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Growth in Confession

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“In middle school, I experienced a lot of social anxiety and never felt adequate to my peers,” said Shane Rasch. “If I wasn’t at school or sports practice, I was at home escaping into the world of video games. Around that same time, I was introduced to pornography. My friends showed me how to access it myself and it became a regular part of my nightly routine. I knew there was something wrong, but I couldn’t pinpoint what it was.

“As time went on, problems at home started. My dad’s struggle with alcoholism caused daily fighting between my parents. I continued to escape, numb, and rebel with video games, pornography, weed, and sex.

“When I went to college, I just wanted to go somewhere that no one knew me – a new way of escape. In my fraternity, I tried to be the good, respectable guy who worked hard and played hard. I thought I should be happy because I finally had a thriving social life, but I was miserable.

“In my first semester of college, two guys in my fraternity reached out to have lunch. They shared Romans 6:23 with me. Few of my friends or family were religious so I thought it was just an outdated way of thinking. The guys continued to explain that humans are separated from God, but Jesus died for us to bridge the gap. I don’t remember everything that they told me, but they said, ‘Christ died for you, Shane.’

“The temptations of parties and alcohol continued, and at a New Year’s Eve party in 2010, I was attacked by a group of guys. I was filled with rage after this fight. Emotionally, I was so exhausted with the life I was living. When I went home that night, thoughts about God started in my head. I knew this wasn’t the best life. My actions only made things worse, and I knew Jesus offered a better way. In that moment, I prayed to God. I remembered what I was learning with my friends: God is powerful, good, and just. Jesus became obvious and real to me.

“My Christian friends celebrated the fact that I accepted Christ. They showed me how to read God’s Word, pray, and share my faith with others. The Holy Spirit changed my perspective on life. The world felt so different. I developed a heaviness and conviction when I committed sins. He even changed my appetite for things like alcohol and weed.

“I got involved in the same campus student ministry these friends were part of. Eventually I was hired on staff. In many ways, I transferred my ‘work hard, play hard’ mentality to my faith by finding my worth in how much ‘impact’ I was making.

“Some of my sin struggles took longer to shake. Through my time with this ministry and faithful leaders, I learned that watching pornography was a sin. I knew it had felt dark and shameful my entire life, but I didn’t realize that God was opposed to it. I thought I could stop doing it easily, but in reality, I just learned to hide my addiction.

“When I started dating my wife, she found something inappropriate on my phone. I brushed it off and blamed the students in my ministry. The next day, I came back and confessed. I didn’t want to get married while I was struggling with this addiction. I continued to get help through counseling and the biblical community around us.

“A few years later, I was diagnosed with testicular cancer. My ministry felt like it was at its peak. But my cancer took away everything I found pride in. I couldn’t go into my fraternity house because of chemotherapy. I couldn’t connect with new students throughout the year. I didn’t have physical strength. I was weak and sick. I couldn’t memorize Scripture or read my Bible. A lot of things were stripped from me, and I had to learn to fully rely on the Lord once again.

“In a short amount of time, I was healed from cancer, married my wife, and moved to a new city. To be fully transparent, in the midst of transition, change, and a lack of community, I have relapsed a few times since my first confession. But freedom has come from now being in community and having men and women who know me fully and who continually point me to God’s Word.

“I wish people knew that it’s not that extreme to confess to others. For so long, I thought it would be the end of the world if I shared my life and my sins with somebody. Whenever I thought about sharing my sin, I thought I’d lose my job, my spouse, and all respect. But you can’t heal by covering it up. You grow in your relationship with the Lord when you confess where you fall short. God says that when we confess, when we pray, there is healing (James 5:16).

“When I reflect on my life, I see how shortsighted I can be. God sees the bigger picture. He cares about me as His servant. God is continually showing me not to rejoice in the ministry or power He gives me but in Him. He reminds me that He chose me, He loves me, He’s enough for me, and He offers true freedom.”