A broken shard of glass, a hurting person who was hurting people; a mere lima bean, lost in the vastness of a fast paced world. This was me, I was a nobody, or so I thought. Often times I would hear people share these powerful “come to Jesus” testimonies and thought, “I am nothing, I don’t have a story… but I WANT one.” See, that was the thing. I did have a powerful testimony, but I did not see it as one. My powerful story had been there all along, but I covered it up with the blanket of the world.
I grew up in a Christian home, and was very lucky to do so, but I chose to see that as a curse, not a blessing. In my life of “knowing Jesus” I still had this internal longing for a so called “testimony.” Without realizing it, I had actually created a mindset within these brick walls of safety, built up so that no one could hurt me. This mindset was one of fear and insecurity. The fear and insecurities building up inside me became a foothold for the enemy to sneak into my mind. I began to not care as much about my life and slip down a slippery slide to some of the darkest places of my life. Lies that I had believed all my life became revealed, and it shook me to my core. There was no crying out to Jesus or clinging to Him in these times of need, instead, I tried to rely on myself… and failed, miserably.
I began to gratify myself in the failed ways of the world, not looking to Jesus or others for help, but looking inwardly at myself to find ways to make the pain hurt less. Even though I never thought I would get to a point of going too far with anything, I never imagined something would spiral out of control, with boys, with self- harming ways, with what I watched, how I viewed myself. Nothing. I didn’t intend to be a bad person, I just wanted a testimony… remember? I don’t remember how I got there, but one day I remember myself sitting at a computer in my room with my door locked, not intentionally planning on watching porn, but it happened. Do I know why I did it? No, but I couldn’t stop. It’s like my eyes were glued to the screen. Inside I felt this shame, but that feeling was masked with the way the images made my body feel. I felt this warm feeling inside that told me I was doing something that felt “good.”
That feeling in me started to fade away, and was replaced with this longing and desire for more. Each time I would fall, I would instantly want more, and more, and more. Eventually, through some very close friends of mine, I realized how far I had slipped away from my Christian Walk. That didn’t stop me though. I was just simply engulfed in shame, but the shame didn’t stop me. This shame began to mask the “good feeling” instead of the other way around. But that’s alright, this is my secret sin, only I knew about it… or so I thought.
This new found “secret sin” of pornography came with many strings attached. Some of these strings I was not even aware existed, until I was entangled in their wrath. For me, these strings came in the forms of depression, masturbation, lust, and a desire for something more in a relationship than I could emotionally handle, not to mention something very far out of The Lord’s Will for my life. My perspective of myself changed; how I looked at my body was different — how I saw relationships and “Godly Standards.” These strings didn’t stop me though. I just merely became more aware of how screwed up I was. Friends, I truly believe knowing how messed up I was ate at me more than the fact that I was living in sin.
I used to feel like God was a father who was giving me that face your mom gives you when you know you did something wrong. The second you see the glare you straighten up because you don’t want to have the wrath of an angry mom. I felt like he was waiting to punish me for anything and everything I had ever done. Someone who hated the way I was living and was never a constant source of strength. I thought God was only there when I went to church, or when life was smooth sailing. As soon as things became tough or messy, when I would fall off the slide and slip up, He would instantly become ashamed of me, and I was no longer worth supporting, much less capable of being loved. See, truly, this false identity I had built up, it actually scared me enough to want to know the truth. It allowed me to have enough doubt and shame in my heart to look beyond my walls of safety bricks.
You see, God may not have liked the way I was living, but He still loved me. He always has loved me and will always love me. I am His princess — His Masterpiece. Friends, God doesn’t have grandchildren. We are all His children, and we have to take on our faith as our own, not our parents, youth pastors, or friends’ faith and walk with Christ. We have to respond to Him individually, respond to His constant pursuing of us.
I wish I could truly tell you of a conversion moment I had, but to be completely transparent, I can’t pinpoint one. It was a constant changing of my heart. There were many who poured into my life, who offered council and brought light into my life, but there was never an “ah ha do a 180 with my life” moment. Yet, there were many moments that I would turn a little. Sadly, there were also several where I moved forward… in the wrong direction. But it has been a constant pressing into Him that has allowed me to become free. I would stop for a few days, or even a few weeks, but always fell back on what started out as a secret sin, but transformed into many. Yet, no matter how many times I fell down the staircase of progress, I never looked back to see how far I had come from the beginning of this road. Pornography, Lust, and Secret Sins are a scary trap of the Enemy to fall in, but they are never too great for God. He can conquer everything, just look at Job, everything that was thrown at him was the Enemy’s idea, but he had to go through God first. God knew that He could handle it, and that Job would rely on Christ’s strength to fight the battle. This is not only something Job could do, we can too! We don’t have to fight these battles on our own, because we are all overcomers! No matter the battle, it doesn’t have to be just pornography or sexual sin, any open or secret sin can be overcome with the blood of the Lamb. We need to put on the armor He gives to us, and fight this battle with His joy on our faces. The Joy only He can give us.
Today I stand before you, a new creation, drawing near to The Lord, and listening to His truth for my life, not what the world tells me I need to be. We are called to live in this world, not be of this world. Friends, He does offer freedom, He does offer forgiveness, and you, my dear, are not a lima bean. You are His precious masterpiece, created by hand— just the way Christ intended you to be. Press into Him, ask Him to chisel out anything in your life that is hindering you from your relationship with God, and take time to sit at His feet, listening for His voice, guiding you to the path of righteousness. We are never too far gone for His grace and mercy! It may not be easy, and it will hurt, but through Him we can overcome any obstacle. Press into Him tonight, Friends.