Playboy. I was probably 12 when I found my dad’s stash. Great. A confused girl meets seduction. “Why does my dad have this? Why am I looking at it? Why am I STILL looking at it”. Wow. I loved and hated it with equal measure.
It was as though a thousand thoughts were in the blender of my mind, and someone had hit frappe’. One thing for sure. I loved the thrill. Later, in my 20’s, I got Playgirls monthly. Read Penthouse Forum and other magazines, watched porn, went to male strip clubs (secretly wanting to go to a female one) all to get that little thrill. Thrill is a funny thing. It just gets hungrier. You can’t satisfy it. So I added more real people. The hole in my heart got bigger. I looked and acted like a party, but inside I was dead. Then the Lord started bothering me. First He brings a guy at work that talks to me and gives me a God book. Then He brings a guy into MY bar and he gives me a mini and gentle sermon. I could not get drunk or stoned enough. I would read the bible or book at home, drink whiskey, and get more sober. He kept harassing me with His love. It was weird.
One day I gave up fighting Him. I surrendered all. I never again purchased or sought porn. I had been immediately delivered of porn and cussing. Yeah, I was still hooked on my girlfriend. Still hooked on drugs, alcohol, lust, and emotional dependency…. The only force more stubborn than my ways to get high, was the love of God. He loved me no matter what I did. My repenting times were so sweet with Him. I felt His presence. The power of those times cemented me with Him. He was relentless; unmoving. He would not leave me. My love for God was born out of a broken heart. He planted the seeds of grace in the soil of my SOIL as I would cry out to Him for cleansing. Up pops a little garden. “Why do you bless me so? Can’t you see that I am screwed up?” I got to know this gardener. He is quiet mostly. He smiles a lot. He just happily works away & whistles love songs. I would look at him, with my head tilted, like a puppy hearing a noise.
I simply fell in love with my Savior. Him and His stubborn love.
That love was there for me even though I tragically had affair #2 after I remarried my godly husband. Once with a man, the second time with a lady. Such pain my lust and sexual addiction caused. I remember simply making it through a week clean. Then a month. A few months, a year, and now I can say I am 20 years since my last affair. Not even a close call, thank the Lord.
He is there for me now, as I learned to go to Him with my temptations, to confess to my husband & others when I have a hard day. The cycle got broken when I became honest and got to the root of my issues. I use temptations I get now as a trigger for good, switching quickly to prayer. Like a train barreling down the track can get switched to a different track, by a switchman, and take you to a new destination.
It is called renewing your mind:
Romans 12:2 “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is –His good, pleasing and perfect will.”
This was one of the best tools He gave me. He had me make a list of people I was praying for. I had a top 3. When the temptation hit, the switchman (me with God’s Help) would pull the switch and I began praying my list. Yeah, even when it is strong - really strong. It was hell at first! After about a week it settled down. I believe the enemy did not like triggering me to pray for people. That thought alone, gave me great…great… joy.
It has not been easy. Renewing your mind takes effort, commitment, and transparency. The people that support me are heros! Renewing THIS brain has been challenging but I look back to where I use to be and I am amazed with what He has done.
He is our loving and compassionate gardener, growing more than fruit.
He grows friends.