Recently I spoke with one pastor who was devastated after his wife left him for someone else. Meet Jason Vallotton, a man who went through the pain and forgiveness of a complete life change. Check out the first part of my interview with him here, and read the final part below. You can also check out his book The Supernatural Power of Forgiveness.
Are you offering a ministry for men that are going through the same thing?
Jason: At this point, I would say I’m offering the world an opportunity to learn what I learned and to walk out of it. I’m a pastor at a school here. I travel and speak. We have an organization called Moral Revolution, which is an organization to help change morality in the world.
I teach my message and share my message and help people out of it. But I don’t have a specific ministry to go, “I’m going to bring guys in that have been divorced or are in pain” and help them out. I helped oversee and lead a men’s sexual purity group for sex addicts for a long time while going through this. And I spent a lot of time just helping guys overcome pain and learn how to not medicate and learn how to break cycles, be self-aware and things like that.
A lot of people reading your story might have gone through this and feel very connected to the story. What advice would you offer to help others who experienced an affair or other hardships?
Jason: I would say there are some really great verses in the Bible that say, “God gives you beauty for ashes” and “He makes all things new” and He’ll change your path and your future into something that’s beautiful. Learn how to not let your emotions be your guide. Your emotions are really important tools in your life. They let you know what you need but they don’t necessarily tell you how to get there nor are they always the right motivation. So, being in pain, your pain says something right away. Pain says: “Do something, do anything to get out of this right now,” which, oftentimes leads us to medicate, whether that’s pornography or a rebound. We all hear about the rebound, which is pain. Pain is saying, “Go find somebody else, go do something to not feel this way”. But really, the best thing to do is to be okay feeling that way and to let God work through it with you.
I would say you need vision. You need to go, “In two years, what do I want my life to be?” “In one year, what do I want my life to be?” “When I tell my great-grandkids about this part of my life, what do I want my story to be with them?” You have to wake up every day like that and remind yourself because there is so much pain. A lot of people feel hopeless and they don’t know how to get out of it, so they’re dealing with depression and hopelessness. And I would say to them, “There is a way out. What I went through was really, really hard but I no longer live in that world.”
Jason: I didn’t write the book to share my story or somehow for the world to get to know me. That’s the least motivating thing for me. But my story is one of probably 40 stories in the book of “this is a type of pain that somebody went through, whether they were a sex addict and they ruined their life and here’s how they overcame it” or “this guy follows dad, beats brothers with rubber hoses and this is how he overcame it” or “this woman used to cut and she hated herself and here’s how she overcame it.” The book is not really about divorce; it’s about how to deal with pain, unforgiveness, hurt, and [how to] become an emotionally whole person. The book is to go, “there is hope, there’s a way out and here’s some tools how to get out of it.”
I would say to somebody listening that feels hopeless or stuck or like they want to give up: “You feel that way because you don’t know that there’s a way out.” And we also feel that way because we don’t necessarily believe God all the time that He is going to turn what was bad into good, and He’s going to give us a better life than what we had. But when you truly believe that, and when you allow God to come in and heal you, He does for you what He did for you when you were a sinner. And when you asked Him into your life, He took your broken life and He gave you a whole life. And He takes our broken places and He gives us whole places again.
You need to work through your pain, [and] you need to learn how to work through your pain. You need to get tools, whether that’s my book or whether that’s a counselor or whether that’s your pastor. You need to invite people into your lives to help you walk through this process and not run away from it.