For the briefest moment I hesitated. A moment that quietly accepted the realization that if I spoke, if I revealed the truth, then there would be no going back. Only forward, toward light. Toward purity. Toward Christ.
I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned that I’m in charge of our student ministry this year. I’ve been one of the youth staff since I’ve led worship at my church and this year the youth pastor took a year-long study sabbatical. So that has left me in charge for 2013.
It was a Wednesday night in October after our youth service was over. All the students had gone and a rare thing happened that I was left with only Bushbaby and our other woman youth leader talking about how the night had gone. Usually some of the guys stay until all us women leave. But the three of us were talking and our other youth leader shared that one of our girls had just gone through some intense hurt because a teenage boy had taken advantage of her and thrown her by the wayside. As we listened, I was filled with urgency and passion that all of our girls know their worth and know that no matter what mistakes they’ve made or what someone has done to them there is grace and hope.
The Holy Spirit laid on my heart that we needed another girl’s night sleepover, but this time really have purpose behind it. I know that Bushbaby and the other woman had both gone through their own share of struggles and each of us needed to be honest with our girls and let them know they are not alone.
But if we were going to do that I knew that these two leaders needed to know my crap first. If I was going to be honest and vulnerable with our girls it had to start then and there. And I knew that if I told Bushbaby my struggle then it meant that I was going to fight, really fight for purity. I accepted this and obeyed. I told them that I’ve struggled with masturbation and pornography. They were filled with grace and agreed that opening up to the girls was important and necessary.
We left in agreement to work out a time to have the sleepover and Bushbaby and I got in the car. She exploded that she also struggled. I’ve told people before, (heck, I’ve written a blog) so it is easier for me to talk about it than it was for her. But that night I decided to fight.
I decided to struggle, really struggle against my flesh and fight for purity. Not just an absence of indulging in the physical act, but to fight for a purity of heart.
I wrote Matthew 5:8 on my mirror, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”
I’ve experienced times of incredible intimacy with the Lord, times when I’ve experienced His presence and seen Him at work. In those times I didn’t have the desire to masturbate. I was content. I was full.
I realize now that for so much of my life God has fought for me and I’ve responded to Him, but now I’m choosing to fight for Him. I want to “see” Him. I want that intimacy and I will fight against what hinders me in order to have that once again.
And He has proved to me James 4:8, “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” I’ve been tempted but have asked for His help and He has helped me!
I’ve messed up a little mentally but His grace catches me and the Holy Spirit has helped me repent almost immediately. Having the support of God to fight also brings me closer to Him in intimacy. It means so much to experience His faithfulness and support. I feel like I’m being hidden in the shadow of His wings. It’s worth every denial of my flesh. It’s worth being humbled when I mess up.
So I’ve been masturbation free for over a month and hope that continues! It also really helps that Bushbaby and I check up on and support one another, too. She will sleep in my room with me if either of us are having a bad night. I just know that I don’t ever want to have to tell her I’ve failed.
I wouldn’t be able to say any of this if I hadn’t told her. I wouldn’t have told her if God had not ignited a passion in me for our students to know purity themselves. It’s kind of cyclical I guess. The truth is that I really do care about purity! I believe that sex can be an incredible gift if we humans don’t cheapen it. I believe that some of the deepest wounds are because it is cheapened and distorted. And it is so tied with self-worth that I want to do all I can to protect our girls from having regrets.
So that’s what’s happening right now. I know I might screw up but God is good and faithful and worth it! He’s so worth it.
I also have to tease that as of two weeks ago something romantic might finally be happening in my life…but I’ll give it a little more time before I expound. J
For those still struggling or those who are completely in bondage: There is hope and there is victory, but you won’t find it unless you accept the grace and forgiveness and help of Jesus. And again, I’m not able to do this because I want to do it for me. I really do want it because I want to “see God” so I’m fighting for my relationship with Him. It has to start with that motive. And then your first step is to (prayerfully) find the right person to tell. I wouldn’t be able to do this alone, and from other testimonies I’ve read, not many others can either.