I think all of us work hard to create an image and be perceived in a certain way. When we mess up and make mistakes we do damage control to make sure as few people as possible know. In my own case I worked hard to keep my sinful inner life separate from the outer image that I presented to the world.
When God brought me through my pornography addiction I had 2 choices. To keep it to myself or to testify to the work God had done in my life and allow him to be glorified. Bringing my addiction into the light is not what I would have chosen but it is clearly the call God has placed on my life.
To move this ministry forward I had to start by telling close personal friends and family before I could make it public. James 5:16 says, “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.” Seems pretty straight forward but it was incredibly difficult to put into practice when it involved confessing to people like my husband, teenage daughters, parents, and my Bible Study Ladies.
My husband knew of my struggles and was supportive when I shared what I had experienced at the conference. He fully understood from the beginning what this would mean to our marriage and our family.
Telling our teenage daughters was one of the most difficult things I have ever done. I put it off as long as possible. I waited until I was forced by a printed brochure that included my workshop 50 Shades of White: Biblical Sexuality for Women. A brochure that my youngest daughter would be stuffing in a mailing the next day at a camp where she worked.
Our daughters were 15 & 17 at the time. Their response was more than I could have hoped for and certainly more than I could have imagined. One said it was good to know I wasn’t perfect and that she would be praying. The other said she was so sorry that I had gone through that and that she too would be praying.
At every turn I have received nothing but support and encouragement from the ones who know and love me best. But somehow it does not get any easier to be this transparent to people I know and with those I do not know.
Prior to my website and facebook I was able to control and segment who knew what about my ministry and my pornography addiction. The day I launched my website I was so nervous I thought I was going to throw up. It was now public domain and available to anyone who cared to look. Hitting “publish” meant there was no going back.
The second entry that I posted on Facebook grabbed the first few lines of my blog in the feed and clearly stated that God had broken me free my porn addiction. Again, a moment of total panic realizing it was out there for everyone to see. When I boiled these reactions down I realized they came from caring more about what people thought than about the importance of obeying God and testifying to his work in my life.
In Mark 5:19 Jesus says, “. . . Go home to your own people and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.” My prayer for you (and for me) today is that we will care less about what other people think and more about being transparent as we testify to the work God has done in our lives.