Out of Addiction and Into the Light – Haley’s Testimony

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I was 11 years old when my curiosity first got the best of me, and I picked up a book that contained explicit sexual material. At that point, I didn’t even know what sex was, but I knew that reading it made me feel good. So I went back again. And again. It wasn’t long before I couldn’t NOT go back to it. They call that an addiction, but I was too young to know the symptoms and too ashamed of this thing I knew was wrong to tell anyone. I was very good at hiding. No one ever caught me.

Fast forward 3 yrs, and I became a Christian. Convicted to stop this sin, I asked God’s forgiveness over and over, and I tried to stop. Sometimes I would last a few weeks, or even a few months. More often it was just a few days.

Embarrassed and prideful, I was still unwilling to tell anyone. So I lied to cover it up. Anyone who has experienced addiction will know this pattern well. Try as I might, I could not break free of this sin. Guys talk about how visual porn is what turns them on, but for me it was very much focused on what I read. Erotic romance is absolutely porn. It put images in my head that then became fantasy that I indulged often. And so my sin continued to consume me, making me hate who I was, hate my body, hate how fake I was to others who saw me as a “good christian girl”.

Fast forward to summer of 2015. God began to pursue me through scripture and others stories. God brought James 5:16 (“Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed”) to me in sermon after sermon, story after story. One night I was in deep despair over this addiction, and God led me to an article on the Rebelution.┬áIt was the story that changed me forever.

This guy’s story was exactly like mine, and it hit the part of me that felt alone in my sin. I read of this incredible freedom that he experienced upon confession to his dad. He said the chains just fell off, and it felt so good to be completely honest with someone. And I wept.

Because I wanted that freedom so badly that it hurt. Shaking, I called a friend and asked if I could meet with her the next day. And then, I sat down and wrote my story of sin. My confession. Every dirt, horrible thing that made up my addiction and web of lies. The next morning, I read it it to her. And the truth set me free.

It has been almost a year since that time, and in the past 10 months, only twice have I read porn. Now I have a weekly accountability partner, obstacles in place, and the ability to be transparent in the battle. The battle hasn’t gone away, but I am free from the fear of temptation. Fear had taken me bondage, but now I am free. Praise God!

My prayer for others who face the battle of sexual temptation on a daily basis is that you will know that “if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you.” (Romans 8:11). I highly encourage you to read all of Romans 6, 7, and 8. That is where I found the powerful words of the God who offers salvation.

~Haley

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