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OPINION

Redemption Still Possible in America

laura lentz and carl lentz

Laura and Carl Lentz (CHARLEY GALLAY/Getty Images for Pure Flix)

John Quick (Solo Blog) By Monday, 17 June 2024 04:03 PM EDT Current | Bio | Archive

In a world eager for scandal and redemption, the story of Carl and Laura Lentz stands as a testament to the resilience of the human spirit.

As the former pastor of a megachurch New York City, Carl's public scandal and dismissal were sensational and devastating. They captured headlines and ignited discussions about morality and leadership in a church setting.

Yet beyond the tabloid fodder lies a powerful narrative of healing, responsibility, and, ultimately, redemption.

I sat down and listened to all three episodes of Carl and Laura's new podcast, "Lights On," featured on the B-Side app, where they courageously recount their journey over the past few years. Compelled by their honesty and resilience, I felt it was a story more people needed to hear — a story that reminds us that you don't fall from grace but rather into it.

Healing Together: A Family's Journey

Carl and Laura Lentz chose a path less traveled by public figures embroiled in scandal. Instead of rushing to defend their reputations, they chose to focus on healing.

This decision marked the beginning of a profound journey that prioritized personal and familial restoration over public image. They sought therapy, engaged in open and honest conversations, and made a conscious effort to rebuild trust and understanding within their family.

These concrete steps toward healing are a testament to their resilience and commitment to change.

The initial aftermath of Carl's dismissal from Hillsong was chaotic and painful. The family faced immediate instability, being asked to leave a friend's apartment and struggling to find a new sense of normalcy.

But it was during these darkest moments that the Lentz family began to rebuild their lives, brick by brick, with a focus on honesty and vulnerability. Carl's admission to his children, "One of the casualties of my actions is y'all being hurt," underscores the emotional toll and the depth of his remorse.

One of the most poignant aspects of their story is Carl's acknowledgment of the hurt his actions caused his family. This admission is not just about taking responsibility but about understanding the depth of the emotional wounds inflicted on those he loves most.

His words reflect a deep sense of remorse and a commitment to making amends. He shares, "My job has been to not be defensive or insulted, because I would always take it personal like and then I had to get over that and go, 'No, ... that's her journey."

This level of introspection and growth speaks volumes about Carl's commitment to change.

Laura's Journey: From Trauma to Trust

Laura, too, has had her own journey of healing. In the podcast, she speaks about the trauma she experienced and the specialized therapy she sought for betrayal trauma, a form of therapy that focuses on the emotional and psychological effects of betrayal.

Her dedication to her own healing was crucial for the family's overall recovery. Laura's perspective on staying in the marriage highlights the importance of personal growth alongside collective healing.

"I don't remember the last time I didn't trust you. I don't remember what it's like to not trust you," she tells Carl, reflecting on the transformation in their relationship and the profound impact of their shared healing journey.

This transformation took work. Carl admits the torment he caused Laura and the necessity of getting professional help.

His journey involved not only facing his own demons but also learning new ways of being present and supportive. This level of introspection and growth is rare and speaks to Carl's commitment to change.

His admission, "If we can get healthy, you can get healthy. If we can make it — I'm not saying our situation is bad or worse, better or worse than somebody else's; it's just ours — but ... it was hard and if we can make it, they can make it," serves as a beacon of hope for others.

Familial Resilience: The Children's Perspective

Their story is not just one of individual redemption but of unbreakable familial resilience. The impact on their children was profound, yet the family emerged stronger.

The couple discusses how they navigated their children's initial inability to forgive and the ongoing process of rebuilding trust.

This candid dialogue offers hope to other families facing similar crises. Their willingness to openly address their struggles has paved the way for a deeper connection and understanding within their family unit.

Perhaps the most inspiring aspect of their journey is the message of hope they extend to others.

Carl's declaration that "if we can make it, they can make it," encapsulates the essence of their story: that redemption is possible, no matter how dire the circumstances.

A Message of Hope: Extending Grace to Others

The Lentz family's journey reminds us that true healing requires time, effort, and an unwavering commitment to honesty. Their story is a beacon for anyone struggling with personal failures, illustrating that it is possible to rebuild and restore.

Carl and Laura have shown that it is not about the missteps themselves but how one rises after them. They have demonstrated that grace is not something to be earned but something to be embraced.

In sharing their journey, the Lentz family has opened the door to deeper conversations about forgiveness, trust, and the power of vulnerability. Their story encourages us to look beyond the headlines and see human beings navigating complex emotions and challenging situations.

It is a story of hope, reminding us that while we may stumble, it is in the stumbling that we often find our true strength.

By choosing to focus on Jesus, healing, embracing vulnerability, and extending grace to themselves and others, the Lentz family exemplifies the powerful potential of redemption. Their journey underscores that it is not our falls that define us but how we rise, learn, and grow from them.

Their willingness to be vulnerable, to admit their mistakes and shortcomings, and to share their journey with the world is a testament to their strength and resilience. It is a powerful reminder that vulnerability is not a sign of weakness but a path to healing and growth.

You cannot fall out of grace, you can only fall into grace.

John Quick is a seasoned entrepreneur and a former regional director for Samaritan's Purse. He's also known as chief implementor and red tape cutter. Read John Quick's Reports — More Here.

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JohnQuick
In a world eager for scandal and redemption, the story of Carl and Laura Lentz stands as a testament to the resilience of the human spirit.
carl lentz, laura lentz, family, hillson
1051
2024-03-17
Monday, 17 June 2024 04:03 PM
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