"I was told that my problem was chemical and not spiritual. Sounded good but I just could not ignore the feeling that there was more to it."
From my earliest recollections I remember every night trying to force myself to stay awake in my room because I believed that as soon as my eyes closed something would come out of the dark, kill me and send me to hell for eternity. The instant my eyes started to shut I would see something stalking ever closer to the bed so I would jerk awake in terror. This would happen many times every night until I got to the point where I would literally pass out from exhaustion. It went on for nearly half my life.
Many nights I would sneak into my parent's room after they fell asleep because I felt safe sleeping on their floor but because I was so embarrassed I would often wake up before dawn and go back to my room so they wouldn't know. Sure, lots of kids go see mom and dad when they get scared, but I did it up until the day I got married at the age 19.
My parents asked the church for help. Surely the ministers and elders could give me some sort of counsel from the Word of God, right? But when my parents asked the ministers of our church for guidance I was referred to a professional clinical psychiatrist. By the time I was 30 I had been to many counseling sessions and had taken antidepressants on and off for about half of my life. In those counseling sessions I learned that what I was experiencing was somehow my father’s fault and the fact I was raised as an only child. I didn't really buy that so I went looking for an additional professional counsel. I began learning about opiates, endorphins, and nerve synapses. I was told that my problem was chemical and not spiritual. Sounded good but I just could not ignore the feeling that there was more to it. My deep rooted fear led me to a secret life of alcohol and pornography.
Out of fear of condemnation and frustration, one day I attended a Sunday service and said the sinners prayer, becoming a part of the church I grew up in. Problem is, I turned to religion for help and not Christ. I turned to outward traditions to display to others that I was a godly and upright man. I became know as Brother Shon.
It was only a matter of time before I was right back drinking heavy again. During this time I produced a gospel quartet CD with songs like “It Is Well With My Soul” and “Blessed Assurance”. Nothing could be further from the truth.
For years I drank hoping this time I would be satisfied and never need another drink. Yet the addiction to alcohol drove me to drink ever increasing volumes. It is so easy to see how drugs, excessive food, smoking and alcohol erode physical health it but in the same way sexual impurity was infecting and eroding my spiritual life.
Like the woman at the well I was always searching for satisfaction but could never seem to find it. Even though I was married I had many mental lovers stored away in my mind who I could visit anytime. I was going about my everyday existence acting just like other people but inside I was dying of thirst and sorrow.
Eight years ago after yet another night of looking at sinful pictures on the internet God reached down into the pits of hell and snatched me up. He drew me to Setting Captives Free and more importantly He drew me to His Son.
For the first time in my life I had hope! Jesus brought me liberty and in exchange I simply had to extend to Him my empty hands. Jesus not only set me free from sexual sin through biblical counseling but He also delivered me from the tomb of sorrow and depression I was traped in.
God has given me a contentment, peace and joy in life which is beyond description. My wife, Julie is now my best friend even though 8 years ago she was threatening divorce and crying nearly every day. It has been over six years since I last fell to porn and self gratification.
Ezekiel 36 says that God set the Israelites free from their captivity not for their sake but for His Name's sake and so that the nations surrounding Israel would know that God is Almighty. My desire is to tell all who will listen of the power of Jesus Christ to forgive, to free and to restore the broken-hearted.
Thanks Shon for being so honest. This testimony is only one example of countless stories of men being set free by the power of God. Note that it was not religion or anything outward that held life changing power, but an act of grace from God.
Why did Shon have to go through so much to finally receive this grace? It seems it’s not until we come to the end of all our resources, completely humbled and defeated, that our hearts are open to His grace.
What I’m saying is you can never be too dirty or sinful to receive His love. In fact, the dirtier the better, because where sin abounds grace abounds all the more. It’s only our pride and self-sufficiency that keeps us from His grace. So, what are you waiting for, come just as you are.
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