Freedom Begins Here Bloghttp://www.freedombeginshere.org/blog/Freedom Begins Here Blog RSSen-us2012-09-01T06:06:47-05:002012-09-01T06:06:47-05:00http://www.freedombeginshere.org/blog/rss/contact@freedombeginshere.org (Freedom Begins Here)<![CDATA[The story of Souldier4christ]]>http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000003327
It is probably one of the worst things because I felt as though I was the only one going through It, and especially being a girl, it was a little odd. I mean how many girls find it easy to admit that they are addicted to porn.

Eventually I figured out that I was basically drawn in to watch these videos and once I was snapped out of it, a rush of regret would come, I would hate myself and feel so guilty. Too guilty in fact to even ask God of forgiveness. But I told my mother soon after, and she gave me words of encouragement, and she didnt freak out at all as I thought she would. She informed me that since her parents were so protective and harsh, her and her sibling would buy inappropriate magazines and books as well. She just told me to be determined to stop and make sure it is with the help of God. Amen.

I just told my story so that girls out there with this problem don't feel ashamed and alone, and can become free through Christ who strengthens them.]]>
2012-08-21T03:07:51-05:00http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000003327
<![CDATA[The story of ]]>http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=0000033262012-08-21T00:19:21-05:00http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000003326<![CDATA[The story of Jim]]>http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000003325
I had a strong love and hate relationship with pornography. My guilt and shame for my "hidden sin" led to a sense of condemnation and death to relationships (God, my wife, kids, everyone).

I tried repeatedly, on my own , to stop. I even tried reaching out to Christian brothers, but few seemed ready to talk about pornography and masturbation.

I was very hard on my wife, blaming her for all our problems. Not knowing about my
Sexual addiction, she responded by reading every available book on how to be a godly woman and wife.

12 years ago, she found out about my hidden sin and (what does a godly woman do?) began to confront me on my need to repent and stop the deadly cycle.

Finally, last year, I found an outstanding weepy men's group led by a c
Christian counselor who has been specializing in sexual addiction counseling for 20 years.

A month ago I finally "gave up" trying on my own and beg an to break, confessing EVERY last detail to my wife, four children and several close friends. And acknowledging that only God is able to gset me free.

The power of full confession, has been unbelievablle! For the first time in my life, I am FREE from the (very real) chains of sin and guilt. I can't express the new found joy and oneness with God and my wife I am enjoying (what is she still doing here? I can't explain that - pure grace!).

Two months ago I would nit have believed this was possible! God is so amazing!! I am looking forward to using the "Freedom Begins Here" resources as I continue to develop a plan for lifelong freedom from the deadly grips of pornography and masturbation.

At 52 Years old, this is long overdue!

To God Be The Glory, Great things He has done!

I surrender ALL!!!]]>
2012-08-18T19:01:47-05:00http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000003325
<![CDATA[The story of ]]>http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=0000002362012-06-29T15:33:59-05:00http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000236<![CDATA[The story of ]]>http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=0000002352012-06-27T17:27:13-05:00http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000235<![CDATA[The story of Marc]]>http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=0000002282012-05-23T21:51:43-05:00http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000228<![CDATA[The story of ]]>http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000227
My husband and I have been together for 10 years total, married for four. The majority of our relationships has been sexless, all because of porn.

Six months ago, something came over me; I was going to confront my husband once and for all but needed to understand the extent of what I was dealing with so went on the hunt for Ďevidenceí.
What I found has changed the way I look at my husband and the way I feel about our marriage. As much as I love him, Iím not sure things will ever recover. Hereís my reality

ē A hard-drive dedicated to porn, movies and videos organized by genre.

ē A document threatening a lawsuit over the illegal downloads of certain porn movies.

ē A highly organized internet favorites bar, listing his favorite porn star websites, download sites and even has a Ďlocal girlsí folder.

ē Fake Twitter and Facebook social media personas that he actively managed using the alias of a female unknown porn star and many devastating comments that I just canít get out of my mind.

ē 20+ registered domains of various porn stars and lingerie models, all within a secret account.

ē Multiple fake email accounts - emails sent to some of his vivid girl porn stars email address commenting on her 'amazon wish list' and that he thought Christmas should come early.

ē Email subscriptions to sites like Ďsexypeekí and Ďfreeonesí

I typed up a long email, entitled it "the secret life my husband lives" and shared everything I was holding back for the last 10 years, basically telling him that Porn cannot be part of our lives. I know the email really got to him as it should have. How would he feel in my position?

He agreed, deleted all the garbage and said he wanted to be the kind of husband that I need.

However it seems weíre now at a stand still, neither of us is getting help, weíre not having sex which means he is obviously using porn in some way. I am so lost; the man I thought would never hurt me has managed to make me feel such a deep pain that I can hardly explain it in words. There is no trust left, I no longer feel secure in our relationship. I donít know where to go from here.

I want him to proactively see that things are NOT getting any better by doing nothing and I want him to suggest getting help. But to date,nothing.
]]>
2012-05-03T13:01:03-05:00http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000227
<![CDATA[The story of ]]>http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000226
i have done everything that i can think of to help but nothing is working he's made multiple promises to stop doing it but I just keep finding things over and over again.
he doesn't like to talk about it he always turns around or walks away, then says I promise I'm sorry I won't do it again.
i haven't learned how to talk about it without him becoming angry or upset, and i try to control my need to have him understand what it puts me through but it just hurts so bad...

i cant ignore it, but i can try everything to help if he can't take steps to fix the problem, what good does it do for me to go threw this??

I've blocked adult content on his phone but he just keeps unblocking it I feel like we're playing phone tag blocking and unblocking what can I do I'm so confused ??

i just don't know what to do but  i just needed to cry to someone. 

i can't tell our friends or family because i do not want to hurt him in other people's eyes..

 it makes me feel horrible. 
like i am his leftovers. i don't want him to touch me. i feel like i'm not good enough for him, like i don't please him, like i can't trust him. 

i feel like he has cheated on me and i'm only one of hundreds that he's gone through and when he can choose me or them sometimes he still chooses them.

it makes me think things that i don't want to think. like, why should i stay with him. i don't deserve this, i need better. and while i am aware of my needs to feel desired and to have trust and sexual integrity, i am also aware that this is an addiction that i do not know what it is like to have. 

would leaving him be like leaving someone who has a disease? can he help it? i go through periods where i can't get over my anger or my feelings of hurt, then i feel better, but only until next time. 

i feel so helpless and alone. if anyone can relate, i'd love to just talk about it, get some feelings out. or if anyone has advice, i'm in need of anything. 

i've tried books and website articles, but in the end i still feel alone. if anyone can talk to me it would be appreciated. thank you]]>
2012-04-15T21:11:32-05:00http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000226
<![CDATA[The story of ]]>http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=0000002232012-02-06T15:33:33-06:00http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000223<![CDATA[The story of kt]]>http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=0000002202011-12-27T21:52:52-06:00http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000220<![CDATA[The story of DivineArcher7]]>http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000217 Job 31:1 (ďI made a covenant with my eyes not to look lustfully at a young woman"),
Proverbs 6:25-26 ("Do not lust in your heart after her beauty or let her captivate you with her eyes.For a prostitute can be had for a loaf of bread,but another manís wife preys on your very life"),
Numbers 15:39 ("You will have these tassels to look at and so you will remember all the commands of the LORD, that you may obey them and not prostitute yourselves by chasing after the lusts of your own hearts and eyes"),
1 Corinthians 6:18-20 ("Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body. Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies")
2 Timothy 2:22 ("Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart") ]]>
2011-11-10T00:16:58-06:00http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000217
<![CDATA[The story of ]]>http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000213 I am letting my God. However, I am trying to overcome this addiction and I do believe that I can and we all can achieve freedom from this addiction with the help of God.Please pray for me as I try to stop looking at pornography for good, before it completely ruins me.]]>2011-07-05T23:45:30-05:00http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000213<![CDATA[The story of ]]>http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=0000002122011-06-27T00:08:14-05:00http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000212<![CDATA[The story of Trying again]]>http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=0000002112011-06-20T08:22:36-05:00http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000211<![CDATA[The story of TS]]>http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=0000002102011-06-02T20:19:05-05:00http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000210<![CDATA[The story of ]]>http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=0000002092011-04-19T08:55:58-05:00http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000209<![CDATA[The story of Saved]]>http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000208 My little brother's friend invited us later that year to their church for an Easter play. It was amazing! Everyone at that church was so passionate about Christ and I even new some of the other people who attended that church. From that point on I started going to that church with my family. I got up the courage to tell my mother about what I'd been struggling with, we cried and she held me. It got a little easier, but I was still sneaking into my bedroom every now and then. I felt awful after everytime.
I was lucky enough to have made SO many more friends at my new church than the one I had gone to before. I met one boy - who is now like my big brother - who is so passionate about christ and who's really changed my life. I'm good friend's with the pastor's son, the only other person apart from my mother whom I've told this complete story to. Now I'm sharing it with any of you who really need to hear this. I am free of pornography now, though sometimes I do still have trouble with lust. I know that God is always going to be there for me when I fall and that he truly loves me. Christ died so that I could live and tell others of his love.
Read the Bible; stay occupied - don't let yourself have a minute to ponder about sneaking away to look at a magazine or masturbate; listen to inspirational music.
I hope my testimonies help someone out there.]]>
2011-04-13T17:25:37-05:00http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000208
<![CDATA[The story of ]]>http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=0000002072011-04-02T10:34:50-05:00http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000207<![CDATA[The story of ]]>http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000204 MY LIFE BEFORE:
Even though I knew Jesus when I was a youngster, my life didnít always show it. Before starting counseling, my life was reckless, out of control, misguided and going nowhere. I was into drugs, drinking, and pretty much just an ungodly lifestyle Ė anything to numb myself so I couldnít feel the pain. I recently had a very serious wake-up call. Without going into details, Iím facing criminal charges and my wife asked me to move out. I miss my wife and children terribly. I was telling myself lies that I couldnít do anything to change my life. I told myself I couldnít make my life move in a different direction. In hind sight, I was running from being molested as a child by an uncle (and by the way, this was also the start of my addiction to porn Ė the tool he used to seduce his victims).
I continued to run and keep the secret for more than 30 years, but God was there waiting for me when I hit a wall, stopped running and came back to Him.
MY LIFE DURING:
When I finally reached out for help, I found New Hopeís ministry. Counseling is helping me in many ways - talking with someone and reading what my counselor suggested. My reading list: #1 was the Bible and then other titles related to my issues. Iím learning that I am not alone or the only one with these issues. The books are helping me understand what Iím going through and helping me heal from the scars of my abuse. Iím learning the depth of the affect the abuse has on my mind.
In counseling, we figured out that music is the connection to my soul - how I connect with my feelings. I learned my old music was helping to reinforce the lies I was telling myself. It was negative, the exact opposite of uplifting, and it kept me down in my pit of despair. My moment of enlightenment came one day when I was scanning through radio stations and came across 91.9 Word FM. I had an overwhelming feeling of ďthis is itĒ. Every hair stood on end and I just wept.
I wiped the music slate clean and threw away all that music, literally, because I erased my iPod clean that day.
My new music helps me realize that God DOES still love me and I CAN change my life. By being more positive and not always looking at the negative points of my life. I could do it one day at a time, one step at a time, with Godís help. As my new music collection grows, I noticed songs I had in my old collection. I think He was knocking, trying to get my attention. I even found a Bible to load on my iPod.
My childhood and self-understanding were stolen from me, but I am healing from the effects of the loss. I AM a survivor! I truly believe in my heart that I wouldnít be up here sharing my story if not for the Christian counseling and the support I am getting from my parents and sister. THANK YOU for being good Christian role models for me Ė not judging me, just loving me and helping me. I am grateful for everyone who is so supportive.

MY LIFE AFTER:
Iím still counseling and donít know how long it will continue. Only God knows when that will be.
But I know I will do my part, keep trying and move on to a better life in Jesus. I still have legal issues to deal with as a result of my actions, and I still hope Godís plan leads me back to my family. I know with Godís help, I will make it through no matter what the outcome.
MY MESSAGE TO YOU & OTHERS:
You or someone you know may be running from something that happened in their past, or something happening now Ė doing anything to avoid dealing with the issue. Donít be afraid to talk to someone, to reach out. Donít believe the threats Ė talk to someone you trust. Itís not your fault and there is hope and a way out. Just because you were abused, doesnít mean you will become an abuser. Thereís no reason to hate yourself. I canít bring my abuser to justice, but I hope I can help someone else. Getting help NOW can break the cycle Ė and may mean one less victim. One less victim of the lies you tell yourself to try and protect yourself from people you thought you could trust. Itís never too late to set your life on the right course. That course is the one that leads to Jesus; He can help you understand that youíre not the person you think you are. He will always love you.
VERSE]]>
2011-02-18T18:43:19-06:00http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000204
<![CDATA[The story of ]]>http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=0000002012010-12-23T10:13:41-06:00http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000201<![CDATA[The story of ]]>http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=0000001982010-11-28T21:49:30-06:00http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000198<![CDATA[The story of ]]>http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000196 You can have it too.
]]>
2010-11-15T12:38:30-06:00http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000196
<![CDATA[The story of Newman's Wife]]>http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000195 Newman's Wife!~]]>2010-11-01T14:07:37-05:00http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000195<![CDATA[The story of Newman's Wife]]>http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000194 Newman's Wife!~]]>2010-11-01T14:06:46-05:00http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000194<![CDATA[The story of John]]>http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=0000001932010-10-24T14:08:26-05:00http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000193<![CDATA[The story of Mervin]]>http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=0000001902010-10-10T00:47:58-05:00http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000190<![CDATA[The story of ]]>http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000189
That curiosity  became addictive in nature when it became a quest to find what was so taboo about sex.  This all out quest was hidden from my parents while I used  their computer to access these inappropriate sites.   This downward spiral began with chat rooms through America Online©.  

Like all young people, I developed a normal desire to know more about sex.  My parents and church taught me nothing; the only knowledge I had was from health class at school so I turned to the internet to find that knowledge. What I didn't realize was that those beginning moments of searching  the world wide web for information on sex soon snared me in itís web of addiction. 

I was as hooked as any drug addict, becoming engrossed in searching the internet for entertainment any chance I could get.  In my teens, it started with the chat rooms but also led to searching for erotic stories.  In my 20ís,  the search exploded as I became  desperate for more. I began actively searching  for pornography to fill my growing needs.  What started with  pictures soon led to videos, all being readily available on my  parentís unfiltered computer. Then, as if the struggle with pornography wasn't enough, I was now  adding masturbation to this ongoing struggle. 

Words cannot begin to convey the amount of shame I have endured while living with these  sexual sins.   These golden chains had their grip on  me since the tender age of 8 years old yet, despite this  shame (or because of it), I became a follower of Jesus Christ at 15 years old.  Now fifteen year later, as a 30 year old Christian woman, I am still fighting these chains and, let me assure you, It is not easy being a Christian woman struggling with this highly taboo sin of pornography.  

I did not date much in my teens or 20ís. I didnít need to since, in my world, pornography was my relationship.  I didnít need anything from anyone. Pornography was a constant friend which now I label as False Intimacy.  

Pornography is a drug of the mind. I could use it and no one needed to know. Unlike street drugs, however, I never had to interact with anyone so, on the surface, I could maintain the ďgoodie-goodieĒ label.  As time elapsed, the addiction became a daily routine but, as with any addiction, there were often days where I had to search out deeper and darker things to get the same result.  

I have now begun to realize that the addiction to pornography was a band-aid to a deeper issue, that being confusion about my sexual identity.  That confusion began in early adolescence and continues today thus leading to more confusion, isolation, despair and shame.

In late 2009 I reached the end of my rope with this crippling addiction to pornography. Living with this oppressive shame and guilt,  in combination with my profession as a flight attendant,  severely affected my health. Because Iíd spend hours a night searching out pornography,  I was sleep deprived in a job that already had its own challenges of sleep depravation.  My spiritual sickness was now leading to physical sickness but I still couldnít seem to stop. In early 2010, I was desperate to make a change.  In February, 2010, I turned 30 years old and I didnít want to go one more decade addicted to pornography. 

The biggest jumpstart in this process of ending my  addiction to porn has been accountability. I have a wonderful spiritual mom who mentors me and has held me accountable. I placed filters on my computer and even went to the radical extreme of giving up my laptop computer for 9 months since I had to remove all access.  Computers that are not filtered or protected are dangerous to the pornography addict much like giving an alcoholic a beer to hold and expecting him not to drink.

And, while accountability is a great step in the right direction, I also need fellowship and tools to manage my addiction.  For me, personally,  fellowship in a church body is critical yet my job as a flight attendant causes me to work many weekends thus curtailing the very fellowship I need and crave.  There has also been the need to belong and, thankfully,  this past spring the Lord led me to Dirty Girlís Ministries where I found other women (believers/non-believers) who struggle as I have. Many stories are identical to mine.  I have continued my journey by joining a Recovery Group for sexual addictions and have combined that with Christian counseling.    

Truthfully, I feel like I am moving at a snail's pace but I know Godís desire for me is to be whole and I will not give up no matter how seemingly slow the process seems.  Interestingly, Iíve also discovered I am an impatient person!   And while I have my days of feeling this journey or addiction will never end, Iíve also tasted huge chunks of freedom too. The enemy of our souls wants us in isolation and in the depression pit but, with Christ's strength and grace, I will not remain in that pit anymore.

 Sadly, this addiction has consumed 22 years of my life . I lost part of my childhood, my innocence, time, energy, relationships, potential relationships, my walk with God and now my health.   I know this addiction can be broken because Iíve seen and heard the testimonies of others. That's why I know that this journey is not meant to be walked alone.  

In the midst of it all, we must remember the words of Song of Solomon 1:5 ď I am black but comely.Ē   

AmyChristine (30)
Flight Attendant 


]]>
2010-10-04T01:15:47-05:00http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000189
<![CDATA[The story of ]]>http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=0000001852010-08-14T20:34:17-05:00http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000185<![CDATA[The story of ]]>http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=0000001842010-07-04T15:19:09-05:00http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000184<![CDATA[The story of ]]>http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=0000001832010-07-01T11:01:48-05:00http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000183<![CDATA[The story of ]]>http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000182 At least thatís how I feel.
I have grown up in an abusive, dysfunctional home all my life. My father would physically and verbally abuse me and my two sisters from the age of maybe five on. Though thankfully, and I thank Jesus every day for this, never sexually. He would hit us and yell whenever we did something he didnít want but my father was not my first incident of sexual abuse. My mother tried he best to protect us from his rage.
When I was around ten or so, my sisters and I stayed the night at one of my motherís friendís house. Also staying there were a girl maybe thirteen and a boy sixteen years old. She was outgoing and we instantly got along but something about the boy felt wrong. When it was time to go to bed the girls went to one room and I was stuck in the same room as the sixteen year old. In the middle of the night I woke from a deep sleep to the feeling of someone unbuttoning my pants and pulling the zipper down. Even at that young I knew what was happening and what would happen if I didnít do something. I fought with all my strength, knuckles white as I gripped on for life, and I cried. I didnít fall asleep that night..
The next morning I told my parents but nothing happened. They talked to the boy and he of course denied it. A few months passed and the whole thing was passed off as the product of too much imagination. That was the first time I felt alone and sick and scared.
Almost two years after that my mother passed away. My father became worse than ever. He would look up porn sites and magazines almost every day, not even bothering to hide his addiction. It was soon after I turned thirteen that my struggle with porn began.
After my motherís death, my father would drown himself in work and sin. One day while he was at work and I was alone in the house, I stumbled onto my fatherís stash of porn magazines. I was disgusted at the sight at first, throwing the magazine down and walking away. But something kept drawing me back.
I didnít know it then but it was the devil drawing me into temptation. Several weeks later I came back to my temptation and I masturbated for the first time to my secret sin. And for a few years it was just looking at the one or two magazines my father kept around the house. But then I discovered porn on the internet and my secret sin grew out of hand.
Through my high school years I struggled with my addiction. But I always went back. And then four years ago I finally accepted Jesus as my savior. But I kept my sin to myself. I was sickened and frightened but I just couldnít stay clean. That sent me into the worst times of my life. Not only was I hurt and lost but I was lying about lying about my sin. I told myself I was going to change. But I just fell back into the pattern.
But my first real victory came six weeks ago. I finally realized I was fighting a symptom, my addiction, instead of the cause, me. Since then I have been fighting for every day without the urge. As I am writing this it has been over three and a half weeks since I last looked at porn. I slipped once and I feel the shame and the temptation but today I am stronger than the temptation. I will be fighting for every clean moment every second of the rest of my life but as long as I am clean, I can live with that.
But thatís not what I wrote this for. I think of my sixteen year old cousin facing the same choices that made me. I hope that he has enough courage to make the choice I couldnít at first. I hope he doesnít have to live with the regret like I have to. That is why I am writing this confession.
My name is Jeff and I have been suffering with pornography addiction almost half my life. I am 22 years old and I finally decided to stop poisoning my soul with fake love. One day ago I decided to end the cycle of needless sin.
I have decided put down my sins and to pick up the sword and the shield and become a warrior for God like a was meant to be.
This is a plea to all those suffering with the same choice I refused to make to save myself. Never give up. There is a way out. Sometimes itís a door and sometimes you have to make a door. Never give up. Help is on the way. It could be a friend or an ad for FreedomBeginsHere on the back of a Rush of Fools album. You never know. All roads lead to Jesus and so they are all blessed.
Godspeed and God bless.
Jeff
]]>
2010-06-17T02:20:34-05:00http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000182
<![CDATA[The story of Steve]]>http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000181
I was born in 1966 in Haverhill, Massachusetts. Hey if I can confess all my sexual sins to you, I can also be brave enough to confess that I'm from Massachusetts. My parents both worked in factory jobs. My dad was a heavy drinker, which took a huge toll on my family. My mother, and my one older brother felt like we were living with a time bomb. The littlest things would set my fatherís temper off. Because of the dysfunction in my home, my mother was a nervous wreck which meant that my brother and I didn't receive the love and nurturing that a lot of kids get. As a result, I didn't start talking till I was 4. Growing up with a severe speech problem, and being dangerously underweight from the stress of being an abused child by my father made me an easy target for the kids at school and in my neighborhood to pick on me constantly. This lack of love, care and feeling unaccepted set the stage for a very long battle in my life.


When I was about 7 or 8 years old, I discovered porn. My dad work at a paper recycling plant, so he'd bring home x-rated magazines that he found in the bales of paper to be recycled. My brother and I were spending a rainy day playing hide and seek. I was determined that this was the day that I would finally elude my brotherís finding me, so I hid in the forbidden zone, my parents bedroom. As I hid under the bed, I saw a stack of magazines. I opened one and boy did I get a surprise. At first I was a bit repulsed at what I saw, but then in the days and months that followed, I began going back to look at those x-rated images more and more. By the time I was 11, I had stolen a few magazines from my fatherís stash and had discovered masturbation. As I got into my teen years, I had quite a collection of porn hidden away in my room and was masturbating on a daily basis. When I was 14, I started writing out my sexual fantasies about girls from school. I bought into a lie, feeling like porn and sexual fantasies gave me the love and acceptance I craved. In my little fantasy world, I could never be denied or rejected.

In high school, God began to bring friends into my life that were Christians. Whenever they would share the Gospel of Christ with me, I was very eager to hear it. I remember going home and starting to read my motherís Bible.Things were great, the severe depression that I had grown with was gone, my world looked a little brighter. I had thrown all my porn out and that was that. Yet it wasn't soon before the enemy was all over me again. It all began in 1987 when I began dating a woman, who it turned out was cheating on her husband. We had intercourse many times, and she introduced me to drinking and porn movies. We eventually broke up, but my appetite for porn was back like never before. For the next several years, the enemy beat me down so bad. In Public, I was Steve the super Christian, singing in the church choir, serving as a deacon, and even teaching a Sunday School class for kids. But behind closed doors I was the total opposite. Every night I'd go back to my private little world of sexual sins.

Now letís jump ahead to 1999, the year I married a Christian woman from my church. At first things were great. I had once again gotten rid of all my porn, and stopped masturbating. But I quickly found out that the woman I'd fallen for at church was not the same woman I'd married. I soon found out that I had married a very controlling, manipulative, verbally abusive person. It didnít matter who we were with, sheíd belittle me in front of anyone, including my two step-children. This brought back many feelings that I had growing up, feelings of being unloved, unaccepted and not good enough. And as a result, the old habits of dealing with this pain came back.

At first it started with masturbating while viewing models in the Sunday Sales flyers, then the late night free movie channels for anything with a sex scene in it. Then came the internet porn. With the so called pleasures from that means of escape came the guilt and shame. I felt like such a hypocrite. I claimed to be a Christian, on a weekly basis stood in the church choir and did an occasional solo song during the offering. There I was proclaiming Godís love, God can help you overcome, yet I was being overcome by sexual sins.

In October of 2006, God began to move mightily in my life. I GOT CAGHT! Our computer was acting up on us big time. The computer tech who looked it found the encrypted history file and discovered page after page after page of porn sites Iíd visited, over 500 in a three month period alone. That night after confessing everything to my wife, I called the menís ministry leader at my church and confessed everything to him. It was that night that I learned about a group at the church called FMO. He explained to me that FMO (For Men Only) was a tailor made Bible Study/Accountability group designed for men with sexual addictions. A week later I joined the group and began to truly honor God for the first time with my body, mind and soul.

It was at this same time that the enemy came in like a flood. I entered the darkest time of my life. In a two month period, I survived a car fire, being physically attacked by a family member, the break up of my marriage, partly due to years of stress, my sins, and the affair that my wife was having. Three days after I moved out, my father was found dead in his apartment after he had a massive heart attack. Then came the loss of my job, followed by severe depression. At first I used all this as excuse to fall back into sin big time. But the more that I put into my time spent at the FMO group, the greater my resolve became to overcome, not simply go without it for a while. January 28th 0f 2007 was the turning point for me. The night before I had lost my job. That night I went out and bought a case of beer, two bottles of wine and some x-rated movies. The next morning I woke up at rock bottom. I cleaned myself up and began the all familiar routine of throwing away the empties and the porn, but this time was different. This time I with everything I threw out, I said íNo MoreĒ. My resolve grew stronger each time I said it. January 28, 2007 was the date that God gave me strength like never before.

There were many things that God gave me to overcome the sexual sins in my life, the drive and the desire to seek God like never before. For the first time in my life I put a scripture verse to use. Matthew 6:33 says to íseek first the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness, and ALL these things will be given to you as well.í I sought God like never before through His Word, through prayer, through FMO, and the guys in the group. God has given us so many awesome tools to help us overcome the sin in our lives, such your ministry and others like

Today I stand before all of you a new man in Christ, free and forgiven. Free of the guilt and the shame, free from sexual sins. Today I have been happily married for just under three years to a very Godly woman. God has made my life new. But it wasnít until I surrendered all in my life to Him, including my sexual desires, when things began to change. If youíre here today and youíve been struggling and feel trapped by sexual sins, do whatever it takes to surrender all to God, give Him your life, your soul, your desires. Seek Him first in all things, and all the things that you desire to live a pure and Holy life, please to God will be added to you. God uses people whoíve been there, and thatís why FMO has been used by God to impact the lives of thousands of men across the country. Thank you for your time and may God bless you all in his Grace.

So as I praise the Lord, I just want to say thank you for your ministry for reaching out to men to help them in their quest for purity.

God Bless,

Steve]]>
2010-06-14T10:30:25-05:00http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000181
<![CDATA[The story of ]]>http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000179
I was born in 1966 in Haverhill, Massachusetts. Hey if I can confess all my sexual sins to you, I can also be brave enough to confess that I'm from Massachusetts. My parents both worked in factory jobs. My dad was a heavy drinker, which took a huge toll on my family. My mother, and my one older brother felt like we were living with a time bomb. The littlest things would set my fatherís temper off. Because of the dysfunction in my home, my mother was a nervous wreck which meant that my brother and I didn't receive the love and nurturing that a lot of kids get. As a result, I didn't start talking till I was 4. Growing up with a severe speech problem, and being dangerously underweight from the stress of being an abused child by my father made me an easy target for the kids at school and in my neighborhood to pick on me constantly. This lack of love, care and feeling unaccepted set the stage for a very long battle in my life.


When I was about 7 or 8 years old, I discovered porn. My dad work at a paper recycling plant, so he'd bring home x-rated magazines that he found in the bales of paper to be recycled. My brother and I were spending a rainy day playing hide and seek. I was determined that this was the day that I would finally elude my brotherís finding me, so I hid in the forbidden zone, my parents bedroom. As I hid under the bed, I saw a stack of magazines. I opened one and boy did I get a surprise. At first I was a bit repulsed at what I saw, but then in the days and months that followed, I began going back to look at those x-rated images more and more. By the time I was 11, I had stolen a few magazines from my fatherís stash and had discovered masturbation. As I got into my teen years, I had quite a collection of porn hidden away in my room and was masturbating on a daily basis. When I was 14, I started writing out my sexual fantasies about girls from school. I bought into a lie, feeling like porn and sexual fantasies gave me the love and acceptance I craved. In my little fantasy world, I could never be denied or rejected.

In high school, God began to bring friends into my life that were Christians. Whenever they would share the Gospel of Christ with me, I was very eager to hear it. I remember going home and starting to read my motherís Bible.Things were great, the severe depression that I had grown with was gone, my world looked a little brighter. I had thrown all my porn out and that was that. Yet it wasn't soon before the enemy was all over me again. It all began in 1987 when I began dating a woman, who it turned out was cheating on her husband. We had intercourse many times, and she introduced me to drinking and porn movies. We eventually broke up, but my appetite for porn was back like never before. For the next several years, the enemy beat me down so bad. In Public, I was Steve the super Christian, singing in the church choir, serving as a deacon, and even teaching a Sunday School class for kids. But behind closed doors I was the total opposite. Every night I'd go back to my private little world of sexual sins.

Now letís jump ahead to 1999, the year I married a Christian woman from my church. At first things were great. I had once again gotten rid of all my porn, and stopped masturbating. But I quickly found out that the woman I'd fallen for at church was not the same woman I'd married. I soon found out that I had married a very controlling, manipulative, verbally abusive person. It didnít matter who we were with, sheíd belittle me in front of anyone, including my two step-children. This brought back many feelings that I had growing up, feelings of being unloved, unaccepted and not good enough. And as a result, the old habits of dealing with this pain came back.

At first it started with masturbating while viewing models in the Sunday Sales flyers, then the late night free movie channels for anything with a sex scene in it. Then came the internet porn. With the so called pleasures from that means of escape came the guilt and shame. I felt like such a hypocrite. I claimed to be a Christian, on a weekly basis stood in the church choir and did an occasional solo song during the offering. There I was proclaiming Godís love, God can help you overcome, yet I was being overcome by sexual sins.

In October of 2006, God began to move mightily in my life. I GOT CAGHT! Our computer was acting up on us big time. The computer tech who looked it found the encrypted history file and discovered page after page after page of porn sites Iíd visited, over 500 in a three month period alone. That night after confessing everything to my wife, I called the menís ministry leader at my church and confessed everything to him. It was that night that I learned about a group at the church called FMO. He explained to me that FMO (For Men Only) was a tailor made Bible Study/Accountability group designed for men with sexual addictions. A week later I joined the group and began to truly honor God for the first time with my body, mind and soul.

It was at this same time that the enemy came in like a flood. I entered the darkest time of my life. In a two month period, I survived a car fire, being physically attacked by a family member, the break up of my marriage, partly due to years of stress, my sins, and the affair that my wife was having. Three days after I moved out, my father was found dead in his apartment after he had a massive heart attack. Then came the loss of my job, followed by severe depression. At first I used all this as excuse to fall back into sin big time. But the more that I put into my time spent at the FMO group, the greater my resolve became to overcome, not simply go without it for a while. January 28th 0f 2007 was the turning point for me. The night before I had lost my job. That night I went out and bought a case of beer, two bottles of wine and some x-rated movies. The next morning I woke up at rock bottom. I cleaned myself up and began the all familiar routine of throwing away the empties and the porn, but this time was different. This time I with everything I threw out, I said íNo MoreĒ. My resolve grew stronger each time I said it. January 28, 2007 was the date that God gave me strength like never before.

There were many things that God gave me to overcome the sexual sins in my life, the drive and the desire to seek God like never before. For the first time in my life I put a scripture verse to use. Matthew 6:33 says to íseek first the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness, and ALL these things will be given to you as well.í I sought God like never before through His Word, through prayer, through FMO, and the guys in the group. God has given us so many awesome tools to help us overcome the sin in our lives, such your ministry and others like

Today I stand before all of you a new man in Christ, free and forgiven. Free of the guilt and the shame, free from sexual sins. Today I have been happily married for just under three years to a very Godly woman. God has made my life new. But it wasnít until I surrendered all in my life to Him, including my sexual desires, when things began to change. If youíre here today and youíve been struggling and feel trapped by sexual sins, do whatever it takes to surrender all to God, give Him your life, your soul, your desires. Seek Him first in all things, and all the things that you desire to live a pure and Holy life, please to God will be added to you. God uses people whoíve been there, and thatís why FMO has been used by God to impact the lives of thousands of men across the country. Thank you for your time and may God bless you all in his Grace.

So as I praise the Lord, I just want to say thank you for your ministry for reaching out to men to help them in their quest for purity.

God Bless,

Steve]]>
2010-06-14T10:28:24-05:00http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000179
<![CDATA[The story of ]]>http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000178
I pray that the chains of sexual addiction are broken]]>
2010-06-01T03:04:14-05:00http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000178
<![CDATA[The story of ]]>http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=0000001772010-05-26T07:34:59-05:00http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000177<![CDATA[The story of klyfoxx]]>http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=0000001732010-05-10T20:37:15-05:00http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000173<![CDATA[The story of ]]>http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000172 I guess I stayed for the children back then, but now they are married and on there own, the want me to be happy. They have walked in and caught him and I was devastated. I am just sick over this and have been praying for years that something good will happen but to no avail. I don't know what to do! Who can love a 55 year old woman with no hope for her future!]]>2010-05-03T15:18:20-05:00http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000172<![CDATA[The story of Anonymous]]>http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000170 then thought I would write you. Here goes. I teach the youth group at
our church, and my husband is a deacon. We were big into porn before we
came to know the Lord as our savior. My husband still looks at porn, and
it has caused great hurt in our marrage. Because he is a deacon, it
angers me even more. Our church thinks he is this Godly man, and yet I
know the truth. How can I get over my anger that everyone believes the
fake that he is? Although these are not nice things to say, it is how
my heart feels. He has been caught, and he lies about it. For at least 2
years, I have been dealing with his lies that He has stopped. I feel,
also, in me not letting the leaders of the church know, that I am, in fact,
helping him to hide and in his partaking in this sin. But, I also
wonder if I want to tell just because they believe he is so good. It
has affected our sex life, as he speaks of fantasies and I don't feel
love. I have just became an object for wich he fulfills fantasies, and
he has become just a means for my sexual gradification. But mostly I hate
having sex with him. I have to pray everytime we are together that God
would keep my mind free from engaging in the fantasies and yet to
submit myself to my husband. What a struggle. I have lost all desire
to be intimate with my husband, though our relationship started out to
be very sexual. To be honest, part of me did not care if he was
looking at the porn because then he would leave me alone. I would not
be required to submit to him if he doesn't ask. How sad that I would
choose for him to stay in sin to keep myself from it. To make the
matter worse, the fantasies are of me with other men. As I struggle to
have a desire to be with him, when I am, he wants us to fantasize about me
with other men. I find this hard. Also that, why one earth, if he loves
me, would he want me with another man. But, in all honesty, before we knew
the Lord we would fantasize about us picking men up to be with us. Do
you even need to know these details? The thing I think that is the
worst of all is that if he lies about this, has he lied about
everything else? Does he even realy believe in Jesus? These are the
thoughts that trouble me. Is my husband just a fake? I guess what I
have given you is a testimony of how porn can hurt much more than the
man (or woman) engaged in it. I have told him, that because of this
fornication, I am free to divorce him. And, that I would tell the elders
of the church. Those threats did no good. I have been honest and have told
him that I hate the fantasy, but he continues to engage them every time we
are together. He doesn't care about the shame and guilt it causes me
everytime we are together. So I sin against God if I am with him, and
I sin against God if I am not. I hate the works of the devil. How do
I win this war, Lord, is my prayer. I am by no means perfect. And, I pray
I am not self righteous and that the Lord may reveal the secreats of
my heart so that we may both be healed.]]>
2010-04-21T08:53:23-05:00http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000170
<![CDATA[The story of ]]>http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=0000001692010-04-12T21:26:44-05:00http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000169<![CDATA[The story of ]]>http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=0000001682010-04-07T02:55:30-05:00http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000168<![CDATA[The story of ]]>http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000167 With the porn came acting out with my friends. I was violated twice by friends who were older than me and felt disgusted by it. This made me want to look at women more because I didn't want to turn gay. So years went by and I hid my struggle with porn as much as possible.
My brother had porn mags in his bottom drawer that I found when I was 10 or 11. This fueled my lust as I would look at the pictures whenever no one was home. It seemed like a never ending cycle. And all this while being raised in a "christian home".
We went to church every Sunday morning and night and sometimes on Wednesdays. I went to youth conventions but never remember ever talking about sex or porn with my parents or church. Ever!!! This makes me very upset because where is the church?? We're so worried about presenting a squeaky clean image that we don't help those in need.
As time went on I moved out on my own and found where I could by mags and rent videos. I accepted Jesus as my Lord and savior at the age of 17 but I never gave him this part of my life. I figured I wasn't hurting anyone else so it wasn't that bad. It seemed fun and enjoyable. I gave up smoking and cussing and all kinds of bad habits but I hung on to porn. I had girlfriends and had sex with them but that was scary because what if they got pregnant. Porn seemed safe to me.
Then I found her. That woman of my dreams. The woman of God that was awesome and wonderful and beautiful and loved God with her whole heart. As you can tell, this was a freight train running into a wall. I had know idea that what I had been doing since I was 7 years old was gonna devestate the woman of God that I had married.
At first she didn't know the extent of my problem but as time went on, the internet came into play. Then we had children that we were supposed to protect from this garbage. What a mess I was. I didn't know how to stop. I kept telling her I'd stop then 33 weeks or a month or six months or a year would go by and I'd be right back to porn trying to hide it. I was such a mess and this was ruining my marriage. I wish someone had talked to me as a child, teenager, young adult. But there was no one. I felt so alone. Counselers would listen but never offered much in the way of help. Pastors would talk to me but after a few months and all seemed well, we would stop meeting and I'd be right back at it. I kept trying but I kept failing. Failing God, failing myself, failing my kids and failing my wife.
I'd read books and watch videos about this problem and get good insight from these but I needed more. My wife heard that Gary Smalley was on TV talking this issue and caught the tail end of it. He talked about this website and all they were doing to try to help people with this problem. So she got on the website and ordered the personal tool kit and gave it to me to help me. It was tough accepting this from my wife but I knew she loved me and was trying to help me. I don't know what I'd do without her. This video was eye opening. It talked about this being an addiction. What!? You gotta be kidding me! But as I watched it all made sense. And yes, I am addicted to porn. I saw the cycle Dr. Laaser talked about in my own life. It makes sense, and finally someone understands me.
I also have 3 teenage boys and ordered the video about Fathers talking to their sons about sex. Awesome!!! The talk about endorphins was particularly eye opening for me as well as my boys. My kids now understand this battle they have with wanting to look at dirty pictures or masturbation and they actually thank me for talking to them!! Teenage boys thanking their parents for talking to them about sex!! Who'd have thought?! Praise God for this ministry. I have now found a men's group that specifically talks about sexual purity. They call it "every man's struggle". God is good and he has a plan to heal your broken heart. Don't give up, there is help out there and Freedom Begins Here is a great place to start. I still have my struggles but I have people to talk to about it and information to help me understand my thoughts.
God bless you and stand firm in Christ
]]>
2010-03-29T09:23:52-05:00http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000167
<![CDATA[The story of Jacob]]>http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=0000001662010-03-28T22:28:13-05:00http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000166<![CDATA[The story of Krystine]]>http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000165 I'm a christian. I'm a girl, I'm 19 and just found this site.
I really found help through your testimonies, and I wanted to share with you my experience.
I'm not even sure when everything started, It was a long time ago, since I have been using internet ever since I was 10.

I never really had any kind of selfsteem or whatever, and never told anyone the dimension of my sins.
Just like the other girl said, everyone thinks Im the goody-two-shoes, and I'm not even close. Tho my heart wants more of God, I still struggle every now and then with pornography and masturbation.

I think I have been raised in a very conservative family and culture, which I hate cause my mom and dad never really talked to me about sex, which lead me to find it for myself. Sadly I started when I was 14 and hang out with my neighbors at night and found 3 attractive guys and started talked with them that night. So every couple went on their own alone place and started talking and stuff. so the guy I was talking to asked me if I my kisses were good. I was feeling incredible since he "seemed" to be worried about everything I was telling him, and so he leaned and kissed me. That was my first kiss and I was terryfied, scared and guilty, my parents would killed me if they knew. and so we sat down and he started to kiss me again and suddenly he started to touch me in an inappropriate way. I felt disgusting and left him alone.

Since that time I felt like that was the only way to get's people attention, specially guys, all of my girl friends seem to be so popular and I felt terrible cause apparently i wasnt worthy to have a boyfriend, but oh my, I was only 14 or 15, and I didn't even need it. All those stories seemed to be so real and I was desperatly looking for love since my parents never really aproached me to tell me how much they loved me and hug me and make me feel beautiful.

I also had 2 boyfriends which whom I didnt had sex but did some bad things, and I regret with utmust sincere.

Now I'm 19 am still struggling with porn and masturbation. I feel empty, disgusting, not worthy of God's love, and I feel scared my younger sister will do the same thing. I absolutely love her, but saddly I never tell her. instead I yell at her and constantly bother her, I really dont want her to be like me, and I dont even know how to make her feel beautiful cause no one ever did with me. sometimes i wonder if I should talk with her and tell her all that happened to me so I can be healed and she can understand why I want to protect her so bad.
I don't want to keep doing this, but I still come back.
and everytime I fail i always end up feeling worst. I have pray for forgiveness, and I know God listens to me.

What should I do, what can I do? I don't want to feel this wat anymore. I'm afraid I'll never find a nice christian guy to marry with :( and it really saddens me.
and I'm scared this will affect my marriage, cause I dont think I will stop doing even If I get married. :(
I'm still struggling with masturbation, is bad, cause doesnt fill your longing for God, and his true love.

keep me in your prayers]]>
2010-03-22T02:19:41-05:00http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000165
<![CDATA[The story of Newman]]>http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000164 All of the years I begged God to forgive me and deliver me and save me and rescue me and wipe my guilt away and on and on and on was like the Pharisee praying because I NEVER totally released my will to God. There are no amount of tears or volume of prayers that matter to Him. He does not care if I've gone without food and took communion 6 times a day. There is NOTHING you or I can DO to be delivered. The ONLY thing you can give to God that matters is a completely willing heart. I am proof of that! In bygone years, I tried everything. Finally, last September, I gave it all over to Him. I had to tell my wife EVERYTHING I had done. That was about a 4 month process. I had forgotten many things that had to be recalled and confessed. God granted our marriage the miracle of placing a spirit of forgiveness in my wife. With His help and direction, I have totally changed my thought patterns. I can't tell you what I was, But thank God I can tell you I am a NEW MAN in Christ.
Don't listen to Satan when he tells you there is no hope! THERE IS HOPE!!!!!!! If you are a Pastor, Deacon, Sunday School teacher, layman, or not in church at all, God can set you free!
You need to find someone that you can be TOTALLY honest with. Someone well-grounded in God that will hold you accountable but not condemn you. Then YOU give your will and mind to God. You will never change your actions until you change your mind. Why do you think the Bible mentions the mind so often? A couple of my favorites talk about "renewing the mind" and "bringing every thought captive". Finally when you honestly commit to this, it won't come easy but freedom CAN be yours! Remember "I can do all things through Christ that strengthens me".]]>
2010-03-21T21:52:21-05:00http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000164
<![CDATA[The story of mary]]>http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000163 I am so glad to have found this place!

Turn off that porn!
by "Rivka"
3.06.2010

Donít hate me please
Donít take control of me
Donít throw away my things
Iím hurt enough, Iím sorry for lust
Iím ready to choose this myself
Though I can't do it myself
Iím praying for God to give me help.

Iíve felt the growing addictions
And had silent consequences
The guilt that can no longer be felt
And yet my soul is tortured still

They think Iím a little angel
They would be shocked to see me
This junk doesnít change my morals
Or so I believed
Till I saw my own reflection
And melted to my knees

Sometimes you donít know what slavery is
Till you hear the word ďfreedomĒ
And something in your heart awakes
It longs to throw off all these chains

Why donít I see itís a prison?
I see what a shame it is to me
I donít want anyone to know of it
But I know I want to be free

And Jesus said, ďGo and sin no moreĒ
Go and sin no more
Go and sin no more
Go turn off that porn!

Galatians 5:1
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.]]>
2010-03-06T18:13:01-06:00http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000163
<![CDATA[The story of Jenni]]>http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000160 When we first got the internet, he started looking on there. He knew that it hurt me, but he did it anyway. Every time I would find porn on our computers history, it was like a shot through my heart. First was shock, then anger, then a feeling of deep betrayal. Followed by a strong disgust for him. I also felt so alone. All the talk was about how to get him free. There was no one to help me with what I was feeling. I turned all those feeling inside and blamed myself. I started hating myself because I thought I was the problem. I thougth that I wasn't good enough; I wasn't thin enough; I wasn't sexual enough; I wasn't pretty enough; I wasn't doing something right. I checked myself over and over and couldn't figure out what I was doing wrong. I became very anxious and very depressed. I often had thoughts of wanting to die. I thought that if I died, then God could bring my husband a better wife. Satan was lieing to me and I didn't even know it. It was such a secretive problem. I wasn't hearing anyone in church address this type of thing.
Time after time, when I would catch him, he would repent and find help. I would think it was all over. It might be a year or so, and then I would find out he had been watching porn again. After awhile, I didn't believe his little repentant song and dance. That's all it was to me. Words. I was sick of words and I was sick of him. But I felt trapped because I was a stay at home mom to three sons. I had no money. I had no where to go. So I just stuffed it...again. But you can only stuff for so long before you explode. And finally in 2002 I had a complete mental break down. I lost it! They said I had Bipolar. They made me take all these medications that made me feel weird. I wasn't sure who to trust anymore. It took several years of counseling, but God has healed my mind. I'm no longer driven by self hatred. I'm no longer owned by depression. Our marriage has had so many bumps along the way. Along with the porn, there was phone sex, and an affair at work. I haven't been perfect either. I know my mental illness and many health problems and the garbage from the abuse in my childhood, have all taken their toll on him too. But I'm out of the blame game now.
I really thought we were done with porn. The subject hadn't come up in about 4 years. Then all of a sudden, this past Sept. 2009, my world fell apart again. I found our cable bills and found out that my husband had been ordering porn on our tv for the last 8 months. I was shocked. I felt like someone kicked me in the stomach. I felt like such a fool! How could I have been so stupid to not notice this. Actually, he had been very uninterrested in me for over 6 months, but I thought he was just tired from working a new second job. Or maybe it was because I had gained so much weight from the bipolar medications.
Anyways, I was disgusted. I was furious! I didn't even want to look at him. I had to get out of the house. I went over to my sisters house and cried to her. I decided to stay with her for a few days. At this point, my husband wasn't very repentive and was defensive. I just kept praying and praying. I told myself that I couldn't do this anymore. My heart was broken. I wanted to divorce him. But again, I felt stuck because I couldn't work and had no way to take care of my sons. I decided that in my heart, our marriage was over. I would live with him as just a friend until our boys were out of the house. I was really done this time. When he finally came around to being broken over his sin, I didn't care. I had heard the same thing over and over again. This was a challenge for him. It frustrated him to no ends that I wouldn't just say ok, I forgive you, lets go back to life as normal. We went to counseling and he was reading like 3 books about porn addiction. By the way, which he had also done in the past. At this point, I had taken my heart out of his hands and locked it tight away. I was kind and respectful to him but that was it. Oh boy did he hate that! He just wanted me to be like every other time. Every other time I would blame myself and stuff it down. Well, not this time honey. I had learned a few things over the years and I wasn't going to blame myself. I had to keep telling myself...this is not about me, this is not about me!
One day, a friend called me and said to hurry and turn on the tv. Gary Smalley was on there admitting that he had a porn addiction for like 50 years. I tuned in too late. I missed his testimony but I heard him talk about a new ministry at Freedom Begins Here. He talked about getting some dvd. So I went to my computer and found the sight. I ordered the dvd. I casually told my husband about it that night. At this point....I felt numb to it all. I didn't care about this new dvd. But thankfully God cared enough to get us just what we neeeded. After my husband watch the dvd he looked different! He said, I'm not a freak! This really is an addiction! He proceeded to tell me all about the dvd. This was new information to me too. Praise God..it was truth. Truth that set us both free. I am eternally thankful for that dvd. Now my husband has come out of the dark and has a new mission to talk to as many men as possible about the dangers and truth about porn. Praise God! I'm writing my story, because there is very little help out there for the wives. I've decided to put myself out there to comfort those who mourn like I have mourned so many times. May God use my story to help you. By the way.....it has only been 6 months and God has restored our marriage. We are best friends again. My eyes are wide open for the future. I realize this IS an addiction. It is something my husband, and now teen sons, have to deal with every second of every day. We live is such a sexual world. Sex is everywhere and it sells. But now I know it really hasn't been my fault. I know the truth now. Thanks again to Freedom Begins Here! Keep up the good fight!Keep spreading the truth. And please.....don't forget about us wives.]]>
2010-03-06T12:58:44-06:00http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000160
<![CDATA[The story of Christopher]]>http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000159
For years I've been fighting porn and lust. I've lost many battles, but through Christ Jesus and Freedom Begins Here I am walking in victory. My church is hosting a course on Freedom Begins Here, we are going through the devotional and watching the videos weekly.

I am starting to fight the good fight! I hope and pray that you are too! Through Christ Jesus we are more than conquerors!]]>
2010-03-02T11:33:20-06:00http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000159
<![CDATA[The story of ]]>http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=0000001582010-02-21T17:29:30-06:00http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000158<![CDATA[The story of Like david]]>http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000157
]]>
2010-01-30T21:53:04-06:00http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000157
<![CDATA[The story of ]]>http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=0000001552010-01-30T21:49:18-06:00http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000155<![CDATA[The story of ]]>http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=0000001542010-01-30T10:08:29-06:00http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000154<![CDATA[The story of victor ]]>http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=0000001532010-01-26T18:12:22-06:00http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000153<![CDATA[The story of ]]>http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=0000001522009-12-26T12:27:10-06:00http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000152<![CDATA[The story of ]]>http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=0000001512009-12-16T16:57:03-06:00http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000151<![CDATA[The story of ]]>http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=0000001502009-12-16T16:55:41-06:00http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000150<![CDATA[The story of ]]>http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=0000001492009-12-16T16:31:24-06:00http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000149<![CDATA[The story of ]]>http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000145 Lord save me from my addiction... I want to be FREE! Help me Lord. Anyone who reads this, please pray for me!]]>2009-12-04T05:43:03-06:00http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000145<![CDATA[The story of ]]>http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000144 organizations that use the 12 step program to help in this battle,one is SAA, sex addicts anonymous,it has helped me,with Gods
help,to realize that we are all powerless over this problem.What I
mean is are own willpower is not strong enough as thoughts,feelings
and old habits have a way of coming back.What ever program helps please break free from these bonds.
]]>
2009-11-29T08:33:19-06:00http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000144
<![CDATA[The story of you know who]]>http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=0000001432009-11-18T00:28:39-06:00http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000143<![CDATA[The story of ]]>http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=0000001422009-11-12T12:42:37-06:00http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000142<![CDATA[The story of ]]>http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=0000001412009-11-11T20:27:41-06:00http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000141<![CDATA[The story of Ta Ta]]>http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=0000001392009-11-05T00:27:45-06:00http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000139<![CDATA[The story of ]]>http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000136
but when i got online the first images that popped up were pictures of gay porn. it disgusted me to see it, but because it was my first exposure to anything to do with sex, it sucked me in.

all throughout my teen years i kept looking up the gay porn as a way to relieve stress. and being a preacher's kid builds up a lot of stress. but the fact that i was looking up gay porn was another stress because i had to hide it from everyone, so started the vicious circle.

as i went through middle and high school, i struggled with my sexual identity because of the gay porn. i didn't consider myself gay, but i kept thinking of the images i had seen on the internet and was confused by the appeal that they had on me.i never dated as a teenager, partly because i didn't want to have a realtionship that wouldn't last past high school but also partially because of my sexual ambivalence.

i started getting sloppy with hiding it, so my parents found the porn on our computer about half-way through my first semester of senior year. my dad talked with me about it but it felt more like an investigation than it did an "i'm worried for you" conversation. because the porn was of a homosexual nature, they sent me too a christian counselor to talk about it. that went nowhere. he never took me seriously when i said i wasn't where i should be spiritually. he just said "you're very mature for your age, and seem to be right where you should be spiritually."

he also said that i wasn't addicted to porn because it wasn't a "gotta have it" kind of thing, just a stress reliever.

whatever.

stress-reliever or not, it's an addiction, if only a minimal one.

i still have trouble with it. every day. but i know now that i'm definitley not gay, it's just the images that i'm addicted to. i'm not naive enough to think that it'll just go away, it's gonna be a daily struggle. especially since life=stress.

just this summer i lost my grandma to liver disease, which caused me to look up the porn all over again to forget about all of the grief after having been clean for months.

but i'm slowly getting help. i've talked to a friend about all of this, absolutely everything, and that has really helped me focus on getting and staying clean.

non-transperency in the church needs to be obliterated. if i knew that i could trust the men in my church not to judge me, but to help me, my problem with porn and homosexuality could have been cut-off from the very beginning. but my fear of being rejected by the church and possibly losing my dad his job has made me bottle it all up for the last seven years.

freedombeginshere.org has truly helped me realize that the only way to 'recover' is to talk about it. so speak up!
]]>
2009-11-02T09:03:39-06:00http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000136
<![CDATA[The story of anonymous ]]>http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=0000001352009-10-31T02:32:04-05:00http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000135<![CDATA[The story of anonymous ]]>http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=0000001342009-10-31T02:29:53-05:00http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000134<![CDATA[The story of ]]>http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=0000001322009-10-28T12:22:52-05:00http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000132<![CDATA[The story of Jennie]]>http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000131 Recently I had been in a deep depression for around a year and didn't understand why exactly. Recently I found some pornography on the computer and my husband refused to talk about it. I know he lies to me about even the smallest of things and refuses to discuss anything with me(I know I shouldn't judge). When I asked about the pornography he denied it and said "You don't know what I do when I'm not here." This is true because he runs a computer company that we are both company directors in and he leaves early in the morning and returns much later in the evening than he says he will be home.I haven't been involved with the company for at least the past 7 years and prior to that only in matters that he allowed me to be involved with (he is in total control).
I really don't know him any more! He left the day after I asked him about the porn on the computer.
I am attending a local church, and now that he has left the house the depression has left me too, although I continue to feel terribly broken hearted. I fully trusted him in all areas of our life and I am at a loss, the Lord is kind to me. My husband hasn't contacted me since he left and it looks like we may end our relationship. I have a lot of sorting out to do with God's help and your prayers I know I will be okay!]]>
2009-10-27T00:42:52-05:00http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000131
<![CDATA[The story of PD]]>http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=0000001302009-10-26T11:21:03-05:00http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000130<![CDATA[The story of ]]>http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=0000001292009-10-21T16:01:48-05:00http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000129<![CDATA[The story of Dave]]>http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=0000001282009-10-21T13:22:07-05:00http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000128<![CDATA[The story of immortalbound]]>http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=0000001272009-10-20T15:34:04-05:00http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000127<![CDATA[The story of Bill]]>http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=0000001262009-10-20T11:14:01-05:00http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000126<![CDATA[The story of Angela]]>http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=0000001252009-10-19T17:06:42-05:00http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000125<![CDATA[The story of Krista]]>http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=0000001242009-10-19T14:32:54-05:00http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000124<![CDATA[The story of ]]>http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000123 I was addicted to masturbation and fantasy throughout my first marriage and married a man who was addicted to pornography and was divorced after 5 years. In the past year God has healed my wounds from the abuse, and helped me to forgive. My present battle is sexual thoughts about every man I come in contact with, coming out of denial, forgiving myself, and trusting in Abba God. My husband is aware of my struggle. Please pray for both of us.
]]>
2009-10-19T07:42:57-05:00http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000123
<![CDATA[The story of trevor]]>http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000122 I have struggled with porn since i was 13. It has come in waves..it seems when there is little temptation or i am busy then i dont think about it. Being bored or lonely or with much temptation around me i all too easily give in. Please pray for me that God will help me to be free]]>2009-10-17T03:14:11-05:00http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000122<![CDATA[The story of Diana]]>http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=0000001212009-10-05T21:20:56-05:00http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000121<![CDATA[The story of ]]>http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000120 I'm free. After years of fantasizing, loose sex (I was drug addicted, needles, booze, etc. til 83), I got clean and then saved in 89, after being married 4 years, I kept a magazine w/my wife's knowledge in the drawer, as a "release" valve.
AS I was saved, I became very convicted and shameful, I'm married to my 3rd wife, who is aware of my struggle, and with prayer, being transparent with my Pastors and Brothers and wife, I've found freedom! Deliverance Prayer through hardcorechristianity , Restoring Lives International, and accountbility, God's Grace has prevailed! Hallelujah!
Thank you FBH for being here, I'm glad to have found your site, and the opportunity to testify, God/Jesus/Holy Ghost really cares, and is powerful to SAVE, HEAL and DELIVER!
Jeff
]]>
2009-09-29T15:41:54-05:00http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000120
<![CDATA[The story of Tamara]]>http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=0000001192009-09-22T21:49:48-05:00http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000119<![CDATA[The story of ]]>http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=0000001182009-09-22T14:41:38-05:00http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000118<![CDATA[The story of ]]>http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000117 Im here because I want to confess my sins...
I have been addicted to pornography and masturbation... I'd like to ask you to pray for me and ask God to forgive and to cleanse me as it is written in 1 John 1:9: "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us {our} sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.".
Please, pray for me!
God Bless you all!]]>
2009-09-21T09:03:42-05:00http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000117
<![CDATA[The story of ]]>http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=0000001162009-09-17T16:47:45-05:00http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000116<![CDATA[The story of ]]>http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=0000001132009-09-12T00:48:23-05:00http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000113<![CDATA[The story of my name is victory]]>http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=0000001122009-08-17T14:48:03-05:00http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000112<![CDATA[The story of ]]>http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000111 I am from Israel, I have an addiction to pron and masterbation.
I've only started fighting it with yeshua latley.
I still fall some times... and noticed I fall when I don't relly on God to help me ..
I urge you all who struggle like me to turn to God to help you and wash your sins away... put the full armor of God to fight the evil forces that attack you!
And when you fall in sin raise your head up to God... he is willing to forgive you for your sins .. and any thought that tells you not to turn to him is a lie from the devil !!!
here are a few verses from the bible:

I Thessalonians 4: 4
That every one of you shouled know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour.

Philippians 3 : 13-14
Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehanded: but this one thing I do, forgetting thos thing which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things that are before,
I press twords the mark of the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus!!!!]]>
2009-08-12T07:27:57-05:00http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000111
<![CDATA[The story of Anonomous]]>http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000110 Please, please, please, pray for me. I need to find a way out of all this. Thank You.]]>2009-08-09T00:12:38-05:00http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000110<![CDATA[The story of ]]>http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000109
It began when I was just ten years old and I got an old TV handed down to me for my room. I was flipping through channels to see which ones were available to me, and I saw explicit scenes in R-rated movies that should have not been airing during daytime TV. And I was hooked. I fell so easily into that trap, and for nearly a year, I adapted to a cycle of hiding out in my room - locking the door, the TV volume turned down really low, clutching the remote and absorbing anything pornographic I could get ahold of. I justified my actions by telling myself it was educational - I was just learning how sex works. And I sustained that mentality every time I looked at it. I don't even remember the kind of relationship I had with God at the time. I had accepted Christ before then, but I didn't have the strongest relationship with Him - I wasn't living for Him. I was a hypocrite, and I lived as such. Everyone at school saw me as the innocent Christian girl, the goody-two-shoes. But no one knew what was really going on. My best friend didn't know. My family didn't know. Only God knew. And I ignored Him before and during the times I would get my "fill" of pornography. But I would cry to Him when I turned off the TV and my disgusting nature would sink in, and I would apologize over and over again, asking Him to forgive me. But I would always fall into the cycle again. So nearly a year after I had started, guilt broke me down and I told my parents. I repented, and turned away from it all. I recommitted my life to God at a Christian conference later that year, and I was on the right track to fully devoting my life to Him.

I was homeschooled from seventh to eighth grade, so by getting up early and working hard, I was done with my lessons by 11am. My dad worked all day, and my mom was often out of the house running errands or meeting with single ladies that she mentored as a part of the Navigators ministry with my dad. So I had a lot of time to do whatever I wanted. And I had an empty house to myself, and a computer with no filters, no parental controls, nothing. I can't remember exactly how it happened, but I stumbled across internet pornography, and I was addicted, again. It's like, everything I had worked for, I had protected myself from, the relationship I had built with God - everything was thrown out the window for pornography. My desire for sex replaced God and attempted to fill me up. It became my comfort, my escape, my hobby. Of course, it was even worse than the TV porn addiction I had in 5th grade because this was the internet. And you can find anything and everything on the internet, whenever you want. And I was SO good at covering my tracks too. No one knew. It was my dirty little secret, and only God knew. I remember times when I would close the internet browser, put the computer to sleep, and stare at the blank screen, eyes wide open and I would sob and tell God I was so sorry. I would beg him to take it away from me. I didn't want to live like this anymore. But I wasn't strong enough. And as much as I wanted to escape that dirty addiction, my desire for sex was stronger.

My pornography addiction led to masturbation. And at the time, I didn't even know what I was doing - I didn't know that what I was doing had a name, or that it was even wrong. But I would masturbate as I looked at pornography, I would masturbate when I wasn't. I would do digusting things, some stuff that I will never confess to anyone but God. I was completely consumed by sex. The only thing I wasn't doing was actually going out and having sex.

When I think back, I don't connect my addiction with any other memories that I have of that year. I can't. It's all a blur to me, and I don't even know how I kept it up, how I was able to hide it for so long - I even hid it from my diary, in which I wrote every single day. I remember my parents tucking me in every single night, and my confession would be on the tip of my tongue. But I could never follow through. I just couldn't. It killed me to hide it from them, to be going behind their backs and looking at pornography when they weren't home. But I was too ashamed, and too afraid of what they would think, how they would never be able to trust me again. I remember telling myself that I would tell them in ten or twenty years, when they no longer had any control over me, when it would be too far back in the past that it wouldn't matter all too much anymore.

My family and I went on vacation, visiting family in the Philippines the spring break of 2004. We were gone for nearly two weeks - the longest time I would have to go without pornography since my addiction had started up again. The whole time, it bothered me. I ached. It was practically a withdrawal. The night we arrived back home, I remember lying in bed, planning my next search for pornography. I actually planned these things. I never just stumbled across pornography - I went looking for it. Anyhow, as I was lying there and thinking about how tomorrow I was going to make up for the two weeks I had gone without pornography, God got a hold of me. And I couldn't sleep. Never before have I been so sure of His voice, so sure of His hold on my heart, begging me to stop. So I told Him He would have to help me, and I headed for my parents' room at one in the morning, shaking and crying, and told them everything.

The first few months were technically easy considering I was grounded from everything and when my punishment was up, there were parental controls on everything I could get a hold of. But it was very difficult in mind and heart, as the desire was still there. But God was purifying me from the inside out, and I grew closer to Him. That night that I had confessed was my ultimate recommitment to God, a conscious decision to want to please Him, love Him, and obey Him. I promised to accept His help, and let Him purify me.

I struggled a lot, but every time I messed up and caught myself looking at pornography again (I learned there were ways around parental controls), I would run back to God and run to my mom as well, as she has been my accountability partner ever since. And though I have renounced my addiction to pornography and masturbation, I still struggle. Actually, I struggle even more now than when I had first given up the addiction.

Pornography makes me feel worthless. It makes me feel stupid, dirty, and ugly. And I go to it, hoping it will fill me. But I'm always emptier because of it. Only God can fill me up. Even now, He is working in me - to assure me of myself, to be my Everything, to rid me of my desire for sex and fill me up with a desire for Him. I'm a prodigal, and God has always been my Father.

There is no way to conclude this, because it's still going on. And sometimes I wonder if I will ever be truly free of pornography here on this earth. This is my thorn. And I know God will use me and my testimony, my struggles and fears, to help others and to ultimately make me stronger in Him.

"To keep me from being conceited... there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But He said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong."
- 2 Corinthians 12: 7-10

I'm not excusing this addiction to pornography, or saying that it's okay to struggle with it because everyone struggles with something and God will forgive anyway. But I am saying that it's pointless to beat myself up about it, and wallow in self-pity and filth and torment myself with shame and guilt. Only God can free me, and only He is mighty to save me. I have the dire need to break free of this addiction, but to also remember to look at it from God's perspective, knowing that He loves me and will always take me back, and that He is with me every step of the way. I'm fighting this pornography addiction on the field, and God is rooting for me.]]>
2009-07-22T14:42:38-05:00http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000109
<![CDATA[The story of Cindy]]>http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000107
Broken and bent, he unraveled the tale of his pain. It was one I knew well. My husband had been addicted to pornography since he was twelve. Simultaneously repulsed and intrigued by the graphic nature of willing nakedness, it had hooked him. And the hook went deep. Like thousands of men, the intrigue of this intimate fantasy world provided a sick and sane escape when life got hard. The unconditional acceptance of beautiful, naked women who wanted nothing in return except to enter his head and make him king for a moment, had rocked our marriage. Despite repeated attempts to get free from its hold, including plenty of shame and rejection from me, my husband was a slave to its power. Until today.

Today, Darin was different. He had returned from three days of what he calls ďA crowbar to his head,Ē with Dr. Mark Laaser. Mark had journeyed with him into the deep dark of the hook. King-for-a-moment had crumbled beneath the power of skillful insight, Darinís deep sorrow and desire to get well and the indescribable power of a relentless God. We both sat in silence as he finished the story of his recent journey.

ďNow itís your turn,Ē he said. I cocked my head and looked at him in the same superior way I had been looking at him and all men who had the hook. My words were indignant, ďMy turn?Ē

ďYesĒ he said. ďSexual brokenness, like other addictions, is a family problem. If I am going to get well and stay well, you have to do it with me. Weíve both been sick and we both need to recover.Ē His words fell on me like an insult. I had valiantly stood by him, constantly prayed for him, sought accountability for him, put filters on our computer, gave him scripture references, went down to the altar with him and had gone to great lengths to make myself a romantic interesting and available wife. What more did he want? I had done my part, hadnít I?

Obviously, this was his problem. His sin. His weakness. His shame. Why should I have to get a crow bar in my head, too? As I sat looking at him with a glib, condescending stare, a hot feeling began to creep around my neck. I felt my hands begin to tingle as my thoughts raced back to all the times I had found my husband in the arms of other women via our home computer. Their perfect tan bodies, long hair and cunning smiles flashed behind my angry eyes. To me, he had violated our marriage vows and rejected me as a woman. I could never compete with all those on-screen images. I wanted to stab him.

Whatís more, his sheepish, shame-filled excuses and meager apologies when all the fighting was over held no comfort for me. I would just sit in a numb void with a steep cliff in my gut. Wondering how a good-Christian marriage could this kind of problem, king-for-a-moment went to work, and I sank in a pool of self-pity and rage.

Incredulously, I sat on the edge of that bed and tried to find any good reason why I should go into treatment for his addiction? To accept that this was a mutual, family -system problem would let him off the hook. It also inferred that somehow, I was to blame. I was furious that he even had this struggle. I wanted him to pay. His problem had cost me a very high price and left a secret place in me emotionally bankrupt and starving.

With my body tense and my head pounding I shot my wounded arrows straight for his heart. ďYou did this to us. I want no part of your problem any longer. I hate your problem. And today, I feel like I hate you. Why did you bring this into our marriage? Do you know how much it hurts to be married to a man that wants other women? Why do you even have this struggle?Ē My whole body pulsed and burned as I shot and stabbed him with my words.

ďCan I tell you something?Ē he asked as his arms encircled my sobs. I have never loved anybody more than I love you. You are my life and I am so, so sorry for the ridiculous pain I have inflicted on you. I donít know if I can ever make it up to you. But you need to know something right here and right now about this ďstruggle.Ēí Only the good guys struggle, all the rest just go ahead and do it.Ē With those words, time stood still. An invigorating, new awareness began to break over me: This painful drama of shame and rejection had suddenly become a heroís story.

He continued, ďI am fighting to be free of something that men everywhere use as a hobby, like golf. Our culture is entrenched in it. Men looking at naked women on the Internet is like a national pastime,Ē he said. ďOnly a few of us really want to stop. Only a few of us see it as a violation of our wedding vows. This struggle that you hate is one we have to fight together, because I want to win. I donít want to live like every other guy. I just want to be free. Free for me, for you and free for my God. Cindy, do you understand? Only the good guys struggle.Ē

Dancing around us there on that edge was the consuming power of a relentless God and the broken heart of a good-guy that wanted me on his team as he was about to enter the fight of his life. So I did. That was two years ago.]]>
2009-07-21T10:02:20-05:00http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000107
<![CDATA[The story of ]]>http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000106 In 2006, after nearly losing my marriage, I started in therapy for porn addiction. In 2007 my wife and I, with (we thought) the support of my denominational superior, disclosed to our church that I had a year of recovery from porn addiction. The worst case scenario happened and I was forced out of the church. I relapsed in fall of 2007. By the grace of God in Christ Jesus, I have been sober now since February 14, 2008. The therapy was helpful, but I did not feel that I truly entered recovery until I got involved with some Christian based twelve step groups. (Celebrate Recovery was one of them.)
Secrecy feeds addiction. This was part of the reason for the disclosure. We believed it was the healthiest thing for me and the church. It ultimately was for me. Even though we lost our ministry, my wife and I believe it was the right (and the best) thing to do. We would do it again because we are commited to a policy of letting the light into the darkness of porn addiction.
I am in recovery, but I will remain an addict all of my life. If I forget this I am doomed to fall back into the addiction. This might sound horrible to those looking for a way out of this addiction. But it is something we must face if we are to stay sober. The way out is not an easy one. But our guide is the one who died for us making the way out. With such a guide we can walk this road until such time as when we will be transformed into His image.
My prayer is that as more Christians find there way free of this terrible disease they will speak out, inside the church and out, to bring the words of healing to those who still believe it is hopeless. Afterall, how can the believe if they have not heard? Andhow can they hear if there is no one to preach? Or no one willing to preach? I pray Godís peace on all who are effected by this scourge of pornography.]]>
2009-07-14T07:27:01-05:00http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000106
<![CDATA[The story of ]]>http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000105 Pray for me. I really need it.]]>2009-06-27T23:56:03-05:00http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000105<![CDATA[The story of Chad]]>http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000104
I've prayed and read so much in the Bible to help me with this. I have given it up for a few days in the past, but I want to end it finally! It makes me feel so guilty and vulnerable. This has become way to big of a habit.

I think people are pretty honest about what they do 90% of the time, but then there is that 10% left over, that we would be humiliated to death if someone found out about it.

Porn and masturbation are my 10%. I NEED to stop! This has become so big of a problem now! Every time I am online and I even think about looking at something, I feel so powerless, like I can't stop myself. If anybody would please pray for me, I would really appreciate it!]]>
2009-07-04T13:44:38-05:00http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000104
<![CDATA[The story of Jessica]]>http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=0000000992009-07-04T13:44:28-05:00http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000099<![CDATA[The story of ]]>http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=0000000972009-06-12T19:24:35-05:00http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000097<![CDATA[The story of ]]>http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=0000000962009-06-07T04:05:14-05:00http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000096<![CDATA[The story of ]]>http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=0000000932009-06-04T01:53:50-05:00http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000093<![CDATA[The story of ]]>http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=0000000922009-05-29T23:14:00-05:00http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000092<![CDATA[The story of ]]>http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=0000000912009-05-27T11:33:17-05:00http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000091<![CDATA[The story of Haley]]>http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=0000000902009-07-04T13:30:03-05:00http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000090<![CDATA[The story of ]]>http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=0000000872009-05-22T01:03:35-05:00http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000087<![CDATA[The story of Mike Waggoner]]>http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000086 It continued to get worse as I got older. By the time I was 20, I viewed pornography as often as possible, and in my later 20's and early 30's the internet made it easy and cheap.
My wife has always known of the problem but always believed my lies that I was through with it. Why wouldn't she believe her "loving, deeply spiritual, Bible teaching husband"?
Three months ago our business partner discovered on the company computer, pornography. I have since been dismissed from a job that I loved. Thankfully, my wife has stood by me and helped me find the help I needed. I have found a 12 step group and I have been sexually sober from my porn addiction for 3 months now. I must tell anyone reading this...Jesus is the answer along with friends who understand the addiction. Look for the help, because it's there.]]>
2009-07-04T13:23:07-05:00http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000086
<![CDATA[The story of Josh Ferris]]>http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000080
It wasn't until about a month ago that I realized how much bigger of an issue it was. I had trivialized it, but it was so much more than I had realized. At a Sunday evening service, I made the decision that I was going to lay it down. I wanted my mind to be consumed with one woman, my wife. God spoke to me and said, "Before you can walk in victory, you have to walk by faith." In other words, you have to do it his way. I wanted so badly to have it removed but God finally made it clear at that service.

God isn't going to take your problems away. He isn't going to wash it all away. You have to give it up. You have to lay it down. God is standing next to you with an open hand, and he is waiting for you to hand it over.

There are all kinds of ways to start off. Keeping a journal, finding a prayer partner, etc, are great ways to begin your life of freedom. Here is one thing that I will add. Find a song that you love and means a lot to you. When you find yourself wanting to look around at pornography begin to sing that song. I have found that by filling your mind with God, it pushes out the urges to walk into darkness. Connect yourself to God through a worshipful song. Music is an amped up way to connect with God. God is the one that will change your life, not any person.

Don't ever feel like you are worthless or undeserving because of yourself. If you think your world will fall apart, it won't. Nothing in this world is so devastating that your life will be left in a state beyond repair. If you say nothing, then you accept nothing.]]>
2009-07-04T13:18:53-05:00http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000080
<![CDATA[The story of Nikki]]>http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=0000000792009-07-04T13:21:33-05:00http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000079<![CDATA[The story of Dee]]>http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=0000000782009-07-04T13:43:53-05:00http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000078<![CDATA[The story of Paul Norton]]>http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000077
Last time I was on a site like this I got lost in all the varying degrees of porn addiction that I wasn't sure I was "that" addicted. It didn't go well for me. But, I'm determined to find my answer and truely be free BEFORE I'm married or attatched ("mild" addiction or not).

So far I have a plan and some strategy forming. I plan on keeping a recovery journal with accountability partners who will also have access to the journal as well as regular accountability. I plan also on not having my laptop in my posession (hopefully in even another city) for 6 months at least, if even I ever get it back (I don't care, I'm committed to getting the temptation out of sight forever). Aside from that I have some herbal strategies I discovered and I have gracious and praying support.

For my journal I plan on not just detailing (at least once a week) whether I have or haven't fallen. I plan on making it an accountability partner's project from me while I go through this time. The partner will not only have access but will be keeping me accountable for finding encouraging things and whatnot. I not only want this to be an accountability tool but an encouraging tool for me and maybe others after me.

I know this can be done.

One thing I want to share with my brothers in this is a thought I had today while praying about all this. I remembered a verse that was about some guy in the wilderness out of the Israelites who just decided he wanted some girls. He didn't even hide it but openly brought them into his tent. One other dude didn't think that was so cool and run him through with a spear, through both the guy and the girl and on into the ground. Now that's passion for holiness.. right into the dirt!

As I pondered that and feeling once again wholly unworthy cause I was at the cross...Again!.. I started speaking this aloud as I poured out my heart to God. "I deserve death, I deserve to be run through with a sp.." As the word "spear" was unfinnished on my lips I instantly remembered the spear they ran through Jesus.

It still blesses me to think of that. Keep believing and keep going till this thing is kaput. Oh, and another thought for you...

I was contemplating what this whole thing was like. My brain pulled an illustration of a river. Though I've always been a man of faith holding on to God through Jesus seems I always kept slipping in this area. It's like this battle was a loosing one like I was trying to swim upstream against an endless current.

But then as I continued with that thinking I started speaking out, "Lord you're the rock I can climb up onto. You're the secure rope to the shore. You're the bridge pilon with a ladder to land." And, it occured to me during all these thoughts that the best way to fight this is to get out of the current. Why battle through the temptation? It's an endless current.

This is why I have determined to have my laptop out of the way or blocked with a program. I'd really like to be rid of it all together, but I know at some point I'll have to work with a personal computer.. less I join the Hutterites. :P

Anyway, I encourage you to form a plan and also to minimize all temptations. Be committed to give up things that may be very much rooted in your life. Be committed to letting them go and cutting them off. Not just for the period of recovery! But to cut them off with the full conviction of cutting them off for good, even in this day and age of communication/personal computing. Better to enter paradise maimed... seriously is a laptop so attatched to you that it's your hand? I think not. How dedicated you are will determine your progress and healing/freedom from this, so I've been told.

Anyway.. bless up and press in to a fuller happier life, it's at the end of this. Peace! ]]>
2009-07-04T13:19:27-05:00http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000077
<![CDATA[The story of Donald]]>http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000074
That summer the neighborhood gang of boys (of which I was the senior member) found a stack of pornographic magazines buried under a wooden board in a fort we used to hang out in.

The other boys looked at them for a while, but I was more drawn to them. A few days later I took the magazines home, and of course hid them and used them for masturbating. I'm not sure where God was at this time in my life, as I had been a Christian from childhood and raised in a strong Christian home.

I felt guilty after a week or two and threw the magazines away. Yet I continued masturbating, usually to the same swimsuit video I had taped.

This pattern was maintained for 3 1/2 years. I wish I could say I had a spiritual revelation, but in reality I noticed the social barrier that masturbating (specifically the guilt from it) had created between me and friends (especially girls). So, without trying, I quit.

I had exciting things to look forward to. Some international travel, school, friends and most of all real girls. Thank God I never went beyond kissing. I had great relationships with women and remember those years with fondness.

From age 16 1/2 to age 22 3/4, I avoided pornography like the plague. I also masturbated maybe 12 times over those 6+ years. College, and then a promising career in an exciting city (with female friends)...and finally a solid church and relationship with Jesus kept me safe.

I then had a major medical crisis and lost my job and had to move to a different city. The crisis was of the sort that I could not tell anyone due to the social stigma attached to it (mental illness).

I attempted to bounce back by attending graduate school, but the illness resurfaced. This was the crushing blow. I took a job in an industry that was the one industry I never wanted to work in.

15 months later I was home, alone, watching a documentary on the research done by Dr. Kinsey. The documentary mentioned that masturbation was normal, and at the time, I did not feel normal. I wanted to be, desperately.

So after some thought, I masturbated that night. It started infrequently, but within a few months had become routine. At work, I began looking at pornography on the internet. That is when it got me.

I would say I became I addicted to pornography and masturbation that summer. I would also say that the cause was, in retrospect, depression. I was self-medicating, but unaware of it.

I don't think the depression has lifted. I have gone months without pornography or masturbating, but there is a loneliness and pain from losing my career that remains. Until I give that hurt to God, I will find an outlet to vent.

The reality of having to hide my history of mental illness feels like a bridge to a good life has been destroyed. I know of no person who could understand what I have been through but God. He took nails for me...and that is real hurt that I will, thanks to Jesus, never know.

I do not see pornography, or masturbation, as the problem. I see legitimate pain...a hurting person with a longing for his savior.

I want to know Jesus in His fullness now. Yet that is impossible. I believe and know, but I do not yet see. I am waiting for the day I can see Him. He will return, in glory perceivable by all as befits His awesome and perfect person.

Fellow saints, continue the fight. We do not lack faith, we simply are not yet home. He will return, and we will all see the perfect God our souls long to know and love...forever.

Until that day, we have awesome resources such as the Bible and fellow Christians to keep us fighting. The fight does not end until God returns, and the reality is that we all will have difficulty in this life.

Do not think that pornography is the primary problem in your life. When that is fixed, another problem will replace it. The point is not to live without problems, but to surrender each moment to God. He will do great things in our lives even as we struggle.

That's all I have. It has helped me to write this, and I encourage everyone to share their stories as well. ]]>
2009-07-04T13:41:26-05:00http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000074
<![CDATA[The story of Adam]]>http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=0000000732009-07-04T13:18:05-05:00http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000073<![CDATA[The story of Scott]]>http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000072
Last year stress went through the roof for me personally and I felt the need to do something more thrilling and I almost "hooked-up" with a stranger on-line. Stress and it's connection do not relieve me of my personal responsibility but it has given me alot of clarity on why this "apple" has been so tempting.

I'm a hot mess, I am just starting... The holy spirit and my counselor have a tough job ahead of them. I am broken, tired and have severley damaged my marriage which other's admired before I confessed to my wife.

So the next time you see a real life Ned Flanders... remember we are all jars of clay.

This jar of clay is just starting to recover, confess and admit the mess sin and my choices have made.

Warning Will Robinson! Warning!! Warning!! ANY porn is to much porn, any repetitve sin is to repetitive. Find a safe friend, pastor or counselor and get help. Don't wallow in self-pity... you're not alone.]]>
http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000072
<![CDATA[The story of Bernadette F.]]>http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=0000000712009-07-04T13:30:59-05:00http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000071<![CDATA[The story of Eric]]>http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=0000000702009-07-04T13:24:04-05:00http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000070<![CDATA[The story of Kelly]]>http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=0000000692009-07-04T13:22:40-05:00http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000069<![CDATA[The story of Deb]]>http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=0000000682009-07-04T13:40:38-05:00http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000068<![CDATA[The story of Dorsey]]>http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=0000000672009-07-04T13:13:21-05:00http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000067<![CDATA[The story of Chris]]>http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000066
Now I have discovered that we must do like Jesus did, speak strongly against and loud, to this unclean spirit to leave! Because it is a spirit. And in Jesus we have power and authority over all unclean spirits. When i started to do this, everything became so much easier, because the victory is already won! Amen =)

Don't give up! Jesus is always there for us!

If You want someone to talk to about this, here's my e-mail: christopher@ljbck.com

(I'm from Sweden so sorry if my English isn't perfect :) ) ]]>
2009-07-04T13:43:10-05:00http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000066
<![CDATA[The story of Jeff]]>http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000065
The statistics say that 50% of Christian marriages end in divorce. The statistics also say that 50% of Christian men (including pastors) and 20% of Christian women struggle with pornography. Do you not see the correlation. It's not easy to deal with such a touchy subject, but the churches deafening silence on the subject has caused sexual addiction and divorce to reach epidemic proportion in the church. Pastors are the shepherds that are to protect their flock from the wolves. The latest wolf at the door is pornography, when are you going to do what your pastoral calling demands that you do. Now there are excellent materials out there for you, the weapons you need to combat the problem. Over one third of your congregation is under attack, you can't wait any longer. Just do it!

James 4:17 Therefore to him that knoweth to do goood, and doeth it not, to him it is sin. ]]>
2009-07-04T13:25:11-05:00http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000065
<![CDATA[The story of Michelle]]>http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=0000000642009-07-04T13:42:50-05:00http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000064<![CDATA[The story of Pat]]>http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000062
In tenth grade, I dated a girl who had been sexually active before. She felt comfortable opening up to me and pressured me into fooling around. Because of porn, I already knew how sex worked and I went too far! Sex is not restricted only to intercourse. I had tried to be faithful to my girlfriend by abstaining from porn, and it worked for the most part (I went one month straight at one point). However, after the break-up I returned to those familiar sites. Those made me feel loved, if only for a brief time.

In eleventh grade, I learned that sex and pornography can be addictions. I looked back on all the times I had listened to sermons in church about the dangers of lust and sex. Every single sermon had energized me to quit porn forever. I never lasted more than a week (except when I dated). Using Google, I searched for a cure to porn addiction: step by step plans, strategies to avoid computers, but they never worked. I always wanted to go back. Prayer became a constant solace for me. Unfortunately, I never prayed before I logged on, only after I had sinned and sinned again. Becoming more and more desperate for relief, I confessed to my dad who had known for years. He installed a more restrictive version of the blocking software, yet I found more ways around it. One of my friends held me accountable for several weeks when I confessed to him, but when I improved, he stopped asking me, and I returned again. Christ had been watching and fighting with me the entire time. What scared me was that I would ask him to help me, but then do whatever I could to satiate my sexual hunger.

These days, I will fight every day with Christ by my side, but I still fail frequently in His presence. The satisfaction I used to receive from porn has disappeared. I know that Christ lives inside of my heart, and He will not allow me to enjoy this parasitic sin any longer. I cannot do this any longer! In reading other's testimonies, I realize that I am not alone. We need to destroy pornography once and for all, so that no more people will suffer like me. The war has been fought for years, BUT IT MUST END HERE!!!]]>
2009-07-04T13:28:18-05:00http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000062
<![CDATA[The story of Daisey]]>http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000059 Having sex with her husband was the last thing on her mind, and felt like a marital duty. Then a friend gave her a magazine for womwn based on soft porn,and it pushed a few buttons. Since then she has looked at soft porn to get her in the mood. the fact that the couple are now making love more often has strengthened the relationship, bought them closer together. So it`s 50/50 Her marriage is being restored,but she is letting God down. I don`t know how to advise her, so help.]]>2009-07-04T13:27:55-05:00http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000059<![CDATA[The story of Adam]]>http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000057
I am going through a Bible Study group that is challenging us to be true Christ followers, giving our lives in total surrender to Christ. It has been exactly what I need. I am ready to find freedom in Christ. I read the Bible each day expecting to receive a message from God. I pray immediately in response to my reading, answering God in relationship. I start my day expecting the events of the day to continue the conversation. I only had the radio on for 5 minutes the other day. Just long enough to hear Rush of Fools talk about Freedom Begins Here. I know God was talking to me. Directly.

I am a leader in my church. We are starting a mentorship program, and I was chosen to be one of the first to be mentored by our church leaders. I am praying that I can finally find an accountability partner that I can feel safe confessing my sin to. Our church has a "Celebrate Recovery" ministry that I am a worship leader for. I have never been able to admit my sin there. Doesn't that say something? Not only is church not a safe place to find healing, but not even in a recovery ministry at church... I don't feel safe letting anyone know that I struggle in this way lest I be cast out as garbage, unfit for service or any good use. It has prevented me from getting the help I need.

I have learned a thing or two about recovery along the way. Every addict needs to commit to being clean and sober, beginning today. We all know what it means for an alcoholic to be sober -- they stop drinking. Even one drop is one drop too many. A drug addict stops using drugs. The only way a porn addict can escape sexual images in our culture would be to poke his or her eyes out! Instead, the definition of sobriety for sexual addicts is "no sexual act outside of a marriage relationship." You can see things... you will see things, but the only release is in marriage. So it is better not to see. It only leads to frustration. Accountability to sobriety is a key to recovery. It is a hard path to walk alone.

Anyone who says they want to change but hasn't gotten rid of books, magazines, movies is still in denial. The first step to recovery is admitting that you are an addict. Often it takes hitting rock bottom before an addict will admit their sin and look for help. A spouse may have to show tough love to help their spouse. But they need to help their spouse find the right help and resources, and remember that we all are sinners in need of God's grace.

Addicts are great at hiding their tracks. But honestly, I welcome support and help and openness with my wife. I can tell her what are my triggers --when I am tempted, what things tempt me. I can tell her how I hide my tracks, what I do so no one will know, how to tell when I am slipping, though I think she can tell now. I love my wife. I don't want to bring this up with her on my own because it is so hard to convince her this is my problem, not a problem with her. I am just not strong enough to fight temptation without a disciplined life. Most days are fine, but then in a weak moment I fail. Her help is the best help, but there are times she doesn't realize how much a magazine cover or even a sales paper left out can cause me to slip.

I am hoping to find a safe accountability partner. I can't even imagine finding a safe accountability group. For now, my best accountability is first to God and second to my wife and third to my children. But more help would be a blessing.]]>
2009-07-04T13:24:21-05:00http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000057
<![CDATA[The story of Erin]]>http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000056
I am so sorry that you are dealing with this.

I have been scarred and completely depleted of emotion through this. It is hard to "press on", but I keep going back to that song:

"When the valley is deep
When the mountain is steep
When the body is weary
When we stumble and fall

When the choices are hard
When we're battered and scarred
When we've spent our resources
When we've given our all

Chorus:
In Jesus' name, we press on
In Jesus' name, we press on
Dear Lord, with the prize
Clear before our eyes
We find the strength to press on"

Just remember... God HATES divorce. He said so. And if He feels so strongly about this, then he MUST provide a way of escape!! I keep hoping and praying that He gives that escape from this sin soon!!]]>
2009-07-04T13:44:03-05:00http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000056
<![CDATA[The story of Sarah]]>http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000055
I do know that this addiction started at a young age due to his father leaving tapes in the vcr. We have two boys and he has repeated this same thing in our house, so I prayed against generational curses over our sons. At first it seemed it was just magazines and videos now he's cross the line as to having sexual conversations in emails to actually exchanging numbers with one female long distance. How do I handle this the Christian practical way?]]>
2009-07-04T13:17:37-05:00http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000055
<![CDATA[The story of Rick]]>http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000054
My struggle with porn began at an early age. I was about 11, and a friend led me to a historical find under a country bridge of a stack of Playboys in a box. That and some other abuse that occurred began a path of sexual sins that continued even through my marriage, subsequent divorce and remarriage.
Some of my abuse came from my mother. (I am not dishonoring her here, but speaking the truth in love. It is not my intention to bash her, she did the best she could with what she had). I was not given the nurture that I needed from her. I perceived that she didn't love me. She would rage at me for the smallest things. This coupled with the fact that dad was distant and emotionally unavailable, caused a hole in the middle of my soul that I tried to fill with sexually acting out. I tried to connect with women in order to self heal the wounds, but found the relief to be only temporary, sometimes extremely temporary.
A woman's breasts signify nurture, so I am very attracted to breasts. Her bottom signifies acceptance. If we were lacking in these needs in childhood, adolescence and puberty, we will try to fulfill them as an adult in unhealthy ways.

At 12, I started masturbating, and at 16 I had my first relationship. I sought out "needy" women due to the co-dependent way that I tried to fix them, to help them. I tried to find someone as messed up as me so that I would feel comfortable. Due to my abuse, I retreated within myself and lived in a world of fantasy, and self medication. (Masturbation is a form of self medication because of the chemical response it stimulates in the brain). I turned to drugs and alcohol to numb the pain. I was a lonely man, even in a crowded room, because I had built up walls of protection in order to keep people out. I couldn't and wouldnít trust anyone, not even God.

He is healing me, and even though I still struggle, He is always there to help when I ask. It has been a raging battle to stop patterns of masturbation and lust, but we can change the way we respond to women and our own "needs". Now, when I see a beautiful woman, or "my type" of woman, (I think it is key to understand what our type is) I am able to say to the Lord, "you made her really nice, but what I really need right now is you" It is important to be able to say to Him that we are hungry, that we are desperate for Him. I found that for me the key to replacing masturbation was to get deeper and deeper in relationship with God, our daddy (I mean no disrespect). The more intimately we know Him, the more of our needs He can supply. We need to marry Him. He is coming back for His bride. This is such a secretive subject, after all we should confess our sins to each other if we seek to be healed. But the art of finding safe people in our lives is something we may not take the time to practice. I am thankful to say that as of yet I have not found any Christians in my life to be unsafe. But I do know they are out there.

I have learned that my love language is physical and that alone is a dangerous thing for a Christian man in a fallen world, my self destructive nature has used lust more than once to hurt me and those around me; wandering eyes, fantasies, masturbation. I didn't really know how much a wandering eye could hurt the person that loves you. As a man it's difficult to understand women on more than one level. Being single minded hasn't helped my ability to connect on an intimate level. I pray that God gives us all the ability to cherish and honor the loved ones in our lives as He cherishes and loves us.

I have learned that the flesh is up against the Spirit and vice versa. Grace is not just the forgiveness of sin but it is, in fact, God's ability. I have learned to go with the flow but don't let the flow take you. I learned that the flesh and the devil try to forge us into to something opposite of God's plans. I have found that, above all, if you ever hope to overcome any sin you most read the Word of God. Plain and simple! If America had gone to Iraq with no M-16's, no tanks, no fighter or bomber jets, this is proportionate to living life without reading the word of God. After going through the trials I have been facing I have come to two conclusions, as I said before, read the Bible and it will guide you, also don't ever give up. I read somewhere once before, "You only fail when you give up." God bless you as you journey through life. There are so many pitfalls that the enemy has put before us. Beware of his devices and lean on the Lord and your fellow believers. Please if you read this brother pray for me.]]>
http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000054
<![CDATA[The story of Lovesick]]>http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000053
God is good and wants to see the entire woe freed from this mess, and so do I. And I'm here to say that's it's possible, so don't give up hope.]]>
2009-07-04T13:22:07-05:00http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000053
<![CDATA[The story of Charles]]>http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000052
Thanks,
Pastor Charles

P.S. I have been led to preach against this to my congregation...but how can I.....? I would be a hypocritte! ]]>
2009-07-04T13:16:07-05:00http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000052
<![CDATA[The story of Thomas]]>http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=0000000512009-07-04T13:15:29-05:00http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000051<![CDATA[The story of Wendy]]>http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000050 I loved my husband, was devoted to our marriage and patiently waited for him to pay attention to our marriage. This was not the case.

One day, about 10 years into our marriage I had an epiphany. See, I had been praying and fasting (for years) asking God to get my husband's attention, with no answer. So this epiphany was the first thing I had "heard" in a long silent struggle. I asked my husband, out of the blue one day, if he was still engaging in what he said was a past college struggle (his dependence upon pornography and self satisfaction). He looked at me and said "yes." I was undone! I cried all day. I felt as if he had been "cheating on me."

During the 4 years we dated prior to marriage he told me of his battles with that. But he had told me it was a part of his past. As the intimacy in our marriage dissolved and all but disappeared... finally this "epiphany" made it clear to me "why?".

I did not talk to anyone about this because of all the shame inherent in such issues. And because often women would be told in response "well if you would just be a little more sexy for him..." But we all know that is not the root problem, and not a solution (many wives, including myself, were doing all they could to be a "sexy"... but in the face of sexual addiction, it is not enough).
We ended up getting about 15 minutes of counseling from a Christian speaker who told my husband he needed to get a handle on this issue. This didn't happen. And within 2 years and a lot of painful bumpy roads, our marriage ended in divorce.

The crazy thing is, I used to be the one who believed my husband was one of the few men in the church not engaging in these sexually destructive patters! I used to quietly sound the alarm at church that this issue was an epidemic rampant throughout the church (this was more than a decade ago)... but no one was receptive (even after a main deacon stepped down after confessing his addiction to pornography and lusting after many women in that church).
So, I guess the only "silver lining" could be out of all this pain is that the "crash and burn" of our 15 years together finally led my former husband (per his confession to me) to cease these compulsive and destructive patterns... just in time for his new wife. Well, at least one woman will have the husband I was supposed to have.

I cannot tell you how grateful I am to see that you are carrying out this ministry. Someone had to finally break the silence about this rampant epidemic in churches and Christian marriages! That voice was not mine, the marriage saved was not mine. But just maybe... others won't have to go through what I have been through.]]>
2009-07-04T13:20:46-05:00http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000050
<![CDATA[The story of Adrienne]]>http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000049
As I got into high school, my friends all had boyfriends. I, of course, was the only one who did not. That fueled my additcion. I would hear stories about all of my friends talking about thier sexual experiences and I thought I was such "a good Christian girl" because I was not giving in to the temptation to do things with guys. I look back now and realize that God was greatly protecting me from a real relationship, because I may have ended up sleeping with someone (as much as I would like to think I wouldn't have). I thought that I was being pure and that viewing pornography was not nearly as sinful as actually having sex. I also realize now that I truly did not have a relationship with the Lord as I thought I did. He was not nearly as important to me at that time as I made Him seem.

About 4 years ago, I stopped watching pornography all together. Not too long after, I met an amazing Christian man. At first I tried to keep my past to myself, but guilt consumed me and I told him about it. He was extremely understanding. However, even though I was no longer watching pornography, the effects stayed with me. I started suffering from compulsive thoughts in my head where I saw everyone as a sexual being instead of who they really were. I enrolled in Christian counseling and found out that this is not uncommon. Because I was not indulging in watching pornography, my mind was satisfying itself. It was the hardest thing I have ever had to deal with in my life. While my boyfriend remained extremely supportive for years and helped me in every way imaginable, our relationship did not work and we eventually broke up. I know that dealing with the effects of my addiction was a main cause, among other things. I am so thankful that God allowed him into my life. God really used him to straighten me out, and to enter into a close relationship with Him. To be honest, I don't think that anyone deserves to have to deal with the type of issues he had to endure from me because of this. My ex most certainly did not. However, God is good, and I have faith that despite all of this I will someday get married.
I am now in my almost mid-twenties and have not viewed, or truly had the desire to view, pornography in almost 4 years. I also do not deal with the compulsive thoughts anymore thanks to a great Christian counselor and God. I know the deep destruction that it has caused in not only my life, but the lives of others. It ruined a relationship with a man that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. It has caused me to be extremely careful about what I allow myself to read and watch (some people dont' understand why I won't watch almost every rated R movie or read popular magazines). I have to very much guard my heart and mind. However, God uses everything for His glory. I also think that because of this, I can help others and hopefully prevent my furture children from dealing with the same addiction.

God protected me so much. I am still a virgin, which I am extremely proud of. And I will not date a man who does not agree with my morals. He continues to pour His grace over me, and has opened the door to lead a life where I don't have to look back at who I once was (although sometimes I make the choice to. When that happens He picks me back up and we continue walking). I still have much guilt and shame, but I am learning day by day that all fall short of the glory of God, and I am blessed to be out of that pit. I am terrified of the day when I find another great man who I have to admit my sin to, and risk him walking away. But God controls everything, and He will do what is necessary so that His will in my life be done. I know that He has great plans in store for me, as well as anyone dealing with this type of addiction. It is never too late to stop. God provides for every need! Anyone can be set free from this.]]>
2009-07-04T13:24:55-05:00http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000049
<![CDATA[The story of Christopher]]>http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000048
Although I do not consider myself 'deeply addicted' I used pornography to seek satisfaction in my weakness and naivety instead of holding to my identity and the promises of Christ. It has damaged me and I am forced to contend with it daily through the reknewing of my mind and the guarding of my heart through the strength and power of my Christ Jesus. Further more - I confessed to my girl (the most Godly, Prescious and Beautiful of women) the fact of my past aquaintance with pornography and it has contributed significantly to our separation... and I know that when I do find the woman who will be my wife - that she and I together will have to endure the same searching and scrutinization and healing that my ex and I have had to attempt and endure. I realised this in the back of my head at the time of my transgressions - but never appreciated that it could be this painful and difficult to have to share it with another.

She cannot feel that she can again trust any affection, any promise and any motivation for a future relationship. Nothing feels more painful than having the passionate, pure and powerful cry of your heart to love another - considered to be untrustworthy and irreconcilable.

Biggest Props and respect to those that are struggling with their addictions and temptations after so long of covering it up. I cannot fathom the intensity of the pain and the scrutiny which your heart and soul must go under.

Some verses that have helped me are:

Admonition From Ephesans 4:14
"That we from now on be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;"

Encouragement from Romans 12:2
"And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect."

I will stay strong in this struggle and I will endure. Lord help me. ]]>
http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000048
<![CDATA[The story of Steve]]>http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000047
In my search, God began to ask me if I really loved Him. And, like Peter, I emphatically answered, "YES, LORD, I DO!" And, again like Peter, He didn't just ask me once. He asked me several times. I found myself getting frustrated with this nagging question, "Do you really love me?" I really didn't see what was coming next when God simply proposed to me (and there was no way denying it): "If you love me, then what about thisÖ?" He took a flashlight and shined it on a dark part of my life that I felt I had kept secret from everyone, from Him, from my wife, and perhaps even unwittingly to myself. I was nailed. I cannot begin to say how immobilized it made me feel. How could I hide the secret anymore? There was a part of me, I guess, that was relieved I no longer had to live in the secret but at the same time, if I had to be honest, there was a part of me that really didnít want to give it up. What I was doing seemed pleasurable for the moment but in the end it was only temporary and ultimately it only brought about more emptiness and more isolation

So, out of nothing else but fear I guess, I took the next step. Because I had to! I joined a group of men who were total strangers to me - men who were struggling with and recovering from their own sexual addiction. Never in a million years would I have ever imagined being this honest and transparent with other men; seems like itís against our natureÖPerhaps freedom began there, but in the early days I didn't feel freedom at all. I felt nothing but shame, guilt and condemnation. It was even weeks before I could muster up the courage to tell my wife of what I had been doing. The hurt and pain and anger and sadness she felt was deep, all because of my ďsecret sin-lifeĒ. Whether itís an actual physical affair, an emotional one or a fantasy one that comes about as you fill your eyes and your mind with porn, itís still adulterous. My wife was able to share with me that was exactly how she felt.

For me, it hasn't happened overnight. I've learned that I can be forgiven of my sin but the consequences of the sin remain. I sometimes wish I could magically make these consequences go away but I cannot do this any more than I can make my addiction just go away. So I work recovery.

I continue to work at restoring my marriage but it's not been easy for me or for my wife. It grieves me that I have hurt her in this way. I have to remind myself that perhaps she may not ever understand my struggle but thatís ok. I just want her to understand how deeply I love her and that there are times when I marvel and I am perplexed at how fortunate a man I am to have her in my life. When Satan tries to tell me none of this will work out I try to remind myself that Godís desire is to redeem all of this. I am finding this redemption as I surrender to His will each day. My wife and I have settled the commitment issue in our marriage once and for all. We want our marriage to last. So we both work through this.

Above all else I am realizing that there is no way I'm going to make it on my own or by my own willpower. God knows where my own willpower got me to in the first place. When I acknowledge my willpower has failed, it turns me to God. At the end of myself, I find God and I have to trust that He will do for me what I could never do for myself. I have to have other men in my life that I can be completely truthful and completely transparent with, even at those times when I don't feel like it or want to.

And my freedom began thereÖ ]]>
2009-07-04T13:41:48-05:00http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000047
<![CDATA[The story of Greg]]>http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000046
As a boy I listened to the Dobson tapes on puberty, as he said "pooberty", and thought they listed temptations of masturbation/porn/adultery etc etc... Some of it means nothing to somebody who doesn't have a clue. It was like understanding having cancer when you were never sick a day in your life. I loved life as a kid, it was more untainted fun than I will ever have alive on this earth, but it ended. I ended up finding little bits of things I didn't understand, but it was exciting, and ADDICTING! At first finding slightly dirty things and not getting caught was the fun... Then I grew older and the looking became the addicting fun.... I didn't realize that I was weaving myself a trap that would put me six feet under. When I finally realized what I had gotten into, I had lost my parents trust twice, learned how to cover my tracks TOO WELL, and was caught up. I would walk around all day with happy thoughts of freedom that ended up in shameful nights staring at my ceiling after another couple hours of binging that seemed like five minutes. God was just about the only peace I found... I have heard many stats and that porn will ruin a marriage. I have been single all my life, though I am only in my twenties, and as painful as it can be, I want this addiction to be fought off before it can ruin the trust of my future wife, so I never have to see the heart wrenching look in another one's eyes when they find my hidden wants and needs on cyberspace.. It is a difficult world with the web, and even more difficult when you can go almost unscathed by your loved ones' eyes.

I will fight this battle for you all that read this as well as the honor and purity of the woman I hope to meet some day. God is my strength, now I just have to ask for it that split second before I dive in again.... Will I ever escape this fully? Who knows, but I will not let it define me!!!!!!!!!!

God Bless! ]]>
2009-07-04T13:25:04-05:00http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000046
<![CDATA[The story of Paul]]>http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000045
Over time I proceeded to find pornography everywhere. In my father's closet, at friend's homes, in books at the library, even in movie theaters (when I could sneak into an "M" movie). I vowed by the time I reached the 6th grade that I would be a Playboy photog as a career man.

Little did I understand the re-wiring I had gone through. Little did I know how intense the hunger and thirst for sexual stimulation would be. My Boy Scout leader captivated us with stories of his sexual exploits (he was lying). In high school, we began to experiment with marijuana, alcohol and pornography as a dangerous combination that quenched spiritual life, inhibitions, and common sense. I lost my virginity in the back seat of my parents Olds Cutlass. Most of my friends did, too.

I suffered from depression after acting out and tried to explain my moods as the creative angst of youth. Right. I hid my behavior well enough to not get caught. I figured this was just the way it was going to be.

With the advent of home video came the beginning of the end for me. I was already over stimulated by still images and personal sexual encounters. But video opened a completely different doorway for me... I began to lose myself for hours and days. I lived in a fraternity house where even worse behaviors ran rampant. Although I never stepped beyond the bounds of heterosexual behaviors, the fraternity brothers had many aberrations to share. I began to retreat into my personal sexual fantasies. I began to die.

During this time period, close friend shared his newfound relationship with Jesus Christ and encouraged me to read my Bible. I would read the Word, remember the early days of religious training, pray to Jesus, thank Him for dying on the Cross for me, all the while a stack of pornography lie under my bed. I was a double minded man, completely unstable in all my ways.

At the end of that school year I moved back home. I was no longer sexually active (aside from self gratification) and became more depressed, working three jobs and focusing on everything but the source of my pain. But during this time, I slowly began to move from darkness into light and committed my life to Jesus Christ in March of 1980.

I have struggled on and off with pornography over the subsequent years. The ease of availability on the Internet posed a particular problem for me. Anonymity and no cost made for a dangerous combination. I have had several key encounters with Christian leaders who lovingly and gracefully showed me a better way and have held me accountable for my time online. My wife has stood with me, has loved me despite past mistakes and willful wanderings.

Today I am a staunch advocate of accountability software and radical accountability to keep my life pure and to help others do the same. I am walking in freedom from the nagging itch to look, lust, and lose the battle of personal holiness. And I am engaging others to step into the higher calling of walking free from pornography and sexual sin. By God's grace, I am free!]]>
2009-07-04T13:28:04-05:00http://www.freedombeginshere.org/stories/?story=000000045