Writing Ashamed No More was a joint decision made between Pam and I when we began to see the remarkable recovery, growth and healing I began to experience after cratering my life in 2008. I had been actively pursuing recovery from compulsive sexual behaviors for a long time; I had suffered from my brokenness all of my adult life. So the roots of compulsion in me were very deep.
Ashamed No More tells a good bit of my story of recovery out of forty years of compulsion, and a number of things I’ve learned about brokenness, recovery and healing along the way out of that wilderness. Because of hope of seeing the Church become robustly healthy and spiritually inviting community I believe Jesus called it to be, the final chapter of Ashamed No More addresses some of the things I think we need to do to change the current climate of fear, shame and hiddenness.
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From Walt Wangerin’s foreword of Ashamed No More
Ryan opens up the whole process to those who are not addicted but who participate in the addictions of others, or who would help the addict. Moreover, he involves whole communities in his study. And his theologies are of wonderful value to any Christian anywhere, since the addict’s experience becomes a metaphor that illuminates significant elements of everyone’s spiritual life.
From the preface of Ashamed No More
The next generation is under siege. Today a nine-year-old boy will receive an email image on his own cell phone that contains images of men and women sexually abusing each other. He will not know how to process it, but will receive the message that “this is what adults do; this is what sex is.” Today an eleven-year-old girl will perform a sexual act on an older boy because she is being taught in this culture that her value exists in using her person and sexuality to service others. These are not extreme examples; they are ordinary. They are happening many times every day.
I don’t pretend to have all the answers for what we need to do. Nor is it my place to reform the church in the area of sexual brokenness. But I have a story, and it’s more about God and who he is than about me, and it’s more about hope when there is no hope than it is about me. It’s about grace and the power of God to reach and change a life when there is no human hope that such a thing is possible.