It started when I was 11.
I was introduced to pornography. I felt two strong emotions simultaneously: Excitement and Guilt. I liked what I saw, but I felt like I shouldn’t be seeing it. No one had told me it was wrong; I didn’t grow up in church. It just felt wrong.
I gave my life to Christ at 16. A girl I was dating and her family led me there. I was taught that anything sexual was wrong. Period.
I believed distance would end the issues when I moved off to college. I found more porn and other women there too. Off and on through college I was connected with great, God-honoring men who cared about my life. During those times I didn’t really struggle with sexual integrity issues. It was when I was disconnected that I struggled.
My last semester of college I was engaged to be married. I was isolated, alone and heavily into chat rooms and pornography. I ended up meeting someone from the internet.
I believed getting married would cure my problems. Sure enough it did…..for about 3 months. I had several affairs. She had no clue. God was nowhere to be found.
I was addicted.
At first, I was trying to find a way to fit my addiction into my life. I ended up trying to figure out how to fit my life into my addiction.
After lost jobs, lacking any integrity, wrecking my marriage, and generally hating myself I broke down. I fell to the bottom of the shower into a puddle of soapy water, tears and vomit. Some people call it “hitting rock-bottom”. I cried out to God in a way unlike any of the previous bazillion times.
I told him I didn’t care what I had to lose, who had to know, or what it would cost but I had to have him back. I had to be free.
I swear I heard him say, “Okay”.
He outed me. Shelley confronted me. I finally came clean and told the truth.
That confession began recovery for me. I got connected with a phenomenal counselor, became accountable to godly men who cared about my life, recommitted to church and the Lord. I began the process of uncovering why, for so long, I hated what I was doing but couldn’t stop. I got to the root of what was driving me to be this way. I finally started to close the divide between who I was and who I wanted to be. My wife stayed with me. In the most incredible display of Christ-likeness, she decided after 13 months to forgive me.
God called me out of the corporate world and into the ministry at Every Man’s Battle.
He called me to be a counselor to help other men.
Today, over a decade later, I am free. Thank the Lord. Our marriage is seeing amazing redemption and God is using our story to help others.
That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.