hopequest blog

Journey – Week Ten

“Are there any emotions on the feeling wheel that you are afraid to feel? Think about that for a moment.

Are there any feelings that you believe are sinful? If so, why?

God is a God who feels. He created us to feel, and it is our capacity to feel that allows us to relate to Him and others. If you are not feeling, you are not relating. And if you are not relating, there is no hope of healing. Let’s take a look at God’s perspective on feelings.

“And not a creature exists that is concealed from His sight, but all things are open and exposed, naked and defenseless to the eyes of Him with Whom we have to do. Inasmuch then as we have a great High Priest Who has [already] ascended and passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession [of faith in Him]. For we do not have a High Priest Who is unable to understand and sympathize and have a shared feeling with our weaknesses and infirmities and liability to the assaults of temptation, but One Who has been tempted in every respect as we are, yet without sinning. Let us then fearlessly and confidently and boldly draw near to the throne of grace (the throne of God’s unmerited favor to us sinners), that we may receive mercy [for our failures] and find grace to help in good times for every need [appropriate help and welltimed help, coming just when we need it.]” – Hebrews 4:13-16 (AMP) 

…Did you notice that condemnation and anger weren’t on the list? When we come to Him just as we are, admitting what our feelings are humbly before Him, all He gives us is mercy and grace. Why? Because He understands us. He experienced it with us by allowing Himself to become a man. He knows. He understands. And He gives us everything we need to survive and even to thrive in the midst of great confusion, anger, and pain.”

–Melissa Haas, The Journey: Book One

Journey – Week Nine

“How are you feeling today? Does it drive you crazy when I ask you that? I remember my first counseling and group sessions. There, prominently displayed on the wall was this thing called “The Feeling Wheel.” And, of course, in stereotypical psychological fashion, somewhere in the beginning of every session was that same question for me.

“Melissa, how are you feeling today?”

The first time I tried to respectfully answer the question. The second time I rolled my eyes. The third time, I sighed audibly. What could identifying and naming my feelings possibly do to help my situation? Wasn’t it obvious how I was feeling? I mean, how would you feel if your husband had been repeatedly unfaithful for five years?

The problem was that over the years as I had endured verbal abuse and been manipulated by an expert liar, I was no longer aware of my feelings—especially the negative ones. I had learned that it wasn’t safe to be angry and somehow convinced myself in the process that anger was a sin. Therefore, admitting that I was angry about what Troy had done would make me a sinful person, and that was just something I couldn’t bear to do. I was already feeling somehow responsible for Troy’s sexual sin. If I’d only been thinner or sexier or better in bed. All of those feelings were based on lies I had come to believe, but the only way to dispel the deception was allow someone on the outside to hear my heart, empathize with me, and show me truth.

My counselor, fortunately, was a very determined lady. She listened carefully as I talked, quickly

pointing out feelings that were hiding behind my words. Gradually, I began to really feel again. And when I did, I discovered something truly amazing. Feelings—even the yucky ones—are a great gift from God. Feelings are the tools God gives us to show us when something is wrong and when things are okay. If I am aware of negative feelings, then I can deal with the problem that is causing them. If I cease to feel, then I cease to relate. And if I cease to relate, I am of no good to anyone.”

–Melissa Haas, The Journey: Book One

Journey – Week Eight

“How does God feel about your pain? What is your perception of how He feels about you right now?

Let’s take a look at the Father’s heart for a few moments.

“Do not be afraid; you will not suffer shame. Do not fear disgrace; you will not be humiliated. You will forget the shame of your youth and remember no more the reproach of your widowhood. For your Maker is your husband—the Lord Almighty is His name—the holy one of Israel is your Redeemer; He is called the God of all the earth. The Lord will call you back as if you were a wife deserted and distressed in spirit—a wife who married young, only to be rejected,” says your God. “For a brief moment I abandoned you, but with deep compassion I will bring you back. In a surge of anger I hid my face from you for a moment, but with everlasting kindness, I will have compassion on you,” says the Lord your Redeemer.” – Isaiah 54:4-8 (NIV) ”

–Melissa Haas, The Journey: Book One

Melissa: The Journey for Spouses

When it comes to addiction, sometimes it seems like the addict becomes the focus and the family gets left behind. One of the places that help support spouses of men who struggle with addiction is Journey. We would like to introduce you to Melissa Haas, as she shares about Journey.

Click Here to watch Melissa’s Video…

Melissa: “Journey is a safe place for spouses to come and grieve the losses associated with their guy’s sexual addiction, and a safe place to grow in just what God wants them and has for them regardless of what happens in their marriage.

We started Journey in 2001. I needed a group back then, and what I was looking for was a safe community of women who could walk alongside me as I worked through the consequences and the pain of my husband’s betrayal.

Part of Journey is walking through a curriculum that I wrote based on my own experiences. It’s 10 weeks in the first book, written in a format that gives both emotional help and a place for spiritual connection with God.

I also have another option for women who want to continue on a healing, growing journey. It’s called Continuing the Journey, it’s our Journey Two book. And it walks through our own stories, what we’ve come to believe about ourselves, about God, about others, and how those beliefs may keep us from living a fully-devoted relationship and lifestyle with God.

If you decide to come to Journey, one of the things that you will experience is a large group time, where there is either teaching or testimony from a fellow Journey-er. We use, all of our leaders, all our facilitators are peers. They all have experienced being married to a guy who struggles with sexual addiction. So everyone in the room is like you.

After large group time, we break up into small groups, where we process what we’re learning and experiencing through the curriculum. And those small groups are really the place where community happens: spiritual community happens on our journeys of healing.

All of our groups are facilitated by women who have taken their own journeys down this path. They have all experienced sexual betrayal, because of their husband’s sexual addiction, and they’ve all taken a healing journey, and they are all at a place where they want to give back to other women like you.

It’s really inspiring for me and encouraging to me that Father has continually redeemed the pain of my story, of our story, in a way that helps others heal, and it’s my privilege to walk alongside other women on their healing journeys.”

Sexual Addiction Curriculum Available!

 

Walking Free/Journey Support Group Materials

We have affordable small group resources that give men and spouses a path towards freedom from sexual addiction.
Building for Freedom is for men pursuing honest and authentic relationships with Jesus Christ and other believers through personal study and group support. Designed to engage men both spiritually and practically, this 15-week interactive study addresses the challenges of sexual integrity in profound and life-changing ways.
Journey is written for spouses of sexually broken men. Journey can be done alone, with a therapist, or as a part of a Journey support group. Journey groups are a 10-week counseling and support group for women facing betrayal and loss. Using the Journey workbook, women will work through topics such as “Angry – but not Stuck”; “Admitting Fears”; “Setting Limits”; and ‘”Trusting Wisely”.
Leadership Kits are also available to those that desire to start Walking Free or Journey Groups through their church.  For more information on materials or starting a group in your church, please reach out to Gant Garner. Gant will be able to offer direction and support when it comes to starting groups or purchasing materials. Call our main office at (678) 391-5950, or email Gant directly at gant.garner@hopequestgroup.org

The Importance of Community

A crucial part of operating a nonprofit is our relationships with the local community.  Counselors, medical professionals, detox facilities, churches, care ministries, lawyers, and individuals with a heart to serve, to name a few.  Since we are located in Woodstock, Georgia, we are blessed to be so close to the big city of Atlanta, which offers many opportunities to connect and partner with other organizations.  We get phone calls every day from hurting people, and we never want to hang up the phone without giving them another resource to find the help they and their loved ones need.
One of the strong focuses for HopeQuest in 2015 is to strengthen relationships with our local referral partners and community.  Some ways we do this is offering tours of our facility, making appointments to share HopeQuest with counselors and churches, and connecting with the resident recovery community.  We want to aid other organizations by offering our outpatient support groups, Journey and Walking Free, as well as make our inpatient program, Trek, readily available.  In saying this, I want to take a moment to extend this opportunity to you.  If you, or your company or church, is interested in partnering with us, or would like to have a conversation about resources that are available to you, please contact us.
Thank you for your continued support and prayers. God Bless!