Freed From Shame
There are many struggles that women have been excluded from in the church. When I was growing up, the idea that any woman could struggle with porn and masturbation addiction was completely preposterous.
Sexual sin was preached about in a way that directed the attention on men's wandering eyes and lustful thoughts/actions. Women? We were always the victims of their downfalls.
In high school, I started to get curious and lonely. That curiosity led to a struggle that has lasted 7 years. In the beginning stages, it was very on and off and I could go months without looking at anything, but as the craving grew, it became an almost everyday battle.
Feeling alone and abnormal, I would spend many nights asking God to take this addiction away from me. I never told anyone at the beginning because, at that time, I thought I was the only girl who could go through an addiction like this.
Then something happened...
In my second year of university, I went on a retreat and during one of the night sessions, I was completely broken before God. We were asked to group up and pray for each other and I felt this prompting from the Holy Spirit to share my struggle with our little prayer circle. The crippling fear of rejection and judgement was all that filled my body. Suddenly, it was my turn to share/ ask for prayer and the words came out of my mouth: "I struggle with porn. I'm a mess. I'm not okay. I need help". They were not my words because on my own strength, I would not have shared that. As soon as I shared my story, the rest of the girls in the group all said they struggled with the same thing. That was the first time I felt comforted knowing that I was not the only one. I will never forget that moment and how God put all of us in the same group that night.
After that night, I have been significantly more open about my struggle and have been seeking accountability on a regular basis. I'm not going to lie to you, it's still something that I battle, but I have been trying to find comfort in knowing that God has placed people in my life to help me. He is still using me, even with my struggles and weaknesses.
To the woman out there who can relate: God sees you. God knows you. God loves you. God is there to help you.
You are beautiful, worthy and loved.
You are NOT dirty, shameful, or rejected.
Reach out and find rest in Him.