Betrayed and sexually abused by the pastor of his church when he was a young adolescent, Joel buried the memories for decades. He struggled with addictions, and kept a part of himself walled off from everyone, even from Amy, whom he met at bible college and married when he was 24. Their bond was strong, yet their relationship was severely tested by his addictive behavior, moodiness and the secrets that Joel kept from both Amy and himself.
When their children came along, Joel became a full-time parent, but the simmering secret he hid from himself fostered a chronic anger that brought their marriage to the brink. In desperation, Joel committed himself to reading the Gospel of John, every day, from start to finish, for one month. “That changed my life. I was seeing the opposite of my life. Love, not hate.” His openness to what lies within finally unsealed the long-buried memories of the abuse.
He began writing in his journal (“my therapist”), a practice that continues to the present. He started his own web site (http://www.perpetuallyhealing.com). Today, through writing and counseling, Joel is on the mend, and he and Amy are closer than ever.