The Tse's Story

Broken for Purpose

“But God had mercy on [us] so that Christ Jesus could use [us] as a prime example of his great patience with even the worst sinners. Then others will realize that they, too, can believe in him and receive eternal life." 1 Timothy 1:16

My name is Andrew. I met my wife, Katie, at the University of Tennessee in 2009. If you asked us if we were Christians, we would have said yes with very little hesitation. We both grew up in church and knew the stereotypical Christian trivia to some of life's biggest questions.
However, we both struggled with sexual brokenness. In early adolescence, we both had pornography exposure and engaged sexually (willingly and unwillingly) with other people. Where we should have been taught about the biblical perspective of sex and marriage at home, we instead found out the world’s interpretation. This created a gaping hole in our lives that the Holy Spirit should have filled.

The weight of trying to live in a Christian world and look the part while consistently giving in to worldly pleasures was heavy and hard to carry. Eventually, our two worlds collided when we got pregnant with our first child. We had been dating for two years at that point and were heavily advised to get married to “fix” the situation. So, we did. But instead of everything being “fixed,” it escalated our dysfunction and revealed how broken we both were.

In married life, we had no peace or joy that living in a surrendered-to-Christ-life produces. Our hurts and brokenness only grew and pitted us against each other. We used sex as a coping mechanism, yet we felt miles apart emotionally.

In 2015, Katie attended a group called Fresh Start. That group walked her through biblical forgiveness, and through this process, Katie surrendered her life and chose to follow Jesus as her Lord and Savior. Katie began to take her past to the Lord in prayer and began to truly prioritize reading the scriptures and biblical truths, including what God says about sex. I began to see her change, but I wasn’t willing to surrender my own control.

In 2019 I had the roughest year of my life. I made terribly selfish and worldly choices to pursue a sexual relationship outside of my marriage and hit rock bottom in every way imaginable. Katie was completely devastated due to my actions, but through the supernatural mercy and grace that Christ gave her, she helped lead me to surrendering my life to Christ. Katie showed me grace and mercy that seemed completely undeserved. This happened to be on our eighth wedding anniversary. The irony was not lost on us. Our anniversary was always emotionally hard for us, but it is the date God chose to finally unite us together in Him and begin healing us together. The next few years were painful, but God began to heal my heart and show me the biblical truths that Katie had also found as well.

The first sermon we ever heard at North Metro Church emphasized that they were a church that accepted broken people but didn’t want them to stay that way. We had been church searching for a while, and this sermon felt like a hug from God. As we got connected, Katie began attending a group called Beauty For Ashes which focuses on the hearts of women who have suffered sexual betrayal. In this group, she found a group of ladies with whom she could share common experiences and found a community built on authenticity and the word of God. She didn’t know she needed that group, but God used it to help her heal even more.
In 2022 I started attending Pure Desire, a group specifically for men suffering from sexual brokenness. I found the same - a truly honest and authentic group of men pursuing spiritual healing together based on biblical truths. These men have been an amazing community where I can share my struggles and to encourage others through theirs.

Last year, Katie and I wanted to do something together. We decided to sign up for re|engage. That gave us a common ground to experience community together as the leaders guided us through different topics that marriages tend to struggle with. We can agree that those are common struggles because of everything we have overcome with the Lord in our own marriage. It was a good experience that helped us be able to tell our story together in a safe community and learn new ways to communicate with each other.

We are thankful to North Metro Church for the attention and care they have placed on groups like Beauty for Ashes, Pure Desire, and re|engage. These groups are wonderful for a next step in healing with a confidential community. Still, we will both tell you that only a relationship with Christ and a surrendered heart can truly heal the hurts and wounds that brokenness brings. The principles Katie learned in Fresh Start help with that type of understanding and is a wonderful place to begin a journey when dealing with hurts and wounds.

Today, our marriage is imperfect - after all, we are still two humans living together - but it’s beautiful. It truly is a gift from God. No, we never wish to relive what we have been through, nor do we wish similar experiences on anyone. However, we are thankful for what we have been through because God used it to allow us to face our brokenness and to heal in his loving hands. He gave our brokenness a purpose. Our story isn’t just for us. It is to help further the Kingdom and help those going through similar situations. All glory to God our good Father.

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