I was eighteen years old when I watched porn for the first time. I could tell you that I was curious, or I thought it would fulfill some need in my life, but I don’t think none of that really matters. The day I watched it was the day that I threw my purity away. It was the day that my heart became broken and would turn into an uphill battle of God reminding me of just how much He loves me.
I didn’t know it the first time I watched it, but slowly, as most people do, I became enticed to porn. Of course, I will spare you the details and spare my mind the memory of it all, but basically one picture became one video and one video became several more until my brain was so warped that I thought it would help with the insecurities I struggle with daily. I thought it would make me feel better about myself– make me feel empowered and important– and anything that would do that couldn’t possibly be bad. In all reality, it actually made me feel much worse about myself. I felt lonely. And dirty, and the more I tried to resist it, the tighter the shackles became.
The Holy Spirit began to convict me, reminding me of my relationship with Jesus, and eventually, I started to listen to him. I asked God to forgive me, and because of his amazing grace, he did. However, as everyone who has struggled with an addiction would tell you, the addiction doesn’t magically go away just because God has forgiven you. It’s still there, still eating away at you as the Enemy tries to drag you down with him. It became a constant struggle of watching it, begging God for forgiveness and promising to do better, and being tempted and failing. I felt like it was an endless cycle I would never escape.
In that process, the Enemy began to remind me of just how broken I am. He began to make me question God’s love for me.
You’re a pathetic Christian.
What kind of Christian struggles with porn? Shame on you!
And you’re a Christian studies major!
You can’t tell anyone, they’ll judge you!
How can God love someone as guilty as you?
I became completely broken. Not only was I battling this secret sin, but Satan wouldn’t let me have peace. I felt like I was suffocating and drowning in guilt and shame. I started to think that I wasn’t good enough. I would tell other people all about how Jesus loves them and how his love has no borders, but in my own life, I thought that my guilt was way too much.
No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. –Romans 8:37-39
I came across those few verses one day at church, and I realized something. Amidst the shame and the guilt, God was still pursuing me. He wanted me, despite everything that I had done. Like the lost sheep, he was searching for me, wanting me to come home. This brokenness has taught me that nothing in the world can separate us from the love of God. He will always pursue us, even when we push him away, and he will always be there waiting for us whenever we come back to him. Slowly, I realized that God’s love for me isn’t based on what I deserve or even how much I think I deserve.
Slowly, I began to heal. It was a long and hard process, but God waited for me. He is such a patient God. He never gave up on me as I learned how to truly read his Word, and how to be transparent and completely honest in prayer. He was there through the set backs and the days when I thought it was too hard and I couldn’t get through it. He was there, still pursuing me, still calling me to him. He still wanted me, even in the middle of my brokenness.
My story doesn’t end here. It isn’t as bad as it used to be, but I still struggle with the temptation of it, though now I win more battles than I lose. We live in a fallen world, and Satan will do anything in his power to pull us farther away from the Father. We are sinful and broken people. The beauty of God isn’t what he does with us, but what he does with the pieces of us. He takes all of our mess, our sin and our shame–our brokenness and makes us beautiful.
God heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. –Psalm 147:3
Author’s note: If you or anyone is struggling with pornography, 1) God LOVES you and 2) check out these wonderful websites/articles:
- Porn Kills Love campaign at www.fightthenewdrug.org
- Darkening our Minds at www.equip.org/article/darkening-our-minds-the-problem-of-pornography-among-christians/
- Woman and Porn at http://www.todayschristianwoman.com/articles/2013/october/overcoming-sexual-addiction.html