and would not be coming home. Why was he leaving? Did I … Continue reading

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How Do I Embrace Life When I Feel Hopeless?

“It is where personal power seems most defeated that we are given the most profound opportunities to act in true faith.” Gerald May, Addiction and Grace Not long after completing my first Living Waters program, I discovered I was HIV … Continue reading

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Speaking Grace and Forgiveness

As a daughter of a 1952 Olympic athlete, I grew up knowing that the boys in my household had a destiny, and the girls got to cheer them on. That’s what girls did: cheer the boys on. I did that … Continue reading

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Afraid of Men and Boys

I grew up in a Christian home. I heard a lot of truth from the Bible, both at home and in church. We were pretty much there whenever the doors were open. In my experience, truth was not met with … Continue reading

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I Should Have Been Born A Boy

I recall being seven years old and identifying with my father: I always wanted to be with him and like him. As I was drawn to masculine activities, I always felt that I should have been born a boy, not … Continue reading

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Marital Problems

Beauty and The Breach Video

Marriage is the most important relationship on earth. When it is broken, it damages all involved; its healing releases wholeness for generations to come. Beauty and the Breach is designed to be a sound and clear group format for couples … Continue reading

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Needed Breakthrough

A woman describes how Living Waters brought the breakthrough that we needed for her marriage.

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Consequences of Abuse and Restoration

From the husband: Many of us come to Living Waters not realizing how our personal “walls” are torn down and burned. Where our boundaries have been compromised or destroyed, we usually respond in one of two ways. First, we may … Continue reading

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A Broken Man’s Journey to Wholeness

I am a broken man: damaged by neglect and abuse, afflicted with drug and alcohol abuse, acquainted with depression and mental illness. I come from a long line of broken men. My grandfather fled his native country for the promise … Continue reading

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Marriage in Crisis

Twenty years ago my husband Mike and I first participated in the Living Waters program. During a time of crisis in our marriage, we didn’t know where to turn. Although we had been honest with Christian friends concerning the pattern … Continue reading

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Sexual Hunger and Satifaction

As I considered and prayed about writing this, the clear word that I heard was “wandering.” In Psalm 107 the psalmist describes wandering in desert wastelands, driven by hunger and thirst all the while having life ebb away. Such an … Continue reading

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Pornography

Breaking Porn Addiction

I was standing at the doorway of my home office. I stood there for a moment and could see the cursor blinking in the search engine box. I had just connected to the Internet by repairing a broken modem long-forgotten … Continue reading

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Life Beyond Pornography

One of my earliest memories is of sitting on the floor of my room at age four crying, “I want Daddy, I want Daddy!” I’d broken a rule, and my mother had sent me to my room. As I cried, … Continue reading

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Shame

Freedom from Shame, Freedom for my True Identity

I came to know this ministry in 2000 when I attended Andy Comiskey’s first seminar in Thailand called “A Pure Life by the Power of the Cross.” The real life testimonies and teachings from various speakers affected me greatly. It … Continue reading

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No Place I’d Rather Be

I have misunderstood and misused my sexuality and my femininity. I’ve had sex before marriage, been involved in a lesbian relationship, and struggled with emotional dependency on both men and women. I certainly did not see myself as a gift, … Continue reading

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Finding Home

My church upbringing was a positive experience. I had lots of support in my teen years, and the youth group was a place where I belonged. My good Christian friends gave me confidence in myself. I always had my parents’ … Continue reading

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Deep Shame Was Growing

She sat there, a teenage mother holding her infant son, looking out over the Pacific Ocean from the cliffs above a California beach. Her heart was deeply lonely and she felt empty. For hours each day she sat there looking, … Continue reading

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Love Beyond Shame

I was born and raised in an environment that looked good and godly. But its “goodness” actually fostered a strong sense of inadequacy, remorse and frustration. I became defensive and pushed away the acceptance and love that I desired and … Continue reading

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Unwanted Same-Sex Attraction

How God Met My Pain

Our lives are indeed journeys through valleys and mountaintops. Before coming to Living Waters, my journey seemed more like driftwood floating through the ocean. I was waiting for the next wave to move me along. My heart was hollow. My … Continue reading

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Finding True Identity

“Things will be different for you.” These were the first words that were uttered into my ear the day I was born. They were said by my mother, who was motivated by a desire to break the cycle of oppression … Continue reading

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Overcoming Same-Sex Attraction

As a worship offering during Lent I watched The Passion movie. Of my “fasts” and “feasts” this year, one fast was to abstain from movies unless I was in the company of others. So I invited men and women from … Continue reading

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Confession Opens Ways Grace

In my legalistic upbringing in a conservative church, there wasn’t room for imperfection. The love I received was in response to the perfect, compliant image I could convey. I felt great shame for my failings and imperfections, and I was … Continue reading

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Feeling Not Quite Right

As a little girl growing up in the 60s, I felt twinges of things being “not quite right” with my interests. Dolls seemed lifeless and boring, as did playing house. My best friends were the boys in the neighborhood, and … Continue reading

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