Like a family relative you keep locked in the basement, porn was only let out when no one was home.
Growing up poor as the chunky pastor’s daughter in a very liberal, small town set me up for failure pretty early on. I loved people, but had very low self-esteem and no Christian friends to gain strength from. Isolated and lacking vision for my life, I sought refuge from pain.
The first time I saw porn was in the third grade. I was exposed to this crippling vice, which took years to conquer, through a friend who later grew up to have a million kids, all with different baby daddies. As I grew up, different emotions and needs would trigger my need for porn: comfort, adventure, education, control, risk. Porn could supply it—or so I thought. Like a family relative you keep locked in the basement, porn was only let out when no one was home. I hid it and hid it well. It wasn’t until my twenties that God revealed His desire to bring me out of this destructive pattern, which only led to loneliness and shame.
The first step in getting help was allowing God into every area I had kept hidden. Letting God hear your pain and accepting His love is an ongoing process. You need to become transparent and intimate in a healthy way with healthy people. Bring things into the light with those who have conquered these issues as well. It takes a huge amount of risk, and you’re not going to feel like doing it, but I promise there is freedom from the isolation you’re in. Face the pain, and it will lessen in time. On the other side are genuine, transparent relationships that God has intended for you all along. Resolve in your heart that you will no longer be passive when it comes to sexual content of any kind: movies, commercials, Internet, etc. There are resources available if you look for them. No one can do this for you, but God is all for you.
I fasted and prayed for twelve years that somehow the Lord would keep me from looking at porn. I wanted Him to keep me from being tempted. That didnt’ happen. I would have taken some kind of weird “I’m-stuck-to-the-floor-and-can’t-move-to-look-at-porn-no-matter-how-much-I-want-to-but-know-I-shouldn’t-and-I-would-if-I-could-but-I’m-stuck-to-the-floor” experience, something against my will. That didn’t happen either. I didn’t get an impartation of holiness or a magical verse that took my sexual struggle away. I was the most spiritual person that I knew and I couldn’t quit sinning, no matter how immediate and sincere my repentance was, or how noble and pure my intentions were toward everyone around me.
I didn’t get an impartation of holiness or a magical verse that took my sexual struggle away.
One month before I turned twenty-three, I found myself in a unique situation: I was sober enough to see that I was stuck, and, despite my pretensions, with and answers. I felt like my years of confused petitioning of the Lord culminated into the next season of my life. The Lord superseded my healing with His leading. I made myself a part of a group of guys who were seriously finding their purity and their freedom. They didn’t do much that I thought they should, like pray and intercede. They just talked to each other. It was unbelievably uncomfortable. For the first six months, all i could talk about was how bad I messed up and the dirty things i was thinking. For the next six months, I talked about how I was afraid and how I’d been hurt. After that, I started getting more powerful: I told people “no” when I wanted to say “no”. I’d tell people when they hurt my feelings, and when I had a need that they could meet. And after three years of that, I’m somebody that I never thought I could be: someone in control of their emotions and sexuality. My sobriety is measured in months and years now instead of days or weeks, and my freedom is being measured in powerful decisions that I am learning to make