Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Letting in Light

The Comment:
I've struggled/sometimes still struggle with looking at pornography and sending inappropriate photos. It causes me so much guilt and shame, I'm afraid of being judged and condemned. I know that both are wrong things to do but my friend showed me both and they satisfied my desires and made me and others (I'm a people pleaser) feel good and satisfied. I don't know how to stop and I lack accountability because I don't want to be labeled as dirty and gross. What can I do!? I can't live in this sin and entrapped by guilt much more. How do I ask for accountability/share? 
Thanks for your honesty and your willingness to come forward. Despite the anonymity of your comment, I think it's a good first step toward being willing to talk to someone else in your life about all of this.

Because it's hard. It's an issue that's covered in guilt and shame and despair....and the longer it happens, the deeper you get into it, the darker it feels. It's easy to think that it's better to never tell anyone at all than it is to admit how far you've gone, how much you've been willing to compromise. There are the times of self-commitments... I won't tell anyone, I'll just stop. Then it'll be okay. But then it doesn't stop. Sometimes you just feel completely out of control and you barely recognize yourself anymore. There are moments of weeping, brokenness, disgust...wondering what you've become. And then you're enticed for more because it's oddly satisfying. At least for a moment.

But the satisfaction never lasts.
It's fleeting.
And sometimes the satisfaction is still tainted by the depth of despair you know you're swallowed up in.

You have to get out.
Which means being willing to whatever it takes. In this instance, I think it's going to mean bringing light into the darkness. Talking about it. Being willing to go through a period where you feel like others might judge you, where others might see you in the way that you've been seeing yourself...dirty and gross. Or, at least a period where you feel like that's what they are thinking of you (even if they are not). A trusted mentor, a trusted friend...someone who will remind you gently of the redemption found in Christ, but someone who will not let you settle for less. Someone who will push you toward purity.

Ultimately, it has to be something that you want more than anything else.
There's freedom.
So much freedom to be found.
Will you walk in it?
Will you do whatever it takes, even if it means feeling exposed and dirty in the process??
The outcome is worth it-- of that I am sure.

On some level you just have to do it. You just have to decide you're going to put it out there and follow through with it. To send them a text or an email ahead of time and say, "I need to meet with you to talk to you about something really important. I don't want to talk to you about it, but I need to. I need you to make me talk about it."

Don't let it be optional for yourself.
And, honestly, if you think accountability isn't going to be enough...go see a professional counselor. If it's an addiction, that will be your better option.

In addition to accountability/counseling, there are going to be some hard questions that you're going to need to be willing to process through for yourself. Because stopping a behavior is one thing, but getting to the root of why you even want to be involved in the behavior is another. Why do you look at porn? How does it benefit you...how does it enhance your life? What do you take away from it? When are you prone to look at it? What situations/emotions lead you into it? Why is hard for you to not do it? Why do you send inappropriate pictures of yourself to others- it is because you are asked to or because you just want to? How do you feel about yourself before/during/after? How does it make you and also the recipient a better person?

There are a lot of questions (much more than what I listed up there)... a lot of questions because there's something important about getting down to the core of the issue. I can tell you all day long to just STOP...but, I want us to figure out what's going on.  To be willing to examine why there's the temptation and why it's so hard to stop. To figure out what you're getting out of this exchange that you're not finding elsewhere.

And, in order to do those things... you have to be willing to talk about it. To go there. To walk into the darkness, holding onto a lantern...and even though you might be terrified of what lies around the corner, you're not alone. You're never alone as you face the demons, the sins, the struggles. And there is hope. There is freedom.

I can't claim that for you enough...but you have to be willing to believe it yourself.
You have to be willing to go there, to do what it takes, to open up...
You have to want the freedom (as uncomfortable and scary as it seems initially) more than the cage that you're currently in. You have to be willing to fight for it, to bleed for it, to die to yourself for it. And if you can't make yourself get there, I pray that you would beg the Lord for Him to help you in the process.

Walk in freedom.
Let in the light.

Your entries will remain anonymous

1 comment:

  1. Thank you, Debbie. I have found accountability in a friend I do life with, it wasn't easy but it has freed me to a degree and has given me the strength and push to begin answering those hard questions.
    Please continue to pray for me as I begin the fight and journey, in order that I may soon walk in freedom.