What I Wish I Would Have Known About Porn

Carol, 33, Queensland, AU

Pornography

I was staring at the screen my eyes fixated, glued, to what I was seeing. What was happening? Why weren’t people wearing any clothes? I didn’t understand. Why were people touching each other like that and why on earth did my body feel so weird? These were the questions I had as an eleven-year-old girl sitting in front of the TV at my new friend’s house. Even at a young age, I could feel the pull between my flesh and my spirit. I needed to get up, I needed to look away. Why couldn’t I look away?! Finally, my body could bear it no longer. I got up and headed for the bathroom, shame, fear, and confusion latching onto me with every step I took. I wanted to hide. I wanted someone to rescue me. I wanted to go home.

What had happened, you ask? I had just been introduced to sex.

On that day, as a little girl, things were awoken in me that should have never been awoken. I had no grid for what I had seen and the images played out on screen would continue to linger in my thoughts and revisit me daily. They consumed me, following me into my teenage years festering into an addiction that would end up meandering its way into every area of my life. It was a struggle that would inevitably engulf me in shame for the next 18 years.

 

Pornography is like fire, you touch it once and it will burn. It is as addictive as cocaine and it will leave an imprint on your life.

 

By the time I hit my early 20’s, insecurity had well and truly set in. I battled with my weight all through school, and while I had lost most of it, in my eyes I was still the overweight girl who was bullied constantly. I craved to be seen, to be accepted and to be loved. I had endured some horrendous break-ups, and I was hurting and longing for intimacy. When the words of the men who had told me I wasn’t good enough lingered or when I was feeling unattractive and lonely, I would turn to the only comfort I knew: pornography, erotic novels, in particular, being my ‘medication’ of choice. It was the only thing I knew to numb the pain of how I was feeling. Because in that brief moment, I was wanted, I was comforted, I was accepted, and I was beautiful. Then, in a split second, it would be over. Pleasure turned into guilt, comfort into shame, and beauty into disgust. Wave after wave of condemnation would crash over me and separate me from the one I loved most, Jesus. In my eyes I had failed, I was dirty, and I so desperately wanted to hide.  

 

Shame: A painful feeling of humiliation caused by the consciousness of wrong or foolish behavior.

 

One thing  I am clear of is that the enemy is a deceptive liar. He will say and do anything to make us question who we are and Whose we are. When Adam and Eve sinned, they hid. One day they were walking with God and the next they were hiding, ashamed of their nakedness, sewing fig leaves together to cover themselves. Knowing the heart of the Father, I can imagine how much He would have loved being with them. I can picture Him with them, side by side walking the garden paths together, showing them all He had created. Loving them. Talking with them. Their presence warming His heart and His desire to spend time with them so great that when He lost sight of them He called out, “Adam, Eve, where are you?” Then from the distance, He hears these words:  “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid” (Genesis 3:10). The next words out of God’s mouth are words that pierce my heart at its very core…

“Who told you that you were naked?”

 

Shame is a name and it speaks.

 

In my church environment, pornography was often deemed a male issue and sex, in general, was rarely spoken about. I felt so alone and this added to the shame I felt. I found myself withdrawing from the Lord for He had done so much for me and yet I continued to fall into sin again, and again and again. It was a vicious cycle, and I just couldn’t look at Him. However, the Lord is Redeemer and He still met me. He saw me and in all my pain and shame, He knelt down and so tenderly embraced me, encapsulating me with a blanket of His love.  

I remember the night so clearly…

On a balmy summer’s eve on holiday in Hawaii with friends, the Lord prompted me to begin writing about my struggle. At first, I was hesitant, but as I began to write, the chains began falling off. With every word, I was getting free. I was then able to share my struggle with a trusted friend. My sin was coming into the light and darkness was losing its sting. The Lord began opening my eyes to who I am as not only a woman but most importantly, as His daughter. He cleansed me and washed me with His grace and touched me in the deepest parts of my pain. Pornography was simply a temporary counterfeit solution, a band-aid to a bigger problem. A problem the Lord so desperately wanted to meet me in. A problem He died for.

 

But God…. He set me free.

 

If you are struggling in this area, first know that you are not your sin. You are loved and you are not alone. My greatest piece of advice would be to find someone you trust, be vulnerable and bring that which has been hidden into the light. Whether breakthrough is instantaneous or a process, it still requires stewarding. I placed firm boundaries on what I allowed my eyes to see and threw out every book and movie with sexual content. I broke off unhealthy relationships and shared honestly with key people in regards to how I was doing. If I stumbled, they knew about it. During this time, I also began a process with the Lord in learning how to love myself well. I saw a spirit-filled Christian counselor who supported me as I overcame underlying trauma and together, we developed strategies to meet my needs in a healthy way.

 

Freedom… it’s a beautiful thing.

 

To wake up each day knowing I am no longer bound by sin has been life-changing. In my brokenness, He covered me, and now in Him, I am truly alive. I am no longer a slave but a free woman, healthy and wholeheartedly pursuing the One who lay on a cross not just for me, but for you too.  A man named Jesus is yearning to break every bondage in your life and show you who you are – His son and His daughter. He wants to reach into the crevasse of your heart and meet the needs that you have been letting sin meet for so long, to change mindsets, heal the painful wounds and to take you from slavery into all He has promised.

Freedom is knocking at the door of your heart and His arms are open and ready.

Will you walk into them?

 

-Carol, 33, Queensland, AU

3 Responses to “What I Wish I Would Have Known About Porn”

  1. Victoria

    Hey,
    What you wrote, this article is great! I can totally relate to this, not only did I struggle with the same things you did, but it has reminded me of how Jesus has liberated me from that sin of pornography.
    Thank you for writing this, it shows how I wasn’t alone, and how God helped both of us to overcome and feel so powerfully loved!
    I learned His gracious love makes no sense, but it is so profound.

    Thank you, very much for this article, and keep spreading that awesome news of Jesus Christ how He has set the captives free!
    God bless you abundantly and more than you can imagine, in Jesus’s name amen!!

  2. Giulia Papini

    Thank you for sharing this! You’re amazing girl! God is so good and so sweet! Praise the Lord that we are now stepping up and speaking out against shame and condemnation, and releasing the Freedom that Jesus has freely given us all!

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