Rarely do I open my messages with a gasp. An audible, hand-over-mouth gasp. This message came to Making Much of Him 365 on Facebook recently (edited for privacy)…
I have been reading the letters you have been posting on your blog and decided to write one of my own to a struggle that I have been dealing with for some time. Other than a therapist (and someone close to me), you are the only other person I have told. Tonight is it for me though. I am making a HUGE effort from now on to kick this in the butt. God is good even through the struggles.
I glance down the page to the letter’s title, wondering what issue this young lady could be struggling with. And I am shocked. My chest tightens and every, single stereotype I had went flying.
This young lady – age 19 – a gal that had been in my small group and part of my group at a youth retreat – a church girl – had been struggling with pornography since age 6. Yes, 6. And no one knew…knows.
I admit…I thought porn was the struggle for teen boys and older men, not girls and women. So, I did a little research. And, friend, PLEASE listen. It can happen to your daughter (or son or wife or husband or friend). In this age of phones and tablets and computers, porn is readily available to anyone. Please do NOT say “this would never happen to my daughter.”
Because it CAN.
You’ve changed my world. You’ve ruined my brain. But more importantly, you’ve ruined the lives of so many men, women, boys, and girls around the world.
You are evil.
What was supposed to be something to be cherished and treasured between a husband and wife has become maimed and twisted into utter evil.
My brother got hooked on you, and because of you, he tried to sleep with me. I was 6 years old. Now, 13 years later, you still haunt me. You still control my brain. I often manage to avoid you for a few months, but always- somehow- you become present again.
I’ve tried time and time again to get rid of you for good. I have cried out to God, completely willing to put you down, placing you behind me.
Why do you keep coming back?
I never thought that walking in on my brother while he viewed lusty images would leave me this broken. As a curious 6-year-old, I unknowingly handed my mind and my body over to you – something that I can’t and have not been able to control.
I wish I had never met you. I wish I could take it back now. I wish that someone would have protected my brother – protected me – from you. The images, the memories, the pain – it’s all branded on to my brain and will be for the rest of my life.
I wish I could say you’re in the past. That God has healed me completely of viewing you. That I don’t remember anything about you; that there is no evidence of you in my head or heart; that I have 100% control over myself and where my mind takes me. But truth is, I don’t.
I don’t have my crap together. I don’t have the power in me to completely get rid of every sin in my life, especially you. I am broken. I am hurt.
I am human.
God knows my heart. God hears my prayers.
Someone might ask, “If God hears my prayers, then why has He not taken this burden from me? Why hasn’t He given me new memories and destroyed the old? Where is the rescue? Where is He now?” I’ve asked myself these questions many times. And here’s the truth…
God created this world. He created man to live with Him, to be perfect with Him. But, we are human. We gave into temptation. We fell to sin. WE ALL FALL TO SIN. God sees our suffering. He saw it then and He sees it now. He knows our hearts, our desires, our temptations, our guilt. So He sent Jesus.
Perfect. Breathtaking. Beautiful. Jesus.
The only perfect thing to come to our world. So perfect, in fact, that He is the only one who can save us. He KNEW the liars, the failures, the scum, the bad, the ugly, the hurt, the suffering, the one in need, the one without earthly need, the one who was happy, the sad, the sinful.
I have learned that I CANNOT carry all of my burden myself. My friends cannot carry my burden. My parents cannot carry my burden. Therapists, teachers, mentors, etc. No one is perfect enough, or strong enough, to carry my burden.
You see, the beauty in my hurt and the perfection in my story is Christ. Because though He could have chosen to go to the better people first, He came to me. Straight to me, and picked me up. Though I grow faint and get weak, He is strong. Every time I fail. He is there. When I sin. He takes that sin and casts it as far as the East is from the West.
He makes me new, time and time again.
And though I don’t deserve it, by His grace I am new. I am strong. And I am getting back up, one more time, to kick you in the butt, porn. I hope that tonight was the last time I ever give in to you, but I know that if it is not, I can look forward to the day that Jesus picks me up one last time and takes me home with Him where I cannot sin any more.
She’s right. He is the ONLY way to freedom. (Galatians 3:22; John 8:36; 2 Corinthians 3:17; Psalm 118:5). The One who is strong when we are weak (2 Corinthians 12:9-10). The only One who is making all things new (2 Corinthians 5:17). Willpower only works for a season. “Want to” ends when our hearts and heads become clouded with desires.
But, Jesus never leaves us. Never forsakes us.
What sin is holding you prisoner? Will you write a letter to it, expressing your hate and surrendering it to Jesus? He wants to hear your heart. He desires to help you and work all things together for his glory.
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10