I grew up in a Christian home and was raised in the church. This seemingly pure life was not so pristine inside me. I struggled with issues that plagued me for many years. At the age of 10, I began looking at pornography, which escalated as I hit my teens and continued until I was 26 years old. A weight of shame convinced me that I was continuously letting God down. I was so ashamed to share my struggle; in rare moments of vulnerability, the advice I got didn’t seem to adhere. No one seemed to fully understand the every day struggle I endured. I was stuck.
I eventually met the love of my life and proposed, but through my engagement, I continued to struggle with pornography. I learned first-hand the destruction that an addiction can cause; God only knows why Hannah stayed with me. No matter her heartache, she loved and supported me. A few months before our wedding, I watched a sermon by Pastor Mark Gungor, where he presented differences between men and women, and something clicked with me; I finally comprehended the hurt I had been causing Hannah, which motivated me to retackle my addiction.
Somehow, by the grace of God, He broke the addiction in me that day, and I haven’t looked at pornography for about 3 1/2 years. Honestly, I couldn’t have overcome it without God breaking those chains. Do I still struggle with temptations? Yeah, I do, but I believe God has given me something to fight for. He knew having something worth fighting for would give me the strength to overcome.
In recent years, God revealed that one of my biggest issues is a fear of inadequacy. I was afraid that if the people in my life knew my past mistakes, they would disown and reject me. I kept trying to be good enough, striving on my own to be “worthy” of God’s love. Thankfully, day-by-day, God is reshaping my life to live in free, unearned grace, and I am encouraged to take this grace and spread it to others. God is empowering me to reach out to young men of the next generation, and it’s my prayer that He will use me to bring truth to those who are living in the pit.