I was 9 years old when my secret began. I was a 4th grader with 6th grade friends, friends who had access to pornography and graciously let me indulge with them. They took me to a nearby park and there under the playground’s kid castle was a magazine. From that day forward I was living with an addiction, an addiction that wouldn’t leave for many more years to come.
It’s interesting to me that ultimately God would use this addiction to bring me into a relationship with Him years later. I came to know God at the beginning of my sophomore year of high school. I had one Christian friend in school who was truly walking with Jesus, and he took me under his wing. One day I was compelled to tell Him the things I was involved in. I hadn’t ever opened up to anyone about it and it was tough to confess. But, I mustered up the courage and spilled my guts to him on the way home from school. I hadn’t cried that hard in years. I remember being shocked as he told me that he struggled with the same thing, but that the difference between me and him was that, although he struggled with lust, he was already free from it’s power over him and I wasn’t. He told me about the liberty from sin and death that Jesus brought him, and that evening, with a broken and contrite spirit, I committed my life to Christ.
I suppose I thought from that day forth, everything would be smooth sailing: no more lust, no more porn, just freedom! I was wrong, and anyone who knows God can vouch for me. The battle had only begun. There was one night in particular that was quite difficult for me. I remember crying out to God in the darkness of that room. I told him I wasn’t worthy of Him. I remember wanting Him to just leave me in my sin. He was too perfect, and I was too wicked.
That’s when it happened. As clear as I can see right now, I had a vision. I saw myself kneeling by my bed, broken, hurting, and ashamed. And then, I saw the Lord Jesus, Maker of Heaven and Earth, come and kneel beside me. No words were spoken. All He did was put His hand on my back, and we knelt there in silence. I was so moved by that simple gesture of God that I wept, and wept hard. In that simple, silent vision God spoke louder to me than ever before. I sensed Him saying to my heart, “I’m near. I care. I forgive you.” In a lot of ways that was the beginning of the end of my addiction.