Tullian Tchividjian, a grandson of evangelist Billy Graham who resigned as lead pastor of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Florida after confessing to an "inappropriate" relationship, has admitted that while he wants to "crawl into a hole" and hide from the public eye, he's going to let the world see him at his lowest point "because that's where Jesus is."
In a lengthy Facebook post shared Tuesday night, the 43-year-old pastor revealed that the last few months have "changed" his life "forever."
"Nothing will ever be the same. I keep thinking I'm going to wake up one morning and it will have all been a bad, bad dream. But that morning never comes. Instead I wake up every day and am freshly hit with the fact that this nightmare is real."
He continues, "My family and I are, at every imaginable level, overwhelmed. What life will look like from here on out is completely unknown to us. And that scares me. But we are alive and not without hope. We are certain that better and brighter days are ahead."
Tchividjian, who has three children with his wife, Kim, resigned from his position as senior pastor of the PCA congregation in Fort Lauderdale, Florida in June after releasing a statement revealing his affair. He said that he was "heartbroken and devastated" when he discovered that his wife had been in an adulterous relationship, and in response "sought comfort in a friend and developed an inappropriate relationship myself."
Tchividjian's former church subsequently announced that in light of the scandal, the annual LIBERATE conference which he normally led would be canceled and those who had signed up for it already would be refunded registration fees. The LIBERATE website is also closed temporarily
In continuing his Facebook post, the pastor revealed his days are currently spent focusing on his family along with finding a job "so bills can be paid." However, he admits that "of the big questions" he's wrestled with during this time is how to properly steward "this glorious ruin", as he simply wants to "crawl into a hole and be anonymous for a long, long time."
"I don't want a stage, a platform, a microphone, a spotlight. I want to disappear. Nothing seems more appealing to me on most days than to simply vanish," Tchividjian writes.
"But here's my struggle: I actually believe the message that I've preached with all my might (and which I need now more than ever). If I only let you see me when I'm "good" and "strong" and polished and "at the top", I undermine the very message that I claim to believe. I am tempted to hide until I am 'shiny' again. But if I run away because I don't want you to see me broken and weak and sad and angry and struggling with fear and guilt and shame, then I fail to practice what I preach," he admits.
The pastor, who recently spent time in "intense counseling" with Christian counselor Dr. Paul Tripp, explains that one of the many things he's learned from his mistakes is that "failing to practice what you preach is destructive."
"The gospel frees me to let you see me at my worst-the me that runs away, the me that doesn't want to pray, the me who gets angry at God, the me who rationalizes, the me that knows I'm solely to blame for my sinful choice but who wants to blame others," he contends. "That's my shadow side. And it's dark. I knew I was bad, but I never knew I was this bad. So, if I refuse to give you a glimpse into my walk through the valley of the shadow of death, then you'll never see the grace that meets me every day at my absolute nastiest. Grace always flows to the lowest point, and while it scares me to death because I'm a lot more image conscious then I let on, I'm going to let you see me at the bottom-because that's where Jesus is."
In light of this belief, Tchividjian revealed that the world will be getting updates from him as well as quotes and insights that "are helping me along in this journey."
"I'll keep you posted on what's going on-the good, the bad, and the ugly," he concludes. "I love you all so much. Your expressed love for me and for my family along with your many, many prayers...have sustained us during this time. So thank you!" he wrote, signing the message, "Broken but Breathing."
While Tchividjian has not publicly discussed the scandal since the news broke, he has regularly updated his Twitter feed to express his emotions and Wednesday morning posted a link to his Facebook post.
"Shared weakness (and hope) is the basis of genuine fellowship," he wrote in an update posted July 23.