My Story of Finding Freedom from Sexual Sin
Shame, guilt, dirtiness, loneliness, doubt, and anxiety. I am disgusting. No other girl has the same struggles as me. I am completely alone. Only men are supposed to struggle with masturbation and pornography, not a young women like myself.
These are the lies that gripped me every day as I feebly fought against my temptation with no success. I had grown up to believe that this was not a problem that women dealt with. I had heard so many talks on purity and whenever the subject of pornography or masturbation came up the speaker directed his/her words to the men in the room. So I would just sink low in my seat and try to hide all the guilt and shame that bubbled up inside me. This is why I kept it to myself. I pushed this dark and dirty thing deeper and deeper inside of myself so that I saw it as part of who I was. I planted this sin into my identity and so my life became a reflection of that.
I grew up in an amazing Christian environment, both at home and at school. On the outside I was a sweet girl, who did the right thing, and would never do anything morally wrong. On the inside however; I saw myself as being two faced because I knew how “horrible” I really was. Because of this, I became an incredibly anxious person. I would often have panic attacks and many nights were spent lying awake waiting for my heart rate to go down so I could finally get some sleep. It got to the point where my anxiety controlled every decision I made. I couldn’t keep a job because going to work made me too anxious, but then I couldn't stay home because I had no money and that thought made me anxious. I constantly felt trapped. I told myself I could never tell anyone about this because no one would understand. If anyone knew, then I wouldn’t be the sweet and happy girl everyone thought I was anymore.
It wasn’t till one of my best friends shared with me that she also struggled with her purity that I realized how much I had isolated myself. I knew I needed to go to someone for help, but I couldn’t get myself to say the words that had become so taboo to me. I remember going to receive prayer once and instead of saying “I struggle with masturbation and pornography”, I said something like “I need help fighting a sin that affects my purity”. While it was good that I was taking a step closer to overcoming temptation, I was not being honest with myself or with God, and that is an extremely important step that I was missing. I continued to try and fight it on my own. I cut out certain shows from my life that had sexual content in them, and I read a book before going to bed instead of sitting on my phone and scrolling because that usually lead me to some pornographic site. These were really good steps, and they did help me a lot, but they did not end my struggles. I knew I had to actually sit down and tell someone and I was absolutely terrified. Every fiber of my being was horrified to say those terrible words, but by the grace of God I was able to tell one of my youth group leaders that I needed help because I was addicted to masturbation. I remember finally saying the words with so much difficulty, but once I said them it was this “oh...that’s it” moment. My youth group leader did not gasp, or scream, or shift uncomfortably in her chair. She actually just looked at me the same way she always looked at me and very simply and kindly told me that we were going to work through this together.
Just like that, months of fear and anxiety for this moment disappeared. I didn’t overcome my temptations overnight, but slowly, through lots of conversations and a lot of prayer, I stopped. The more I went to my small group leader and confided in her, the more my anxiety faded away. I was filled with so much more joy and so much trust in God.
Just because I was able to get out of the habit of this sin does not mean it is no longer a temptation for me. I have found that the less I feed my temptation, the easier it is to deny. Ways that I have learnt to “starve” my temptation is to stop watching shows, and movies with sexual content in them. I even had to stop listening to certain music because I realized it had an affect on me. These may sound like extreme and unnecessary precautions but I don’t ever want to feel that shame and anxiety again and if that means cutting out a few things that probably take up too much of my time anyway, I don’t mind.
My life still isn’t perfect and I still struggle with different things but the difference now is that I know I don’t have to carry any of my burdens on my own.
- A Daughter of Christ