women & porn addiction

When Porn Comes Knocking…

As many of you know, I used to struggle with pornography. Once I finally confessed this to my husband back in 2008, we installed accountability software through Covenant Eyes on both of our computers. My husband and I still receive a report of all of the websites viewed during the week (and with our children getting older I am sure we’ll keep it).

I immediately stopped searching for porn online when we started using the accountability software, because the thought of my husband seeing what I had been looking at horrified me.

Ceasing to look at porn did not necessarily fix the problem, but it definitely gave me a good view of my heart when temptation came. Unfortunately, the pictures and vivid fantasies still played in my mind for a very long time. God has healed my heart in so many ways since then, and both my husband and I are still careful about what we search for/view online.

Fast forward several years…

One day I was home finishing up a message I was preparing to share the following morning. While taking a break, I was looking through my emails and noticed I had a few new followers on Twitter. I was not on Twitter very often at all but decided to click over to see one of the profiles. The profile I clicked on was for a woman with a vague profile description, but nothing seemed out of the ordinary or cause for concern.

I scrolled down, and I saw the hashtag “#porn”. This should have been a huge red flag to me, but I follow people who use porn hashtags since it is a subject I write and read about. What I wasn’t thinking about was that it said “#porn” not “#pornharms” or something similar.

I was completely caught off guard when I scrolled down a little further to see an extremely graphic pornographic picture. This (of course) was exactly the same kind of picture I would have searched for years ago. An array of emotions suddenly hit me.

It’s not like I haven’t come across any kind of porn over the last several years. I definitely have. As the years have gone by, it has become much easier to just brush it off and move on. There were a few factors that lined up to hit the panic button for me this time, though:

1) I had an emotionally tiring week.

2) I was alone. My husband and kids were at a friend’s birthday party, so I could stay home and finish the message I was working on for the following day. I was suddenly acutely aware that there was no one around to distract me. This is not normally a concern of mine at all, but suddenly it was fueling my fear.

3) Although I have stumbled across porn before, this particular picture (combined with everything I mentioned above) was an exact example of the kind I used to intentionally search for. It was like the enemy hand-picked it just for me.

I was frozen in fear, realizing I already could not get that picture out of my mind. I found out how to block her on Twitter, but I was left with a crucial decision at that point.

What was I going to do with everything I was feeling?

When I saw that picture, I felt a “rush” (I don’t know what else to call it) come over me that I hadn’t felt in a very long time. Honestly, it terrified me. I forgot what that felt like, and I panicked.

Then I realized something… I didn’t have to listen to how I was feeling. I had the Holy Spirit to help me. I wasn’t truly alone after all. He was there with me! I started to pray, realizing I didn’t know what else to do at that moment. I did something I had never done in the past…

I prayed for the woman whose picture I saw. 

I prayed that the Lord would set her free. I prayed that I would have eyes to see her the same way He sees her. I prayed that He would send laborers across her path and she would give her life to Jesus. I prayed that He would heal her heart and that she would find wholeness in Him. I also prayed specifically for the woman in the picture, asking that God would send an angel to rescue her from any situation she may be involved in, in case any kind of abuse was involved. I prayed that God would restore her and that she would receive a revelation of how He sees her and how much He loves her. I prayed that she would know how valuable she is in Him and that He would set her on fire to rescue others who are involved in the same thing.

Every time that picture has come to my mind since then, I have prayed a similar prayer all over again.

I praise God that I made the right decision. The power that picture could have held over me was diminished when I continued to pray for her. I am so thankful that my relationship with God is not filled with so much shame anymore that I couldn’t approach Him. The intimacy I am finding with Him just keeps growing, and it made all the difference in this situation. Years ago I would have felt condemned by even feeling tempted, so I would have caved in for that reason alone. Now that I don’t carry all of that shame in my relationship with Him, it was so much easier to turn to Him for help.

He is my Savior, Restorer, Helper, Redeemer and my Friend!

He is my Refuge and Strength [mighty and impenetrable to temptation], a very present and well-proved help in trouble (Psalm 46:1 AMP)

What do you run to when you feel empty or weary? I encourage you to turn to the Lord during these times. Don’t let shame keep you from the One who can fill every need you have. The closeness He wants to have with you can fill those places, even well past what you can imagine!

 

3 thoughts on “When Porn Comes Knocking…

  1. Praying for the people in the graphic depictions has NEVER crossed my mind! I have done well for the past few weeks of not looking for or positioning myself to accidentally come across any porn, but sometimes past images are vivid in my head. But to think to pray for those people, is mind blowing. I think, on one hand, it seems fundamental or even simple, but to think that those are real people and no matter what their reasons are for doing that work, they are lost souls who Jesus died and rose again to save.

    I do plan to use this tool the next time I encounter an attack in this regard. Thank you again!

    1. Praying for the images that come to my mind or actual pictures if I stumble upon them has helped me tremendously. I’m glad you’re going to try it. I am convinced this is one way the Lord heals our minds from these images. -Amy

  2. Amy, thanks for your transparency. I feel like I have stuggled with bondage for so long because I feel so ashamed that I DO struggle as a christian woman. I don’t look at pornography but I feel strong attractions to men (I’m married) and it is a huge problem. I just recently started praying for the men I feel attracted to and that is helping but I’ve got a long way to go. Thanks a God bless.

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