James 5:16, “Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed…”
I recently did the most scary and nerve wracking thing in my life: I shared my addiction/story in front of over 400 women at my church. Sure it is easy to talk about it here where I am not face to face with you but confessing my deepest, darkest secret to someone, let alone 400 people, is a bit different. I didn’t know what to expect but I wasn’t too worried as my church is filled with gracious people.
As I got up there to speak, God gave me the confidence I needed to get through my story. As I finished, the whole audience gave me a standing ovation. I was shocked, elated, free and felt so loved in that moment. In that moment, I experienced God’s grace through other people. Why would anyone cheer me on for sharing this ugliness? This only can be explained with God right at the center of it.
I began thinking about why it took me so long to share my addiction with anyone. It was because I believed that I was the only woman out there that struggled with this and that I would be judged. When I shared my story a few nights ago, both of those fears were disproved. I received love, acceptance, respect and admiration and also heard from a handful of women that struggle with pornography. I can definitely say that I experienced some significant healing when I confessed my sin and brokenness in front of these women. I was humbled by their response and my shame level became significantly lower.
I think Satan’s biggest tactic is to keep us in the dark so that we do feel alone and ashamed. We need to fight this and be completely honest with at least one person we trust in our life. That was the hardest step for me in my journey toward freedom but it was also the most rewarding time for me. There are people out there that won’t know what to say or how to help so I urge you to pray about who you could confess to. God has someone in mind for you. Of course I am not saying that you need to share this with 400 other women or even two women. I think the first step is just find one.
The hardest part for me when I confessed this for the first time was not knowing how to approach it and what exactly to say. I recommend saying something as simple as, ‘I need to talk to you about something I struggle with. This is going to be hard for me, so bear with me…’. Your openness and honesty will be well received. Let me tell you from experience that once this secret is out, you will feel free and ready to take on the journey toward healing. This journey will require people to surround you with prayer, love and accountability. If it is just the one person you confessed to, that is okay. Just know that you cannot do this alone. We are called to be in community and share life with those around us. I think you would be surprised to learn that whoever you confess your problem to has their own brokenness. We cannot allow ourselves to compare our sins and/or brokenness. Porn addiction isn’t any different or dirtier than the next sin.
My prayer for you is that God would surround you with His love and grace and that He would show you who you are to confess to. Know that He is right there by your side every step of the way.