"I am Tiger Woods."
Actually, I am Gail Henderson-Belsito.
But, like Tiger, I have believed the hype about how good and smart and disciplined and talented I am.
I have lied and cheated and stolen.
I have tried to cover my tracks, deleting emails and text messages, phone numbers and email addresses, throwing away letters and other objects, trying to change patterns of thought and speech and activity, hiding purchases and receipts - all in vain attempts to get rid of the evidence of my transgressions.
I have hurt and betrayed those I love and those who love me - and myself.
I have been caught, been remorseful, and begged for forgiveness.
I have had to confess my wrongdoings in front of others and ask for their forgiveness as well.
I have suffered dire consequences, including the loss of trust and the confidence of others.
I have spent countless hours and days, years in some cases, trying to restore my reputation and reestablish my integrity.
I have been looked upon with suspicion and doubt, fear and disappointment by those closest to me.
I have wept bitter tears of regret and shame, despair and dejection.
And I deserved every bit of the derision and accusation that came my way. I still do.
I have been unable to answer the question: "What was I thinking?"
I am Tiger Woods - Every bit of his self-ordained invincibility and self-confirming arrogance exist within me, in my heart, in my life, every bit of it.
But thanks be to God, it did not all end back there and back then in the muck and mire.
Thanks be to God that a time came when I was caught and had to own up to my wrongdoing.
I had to face my accusers - and there have been many - and plead for grace and mercy.
The good news is that I have been forgiven. I have been restored.
By the ones I hurt. By God.
It took a while, but I have even been able to forgive myself.
Let me be the first to admit: I am most definitely going to mess up again in the future.
I will hurt those that I love again and again. I will lie and cheat and steal again.
I know it. That is part of the human experience and the human condition.
And when that happens, I will ask for forgiveness again and again.
My heart breaks for Tiger and his wife, their children, their family, and their friends.
The ripple effects of his transgressions will reach the lives of people he doesn't even know.
This thing is far from over.
I pray that he and his wife will survive the shame and horror of all of this and be stronger people as a result.
I pray that he will come to understand the root of his behavior and be willing and able to abandon this way of living and choose life, real life based on confession and repentance, forgiveness and restoration, truth and love.
I pray that someday he will stand tall and strong in public again, speak of this valley in his life as the turning point that changed him forever, and that this will serve as a source of challenge and hope and inspiration for the millions who are watching this dreadful saga knowing full well that they also can say: "I am Tiger Woods."