Tom Brady is often referred to as the greatest quarterback of all time (all you other guys, keep reading). Some even distinguish him as the greatest athlete to ever compete in modern-day sports. With six super bowls championships, four MVP awards, and countless stats, this is hard to argue with.
However, have you ever wondered where Tom Brady would be without his coach? You see, for each of the winning drives, comeback victories, and championships runs, Tom Brady has been fortunate to have Bill Belichick on his sideline, who himself happens to be highly esteemed. In fact, many refer to Belichick as the greatest coach in NFL history.
Therein lies the question: where would Brady be without Belichick on his sideline? We may never know.
When I look at my own life, I am convinced that I need a coach. But I didn’t always think this way. In fact, I tried to do my best without a coach for a long time. I did have some instances of success along the way. However, I also had some disappointments, some failures, and some moments where I was outright stuck.
Suddenly, I found myself feeling alone and lost, as my unwanted sexual behavior brought chaos to my life. This is until I found my first coach: my Pure Desire counselor.
This would prove to be the best decision I ever made, as God used this relationship to provide exactly what I needed to finally become a champion.
When I first began counseling, I was entering into a big season of transition in my life. In fact, my job, reputation, and relationships were all in jeopardy of changing due to the consequences of my addiction. As we approached the disclosure process, it became apparent that I would need to meet with a local, non-Pure Desire clinician to complete an assessment. In preparation of this, my Pure Desire counselor made it clear that he did not want me to visit with this person until he first had a chance to speak with them. He affirmed, “I want to make sure that they don’t treat you like a criminal.”
When he said this, I completely lost it. I was overwhelmed with emotion, as I suddenly realized two things: never before had I felt so alone, and never before had I felt so cared for.
As the reality of my struggle with sexual addiction came to light, I found myself alienated from my friends, colleagues, and family—even within my own marriage. These were the natural consequences of my behavior, yet they left me with the painful reality of being alone. It was in the midst of this pain that I was confronted with the unexpected love and grace of my coach, who wanted to go out of his way to advocate on my behalf. Why would he do this? Was I even worth it?
Instead of being alone, I had my counselor in my corner from day one. This was something that I desperately needed, and God used it to transform my soul. At a time when I felt so undeserving and unlovable, I had a person fighting for me. Never was I more grateful for having my counselor—my coach—on my sideline.
Tom Landry, legendary coach of the Dallas Cowboys, once described a coach as,
...someone who tells you what you don't want to hear, who has you see what you don't want to see, so you can be who you have always known you could be.Tom Landry
My counselor had vision for exactly what I could achieve, and exactly who I could be. He knew that I desperately wanted to rebuild trust with my wife and find long-lasting freedom from sexual addiction. However, even more invaluable to me was his ability to lead me in the next step.
Every conversation, exercise, and tool was an incremental step in my recovery journey, often involving things I didn’t want to hear or see. For instance, we navigated the realities of my current condition—all the sexual and non-sexual ways I was broken and needing repair. Together, we also looked back at my past and built a language for the “child-within.” Finally, we looked inward, peeling back the layers to find the source of my need to cope with life’s stresses. Many times, this road led me into twists and turns that I myself was completely unaware of. I had created blind spots in my life, hindering my growth and progress. I needed an outside, objective voice to speak into my story.
Working alongside my counselor illuminated many of these areas of darkness, such as fears and insecurities, that I had hidden below the surface, as well as the reality of my wife’s perspective and her impact from my behavior. Without the vision and guidance of my coach, these blind spots would have kept me stuck on my road to recovery.
My counselor also cast incredible future vision for my recovery, which still motivates me today. We would discuss the realities behind sexual addiction; the fact that a multitude of men and women are all around us, suffering in the shadows and bringing pain to those that they love most.
Today, every time I stand up to tell my story, or even as I write this blog, I am empowered by my counselor’s persistent challenge to “shout it from the rooftops” and “take sweet revenge on the enemy.” My counselor made me believe I was a courageous fighter and that my story could be a fierce and powerful weapon against the enemy.
My counselor had a way of bringing stability in the midst of extremely difficult circumstances. I’m convinced this is a unique gift God has placed on his life, in affirmation of his calling. Whether it was navigating disclosure, exploring painful events of my past, or identifying the difficult realities of my addictive behavior, I felt safe. He made me feel understood, validated, and accepted.
Without such a presence of grace in my life, I would be left alone to fend off the enemy’s lies and accusations. And if there’s one thing we can count on, it’s that the enemy will be there to lead us into fear, anxiety, and doubt. I can’t imagine navigating such difficult waters by myself.
I’m reminded of the image of Peter and the disciples, in Matthew 14, at sea in a boat, caught in the middle of a storm, trembling with fear, as they see a man coming toward them. However, once Peter realized the man was Jesus, and fixed his eyes upon him, he gained the strength and courage to take the next step. This was a very scary step, in fact, as he was called to step out of the boat and onto the stormy water. Yet he endured. It wasn’t until he took his eyes off Jesus that he became overwhelmed with the fear of his circumstances, yet Jesus reached out to save him nonetheless.
Undoubtedly, my sexual sin had brought about a storm in my life, leaving me trembling in fear of the unknown. Yet I endured. Having a coach who continually reminded me of Jesus’ presence, calling me forward, gave me the courage and strength to step out of the boat. And as each subsequent step went further into the unknown, the faithful presence of my counselor kept my eyes fixed upon Jesus’ grace and truth.
Had it not been so, I can be certain that I would not have taken the steps necessary to find healing. Perhaps I would have attempted a step here or there, but ultimately I would have given in to the fear, leaving me in bondage to my sin. I am forever indebted to my counselor for providing stability in my storm and helping me find the courage to follow Jesus’ call on my life.
Undoubtedly, our culture understands the value in a coach. In fact, we seek out and invest in them frequently, especially on matters that are important or unfamiliar to us.
When purchasing a home, do we not spend thousands of dollars to have someone guide us every step of the way with their unique understanding and wisdom on the subject?
Or why is it that we require continuing education for even our best medical professionals, legal counsel, and educators, so that they will be regularly coached by other colleagues?
When setting out on a road trip to a new destination, do we not ensure that we have our GPS prepared, with a reliable cell connection and a full battery?
We would never do it alone! This is because we are aware that isolation can be unreliable, misguided, and outright dangerous—risks we are not willing to take. Why then would we treat our recovery any different, especially with the vitality of our life, our marriage, and our kids on the line? Should we not be seeking out and investing in a coach?
Do you feel alone, lost, or chaotic in your present circumstances? Do you feel stuck or unable to truly achieve the victory that you so desperately desire?
Seek out and invest in a Pure Desire counselor and you will find an advocate, a visionary, and a source of stability. God has graciously provided Pure Desire clinicians with understanding, insight, and direction to get you where you want to go—to make you a champion!
Reach out today and start the conversation. It will be the best decision you ever make.
Scott is the Associate Director of Missionary Mobilization at East West Ministries International in Plano, Texas. He is also a volunteer Pure Desire Regional Group Advisor for the Central Region—overseeing, developing, and encouraging group leaders in his region. Scott is passionate about men and women finding the healing that God can bring when people are willing to do the work necessary to break free from addiction.