A year ago I said goodbye to porn. I told myself and God that I would never watch porn again.
After 3+ years of being addicted, I had an encounter with God that changed everything. But first a little back story as to how I got addicted in the first place.
My addiction to porn was a ticking time bomb waiting to happen. As a child I was molested, and had several encounters of being exposed to inappropriate sexual images/activities and behavior. My interest in all things sexual started from a young age as a result, but I never took it too far.
Some of the friends I made didn’t help either. I had two friends in particular who introduced me to the world of erotica. They would suggest books for me to read… books that were laden with explicit sex scenes and steamy romantic encounters. As a young girl struggling with her sexuality, and no healthy outlets to speak of, these books gave me an escape of sorts.
After I gave my life to Christ, I tried to leave those books behind me, but there was something so gripping about them. I found myself addicted. And I rationalized that at the very least I wasn’t watching porn, so maybe it wasn’t all that bad.
Scriptures tell us to take heed and be careful not to be overconfident in our current spiritual conditions, lest the very thing that we think we have dominion over, takes us down. Porn, the vice I never thought I would struggle with, took me down in my 3rd year of college.
As a feeler and highly intuitive/sensitive person, I can discern other people’s struggles. Oftentimes, I know what people are struggling with before they even tell me. I had one guy friend that I knew was struggling with lust, particularly pornography. I knew it was burdening him, and against my better judgment one night, I allowed him to unload all of his cares and concerns about his addiction.
I truly believe that as I opened my soul to my friend and listened to him, there was a transference of energy and his struggle became my struggle. It didn’t help that I was already struggling with lust, and it certainly didn’t help that I was in a lot of emotional pain. After our 6 hour long conversation, my curiosity was piqued to the nth degree. I wanted to know what pornography was like and I wanted to experience it for myself. I would soon have the opportunity to do so.
During that time I was highly involved in two campus ministries, one of which I led. I was going through a very difficult time in college…. struggling with anxiety, depression, suicidal ideation, discouragement, insecurities, rejection, extreme confusion, and a host of other challenges.
My struggles were sharpened when I considered other Christians on campus who seemed to be living a much better life. Christians who didn’t have to struggle half as much as I did and oftentimes got better results. I would hear testimonies upon testimonies of how God had been faithful to these Christians, even as they squandered their time and mismanaged the gifts He gave them. God proved Himself faithful and helped these Christians in all their endeavors (getting A’s on tests, getting money to pay for certain things, etc).
Meanwhile, on my end, I felt incredibly discouraged. I felt like God simply did not care about my struggles. As I ruminated on the troubles that surrounded me, the despair within me rose up and I found myself caught within a prison of anger and anguish. I needed an outlet.
I remember so clearly the thought I had when I made my first few clicks…. God doesn’t care about me… *click click*…. if He did I wouldn’t be here…. *click click click*.
So began my three year on again off again journey with porn…. that is until late August 2016.
I was struggling heavily with a yeast infection. I had masturbated a few months prior and somehow contracted a yeast infection that left me with ridiculous itching and discomfort that no cream would alleviate. At first I thought nothing of it, but as time passed I figured that this yeast infection was sent from God to punish me for my lust.
One day I came across a podcast that talked about purity. The person preaching asked the listeners to pray to God for a vision of purity that would sustain them in their battle against lust. I cried out to God. He heard my cry. I saw a vision of myself in a long, flowing white garment and I heard these words (paraphrasing because I don’t remember every single thing word for word):
“I am giving you the power and grace to remain pure, if You’ll choose me and choose purity. As a sign, I’m healing you of your yeast infection.”
From that day forward, my yeast infection vanished, and I never went on a pornographic website after that.
Glory be to God. He did it.
To be completely transparent though, I still struggle with lust. I still struggle with masturbation. Rather than seeking out pornography, I fantasize. I still struggle with reading erotica. But I’m grateful because God isn’t a halfway God. He’s not a partial God. If He can deliver me from pornography, I believe that He can deliver me from lust in all its forms.
I look forward to walking with God in a greater measure of purity, surrender and integrity.