Happy New Year! I hope that each of you are doing well. I'm grateful for the chance 2018 gave me to get to know you better. It was a very busy year for me and included a car accident, a new home, and a brief stint with a new part-time job at LDS Family Services. I have started 2019 with a little less on my plate work-wise in order to focus more on my family, our new home, and my full-time job at ScenicView Academy. After a busy several years of school, working toward licensure, and many sleepless nights with twins, I'm looking forward to a little bit of breathing space.
I have struggled with trying to identify the best way to offer support to those on the battlefield of recovery. I have tried Facebook pages, but don't want to give individuals anymore reasons (or excuses) to be on social media then they currently have. I am looking at starting groups again, but still have some work logistically to figure that out. For now, I'm going to be focusing on sending out an occasional newsletter and building up a base of individuals who are interested in tools and the chance to talk openly the important challenge of pornography addiction recovery. If you know others who would benefit from these emails, please forward it on. If I have added you to this list in error, I apologize. You can subscribe at the bottom of this email.
I do want to share with you one thought as we begin our new year. I have been taking more time to reflect on the Atonement of Jesus Christ and have had this thought come to mind: how grateful we should be for a God who saves our progress. I grew up playing Super Mario Bros. on first Nintendo wherein you were given 3 lives, and after that, it was Game Over. Once you died, that was it. No matter how far those 3 lives got you, once you died, had to start completely over from the beginning. All progress was lost.
Then, when Super Nintendo came out, Super Mario World gave gamers the opportunity to save your progress at various checkpoints in the game. It was revolutionary! When your player died, it was no longer a complete Game Over. Instead, you were able to start at the last saved checkpoint. Your progress was SAVED.
As you start this new year, please don't forget to turn your focus and attention to your Savior. Christ is a Savior who not only saves us from our sins, He saves our progress in recovery. Because of him, one relapse, mistake, or slip-up isn't Game Over as long as we are willing to push start and try again. Because of his infinite sacrifice, we have infinite lives. We have infinite chances to keep changing our hearts to be more aligned with Him.
The greatest resolution you can make this year is to put Christ at the center of your life. Consider what President Ezra Taft Benson said in context of pornography addiction recovery: "Men and women who turn their lives over to God will find out that he can make a lot more out of their lives than they can. He will deepen their joys, expand their vision, quicken their minds, strengthen their muscles, lift their spirits, multiply their blessings, increase their opportunities, comfort their souls, raise up friends, and pour out peace. Whoever will lose his life to God will find he has eternal life."
Eternal life? Sounds like a gamers dream, thanks to a God who saves our progress.
Ryan has a bachelors degree in recreation therapy, and a Masters degree in mental health counseling. He is currently working as Creative Development for ScenicView Academy in Provo, Utah, a school for young adults with autism, where he creates resources for learning life skills. Ryan is the father of four kids, husband of a beautiful red-haired woman, and has a passion for helping individuals working on pornography addiction recovery. Ryan would love to hear from you.