Monday, March 14, 2011

Freedom from Sexual Addiction part 4

I come with empty hands.

Sometimes I enjoy posting on my blog, sometimes I come with what feels like nothing to say. Right now I feel like the latter. :)

Jesus, I pray that you would speak to me. Speak through me if you will.

I don't like to share stuff like this, but I do it because I feel it is necessary. I feel like I should have entitled this "Healing from Sexual Addiction" because it's like a wound with a scab that is slowly taking over. Sometimes that scab gets picked off, yes I pick scabs, sometimes it gets torn open. I was thinking about my friend who has been through some traumatic times and what in the world can heal her? Drugs can temporarily take away the pain, so can alcohol. Sex and pornography can distract from the pain, but in the end it always comes back. The only thing that can truly heal us is the Lord. Jesus told the lame man to get up and walk, he healed us physically but more importantly, he can heal us spiritually and emotionally. Those deep, deep scars cannot be removed by modern psychology, they can only be removed by the Word and prayer and fellowship with the Lord.

Sorry, that was my tangent before I shared all this. Ben and I were newly married and enjoying it so much. He went to work everyday, I was working part-time at Starbucks, leading worship part time at a church downtown, and doing music gigs around town when I could. My schedule was sporadic and I would have odd hours at home alone. I would often use Ben's computer to watch television shows. One of my favorites was Desperate Housewives and I also discovered a show called Love Money. Both have tons of sex, selfishness, attitudes, everything, you name it. That's why they are such delicious shows. I was also taking birth control pills which made me slightly crazy (as I discussed in this post). All of this was like a perfect cocktail for a gateway for me. I struggled with thinking just evil thoughts. It was interesting though because I kept it separate from my relationship with Ben. I wasn't completely honest about what I had been thinking about, the shows I had been watching, it was like in some way I was living two separate lives. The secret life, however, is difficult to keep secret. My attitude and anger eventually bled over into my relationship with Ben. My addiction literally blocked my ability to love him the way I should.

It all came out eventually and I made a covenant with Ben that I would not watch shows like that any more. I realized that he was more important than all of that stuff. So I was able to stay pure for a time.

Okay, and then I got pregnant. I'm not going to blame stuff on the pregnancy because my own sinful heart was heavily involved. Again, I would like to say that this stuff creeps up. It doesn't just happen all at once, but slowly it creeps into your life and then you have to keep going back to it. With pregnancy I discovered other hormones and drives. Can I just say here that I feel like now I know an inkling of what guys go through? As far as the drive to just want sex? I'm not saying every pregnant woman is this way, but there was a drive inside of me. If I had been right I would have gone to Ben with this, but instead I was drawn to satan's ways and perversion. After a time of stumbling, confessing, stumbling, confessing, attempting to repent (I say "attempting to" because I was not successful for very long), and stumbling again, praying, crying out to the Lord and asking for wisdom I kept coming back to fleeing from temptation. We finally decided to pay good money for a really good filter on my computer. Can I just say that it was worth every penny? The accountability for the times when I was alone, worth every bit. God gives us strength to flee, but we still have to FLEE from temptation. In this, I am glad that I am not technologically savvy, I don't know how to get around filters very well and that is a GOOD thing. :) I am also determined never to live outside of community. Living with Ben's parents and brother and sister in law and their kids were SO GOOD for me at different times. They were a help to me in this struggle. Can I say that if you are struggling with a sin like this, a private, personal sin, it is good to live with a roommate, a family who is open and honest? I had only confessed it to Ben, but it was good to just be around other believers. It was more of a struggle when we moved into our own house.

Okay, another reason why I am thankful the Lord gave me a child, Levi has redeemed me in this area as well. His life has given me an even stronger desire to stay far away from this sin. Also, taking care of him has distracted me so much from myself and my sin that I don't have time or energy to engage in such things. Can I just say that the Lord has used Levi and his birth in tremendous ways in my life? Not only in the redemption of my physical body, in my own healing and freedom from sexual addiction.

I knew that having Levi and being home a lot would be a struggle, that I would probably struggle with postpartum depression, and so I decided before Levi was born that I would not watch any television, that I would only listen to Christian podcasts, radio, music all that stuff. Sounds like I'm a weirdo doesn't it? But I did not struggle with postpartum depression and I think it was because I made a conscious decision beforehand to set my mind on things above. I will tell you, it was some of the sweetest times in my life. Yes, I was tired but I don't regret a second of it. I listened to a lot of Revive Our Hearts, Family Life Today, Nuclearity (which is an AMAZING podcast, I am sad it's not being created anymore, but I highly encourage anyone to go download all 29 of them and you will love them), and Focus on the Family. I listened to a lot of Pandora Radio with Christy Nockels, Keith and Kristyn Getty, Sara Groves, Jill Phillips and Andrew Peterson. It was a pure, good time. I would liken it a lot with the time I had mono in 11th grade and just had amazing times of personal worship. I talked about it in this post.

I want to thank you all for your encouragement. If you would like to talk more about this subject with me feel free to email me or leave a comment or send me a Facebook message. This or any other subject I have talked about.

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