Well here I stand, or sit I suppose; at the familiar place of conflict and indecisiveness. Knowledge can be a terrible thing, especially when one is familiar with knowledge that can potentially qualify or disqualify either course of action; given one’s intent and purpose. I am grateful to God for granting a fervent heart towards study and meditation, I am grateful to God for giving sound counsel and instruction, and I am grateful to God for all the things we cannot possibly give Him enough credit for-Praise God Almighty indeed! That being said, I find myself at a precarious and familiar position in the current season of my life, faith, and life of faith. Please allow me to give a “rundown,” of the events and experiences that preclude this; in order to keep all things in proper perspective. I feel it may be prudent to divulge these things in order to have a complete view of the situation and the factors that perhaps cloud my discernment and judgment on these things. I am a 35-year-old man, single, never married, no children, and a generally basic all around life I suppose. While I have had more than my share of relationships, none have yet proven to be of a lasting and sound quality. In my teenage/young adult years I was quite honestly little more than a petulant child with no clear direction, goals, aspirations, or moral/spiritual foundation. These things surely played a significant role in my approach and decisions towards romance and relationships. I spent a lot of time traveling around the country, partying, committing stupid crimes, (as though any are a wise decision, LOL!), and generally going nowhere in life though I went places in the world. Any “relationship,” during this stage was of fleeting and shallow nature. Many were mutually agreed upon, “good times,” with both parties knowing and accepting that a day or two later; the other would be old news. I spent some time taking advantage of the drug trade and women overcome by addictions; using my supply as leverage to easily get the physical reactions I desired. I even delved into personally pimping some out to others to make money for myself. All of this was vanity and atrocious behavior; but for where I was emotionally, mentally and spiritually-it was “par for the course.” Then from my early through late 20’s I tried to settle down some; limiting my drug usage/involvement to marijuana and meth mostly. (I do not proclaim this as being noble mind you, I simply state the facts; holding onto meth and weed were incredibly poor decisions in the most generous of terms.) I held down some jobs, I invested myself in actual romantic relationships; but my luck was no better in this regard. I made my share of mistakes, but I was really giving honest effort and sincere loyalty at this point; yet it reaped no rewards. For all my efforts, each relationship crumbled; most in decisive and dramatic fashion initiated by the women I was with. For posterity’s sake I would like to note that I had been saved now since just before turning 21, so I wasn’t completely given to the wrong spirit and thus simply “cursed.” That being said, I had struggles all through my 20’s with being consistent and stable in my walk with God. It wasn’t that I lacked sincerity or passion, it wasn’t that I lacked biblical knowledge, and it wasn’t simply that I intentionally held onto things that were detrimental to my walk. (This is however true in part, as there were elements I had yet to surrender; I simply voice that it wasn’t “merely,” that alone.) For years I would repeat the same process: For many months I’d be on fire for the Lord, thoroughly embedded in the church and kingdom, constantly seeing to my daily walk in an “above and beyond,” manner. I didn’t just read my bible daily; I read, re-read, prayed, meditated, read again, prayed again…. for hours each day. I didn’t just attend church; I went to multiple Sunday AM services, Sunday evening service, Wednesday evening services, small group sessions, life-groups (IE: Men of Valor, Men of Integrity, Mountain Movers, etc.) and any other events or functions available. I spent hours in intense and fervent prayer over anything and everything; praying to praise God, then praying for others, then praying for providence and finally praying for myself. I would apply every insight given into my life and others in ways that did impact the kingdom. (Folks, I do not proclaim these things out of any desire for praise, honor or glory; truly to me these are no more or less a Christian’s duty to do wholeheartedly. I state these details to illustrate the contrast you will see shortly, and to exhibit the idea that these things in and of themselves are not an assurance of stability.) However, at some point I would feel overcome by guilt, shame, low self-confidence, and feelings of worthlessness, loneliness, sorrow, etc. Most of these things were self-imposed self-condemnation, though I didn’t see it at the time; for areas of my walk in which I felt I was not as victorious as I should be. Because my life and results didn’t match what I saw in everyone else’s life within the church I judged myself and began to question my faith, salvation and value to the kingdom. Thus I fell away and went months at a time until I realized how far I had fallen and how long it had been since I’d prayed, picked up a bible, or went to church. Meanwhile, as I dealt with spiritual inconsistency and my own internal demons on the matter; I still went through a similar cycle in life regarding romance. I would find someone I liked, who seemed to be interested in me; and we would try things. It always began with excellent chemistry, quick development of attachments, (not necessarily an ideal or healthy thing,) and the appearance of a quality pairing in the making. There were a few quick “I love you’s,” and even a few week-one “I think I’m pennant’s,” but both items turned out not to be the case in each circumstance. I often ended up a crushed, single man; further jaded by the experience, and further doubting my own worth. Value, and potential. I found myself used, cheated on, lied to, stolen from, mentally/emotionally blackmailed, manipulated and generally demoralized.(I was even stalked for over a year by a woman I didn’t even know claiming she was in love with me and we were meant to be together.) To make matters worse; the women seemed to realize early that I was not a man prone to violence, control or possessive nature-thus these traits were capitalized on as weaknesses. I was often abused; the women knowing I couldn’t bring myself to harm a lady no matter how upset I was. It was incredibly crushing to be beaten by the one I’d loved; that they would even have a desire to hurt me this badly. Each relationship showed promise, then showed red flags, then quickly disintegrated; leaving a fractured heart and soul behind. Then finally in early 2014 I simply gave up trying; when my then fiancée out of the blue just vanished with another guy, never to return. Now this part of the story merits a bit of deeper explanation. In early 2012 I had gotten involved with this woman, and we lasted about 6 months. In the final few months, many sins arose that became increasing in number and duration both. First she would just disappear for hours at a time, wouldn’t reply to calls, texts, instant messages, social media posts, etc. Sometimes she would say she had to visit a “friend,” but was not at liberty to say with who, where she would be, or for how long. As the days and weeks passed by, these absences would be for longer, and more frequent. When she was with me she went to great lengths to make me feel loved and wanted; but these periods of absence troubled me. It began to be 12 hour periods, then a day or more, finally several days at a stretch. There was always some “good excuse,” she could not be reached. The cell was dead, her battery fried, she forgot a charger, they didn’t have a phone, etc.; but never did I hear the who, the where or why-she was very closed on these things. Finally, after a week straight of me asking her to simply tell me if she was unhappy and wanted someone else, if she was already seeing someone else-she told me. Since about our 3 month mark she had been seeing a guy named “Butch,” and that was who she’d been with each time; and that they were involved. Needless to say that was my cue to leave. Rather than make a scene, or cast condemnation upon her; I just gathered my stuff and exited “stage right.” I didn’t see her again until near the end of 2013, when of all places; she showed up unannounced at one of my friend’s homes wanting his roommate to give her another person’s number so she could buy weed! We talked for a long time that afternoon, and it seemed like she had learned some hard lessons in the year and a half since we split up. She seemed much more level, responsible, accountable, and was noticeably penitent about what had transpired; and seeing me there apparently brought up some old feelings for her. She asked if I wanted her to come “visit,” me that night; the intentions being implied. I said I really didn’t care either way; though at the time I would have preferred she go on ahead and rot in hell-but I couldn’t say that. Well she did show up, and she was expecting certain “things,” but I set her pretty straight quite swiftly. I told her I simply had difficulty believing in her change, and wasn’t ready or willing to even consider anything of an intimate nature. I did still have love for her, but it was deeply buried under sorrow and pain; and I made that fact apparent. I told her if she had any desire to pursue things then she needed to work hard at proving she wasn’t the same person who crushed me before. To my surprise she accepted the challenge enthusiastically and joyfully. After a few weeks of her visiting, and being denied physical intimacy; she was still hanging in there and showing honest effort, so I “adjusted,” things a bit. I told her that again, I wasn’t certain I was ready to trust her in a relationship type commitment, but we could simply “try things,” on an unofficial basis and see how they went. It wasn’t a relationship; it was agreed that “it was what it was until it was something else one way or the other. She kept working at it though like a champ, and just after 2014 hit I let her move in with me and we tried things again officially. Things were going well, we were a much stronger couple this time it seemed, and it helped that she was present. There were no disappearing acts, and she made it a point to let everyone know that where she went I was likely to come with so they had to deal with it. This way I would have no doubts about her loyalty. However, things in her personal life began falling apart; and her close family became so militantly opposed to who she was and her life’s trajectory that they even became violent with her. Out of respect for her wishes, I did not confront her brothers and male cousins beating her; but I wanted to, Lord forgive me but I did wish to. It got so bad we had to make a tough decision to get her away from those situations; either move to the outskirts of the city and basically tell nobody, or go somewhere and start over. In the end we chose option “B”. I had to put the college education I was pursuing on hold because I could not maintain that and relocate. I would have no resources, transportation, or knowledge of area colleges where we were going; really had no idea where we were going. I terminated the contract on the home I was paying on, packed up and went where she wanted to go because for her it was this or she just couldn’t do it. I wanted to go to Phoenix, AZ or Hot Springs, AR as I had some friends, resources and connections in those places; but she wouldn’t consider it. She told me she had a friend in Forest City, IA who agreed to house us until we got stable, help me find work, and support our needs as best he could. He was even going to drive 5 hours to come get us and take us there. So, given lack of options I consented; packed up what I could bring, and gave up all I worked for to start over with her in this place I had never heard of. Things got even more complicated as we neared the end of the drive. About a half hour from Forest City, when we stopped at a gas station; she took me aside and said we “needed to talk.” Apparently, this “friend,” was the guy she had cheated on me with and left me for years ago; and she didn’t want to tell me obviously fearing how I would react. She assured me he had a wife now, and had no ill intentions; but not to let him know I knew or it may cause “issues.” I played nice, said nothing and just carried on, “business as usual.” The rest of the ride, Butch told us how things would work, he had a home, we would have our own room, we would be given our privacy. We needed pay nothing, he would provide food and basic necessities, and help me find work. This was temporary but we need not feel rushed; take the time we needed to get stable and self-sufficient before feeling we had to leave. While I was not too enthused about the situation, I could do little other than grudgingly accept the terms and ‘generosity,” of the guy who had “stolen my woman,” once already. Just wait, it gets better. So we pull up to this Hardees in tiny Forest City, as he says he needed to stop and talk with his wife; let her know he was back. I found out later that she had not been told we were coming, she had not been asked to volunteer her van and gas to come get us, and that he and she had been separated for years. Apparently Butch had barely earned “couch status,” back. Then, it turned out they had no “home,” as described, but a small apartment with an abundance of roaches and black mold; needless to say no bedroom or privacy for us. His ex-wife as it actually were, was livid at him for these things; but she showed no ill will towards us. In her eyes he was the idiot who messed up, we were not going to be punished for his errors; and could stay if we liked. Between the living conditions, the intense nature of the situation, and the tiny fact that I really wanted to smash the guy’s face; after two days I told Sarah we needed to figure something else out. So I drained the last vestiges of my bank account, and since there were no available rental properties; used that money to pay for 4 weeks at the only hotel in the town. It wasn’t much but was the best that could be done with limited options and limited resources. I got a job my first few days there, not a great job; but enough to support us moving forward as Shift Supervisor/Asst. Manager at the Subway restaurant there. I found an uber-traditional Lutheran church there; which was a far cry from my Pentecostal/non-denominational background, but they were kind and sincere. I needed to have a spiritual foundation of some sort right? Yet for these blessings, things still began falling apart. Every day I would get up, clean up the room, get her autistic son ready for school, walk with him to the bus, then run back and get my things for work, head to work and work sometimes until close. Then I’d return to the hotel room, clean it up again, fix a very late dinner since no such thing ever managed to get done when I was gone, then settle in to let my lady vent her frustrations at me, yell at me, and cold-shoulder me until I fell asleep. It became quite taxing doing everything all the time, while doing all the worldly work, supporting us single handedly in the hotel, being the only responsible parent for the boy, and meanwhile spending days off looking for permanent dwelling and trying to see to my spiritual health. Finally, I’d managed to save enough money that though I was short on total rent+deposit; I was able to secure us a large 2-bedroom duplex apartment only a few blocks from work. Then the day of the move in, Sarah told me she was sorry but simply couldn’t “do it anymore.” Then she informed me she and her son were leaving with Butch and moving back to Sioux City. Same girlfriend, same guy, same result. It was very demoralizing and disheartening having trusted her again, been fully invested, having given up everything to suddenly pack up and move to this strange place where I knew nobody…only to be abandoned for the same guy she left me for the first time. It was now near spring 2014, and I decided to completely swear off relationships; it simply was not worth the pain and heartache that were bound to come. I decided I’d be better off single for life than risking breaking a heart that barely had any pieces left in the first place. So when she left I said to myself, “Well, Geoff, you’re here now; you don’t have much to go back to in Siouxland, so might as well just stay here, pick up the pieces and live.” That is exactly what I did too. I moved into the giant 2-bedroom place, and spent two months working overtime to get ahead on rent and acquire basic furniture, household needs and such. I found a pitch black stray kitten one day whom I immediately adopted and named “Spirit,” for she was to be my friend and comforter. For several months I scraped by, but actually lived quite a peaceful and content life; free from the constant strains of a shaky relationship and overwhelming single-handed responsibility. Anyhow, since then I have grown a lot spiritually, remained stable in all areas as best a man can, launched a restoration ministry, published two books, (one a leadership resource to implement the restoration ministry in each church setting,) relocated back to Sioux City, and been a respected and active member of my church and community in so doing. (Saved since May 5, 2002; consistent in church attendance since about 2010, if you are curious-in spite of the situations which arose.) So this brings me finally to where I am at today. It was 2013 when the lord put the calling upon my life for this ministry, and it has been a lot of work, research, prayer, meditation, counsel, and trials to get here. Yet, I was able to launch about three months back on a web based platform for now via the site and social networking. The ministry’s literary/educational resources are published and in both print and e book format, and I have compiled a series of Spiritual Concept videos to help folks understand basic Christian principles/concepts. While I still feel the financial burn from the injury, time out of work, relocating and pouring resources into the ministry to launch; things are going quite well nonetheless. That said, I have been fighting the pangs of loneliness and sorrow; part of me wishing I had a quality woman to write the rest of my life’s story with. On one hand, I would immensely value a Christ centered, spiritually sound, Spirit-filled lady; one who equally adores Father and has an uncommon passion and love for God. One who has a similar unquenchable thirst for his Word and to serve the kingdom. One who can both love and be loved as we walk the valleys of life’s journey. On the other hand, I greatly fear being crushed again. I have difficulty believing in my own value as a partner given my past experiences. I struggle to hope and even dare to hope; as each time I put my heart out there, it comes back in pieces…some simply missing. I will always be dedicated to serving God first; any woman would have to know and accept this. I will always have to put the ministry’s needs above my own; she will have to know and accept this too. I may at some point be required to travel for periods in order to help establish “chapters,” of this ministry; perhaps even globally-and there is no telling at this point when or how long. I will have to observe proper Christian morals and scriptural principles in any facet of a relationship this time without fail; for obvious reasons. Due to these things, I wonder if it is not simply a sign that I am to be committed only to God and ministry; that even considering a potential future wife is utter vanity. Tragically, this does not discount the great weight of loneliness and void there is without someone close to love and serve as well. I am dedicated to the course I am on whether I am granted a wonderful wife, or allowed to go it alone. I will praise God Almighty no less either way; my faith in Him is not continent upon me being “given,” a wife or not. I am content where I am if that’s where I am to be. I simply wish to avoid limiting God and His will for my own simplicity or convenience. I don’t want my baggage to obstruct what His plans are if He has already groomed the perfect woman for me; so I cannot afford to simply discount the possibility. So I suppose I am simply asking for outside perspective. I am not looking to immediately make any decisions mind you, but I feel my view is too jaded at this point to look at all angles objectively. I know that if it be God’s will for a wife, it will happen in His time, with whom He chooses, and in the manner He selects. I know that if it is not in His plan; then any efforts I undertake will only be fighting against that will. That said; I would be eternally grateful for outside feedback on these matters; please feel free to offer what you feel led to offer. Thanks and God Bless!