I remember a time when I collected porn stars like baseball cards. My friends and I would sit and compare who was the hottest by name, who had the best “game’ and who our favorites were. I also remember a time when I started hating this.

It was an epiphany of sorts. I had always wanted to be a father. A daddy! Even as a young man, I remember telling my closest friends that I would be the greatest father this world has seen. I would in my mind imagine the day when my little ones would run into my arms, trust me, look up to me, and feel safe. I also remember saying I didn’t want a son first, I wanted a daughter. See there’s something beautiful about a little girl who could melt the strongest of strong me. When you see a hard tough guy become butter in the presence of a little girl, nothing is more beautiful.

This is where reality hit. These young ladies who I had been “collecting” in my mind were somebody’s little girls. At one point in their lives, they were running into somebody’s arms, trusting somebody, looking up to somebody, and wanting to feel safe in somebody’s arms. The tremendous guilt was overwhelming that I was watching somebody’s daughter being completely de-valued. I wanted out, badly! But the visuals. The constant thoughts were there. How do you erase years of visuals, collections of thoughts that have so engraved themselves in your thought process?

I realized I needed a plan. So firstly I keep this thought in the forefront of my mind. I kept telling myself “This is someone’s daughter”. I kept myself uncomfortable saying things like “At some point these girls were playing princess, coloring with chalk, running into someone’s arms, and giggling”. I reminded myself that “somewhere, someone may be broken-hearted over their little girl”.

Now, I had to fade out these memories. I reminded myself of Gods character. In Jeremiah 33, God is speaking to the prophet Jeremiah and he says to Judah and Israel “I will cleanse them from all the sin they have committed against me and will forgive all their sins of rebellion against me”. This gave me hope of knowing God would cleanse me. I had to cleanse my mind. I would pray Psalm 51:2 where David writes ‘Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin”.  Now it wasn’t instantaneously perfect. I slipped, I fell. But what began happening is every time I fell. I got back up. I cleansed myself again, and again and again and again. Eventually what began happening was the thoughts that I collected began to become difficult to remember. It took actual effort to remember these scenes that before, would recollect in my mind so easily.

Remember, the thoughts will fade. If you fall 10 times get back up 11. Cleanse yourself in prayer. Get mentor ship and accountability, and soon enough the thoughts and images will fade away.