There is an old Indian saying ‘The first thirty years you make habits, the next thirty years those habits make you’.
The lifestyle of a sexual addict has ‘owned’ me since I was a teenager who discovered a discarded porno magazine and let it into my life. Granted others may not have been captured as quickly or as totally as I was, but there seemed to be a ‘filling’ connection for a moment that took me out of my awkward life, an escape and joy that I got nowhere else and to be honest I enjoyed it, for a moment.
I spent the next 20 years cultivating this habit, when I was stressed I turned to pornography, when I loathed myself I turned to masturbation. I was forming a habit that was destroying my soul, my self image, my image of women and my ability for a good relationship yet I was powerless to stop it. Not only had I built a habit now the habit was taking me to darker and darker places, I started looking at images that once would cause absolute repulsion but now provided a form of release. The habit formed in me by the holes in my heart was now winning, was now overtaking me, was now ‘making me’ and I didn’t know how to stop it.
Is anything to hard for God? As a leader in a Pentecostal church I held strong to the notion that God is very active today in healing the sick, casting out demons, changing situations and providing miraculously for us. It is core to my faith that ‘Nothing is impossible for God’ yet while I preached this I was experiencing doubt overtake me as I could not shift this dark addiction. Had I found something that was impossible for God? If God couldn’t deliver me then what hope did I have? I tried everything in private. I would declare, fast, pray, try to deliver the demon in me…..
The biggest problem was me. I was wanting God to deliver me in a second, in private so that I could forget this was even a part of my life. It would seem this ‘easy Christianity’ is not the way God likes to work. I still believe God can deliver in an instant, and have heard of it happening, but I have to say the path of walking with Him everyday as I fight this addiction has built in me a greater understanding and appreciation of who God is, His Love, Grace, Mercy and power.
There was a way out, it wasn’t a door in the dark it was a light switch. As my addiction was brought into the light, as I confessed it and stood ready for the consequences I started to discover a God who works in dark places, who works through the love of others who should have rejected me (their love blew me away and mirrored the absolute love of God, thanks Linda, Dave, Pip…) and most of all works daily to do what was impossible for me.
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