I became very promiscuous at a young age. I had an abortion at fifteen. I got married at seventeen to the first man who said he loved me. I found pornography just prior to marrying him. Almost instantaneously, on one side of me it was, “What’s this, and that can’t be right.” I didn’t want to lose my opportunity for my prince charming so it was, “If you can’t beat them, join them.” I spent twenty years of my life in marriage trying to join it and be everything that he wanted me to be. It was never enough.
It wasn’t long after the divorce that I got back to the church. It wasn’t until after I had gone down the familiar path of my promiscuity as a teenager and hitting dead ends there that I started to see the same patterns show themselves. It hurt that I was going down familiar paths, and there was still no safety and security in relationships. The kids and I moved into an apartment right next to a church. I was very disgruntled with church. I felt like I couldn’t be real in church and that there was a façade to going that everything is happy on Sunday. I remember from my childhood that it was one way on Sunday but the rest of the life, even after we got home, was a completely different way. I felt like I couldn’t fake it anymore. I didn’t want to fake it.
When my kids and I attended church, I was adamant. Actually I went first. I would roll out of my bed with blue jeans and a t-shirt on, but I don’t even know if I brushed my teeth or combed my hair. It was, “Are you going to accept me the way that I am?” They did. It was a church. I would call it a triage church for people like me, very broken, very broken. I recommitted my life to Christ. At that time that I recommitted my life to Christ, like I said we were walking distance from the church. I was walking home, and I heard the Lord. That sounds odd, but I heard Him ask for my sex life. I told Him, “You can have it because it isn’t working for me anyway, but I don’t know how to live without it.”
My promiscuity as an adult was looking to get my needs met. I was looking for the affirmation that I was enough as a woman. It included the way that I dressed, casting out that bait of seeing who might be interested. That would either be in, didn’t do too many bars, but I did go to some of those. I was so hungry for affirmation as a woman that there was a lot of short-term relationships. I even started getting into what would be called anonymous sex, not knowing the person who you are about to have sex with. There was no holding. There was no intimate love shared like in the relationships that God ordains by man and wife. There was none of that. So although it’s the same way with masturbation and pornography, you may get the neuro-chemical high, but your soul is empty.
There came a point in time, “How long are you going to do this [coming back to this place of empty]? When is this idol going to come up on the altar?” There were withdrawals. With every addiction that I have ever had to put up on the altar, the withdrawals were the same. It was skin-peeling, as I have named it. It’s just skin-peeling. Inevitably every time I would tell Him, and I would know that I was at a core place, at a good place, when I would tell Him, “I cannot do this, I don’t know how to do this.” When those words came out, I knew that I was at the right place because that’s exactly what He wanted to hear. That’s when He would come in and say, “I know,” and walk with me through that moment, and it would pass. That’s how I know the recovery process would begin.
I’m free. I’m not a captive anymore. I used to be driven by pleasing everybody else, just wanting to be pleasing. I wanted to be enough, to be approved, so that kept me searching. What God has done, what my Hosanna has done, my Jesus…He fends off the taunting. Simply because I believe my God is good and loving to provide a way for me to be in right relationship with Him through Jesus. My Jesus takes care of everything. I just believe that He is good. Therefore, I am blameless, and there’s nothing for me to prove to you or anybody else. I stay there. According to scripture, I am before the throne blameless. I am equipped to do a job that He has called me to do. I take Him at His word for that.