My heart is heavy. I know I need to talk to someone but unsure who. God is the obvious answer and prayer is the key, true! But the truth is, I cannot talk to God because I feel so dirty and disgusted with myself.
How could I still be bound in pornography and masturbation after all these years? It makes no sense. It is not for lack of trying, heaven knows I don’t want to live like this, but here I am.
What can I do? Before you say give your life to Christ, I am a Christian. Not just that, I am a leader in church. That is what makes it even more painful for me. This makes me feel so hypocritical. How do I stand on the pulpit and preach, teach when I am wallowing in such despicable act?
I read your book and how you said this was part of your struggles and why you wanted to quit leadership duties in church at some point. But I also could tell from your story you were convinced it was exactly what the devil wanted. Get you to back out and down, feel sorry for yourself. But that only made you feel more isolated and plunge deeper.
To be honest with you, I have thought about making myself accountable to someone in the church, but to who? Anita you of all people know this, sometimes church folks are quick to throw stones at your head. Instead of standing with you in prayer and encouraging you, they spread your gist. This only makes a painful situation even more painful.
I feel like such a failure, Anita. My heart is bleeding and heavy. It feels as though I have failed God, so you see why I do not want to talk to Him? I am too dirty, Anita!
God knows I have prayed, fasted, I just want it to stop! The thought just dropped in my spirit to write to you. At the time this thought dropped, I was in some deep craving for porn and to masturbate. But I started crying and yelling- I don’t want this, God. Please help me! Then the thought came to write to you.
Anita, you don’t have to know who I am, but let me stay accountable to you. If I am being honest, I don’t think I trust those around me. I know you told your husband, mentor and your pastor about your struggles, not sure if that helped. I am wondering if I should do the same. You know, layers of accountability.
It would please my heart to hear from you, Anita. Please let me know what you think and please pray for me. I feel so much better already at the end of this email to you. There is a sense of peace I feel and I don’t want it to stop. Thank you again for sharing your story with the world, Anita. I know by God’s grace, one day I can be bold to put my name to my story for the world and help many come out of this shackle of the enemy. We rise and I can’t wait for a whole year with no porn and masturbation. God bless you!
Thank you for trusting me with your story. But more importantly, for allowing me to share your story with the world. You have taken such an important step and I have nothing but deep respect for you.
The devil has failed already over your life and I want you to know that. Let me start by setting some truths right.
First, God is not mad at you! Remember the woman caught at adultery? She was brought to Jesus in her adultery elements (I bet she was half-dressed, bearing symbols of her shame). Yet His words to her- ‘neither do I condemn you”- BIBLE REFERENCE
As a matter of fact, He wants you to bring the sin and bear it at His cross. Think of a child that makes an error, yet takes the mess to the parent. They know they have done wrong, perhaps even expecting to eb reprimanded, but also recognizing that they cannot bring themselves out of this mess they gave entangled with. BE that way with God.
Second, do not let the devil play on your guilt. There is a difference between someone who enjoys sin and does so habitually and someone who is dealing with ‘weights’ and does not enjoy it. You sure do not sound like you enjoy this. And I get that.
So, you are not attempting to walk after the flesh, but after the Spirit. IF you do fall, right there and then, call yourself out -REPENT, CONFESS your sin to God (and to your accountability partner) and then believe God has forgiven you. Forgive yourself and then, read aloud Romans 8)- be sure to personalize it. Nothing beats the power in the Word of God, and however you put it out there, the Word has enough potency to change the atmosphere.
Also, walk in this mindset, dearest write- you do have the power over sin. Because you know Christ. Let that revelation sink in. The day that hit me, then next time the cravings tried to rise, I found ,myself laughing out loud at the devil. Guess what, the temptations have almost become non-existent since that time. We are overcomers, and we have overcome sin and satan himself. Always fight from a place of victory, not for victory!
As for telling my husband and Pastor, truth is I struggled a bit after sharing. It was hard to accept that actions were not taken in reaction to the story I shared (especially with Pastor). But I am learning to always take a step back and review, so as not to make costly assumptions. Half the time, it is the lie of the devil. I am not judged and that means a lot.
wished that they would check in more with me and proactively so. But they don’t. And I feel a bit weird just going to them when cravings come or if I fall. But, just sharing helped A LOT. Because I do not want to disappoint them should they ask, I am more mindful. And if I want to be honest, I did fall this year. When Pastor asked (yep he eventually did), I was honest and said I did.
He encouraged me and acknowledged it was FAR LESS than before in that same timeline. But that was the only time he asked. My husband hasn’t. I confronted him once, I saw his discomfort. So I recognize now that it is not an easy topic for anyone. I also have people who keep themselves accountable to me and it is hard to check on them too.
Now that I am writing to you, I am thinking to be more proactive and do a review with both my Pastor and husband on this. Tell them what I have learnt so far about triggers, temptations and what kinds of questions to ask.
So, yes! I would encourage you to share with your husband, pastor or someone else you trust who can put a face to you. Make it clear to them you want them to check up on you, set the frequency. Also determine if you will have daily/weekly check-ins with them. Maybe a text to say, today was good; today was hard, but I pulled through, etc.
In summary, here are things I want you to take away:
12 Tips to help you deal with addictive behaviour
- Acknowledge you have a problem, which you have done from all I am reading.
- Name it- which you have- addiction to pornography and masturbation
- Decide who you want to be accountable to, frequency, channel of communication and what the touchpoint/content of communication
- Choose to stay accountable, no matter what
- Understand your triggers- is it when you are tired? Afraid? Worn out? Not prayed frequently? Hang around certain people?
- Mind your mind! What are you listening to, watching, reading?
- Decide how you want to deal with this, therapy, spiritually or both? There is no right or wrong way, provided your trust is in God to help you. If you do choose therapy, find someone who shares, your faith and value, or at least respects it. I would recommend caution.
- Reframe your words to yourself- you are not trying to break free from pornography and addiction, you are enforcing the freedom you already have through Christ Jesus. Be more righteousness conscious than sin-conscious
- Determine to get up and get moving even if you fall. The devil wants to stop you in your walk with God, do not give him that chance.
- Fill yourself up consistently with the Word of God and create a thriving presence for God’s Spirit. When you work at consistently staying full of the Spirit, you weaken the flesh.
- Show yourself some grace and compassion. The faster you learn to forgive yourself, the easier it is to get up and get going.
- Finally, do not forget to actively pray for God to kill the desire in you. Do not think it is too dirty to bring before God
I am rooting for you and praying for you. It would be my greatest honour to hear about your progress. Hope this helps you. The whole purpose of this blog is to undo the culture of silence, so thank you for breaking the silence. Remember, the enemy thrives in secrecy
Got any advice to add for this writer? Leave them in the comments box below.