Hi my name is Allie and I struggled with an addiction to pornography.
(This sentence is hard to write but extremely freeing!)
What caused your struggle?
My struggle started when I was in college. I was in the middle of a long distance relationship and felt a deep sense of loneliness. My fiancé (now husband) was nothing but loving towards me, but my heart longed for a deeper love. I needed the love that could only come from Jesus, but at the time I didn’t ask for it.
I turned to earthly pleasures which I thought would make me feel whole again. I wanted to control my happiness and it only led to confusion, frustration, and an overwhelming sense of guilt. I felt lost and that I was one giant failure.
How long have you struggled with this issue?
My addiction to porn lasted a year. It was happening during a very transitional period in my life. I was switching majors in college which led to hard, tough decisions. I was also part of a Christian leadership team that had advisors who I felt were not sincere in trying to help me grow spiritually.
Most (all but two) of the relationships I had in college felt skin deep. My fiancé was living two hours east, so it was hard for me to communicate my feelings of loneliness because I didn’t want to make him feel guilty for choosing a job so far away.
What led you to your healing journey?
Healing began the summer before I got married. I 100% give the Holy Spirit credit.
I don’t remember reading anything specific or seeing something that made me snap out of it. But He convicted me that what I was doing was not only harmful to others but to me. He reminded me that I was worthy of grace and that I could be made whole again. I have been clean as of July 11, 2016.
What were the obstacles you encountered in your healing journey?
Guilt wore on me every single day for the next few years. I wanted to tell my fiancé desperately, but I feared it would hurt him so bad he’d want to leave me. I loved him so much, and I never wanted things to be weird or distant between us.
Most of the times that I was having trouble healing is when I felt an overwhelming sense of conviction. Every so often a sermon at church would mention it. That always tore me apart inside. Once in a small group a girl friend of mine admitted she’s struggled with porn. It took everything in me to not say, “Me too.” I regret that. She deserved a friend in that vulnerable moment. A few months ago a dear friend of mine opened up on social media about her ten year struggle with porn. Again, I so desperately wanted to hug her and tell her, but I couldn’t.
The thing holding me back in every one of those situations was satan. He fed me lies that these girls would laugh it off and wouldn’t believe me. He lied and told me that my husband wouldn’t forgive me and that he’d want a divorce. He lied and said the Church wouldn’t understand. They’d say, “That sin is too big and you’re too far gone from Jesus.” All lies!
How are you doing now?
Today I’m living in freedom.
On September 3, 2018 I told my husband about my addiction to pornography. He was nothing but compassionate, sympathetic, and grace-filled as he told me, “I’m not mad at you and I love you.” Relief flooded through me like the wave of a hurricane. I knew I hadn’t been forgiven yet but those few words were enough to fill me with a hope that forgiveness would come soon.
The next day he came downstairs and got down on his knees in front of me. He offered me the forgiveness I so desperately needed. We held each other, cried, prayed, and talked about how we’d move forward through this struggle together.
That was a beautiful moment.
Today, we are living in freedom! It’s strange just how fast my struggle became a shared one. We’re praying for each other constantly. We’re worshipping together. We’re living in the light of Jesus.
We always hold hands when we pray.
Last Sunday at Church, after our opening prayer ended, the man behind us leaned up and said, “It’s nice to see young couples holding hands to pray together.” If I’m going to go through this hard journey with anyone I’m grateful it’s my husband.
On September 14, 2018 I told the world. I have a blog where I write according to what the Holy Spirit lays on my heart and that day all I could think about was telling everyone about my addiction. Someone needed to hear that even Christians have struggled with this epidemic but that there is Power over pornography. I received so many messages telling me I was courageous and brave. In reality, I only want to be known as obedient to the call of the Perfect God that I serve.
What would you say to other woman struggling with pornography?
You were created by a perfect God who wants to make you perfect through the love of Jesus.
“He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.” – 1 Peter 2:24
You are beautiful, worthy, and wonderful. Your past doesn’t define you and you’re not alone in your struggle. I know how hard it is to admit this addiction because it’s painful to a lot of people including you.
Healing takes time. Relapse is natural, but please tell someone when you do it so they can pray over you.
When in doubt look to Jesus, and don’t believe any of the lies satan puts in your mind. I really want to encourage you to tell someone. You never know who might just say those two freeing words, “Me too.”