July 18th 2023
#26: Conquering Habits, Addictions, and Triggers Through Jesus’s Love
Join me, Andrea, as we boldly navigate the challenging terrain of triggers in Sacred by Design.
We’ll unveil the power of naming and understanding your triggers, the important second step towards breaking the cycle of addiction.
Together, we’ll journey through the profound wisdom of the Bible, revealing how Jesus is aware of our struggles and invites us towards wholeness.
The second half of our conversation takes us deeper into the realm of freedom from our sexual brokenness through Jesus’s love and understanding.
We’ll challenge ourselves to identify and control our triggers before they control us.
Remember, Jesus is here to offer us power and freedom from these triggers.
As we wrap up, consider exploring more by visiting our website and connecting with one of our spiritual coaches.
Listen in, as we illuminate the pathway to overcome the power of triggers and step into the liberty of Jesus’s love.
Transcription: Conquering Habits, Addictions, and Triggers Through Jesus’s Love
You’re listening to Sacred by Design and I’m your host, andrea. If you’re struggling to connect your struggle to God, settle in. We believe Jesus knows your sexual brokenness and is inviting you to wholeness. Are you ready? Here’s your invitation this week. Hey, I am so, so glad that you’re here and I hope that you hold on to that gladness with me, because today, on this episode of Sacred by Design, I would really love for us to talk about triggers. Can we do that, or how about I talk about them and we learn about them together? I know that that’s a scary word, so let’s just take a deep breath in, just right where you’re at. Just take a nice deep breath in, hold it for a second and then let it out of your mouth so you can hear it real slow. Take your head, stretch it side to side if you need to Roll your shoulders. This is something that we’re going to need to work through, you and me and Jesus.
Triggers hold a lot of power, don’t they? They do. You know it. Someone walks by wearing a certain cologne and you stretch your neck and all of a sudden you are transported in that room with that person and then again, you have to shake your head. You have to stretch your hands, raise your eyebrows, whatever it is, to shake off that memory. Triggers hold a lot of power. Maybe even it’s a song, and as you’re looking off, your imagination just takes off. So let’s talk about triggers. How about I give you a trigger warning as I bring you into one of mine?
Hearing a child cry used to stop me in my tracks. Really, every muscle in my body would tense to the point that it felt like it was just concrete. The one thought screaming in my head is that child is being hurt and I cannot move. And then in floods, the shame. And then comes the isolation. It turns me to ice and I don’t want anybody near me talking to me or touching me. My trigger sets off a series of emotions and actions in me and for most of my life my trigger held more power than me, but not anymore. Why do triggers hold so much power? If you’re trying to quit hooking up or turning to porn or masturbation, getting to know your trigger is a game changer. Kurt Thompson, who’s a mega mind of science and spirituality, says that if you name it, you can tame it. But we’ll get to that in a second.
Let’s consider first just even the cycle of addiction. It begins with a challenging life event. Number two is the trigger, then preoccupation, then ritual, then the sexual act and finally despair. Do you see that your trigger is right there, at the start of your unwanted sexual behavior? By definition, triggers kickstart a series of events that lead you to acting out and ultimately leave you in shame, and triggers can be any kind of physical or emotional pain or discomfort brought on by memories associated with the traumatic experience. There’s a hefty definition, so it is essential to pay attention to what you’re feeling.
When temptation hits to discover what your triggers are, does it feel like an ache in your chest? Does it feel like a dizzying in your thoughts? Why should you know your triggers? Look, if you’re here with me now, you may be feeling caught in a cycle of here we go again or wow, how does this always happen? The cycle can feel exhausting, it can feel predictable and it can leave you lonely. Let me be clear God designed your body, your heart and your mind for so much more than an exhausting, predictable, lonely life. Consider what it could look like to reclaim some of the power that your cycle takes from you and take it back. So learn your triggers. So let’s talk about Kurt Thompson again, because he says we have to name it to tame it. I’ll take it one step further and say if you can name it, you can tame it before it claims you Figure out what you’re craving. Take back the power by taking the time to explore your patterns and bring them to Jesus. Yes, jesus, can I invite you to consider just asking him to help you with your trigger, because he knows and do you know how I know he knows Aside from my life John 18,. If you have your Bible or your Bible app or you want to bookmark this for later, it’s John 18.
Jesus had been arrested and was facing Caiaphas. Meanwhile, peter remained outside standing by the door. The servant girl who was the doorkeeper said to Peter you aren’t one of this man’s disciples too, are you? I’m not, he said. Now the servants and the officials had made a charcoal fire because it was cold. They were standing there warming themselves and Peter was standing with them warming himself. And he went on to deny Jesus two more times and the rooster crowed. A few chapters later, jesus dies, is buried and resurrected. And the second chapter I want you to bookmark is John 21, because we see Peter again, and this time he’s out on a boat fishing, and the gospel reads at dawn Jesus was standing on the beach but the disciples couldn’t see who he was and he called out have you caught any fish?
No, they replied. Then he said throw out your net on the right hand side of the boat and you’ll get some. So they did, and they couldn’t haul in the net because there were so many fish in it. Then the disciple Jesus loves said to Peter it’s the Lord. When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his tunic for he had stripped it for work and jumped into the water and headed to shore. The other stayed with the boat and pulled the loaded net to the shore, for they were only a few hundred yards from the shore. When they got there, they found breakfast waiting for them, fish cooking over a charcoal fire and some bread. Bring some of the fish you’ve just caught, jesus said so Simon Peter went aboard and dragged the net to shore. There were 153 large fish, and yet the net hadn’t torn. Now come and have some breakfast, jesus said. None of the disciples dared to ask him who are you? They knew it was the Lord. Then Jesus served them, the bread and the fish. Could you see it? Did you catch it?
The charcoal fire is a doozy of a trigger. In the first reading, peter stands by a charcoal fire as he denies Jesus three times. It would have marked him deep, deep in his heart and his mind. That charcoal fire had to have permeated every sense in Peter. He could smell the flames, he could smell the smoke, hear the crackle, feel the warmth, just that distinct taste on his tongue. Imagine Peter seeing Jesus again and then catching sight of the fire. I wonder if he slowed up a bit at the smell of the crackling flames. I wonder if a pang of guilt gripped his heart.
Jesus knew the trigger. He set the scene and this time he puts himself in it with Peter. My goodness, he wants to do the same for you. Jesus set the fire, stood beside it, cooked a feast on it and then offered Peter three times to proclaim his love for him. And he wants to do the same for you.
Jesus knows your trigger. He knows the way it affects your body and the path that leads you down, and wants to give you power and freedom from it with him. I wonder if you can trust him with what sends you to porn? Can you give him the thing that initiates your craving for a body? Can you name it to tame it with Jesus? Learning your triggers means you still feel the fear or the loneliness, but the change is you can name the fear or loneliness before it claims you. The desire to act out sexually comes from pain. Triggers have more to do with what’s happening inside than what’s happening around you. So my challenge to you is this, because I know you can do this Ask him to help you name your trigger.
Take some time to learn the feelings you feel and try to put a stop, a speed hump in that cycle. No more shame, no more regret. Come on. No more shrugging your shoulders, because this is just how it is. No more Name it to tame it before it claims you. This process is part of your beloved and beautiful story, so let’s do the work to make it part of your testimony. Thanks for listening. May the voice that calls you beloved be louder than the whispers of shame. If you’re ready to learn more, head to our website, and if you’re ready to dive in, consider meeting with one of our spiritual coaches. You can find us at RegenerationMinistries.org.