Dear Precious One,
I have been where you are. I am no stranger to the shame that you feel. Although they are now in my rear view mirror, the horrible self-hate, the embarrassment, the sexual desires that I feared I could not control, the depression, the regret, and so many other emotions were all too real to me not long ago.
When I was about 11 years old, I came across a hidden stash of pornography under a relative’s mattress. Very quickly I began intentionally seeking out what I accidentally stumbled across. And what I began to seek out intentionally, I quickly became addicted to.
Pornography didn’t come alone though. I also became highly addicted to masturbation, and when I became an adult I added as many as two dozen anonymous sexual encounters to my addictive cycle. I “knew” I was alone, I was hopeless, and something was desperately wrong with me.
I have no doubt that you’ve also experienced some (if not all) of the above emotions and thoughts. But I am happy to tell you, you are not alone. You are not hopeless. Nothing is wrong with you. You deserve to know the truth.
What is the truth? Part of the truth is that some numbers indicate that as many as 40% of Christian women struggle with pornography. Again, you are not alone. The truth is that you, like all women, are broken. Nothing, however, is wrong with you. Most importantly, the truth is also that hope exists for you. Yes, many women struggle with a sexual addiction. But many women have been set free!
Have you tried again and again to be free? Promised yourself you won’t look at porn again? Or have you been sickened by your secret habit of masturbation that you just can’t break. Do you despise that over and over again you have told yourself that you will save yourself for marriage, only to give yourself to yet another man? Has all of this left you feeling like you don’t want to try again?
If you answered yes to any of these, then you are ripe for a miracle, and I have good news for you!
Lift up your head. You have a God who knows exactly where you are at. He loves you. Yes, He loves you. You, the one who is convinced that if anyone knew your secret they would despise you. He knows all about it, and not only does He love you, He is not mad at you. He sees you right where you’re at. He sees what you struggle with, and it doesn’t make Him want to turn Himself from you. Quite the contrary, He is turning Himself toward you, offering you something more.
Please, don’t let your past keep you from your future. God has so much more for you than you are living in now. I know how it feels to struggle for years, and try to quit a habit that you hate. I know how it can paralyze one from wanting to try again. Don’t let yourself be paralyzed. There are springs of fresh water waiting for you, please do not settle for drinking from a mud puddle.
I know what it is to have tried so many times to stop that believing in hope seems terrifying. But, I also know what it is to keep trying and to repeatedly start again at the same place of crying out to the Lord for His help in our brokenness.
He is the One, after all, that we truly are looking for in all of our sexual acting out. We, as women, crave intimacy to our core. Jesus can provide that. An endless need requires an endless resource. There is only One who can qualifies to meet our need. I think we know that’s not a man, an orgasm, or pornography. Those things only leave us empty.
If you don’t give up, and you keep allowing yourself to get up, eventually you will be victorious! One day of not acting out will turn into one week. One week will turn into one month. One month will turn into one year!
There’s so much waiting for you on the other side of this. I can assure you, it will be the fight of your life. But I can also assure you, that it will be worth it to have this in your past as a memory. What awaits you is an end to the mounting shame, the disconnected relationships with others, the self-hatred, and every other negative thing that comes with your bondage. A life of freedom from the shame of your sin, the true intimacy that your heart craves, and a life of integrity can really be yours. You’ll be able to deal with your emotions in more healthy ways, experience liberty from the pain of abandonment, and actually enjoy the abundant life Jesus came to give you.
Freedom is possible dear heart. The door stands open before you. Will you walk through it?
Someone who has been where you are, and hopes to see you on the other side
Kimberly Johnson is a counselor, speaker, teacher, author, and founder of Divine Identity. Most importantly, she is a broken but beloved daughter of God. Her experience and knowledge come not only from the hundreds of stories she has heard, but from letting Jesus love and heal her on her own journey of sexual brokenness.