Being in ministry, I’ve heard a lot of testimonies. I’ve been hearing testimonies since I was small and couldn’t even spell testimony. There are testimonies people share that are inspiring, sharing what God did for them and that’s neat. Then, I’ve heard testimonies that grip your heart, that shatter all shame and condemnation and point to the Father.
One thing I’ve realized listening to these real and transparent testimonies, is that 99% of them have something particular in common. Do you know what it is? If you guess porn addiction/exposure, you’d be right.
What? You’re talking about porn? That’s a dirty subject, don’t even say the word.
What’s so bad about porn? It’s normal. Everyone does it.
These are two differing opinions of many people. Porn definitely has it’s ties to shame, and numbing out. The first statement is usually whispered by people who are uncomfortable with sexuality, and can’t seem to handle talking about it. They become squeamish and red in the face, looking for any chance to change the subject.
The people who agree with the second statement have been so exposed to perverted sexuality, they can’t see what’s wrong with the sexual acts performed on a screen. They laugh at the people who feel uncomfortable, and brush it off as something normal that humans just do. Because apparently watching two people who barely know each other engage in what should be an act of love and unity on a screen is normal.
I dare to disagree.
I’m not saying this from the point of view of a good little church girl who has only seen her own body. Nope. I’m saying this from the point of view of someone who’s had to go through this very struggle. My testimony is one of the 99% that includes this growing epidemic.
For most of my life, I was very fortunate to not have been tied to porn. I don’t have a story about when I was eleven years old and I came across a magazine. My story goes a little bit differently:
As a kid, my parents were pretty good about protecting our eye gates. I was never exposed to anything by accident as a child, thank the Lord. However, the enemy comes to steal, kill, and destroy. My family has had a history of messed up sexuality, with several children born out of wed-lock. Generational things like addiction and perversion can come up in different ways, and the way this perversion manifested for me was in my thought life.
I was terrified of sexual perversion. I was terrified in engaging in any kind of it, be it fornication, pornography, homosexuality, etc. I couldn’t watch certain television shows without having nightmares. Fear was already working shame into me.
Constantly, I’d hand it over to Jesus. I’d constantly pray for peace from this torment. He’d deliver, don’t get me wrong. I’d always have peace of mind once I had gone to His feet, but I was still afraid to say anything to anyone. I didn’t want people thinking badly of me, or that I wanted to have these problems. So I kept quiet, shame eating away at me.
Then, comes the introduction of pornography. I had graduated high school, and it came across my newsfeed on tumblr. That was it. I was so lost, lonely, and sad at that point in my life, that was all it took. Funny how when we give into some kind of temptation, it seems to show up everywhere. It felt like I couldn’t escape it. Porn exposure is the number one reason I am not using my tumblr or twitter anymore, since all you have to do is log in to see it.
I spent a good solid year of my life struggling with this thing. The shame was so heavy that I didn’t ever want to talk to anyone about it. I hated it. But for some reason I kept visiting it again. Sound familiar?
How did I kick this nasty little habit? I was open and honest with a trusted friend, and I was terrified the whole time. I sincerely thought I was the only girl to ever deal with it, and that I was nasty. Then, I heard my friends’ testimonies during a sharing time in my Thunder School. I was most certainly not the only person.
That’s the thing. The enemy likes to make us think we’re alone. No one else struggles like you do, you’re disgusting, wow, who would want to even hear about this? They won’t think of you the same way.
I was open and honest with a trusted friend, and she was not shocked, she was not disgusted. She chuckled softly, not in a demeaning way, but in understanding. She assured me there was breakthrough in this area, and that I wasn’t the only person to ever go through this.
I think that may be one of the first times I truly felt shame challenged in my life. It took a brave, courageous step to tell my friend this. The way she responded is that same way that Jesus is responding to us.
You’re not alone. I understand. This thing doesn’t define you. You’re not the nasty thing. You can quit this.
Since that experience, I’ve been able to feel the love of Father God more deeply than I ever have before. Shame does not have it’s hand over my mouth any more. I have a voice, and I have something to say. So do you.
Whatever it is that’s keeping you hidden in shame, left in the dark, you can overcome that. I encourage you to find a trusted mentor/friend, and walk in the light. James 5:16 says this: “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”
When we allow Jesus and people who can be trusted into our process, there is power and effect in it. That thing you couldn’t seem to break free of suddenly has no hold on you. You don’t have to be silent! Shame tells you that you’re unlovable, but that’s not real. Let me write that again. That’s not real.
In sitting in shame, we perpetuate a stigma that says sex is not a good thing, that it is a dirty thing; then we have a bunch of people confused by their natural urges. Breaking the silence and talking about healthy sexuality sets us and our children and our children’s children up for success. Shame cannot compete with the truth of God. The truth is this: we have been created with a sex drive, and God called it good. He designed sex, He created it. Let me tell you, satan has never had that good of an original idea.
So there it is. The nitty gritty. I am not going to stay silent when I’ve got friends and loved ones slowly being poisoned by this counterfeit of love. Porn has waged war on true love, and I won’t sit and watch it happen when I know truth. There is an invitation for you to step into the light, and to kick silence in the face. We have been blood bought and washed clean, and we do not have to sit afraid of our past or of the dirty thing.
You are strong, you are loved. Shame has lied to you and told you otherwise. I think it’s time to kick shame to the curb and use our testimonies to let others know they are not alone. It’s time to lift our voices for a generation to repent and turn back to what is right.
If you want to read more about this subject, or have questions, I’ve listed some legit sources below. Bless you, fellow fighters!
Fight the New Drug: