Life has carried to some very unexpected places and through some powerful experiences. My twenty eight years on this world have felt full and more satisfying than not. The greatest source of satisfaction has come from freedom; both experiencing it and telling others about it.
If you’ve followed along this blog, you know about how God stepped into my life and freed me from the prison of pornography. His prison break was the first step in a long journey towards more and more freedom. One of those freedoms is telling others my story.
Three years ago, I could not imagine telling the internet about my addiction. Talking to a stranger about it seemed like the end of my world. As I think about it, telling others about my porn addiction was the beginning of my world’s end.
Confessing to others was my first step out of my world and into God’s. His world is one defined by authenticity, unconditional love, and freedom. It’a a wonderful place and yet it’s not what I would call safe.
My world was all about safety. I tried to build a kingdom of happiness, friends, and success to defend me from the dangers and pains of life. Long story short, it didn’t work.
The continued lack of results in my world helped lead me to stepping into God’s world. My desire for safety remained as I took those steps and it continues to haunt me from time to time. It causes me to take one step forward and then two backwards.
When I first confessed porn to my Christian community, I kept looking at it and didn’t confess each fall to temptation. Then we paired up into accountability partners. I confessed to accountability partner each time I fell, but I hated doing it.
It came to the point where I considered lying to him.
My choice between safety and God became quite clear at this point. It felt safer to retreat into lies and pretend everything was okay. My retreat would also take me away from enjoying authenticity, freedom, and unconditional love.
None of those things would go away because of my lies. Those lies would block me from experiencing the fullness of them. The barrier of deception blocks people from seeing into my heart.
It also blocks my heart from believing in the unconditional love being offered to me. The barrier creates a whisper which tells me other people love my facade and not me. It says people would reject me if they knew the real me.
I didn’t lie to my accountability partner. I asked him to help me setup filtering software on my computer instead. This was one of the turning points in breaking free from my addiction.
Another turning points was telling the internet about my addiction. Again, this was a choice to stay safe or step deeper into God’s world of authenticity and freedom. I’ve never once regretted taking this step.
I don’t know if others see me in a different light because of my addiction. It doesn’t matter to me. The satisfaction of freedom and authenticity is better than the approval of any person.
A satisfaction of equal strength is found in telling others about my freedom. Telling people how they can be free from porn and other sins is incredible. There is nothing in this life quite like it.
I plan on traveling East to Albania this summer for a week to experience this satisfaction in a new place. I will be traveling with twenty one other young adults from my church. We’ll be partnering with CRU to host a summer camp and talk with high schoolers about Jesus.
I don’t plan on opening those conversations with an explanation of my porn addiction. I do plan on telling them about the God who loves me and freed me from the prison of sin and shame. While this might not seem like a big deal because I write about this all the time, I was still hesitant to go when I first joined the team.
Going through my twelve step program has worn me down. I wondered if it would just be better to sit things out this year. My decision to join the team came down to trusting God’s faithfulness.
Taking this week long journey is one more step into God’s world of authenticity, freedom, and unconditional love.
He won’t love me any less if I don’t take the step. High schoolers in Albania will still hear about Jesus even if I’m not there. My teammates will still have a good time and enjoy great fellowship without my presence.
Staying home would mean missing the special joys He has waiting for me in Albania though. I won’t be there to see someone learn about freedom in Jesus. I’ll miss belting out worship songs with my questionable singing skills.
I write this blog in part to let you know about my upcoming journey and in part to ask for your help. I am looking for people to join my team and help in our efforts to spread the Gospel in Albania. The specific teammates I’m looking for are those able to offer prayers and financial aid.
I would love for you to provide either or both. I also understand if you don’t have the resources or don’t feel pumped about this trip. I’ve heard plenty of asks for financial aid and know what it’s like to not be excited about a giving opportunity.
It’s my desire to recruit people who are excited about this trip and the opportunities it will bring. Please pray and consider joining the team to help with prayer or financial aid. The links below will get you to my giving page or the page for the whole team. It’s a CRU page because they take care of all the processing for us.
My giving page is here.
The team’s general fund page is here.
If you’ve got any questions about the trip or why I’m going, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. My fundraising goal is 3,000 dollars and the deadline for giving is APRIL 29th. We need to buy the airline tickets at that point. Please forgive me for not giving you a heads up sooner.
If you would just like to join the team with prayers, that’s great! Please comment with your email address. I’ll put your email on a list to get updates on our prep for the trip and a debrief when I get back.by