I had the “perfect” family: a older sister who played with me and parents who spoiled me. My mother grew up in a Christian family but my dad wasn’t considered a Christian. However, my mom had lost touch of her faith. But we still went to church every Sunday and sooner or later my mom regained her relationship with Christ. My parents got a divorce when I was eight and my struggle with God began, which lead to my acceptance to Him.
I was mad at God, I wanted Him to take my past and reverse it. I was also angry at myself, I blamed myself for my parents’ mistakes. There were many sleepless nights that I cried out, wishing for the past to be changed. And I had no idea that what I was really crying out for was God. In middle school, I went to church and was even in the praise and worship team for my middle school ministry, but at school I was trying everything to fit in. I had no censor, I said what I wanted to say without caring. I had a certain female friend who liked girls and who the enemy used to try to convince me that I was a lesbian. The summer leading up to ninth grade, I went to visit my dad and stepmom in Florida and I began looking at pornography, which became a disgusting habit. At the time I had only “knew” Jesus from church but I didn’t have a relationship with Him, so though I knew looking at pornography and masturbating were wrong, I still keep doing it. It was weird because I would cry after doing it, but at the same time I didn’t see anything wrong with it.
Entering high school, I was depressed and lonesome. The enemy tried every which way to destroy my self-confidence. And every lie he fed, I believed. I ate my lunch in the bathroom stall for a whole month until the Lord finally gave me a group of friends. But just because I had new friends didn’t mean the problems ended. Multiple times I locked myself in my closet when I got upset, contemplating suicide for hours, then I would laugh it off, knowing the cost of taking my own life would be a price I wasn’t willing to pay. Pornography was becoming something that took up all my time, that I hardly could make time for God. I would go to it, without thinking, but at the same time trying to find pleasure from it and erase my hurt, pain, and past through it. Of course, it never worked, it just made me feel miserable. I tried basically everything but sex to try to find freedom from my past. Throughout high school, I never dated and I always tried to remain pure, yet the devil tried to tarnish my purity with porn. Of course it didn’t end there, I was tempted with alcohol, drugs, and secular music.
I had always recognized this habit towards porn as a demonic spirit but when I began to have impure thoughts that would cloud my mind, I had a stronger motive to find freedom. I always felt guilty for looking at it afterwards and I knew it wasn’t right but the impure thoughts became so bad that at times I just wanted to stop my ability of thinking all together.
I was already spiritual weak, but eventually I began to get
mentally and physically weak. It was to the point of utter desperation and I had a strong longing in my heart to return to God. Might I mention that though I may have grieved Him, He still never left me. I know this to be true for I’ve experienced His grace firsthand. By the time I was a junior in high school and beyond, my relationship with God was serious, so serious that I was getting fed up with the enemy’s games. And when I looked at porn and masturbated, I wouldn’t just cry afterwards, I would call upon the name of Jesus. The very second I came to repent, I would feel God’s presence overwhelm me, as though He was saying, “It’s okay, I’m here and I forgive you. I already forgave you.” God’s faithfulness astounds me and His mercies are new each morning. Instead of beating myself up after viewing porn and masturbating, I learned to forgive myself because I knew that God had forgiven me. Without fail I would immediately shutoff my computer and play worship songs or read my bible or just lay out on the floor before God. There were nights that I would lay on the floor in the darkness, crying out to God and there were alter calls where I would feel God’s spirit cleansing me and I began to have a great anguish for girls who dealt with the same thing. My battle with pornography and masturbation lasted nearly five years and it’s something I would never wish on someone else. If I had to do it all again just to get where I am now, I would. But, how exactly did I get delivered?
Well, I first realized that I thought of myself as too weak and that me going back to the same old sin made me deny God’s deliverance. The reason I wasn’t free like I claimed to be was because I failed to realize my strength. I failed to realize that with God I have the power to say “no” to the enemy and I also have victory over the enemy. I had finally found myself to be strong in God and finally proved to the devil that I have power over him, thanks to Christ. It wasn’t through my own strength that I was delivered, but just by me recognizing that He gives me strength when I need it most, in times when I am tempted to do things I know not to do. I also came to realize that I need God, I cannot say, “Oh, I can handle this,” because quite frankly, there are things that I cannot handle without the Lord’s help. This was definitely one of them. So, as God was healing me, purging out the unrighteousness from my spirit, and purifying me, I began to get serious about reading His word. I keep my Bible by my bed and I just flip through it, and every night I make it a habit to go to sleep on something positive. And when I say my goodnight prayers, I always include a simple, “Lord, renew my mind,” and when I wake up in the morning and acknowledge God, I remind myself to ask Him again, “Lord, renew my mind.”
I can truly say I have found freedom, forgiveness, and more importantly, love in the arms of Jesus. Never do I have to entertain the enemy by giving into pornography or masturbation because God has given me the ability to defeat him—for He already defeated the enemy! And there is no way I can experience all the great things He has in store for me if I continue in sin. God completely satisfies me and I realized that in His presence, the joy and pleasure of being with Him is everlasting & eternal. I’m so glad I have a relationship with Him and I’m so glad He graciously saved me from the grave I had dug myself in. Hallelujah! But now I lay my old self in that grave and as of today, I’m becoming the new me —the woman God has ordained me to become.
“As for God, His way is perfect: the Lord’s word is flawless; He shields all who take refuge in Him. For who is God besides the Lord? And who is the Rock except our God? It is God who arms me with strength and keeps my ways secure. He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; He causes me to stand on the heights. He trains my hands for battle; my arms can bend a bow of bronze. You make Your saving help my shield, and Your right hand sustains me; Your help has made me great. You provide a broad path for my feet, so that my ankles do not give way.” — Psalms 18:30-36