Ricky's Story

 

I used to believe that it’s more important to look good, than to actually be good.

My father was a well-known Christian leader; so we, as a family, were very good at looking good! I learned that perfect performance got me the affirmation I wanted so badly, so I became preoccupied with building up my “ideal Ricky” – my “glittering image”.     

I worked hard to be a good Christian, a spiritual leader, and eventually a pastor.  I found that people liked, admired, and were even impressed by me.  I think I was hoping that God would be impressed, too.  But there was a problem:  I was just not the man people thought I was.

Behind the glittering image, I was a mess.  I may have seemed confident, but really, I felt insecure.  I struggled with jealousy because God seemed to bless everyone around me, but me.  I was angry – at God, at my family, at myself, at the church.

Deep down, as I struggled with all this, I felt like a mistake.  I was ashamed about who I was.  I rejected and hated myself.  I was tired of living this way.  Deep down I longed to be free, and I tried!  But I was just stuck.  Journey helped me get unstuck.  

In Journey, I met real people with real struggles.  And these people gave me a great gift: they showed me a new way of being – that I could just be who I am, warts and all – before them, and before God.  And as I learned to trust this, as I stepped out and confessed my struggles and my secrets, I found that I wasn’t rejected.  I didn’t lose everything – and my life didn’t end.

In fact, in some ways my life actually began.  I experienced a new depth of love, and acceptance, forgiveness and grace.  Through Journey, I met Jesus in a real and life-changing way.

Life goes on, and life is not perfect.  But I can say Journey has impacted every part of my life -- every part of who I am.  I am not living that split-life any more.  I’m living in freedom and connection with Jesus like I never have before.