My Confession: Looking For Help

Hello, everyone. My name is Josh, and this is my confession. Its rather long-winded, so please bear with me.

I was first exposed to sexual matters at the age of five, through one of the most despicable behaviors imaginable: a grown man somehow convinced me to perform oral sex on him in the shower. To this day, I don’t remember a face, but my suspicions have involved a few members of my family. They’ve denied it, so I don’t know who or what to believe.

I was raised in a very religious home, by people who called themselves “Christians” but acted more like legalists. They knew tons about God’s law but rarely mentioned His love or grace. My childhood was very isolated; with the exception of church and school, I never got out much. My elders would send me outside, but often I’d simply go around to the back porch, and sit by myself until evening. The few “friends” I did have were more like acquaintances, since I had real trouble with empathy and understood things non-literally.

I first discovered masturbation around the age of eleven and used it primarily as a sleep aid. For some reason, my previous abuse remained dormant in my mind until I was older, so back then it didn’t bother me much. However, that all changed once puberty hit. By the age of fourteen, I was “admiring” the models in the lingerie sections of department-store ads; by sixteen, I was staying up late to watch erotic movies on late-night cable. The latter mainly started as research, because even the word “sex” was never spoken of in my home. I didn’t even know the proper names for my anatomy, so understanding teenage slang was out of the question. All I knew was that something very fascinating was being kept from me…so I dove in, never expecting disaster.

Sometime in my mid-teens, my mother caught me masturbating; I don’t recall her words, but the general idea was that such things were shameful, especially for those who wish to honor God. I tried to stop for a short time, but the feelings kept coming back, and I didn’t know what else to do. I saw my first issue of Playboy at age nineteen, and quickly became fixated on it. Like most addictions, it soon spiraled out of control; I’d feel such highs, followed by extreme lows that often made me wish I were dead. I felt like a traitor, to God, myself, and my family.

At age twenty, I wound up at a homeless shelter following an argument with Mom. The experience only lasted five weeks, but it felt a lot longer. While there, I met a woman named Michelle, four years my senior. We quickly became friends, and I soon feel in love with her. Looking back, I realize one reason was that unlike my legalistic family, she was very open about discussing sensitive topics. Sometimes she’d laugh at my questions about sex, which would make me cry from embarrassment…but she still answered them anyway. My heart had become so cold by then, filled with self-condemnation and a thirst for vengeance. Being around Michelle made me feel like I wasn’t a monster. To make a very long story as short as possible, she became my first sexual partner, and to this day (15 years later) has remained the only one. We broke up several times until she finally moved on with her life about ten years ago. The first time she left, I became so heartbroken I actually renounced God, which made me feel horrible…but I just wanted to be whole. Time after time, something would happen where she’d come back; I even moved out of state to be with her for six months in 2005.

What finally ended it for me, was my mother’s death from lung cancer this past March. By then, Michelle and I had been estranged for quite a while, but I felt honor-bound to keep her aware of Mom’s condition via Facebook. In the end, her response was simple: complete and total silence. I was angry at first; then my heart turned numb. I’d just lost the one woman who’d meant the absolute most to me, and the only other woman who ever came close was refusing to offer even a single word of comfort. Just writing about that makes me feel bitter, but I’m trying not to give Satan any leverage.

I’ve been free of porn for nine years now, and I’m very thankful to God for that…but trusting Him with my loneliness and my sex drive is a constant battle. I’m living with members of my Dad’s family now, and this part of my life has really been draining me dry. I first discovered Marriage Heat through a Google search, desperately trying to keep my mind on something even remotely God-honoring while remaining celibate. Often, I resist masturbation for days or even weeks, praying almost all day sometimes for Jesus to help me with the lust I feel. I once heard a minister on TBN refer to masturbation as coming from a spirit of homosexuality, which only stressed me out more and increased the condemnation I encounter. I thought if I kept my self-stimulation focused on married sex instead of anything else, it would be a lot easier…but instead, I often find myself envious of the folks who have posted here. I miss my Mom, and I miss Michelle…but most of all, I miss the days when belonging to Jesus seemed so much easier. I know God exists; he saved me from a suicide attempt in 2002, and has given me great people to comfort me about my Mom’s passing. There’s a part of me that truly loves Him, but there’s also tons of pain and anxiety, too. I’ve screamed in prayer many times, begging God for a wife so I don’t have to live like this anymore. I don’t want to destroy anyone else’s marriage; Michelle’s infidelity with me contributed to hers ending. I just feel so lonely, angry, betrayed, and trapped; please pray for me. Due to the nature of this site, I thought perhaps you guys were the only people who’d understand. Thanks.

4.50 avg. rating (88% score) - 8 votes
50 replies
  1. Harper Shelby Thornton says:

    Fist off, I'm very sorry for what has been going on. I find "masturbation as coming from a spirit of homosexuality" ridiculous, because most do it while thinking of the OPPOSITE sex. Also, I don't think lust means what many think it means. Lust in the Bible is synonymous with coveting (Romans 7:7).

    Also, you have to LOOK for a spouse, you can't just sit around waiting for your life to happen, you have to go and do it, go to a church, a Christian function or something like that.

    I'm so sorry for the loss of your mother, it must've been tough. God bless you and I hope you find the woman of your dreams.

  2. Eva says:

    Josh, thanks for opening up. We are so glad you are here.

    I think what I want to tell you most is that you are a beloved child of God. And He created your sexuality and He thinks it is lovely and very good. I have no doubt that your mom and your church had every intention of doing right by you when it came to matters of sexuality. They weren't trying to hurt you by teaching you it was disgusting and wrong. They were trying to help you. But like so many of us, they were inheritors of a tradition and a mindset they couldn't escape, they were likely dealing with their own sexual baggage from those who went before them as well.

    But listen to me. God is bigger than the box your church put him in. He is big enough to love you no matter what your past is. He is big enough to love you no matter what your sexual cravings are. He is big enough to love you no matter how lonely you are and no matter how needy you feel. His love is big enough to contain all of you and to hold you and your desperation in the palm of his hand. His love is not something you have to earn or strive for. It is in fact, the only concrete "given" or absolute thing in life.

    And ironically, sometimes our churches, in the very effort of spreading that message of love, rip it out of our hands just as fast as they give it.

    But hear this. God loves you, just as you are. He loves your sexual energy. He loves that you masturbate. He loves your dream of someday finding someone to share your sexuality with. AND, he wants to heal you. He wants to heal you from the legalism of your upbringing, from your self-loathing, from the pain of your molestation, and from your fear of the future. He wants to take all that from you and heal you and make you whole again.

    He's in the business of healing. He's in the business of shining light in the darkness.

    I think from reading your story that you think that a relationship with a woman will solve your loneliness. And someday, I pray that you will have such a relationship, but I do not think that relationship could ever provide the healing you so desperately need. The relationship that will start to fix your pain is your relationship with yourself. You need to learn to love yourself, to forgive yourself, to see yourself as a fantastic and ingenious creation designed by God….penis, imagination, orgasms and all. God is not ashamed of you. So you don't have to be ashamed of you either.

    Your story rips my heart out. I wish I could take your pain away from you, but I cannot. Only God can do that. So I'm praying for you that you will be able to do the hard thing and turn over your pain to him and accept his unconditional love instead. Give him your pain, and give him your outcomes too if you can. In other words, give him your concerns about your future. Just sit and rest in the knowledge that you are divinely loved and cosmically cherished. He can give you peace and your healing will begin.

  3. TPC says:

    First off I'm sorry for your suffering. You have had to endure some tough things. May the Lord's compassion, love, joy and peace be with you.

    Second, I recommend contacting Focus on the Family. They can provide some initial counseling and then help you find a good counselor in your area. I recommend counseling not because I think you need to be fixed but because I think it would be helpful to have a coach be there to help you as you work through a lot of the hurt.

    Lastly, I would encourage you to visit lots of churches while praying that the Lord would help you find the right home.


    • Moviefan2k4 says:

      Thanks for the recommendation, but I don't trust Focus on the Family now that James Dobson's separated from them. I used to see a Christian counselor, a few years ago…but she retired when her husband passed away.

  4. PassionateForChrist says:

    Dearest Josh,

    Thank you for entrusting your heart and opening up about history with us! I do wanna send abundant amounts of love your way and wish I could just give you a big hearty hug. You are an amazing young man! Through all those stages of your life, the hardships you've encountered, the hurts you've endured, the mistakes you've had to deal with and all those things that are so hard to understand in the walks of our lives… through it all, you persevered, you fought through it, you didn't let it stop you from hoping, from reaching out and from getting back up. Though these painful experiences brought you to some dark places, you kept getting back up. They couldn't keep you down because God is on your side through it all. You are truly a remarkable young man! You are so strong. You may not always feel like it but, believe me, you really are a beautifully strong, lovely young man.

    I do agree with what Eva has shared and I wanna share just some thoughts with you. I am sorry about the hurt your heart suffered from the wall of silence Michelle send your way. Nothing hurts me personally more than when someone I believed in, trusted in and loved leaves me hanging in the air, not responding anymore, not showing any sign of care or empathy or whatever was there before… Walls of silence crush my heart, which is why I am personally committed to always respond to whoever reaches out to me because I don't want people to be hurt emotionally through such communicational neglect. I've been in the place where in my moments of need I've reached out to one or the other person that I entrusted my heart with and thought I could count on and this person encountered my need with utter, painful silence when what I hoped for was a few kind words and some guidance and love. I want to encourage you, Josh, to not let bitterness have any place in you about this or any other self-destructive feeling… I know such things hurt but rest assured that if a person leaves you than that person is not God's best for you… Their leaving hasn't anything to do with your worth and value or anything… You are God's beloved. You are invaluable. You are unique. You have been fearfully and wonderfully made by God, lovingly designed in all your parts and depth and most intricate places by the hands of God, who knows everything about you and loves you deeply, passionately, unconditionally, from everlasting to everlasting. He not only loves you through the highs and the lows but He walks with you through it all. He covers you. He shields you. He strengthens you. He comforts you. He lifts you. He is constantly at work within you. He never ever leaves your side. And even right now, He is already at work to make you whole, to redeem the years to you, to give you beauty for ashes, joy for mourning, double for your former trouble in Jesus' Name. Be encouraged to let go of the ashes so that you can fully take hold of the beauty that He prepares for you and will give you.

    I have been blessed to be on my own personal journey of restoration with God in the area of (sexual) intimacy – I am single, have never been in a romantic relationship thus far, and have just begun about half a year ago to take steps to look for a man of godly heart and character that will hopefully be my future husband. I can fully relate to your yearning of just wanting God to finally bless you with the one for you, so you can leave all the hurt behind and start into this dream, this new personal beginning that your heart knows you were made for. I too feel such a yearning. But Eva is right in what she shared… Your relationship with yourself is the first to be made whole, and God is helping you every step of the way, every moment. When God began to deal with me about my inner brokenness, when He began His restoration work on me, He first began to mend my relationship with myself. We worked on debunking the wrong thought patterns I had internalized about sex and sexuality, so He could renew my mind with the wholesome truth of His Word and His love; we worked on building and finding my confidence and security in God, so that I would be unshakable in Him and courageous to follow where He would lead me; we worked on breaking the self-destructive behavioral patterns by immersing myself and focusing on who God is and His love and His righteousness and who I am in Him through Christ and His sacrifice… we worked on a lot and continue to work on building this strong, healthy, unshakable, fruitful inner life within me… like for example, rejection is something I'm still a bit struggling with, but I've gotten already way better when it happens at coping with it as God would want me to than I used to… 5 years ago, I've had a friendship that meant the world to me break up out of the blue into this wall of silence situation and it crushed me over and over because I tried with all I could do to fix it but it wasn't meat to be – It took me a few years to get over it, to be really able to let it completely go. Just recently, I've been reaching out to a pastor, whom I've put my trust in and believed in and whom I loved in Christ, because I had a question about some issue I've encountered about my communication with men (in my quest to find my love)… I've had it happen to me so often that I am investing myself in a conversation but the other person isn't really, although they signal interest… and I just can't make sense of it because, to me, if I'm really interested in someone, I will find the time to communicate with them, I will invest of myself into the relationship (be it a friendship, romantic relationship or acquaintance)… I asked this pastor, who is a man, because I wished to know if it was a man thing or if it was my fault… I asked him because I could observe the same thing happening in my communications with him (I'd ask him a question and he wouldn't respond… again this wall of silence that I can't stand)… I didn't expect that he would really give me advice on my romantic relationship issue but I at least hoped that he would say something about why he himself didn't respond to when I'd reach out to him… because I practically begged him for help, he answered but only with a short, courteous message, saying that he is not the right one to coach me about my romantic relationship issues, recommending me that I should seek a godly woman for that. I used to be able to talk with his wife, who is a most lovely soul, about such things but I couldn't reach her anymore, unless through him… so his answer did not help at all. I was flabbergasted at the lack of compassion in his dealing with me… It was a crush, but this time, by the gracious work of God and His mighty mercy, I was able to overcome it in a few days. These are the moments in which I see His work on me and I am so grateful to see progress – I am so far from perfect, but I am His, and as long as I have breath He gets to work on me and mend me and help me make it better and make me whole and strong, so I will get to be all He's created me to be for Him.

    Dear Josh, Mrs. Harper is right about that we need to take steps to be found by someone, we need to look for our love and not just wait for it to happen, but I wish to add something from my experiences with taking first steps… I have lived in pretty much isolation for the past decade… I have no personal social life. I have never gone out, never went to parties. I have not met up with friends while having been in school or thereafter. I was (and am) home, and my entertainment was (and is) the TV and the computer, which frankly I didn't mind. I had no trouble being in good relationship with almost everybody, as God graced me to be empathetic and be a person that lives out of the heart, so though I was there for everyone, I didn't really let anyone close. After school, I cut off all contact to those I've known from before because everyone went their way and the influences weren't in accord with what I stood for. It caused me more distress to stay in touch on social media with them than it did good… I cherish authenticity and genuineness, and I knew that the main reason why they wanted to keep in touch on Facebook was to just keep looking at the status and all, and I don't like to be loved out of duty, I want to be loved in truth and depth, genuinely, so I chose to cut off my past and move forward. Better to be lonely for a while than to be in wrong relationships or under wrong influences. When my MH friends suggested to me that I need to take steps to be found by my love, it took a big step of faith for me to muster up the courage to do it. But I encouraged myself in that God didn't bring me thus far to leave me here in the middle, and I took the step with Him and chose, in my case, to give online matchmaking a try. Why am I sharing all of this with you? Because I want you to be strong in who you are first. When you step out, there may come some rejection… you will step out in hope and faith and you will open up your heart and soul, and not everyone will be receptive… I just want to encourage you to be bold anyway and not let those, who fail to see your beauty and inner treasure, stop you… Keep your hopes up and your faith in God ablaze and give Him all of your needs, for He cares for you and He will provide. Remember that He's got you securely in His loving embrace. Don't let your joy be taken away by other people or trials and tribulations. Guard your heart and guard your joy, it fuels you forward and refreshes you along the way. Whatever happens, be your beautiful, amazing self. Be you – your authentic, imperfect self – you are a work in progress, in God's care. I love the lyrics of Matt Redman's song "It Is Well With My Soul", where he said: "Our scars are a sign of Grace in our lives, and, Father, how You brought us through! When deep were the wounds and dark was the night, the promise of Your Love You proved." If someone doesn't accept you, it's their loss. Know that you are worth the best and God will give you the best, so even though it's hard at times, know that His best is so worth waiting for. Be your best and lean on Him – stay open for God's loving touch to change you, to heal you, to move you. Trust in God that He can and will make the rest of your life the best of your life. God is faithful. His light will not just shine within you in great ways and give you life more and more abundantly, but it will also shine powerfully through you, as you partner with God in this amazing journey you have with Him. Hold on to Jesus. Hang on to His Name. There is power and authority in His Name. You are someone truly special. You've got this! God bless you!! Much love to you, Josh.

    • PassionateForChrist says:

      There's something more I wanna add here… Just because someone is a minister or is on TBN doesn't mean that all that they claim is really the truth. That man's claim that masturbation comes from a spirit of homosexuality is not only ridiculous, as Mrs. Harper rightfully stated, it is also unbiblical. Nowhere in the Bible is there a reference that links up masturbation and homosexuality. We are not to add to nor subtract from the Word of God. Whereas homosexuality is clearly stated as sin by God, the Word doesn't mention masturbation itself explicitly. And this is not because God forgot about it. The Bible has a lot to say about everything that concerns us and our lives and how to live them in accord with His Word and heart. We've had many good discussions and posts on here about masturbation and there are also good, Christian articles and books out there that will help you build a good foundation of understanding God's gift of sexuality in healthy ways. Please know that condemnation isn't from God. Conviction is from God. And these 2 are worlds apart. Condemnation tears one down, it weighs us down with loads so heavy that we are crushed into confusion, anxiety, self-destruction. The Enemy is the one who condemns us – he is the accuser, he constantly tries to deceive us, he is the voice that will always whisper in your ear how you have not measured up, how you have failed, how you are not this or not that, how you have given into temptation and so on and so forth… This is the Enemy trying to break you apart – apart within yourself and apart from God. But you don't have to buy into his lies. And you surely don't have to have a big fight with the devil. All you have to do is run to God, believe beyond what you feel, beyond what you see that God is good all the time and that He loves you, that God will fight your battles for you, as you praise Him, as you give Him the sacrifice of a thankful heart, the heart that dares to love in a world so harsh and dark at times… All you have to do is stand on the Truth of God's Word, stand on what God says about you, stand on what Jesus did… His righteousness we have been given, which is why God encourages us to ALWAYS come boldly to the Throne of Grace… That means we are encouraged to come to God especially in our weakness, when we feel so unworthy, when we've messed up, when we've sinned, and run to Him for help, and receive His mercy and His Grace and open ourselves up to Him, so He can change us where we need to change and so He can fight our battles for us and make the wrongs right that we had to endure… We do not come in ourselves to His Throne of Grace, we come in Jesus' Name, wrapped in the Blood Christ shed for us, the precious Blood that cleansed us on the Cross, the Blood that made a way for us, the Blood that settled the outcome of the battle with the devil and guarantees us the victory, the triumph over every evil scheme of the Enemy – not because of who we are but because of who we are in Christ, because of what Christ did. I am so deeply grateful that God chose us to be in Christ before we could ever choose Him. What a blessing and privilege that we get to be in Christ in this very life. God does not condemn us… Christ is here to save us and make us vessels of His. If we fail, if we sin, God will convict us of our wrongdoing because He loves us, because He wants to save us from harm. But please know that God's conviction is a force that will uplift you (He will not crush you) – like, for example, when God convicts you, you will be able to sense within you that you've done something wrong… it is many times a subtle inner nudging… that's the Holy Spirit in you wanting to bring you to repentance by encouraging you to run to God, right in this moment in which you become aware of your wrongdoing… you are a good person, you have a good heart so you will feel bad about your wrongdoing, but you need to be bold and run to God in this moment, knowing that He is merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love… God is gentle and full of loving kindness, just as Jesus has shown, He wants nothing more than to help you and His arm are always open for you… As you go to God in prayer and pour your heart out to Him, telling Him just honestly all that is on your heart, confessing your wrongdoing and asking Him for His help and Grace and Mercy, then be ready on account of the Word, in Jesus' Name, to receive right then and there His forgiveness… you may not feel any different right away but God promised that He would forgive us and remember our wrongdoing no more when we come to Him with a repentant heart, with the earnest desire to let Him change us and make us and mold us, and He will help and work with us… You can count on what God promised. Receive His forgiveness and give thanks to Him. Let Him make you and mold you in His love. He is faithful to His Word.

      What I am most grateful for is that God is especially concerned about and focused on our hearts, on our inner life… That's why He is far less concerned about whether our performance is always perfect and far more concerned about whether our hearts are in a right state, turned towards Him, sensitive to what God's heart is beating for. The Pharisees had the perfect outside performance – they knew the Scriptures, they observed everything there was to observe – but their hearts were rotten, their motives were wrong, their inner life was totally astray from God. That's why Jesus had the harshest words for them, whereas He has shown mercy and compassion and has given second chances to all the other sinners. I am so grateful that God looks on the heart and helps us all along this life to get better, to make better decisions, to choose better thoughts, to become more and more like Him… He changes us from the inside out. And all we basically need to do is be bold to let Him do it, to give ourselves over to Him and keep seeking Him. It's a lifelong journey.

      Dear Josh, if you don't know where to start with all this confusion in your soul and this feeling trapped and angry and all, then let me encourage you to start with getting to know God, personally, really good for yourself. We cannot give what we do not have, which is why God will never expect of us to give what we do not have. You can see this principle all throughout the Bible… God first loved us, so we could love Him and so we could know what true love is… God first showed us mercy and forgiveness, while we were in no condition or position to be forgiven, so we can then give mercy and forgive… Jesus said that we ought to love others as we love ourselves, so, in order for us to be able to love other people well, we first need to love ourselves well (not in a selfish way but in a balanced, healthy way, as God loves us). God is love. So, the starting point for us all, is to discover God for us personally, in depth and in truth – His character, His heart through His Word. The more we get a personal understanding and revelation about God's great, unfailing love, God's justice, God's amazing Grace and Mercy, about every beautiful facet of Him, the more we will be able to live out of this love that He so freely, graciously lavishes upon us through Christ. We receive His love for us and are enabled to love ourselves, through our shortcomings, imperfections, temporary moments of foolishness, through our ups and downs… and because we can know this love of His, we will not be against ourselves, because He definitely is not against us. He is our lifter, our healer, our redeemer, our way-maker, our Good Shepherd, our God, our Savior, our Friend and our Father.

      Dear Josh, begin with discovering afresh and anew this boundless, deep, genuine, mighty love of God. Ask God to help you to let the anger stuck within your soul go. Ask Him to help you face what causes this anger to linger and ask Him to help you solve it for yourself within yourself… Let Him help you get free of this anger. God is your vindicator for any wrong that was done to you. You can trust Him that He will take care of it. You don't have to harbor bitterness and anger within you and by this allow what had damaged moments of your past life to poison the rest of your life. Anger is ultimately hurting you to no end. And you don't need anyone else's approval or cooperation to solve it. Other people may never change but you can grow out of the place you find yourself in, you are bold and strong from within and you can get free with God in every area that you feel stuck in right now. Take it one step at a time. Keep your heart soft and filled with life and right. Find the sweet little blessings that God has for you in everyday… it may be a kind word from somebody or an unexpected sweet blessings… there is always something that makes us smile within when we look for God in the simple things. This will boost your joy and help you to keep your zeal. Take every step with God, and know that we are always here for you too when you need some encouragement, advice or just a place to be able to speak your heart. God bless you!

  5. PassionateForChrist says:

    The young adults worship team at my beloved church home has recently written a beautiful worship song, called "To Live In The Wonderful", from which I wanna share the lyrics here… They are a great declaration of faith for us to hold onto at all times. We've sung it in church today and dear Josh was on my heart… so here it goes, if y'all don't mind… May it be an encouragement to us all:

    "Through the fire, through the rain, through every trial, Your love will never fade. Lord, You are true, faithful still, oh, even when I'm feeling overwhelmed. 'Cause there is hope beyond the things I see. Even in the dirt, I know I must believe.

    Give me faith to see the incredible, to live in the wonderful, to wait on the miracle! Give me strength to reach for the furthest star, to lift every broken heart, to love from these mended scars!

    Through the flame, through the flood, through everything, I'm covered by Your love. Lord, You are here, and I'm amazed. My hopes and fears are met by endless Grace. 'Cause there is peace that only You can bring. Even in my mess You hold the victory.

    Give me faith to see the incredible, to live in the wonderful, to wait on the miracle! Give me strength to reach for the furthest star, to lift every broken heart, to love from these mended scars!

    We're gonna see ALL the walls come down! We're gonna see the lost in us be found and believe for every prayer's answer! We're gonna see Heaven here on Earth! We're gonna see life rising from the dirt and believe there's power in Your Name!

    Give me faith to see the incredible, to live in the wonderful, to wait on the miracle! Give me strength to reach for the furthest star, to lift every broken heart, to love from these mended scars!"

  6. Moviefan2k4 says:

    Thanks to all of you so far, who have replied to my story. I posted it almost 3 weeks ago, and waiting all that time for its approval was an emotional nightmare. My heart and mind constantly feel locked in war, with my soul trapped in the middle. I often feel like Darth Vader in RETURN OF THE JEDI, where Luke begs him to let go of his hate. Behind that black chrome mask, you can hear all his regret: "It is…too late for me, son." My own anger often makes me feel like that, to the point I've screamed in prayer, desperate to be free of all the darkness I feel inside me. I want to love God so much more, and I know most of the pain I've been through isn't His fault…but that knowledge doesn't make me feel better. I've had people tell me I trust my feelings too much, which often has me thinking, "What would you do, in my place? Constantly feeling like everyone you love will either ignore, abuse, leave, or die?" I feel such rage toward God, for my Mom's death…but I also feel shame for being so angry. I know He can handle it, but I can't; it tears at me from the inside like a vicious beast. I pray like crazy for God;s will to be done – in, with, and through me. I'm thankful for the blessings He's recently given me, but what I want most is to be free of all this pain and sadness. When folks tell me to "forgive myself" or "be happy with yourself", I cringe because those phrases literally mean nothing to me. I forgot to address it in my story, but I was also born with Asperger's Syndrome, though my diagnosis wasn't until 2013. This basically means that while I have a very high IQ and vocabulary, my social understanding and empathy are roughly half my physical age. I spent so much of my life, thinking I was some kind of freak because I just didn't care about most people; that's probably another reason my attachment to Michelle was so immediate and powerful. I wasn't ready to let go of my Mom either, but the decision to remove her life support required consent from both my sister Lauren and I. She was ready, and I knew most of my expanded family felt the same way…but I was still desperate for a miracle. Only after speaking with my aunt Velvet, did I agree to the removal…and even then I couldn't say anything. She'd asked me, whether my biggest fear was in losing Mom, or trusting God with her life. So, my hope was that in allowing the removal, He would realize I was trying to be selfless and heal her. I'm happy she's still at peace, but this resentment is so hard to fight sometimes. Please keep praying for me; thanks.

  7. HornyHubby says:

    Josh, I'm so glad you are reaching out for help. That''s one function of this group is for us to help each other.

    As I read your initial post, I could feel the sadness and the pressure you are under. I could also feel the legalism you are under. And I could also tell that you have been told a lot of lies under the guise of "Biblical teaching." I can attest first hand that some preachers and others who teach theological issues are themselves deceived, and they pass on those teachings with their supposed "authority" as the pastor. But we must examine the scriptures for ourselves to see if what they are teaching is truth. (see Acts 17:11)

    I would like to introduce to you someone I have found to teach the true gospel and the freedom it brings to us. His name is Andrew Farley. I really think you would benefit from listening to him. I have had a spiritual re-awakening from listening to him. Every time I read something of his or listen to him I just think, "WOW!" You can look him up on YouTube and watch his videos there for free. Search on YouTube for "Andrew Farley Ministries" and "Church Without Religion." (That's the name of his church) He has several short videos but he also has full length sermons. But listening to him will set you free from this religious bondage you are under.

    He's also written several books. I would recommend "God Without Religion" to start with. He also has, "The Naked Gospel" and "Heaven is Now." You can find all these on Amazon pretty cheap. So if you are a reader, check these out. If you're not much of a reader, watch his YouTube videos. (But if you like to read, watch the videos too! He's good to listen to as well.) So check out his two YouTube channels and books as you can.

    I would also recommend you check out the post I wrote on this site called, "Christian Masturbation Defense." Read that and I'm confident it will clear up a lot of the issues concerning masturbation. If you have any questions after reading it, feel free to ask me in the comments on that post.

    When you mentioned the TBN minister saying masturbation was a spirit of homosexuality, I cringed! That is the most absurd thing I have ever heard. It's not biblical or logical. There is no such a thing as a "spirit of homosexuality" at all. Paul said homosexulity and other "sins" were the desires of the flesh. He didn't say anything about a "spirit" of anything. (See Galatians 5:19-21 and 1 Corinthian 6:9-11 where he has a similar list but includes homosexuality) This is an example of a "pastor" saying something and people just believe it without doing any research for themselves. (I personally don't listen to any preacher who is on TV and I would recommend you follow the same protocol.)

    So hopefully this gets you going in the right direction. Check out Andrew Farley's YouTube channels and books and read my post on masturbation and let me know how it's going.

    • Moviefan2k4 says:

      I've never heard of Andrew Farley; thanks for the recommendation. As for TV preachers, I agree on some of them. I quit watching TBN most of the time several years ago, because it seemed most people on there had two speeds: joy and condemnation. Plus, it just felt like most of those folks were a LOT further in their walks with God, compared to my own journey. Having said that, there's two TV evangelists I do like: Joseph Prince and Jesse Duplantis. The latter's been a favorite of mine since childhood, and I remember him saying things like, "I've had many opportunities to fail; I just don't take any". Mr. Prince also said something which freed me a lot: "Your sin is like a recording, but Jesus' blood erased the tape."

      Regarding sexual issues, I guess my biggest problem is trusting God with my desires, and not going back to the sins of my past. I was a porn addict for almost 10 years, and to this day I regret the bulk of it. When the lust in my mind and heart becomes too much, I've tried masturbating to take the edge off…but often thoughts of porn or homosexuality cross my mind, which freaks me out because I don't want either one. Porn's a demonic illusion, and a trap Satan uses to keep people away from what God really designed sex to be. I understand that in my head, but my emotions still rage like crazy…and having been in a relationship stirs up more memories, too. For me, masturbation has often triggered a total loss of control, with my thoughts and emotions going rabid to places I can't stand. I've wound up fighting thoughts of a sexual nature, regarding my own family members and even young children. It really feels like my desire for a Godly wife and release is being corrupted sometimes; I hate not being able to control those thoughts and feelings in the moment. My sex drive used to be focused on celebrities too, but that was also wrong…and masturbation just seems to re-open all those gates that I fight to keep closed. I don't want to turn any person into an idol, or worship anyone but God…even my own body. That's why I wrote that my sexuality feels like a vicious beast; all the thought, memories, and emotions become completely unhinged and unfiltered. I don't know how to separate it all out, and God's often last on my mind during those experiences.

  8. PassionateForChrist says:

    Dearest Josh, I clearly sense your earnest desire to break free from all of this and by the words I share with you I hope to be able to give you a new grip on your thought life, which is where the battle takes place that causes you so much pain. I wanna share with you some important points and I pray that you receive them and will meditate on them with an open mind and then be bold to apply them.

    Dear Josh, my heart breaks for the confusion, the pain and the challenges that have you bruised and battered and I do wanna wrap you up in heartfelt love right here and right now but I also want to help enable you to shift your focus and break free, so I know it would not help you in any way to stay fixed on the fact that you've had harsh things happen to you and that you feel the way you feel and that these feelings are powerful… I'm sorry you have Asperger's and that it has caused you so much difficulty in the emotional development and has caused you emotional pain and social isolation but I wanna shift your focus away from thinking about all the trouble it caused you and the difficulties you had to endure to the fact that you have a great IQ and a heart earnest, thirsty and willing to be free from what has happened, from the war you feel trapped in. The thoughts I will share with you here, you will be able to apply them… you can do it, you can break free with God because the battlefield is in your mind, not in your feelings. Though there is so much chaos in your feelings, if you put your energy and determination into working with God's help on getting your thoughts in the right direction, then all the chaos will clear up. If you get your mind going in the right direction, your feelings will catch up with it. It will certainly take some time – the emotional pain in you didn't just build over night, it has been brooding in you for most of your life, but this brooding can end if you are determined to not give up on yourself or your life or your future and if you cooperate with God steadfastly, giving him all that you are in this very moment, just the way you are. Your future is bright, dear Josh – I believe it with all of my heart and I want nothing more than for you to see His deliverance, His redemption, His personal miracle move for you… God is willing and able to do everything that is good for you and that you hope and yearn for in your heart. The only thing that can limit what God can do in our lives is ourselves, which is why, first off, I just want to speak these truths in love over you for remembrance:

    No matter what happens in your life, no matter what comes against you, no matter what challenges you have, YOU CAN DO whatever you need to do in life through Christ who strengthens you. God never promises us a trouble-free life but He does promise to never leave us nor forsake us. You don't have to live in fear. God is on your side and you get to give God your problems, cast your care, go on and enjoy your life while God works on your situation. Don't be afraid of things. Learn to take your life one day at a time. Trust God. The Bible says that God chose you on purpose because He loved you. Every day of your life was written in His book before you ever breathed one of them. He knows every decision you're gonna make before you make it and He still says "I love you unconditionally, I'll never give up on you, I will work with you and hold you and watch over you!" God LOVES YOU. When you're in the lowest pit, God can have His eye on you, and God's arm is not too short that He can't reach down in your pit and lift you out. What you're going through now is a moment in time. It's not gonna last forever. This too shall pass! You gotta tell yourself: "I don't care what it looks like, I don't care what it feels like, I don't care how long it takes!" Don't you dare give up in the silent years. Suddenly, God is gonna break through! I know that I know that I know that the Word of God is true and that He changes lives, and He gives you a life worth living. And no matter what anybody has done to us or said to us, no matter what has happened to us, YOU ARE NOT HOPELESS and YOU ARE NOT HELPLESS because there is a God that is alive, who loves you, PERSONALLY LOVES YOU, and wants to help you. And so really when we get right down to it, it's just all about Jesus.

    Get these down in your heart and spirit. Speak them out loud for yourself every time a thought pops up in your mind that contradicts anything the Word of God says in these truths about you and God. You've got a smart head on your shoulders and a heart that seeks the good, a heart that seeks God and hangs on to Him, so you are fully equipped to fight these thoughts that will only feed your anger or the resentment you feel. You are fully equipped to fight these thoughts that will only dunk you further into feeling desperate. You are fully equipped to do what you need to do and you can wholeheartedly count on God to do what you can't do. Don't let your thoughts push you around. You can choose what you wish to dwell on in your mind at any time, regardless of your feelings. I know it's not easy at all – I've walked this path myself in my own life, in the overcoming of my life's challenges – but, dear Josh, it is possible! When you feel anger or resentment, you have the choice to either further feed it by thinking thoughts that will only put like gasoline on the anger's burning or you can do what you need to do and take a stand against such thoughts and think thoughts on purpose that will be helpful to soothe you, to help you calm down in that moment. Like with the man at the pool of Bethesda, you can either choose to stay laying there and make it harder on yourself by dunking yourself into your current condition through the thoughts you choose to think on towards yourself or you can fight to crawl that inch per inch forward to the pool of Bethesda's threshold and be the next in line for the miracle that has your name on it. You can do it! Take hold of your new beginning by thinking on what is good and positive and wholesome and of a good report, on what lifts you up and encourages you and strengthens you, on what God thinks about. Don't give your past power over your present and your future – your past doesn't define you, it prepares you for all the good that God has in store for you and all the mighty works that He wants to do through you. The Enemy battles you so fiercely because he knows God has something great up ahead for you and he wants to keep you from receiving it by bringing havoc to your soul that causes you to get stuck right now. But God is with you and for you! Become aware of what your thinking about and get a new grip on the quality of your thoughts with God's help and persevere in thinking positive.

    Dearest Josh, it is not too late for you. You may be able to relate to Darth Vader but you are far from being Darth Vader. You got God and God's got you. From what you've shared with us, I believe that you do want to change, with all your heart, and so I'm confident that you will break out of the rut. Nothing and no one can keep you from changing for the better but yourself – and you have the desire to change, so, with God, you will be able to make the changes and see the positive results in due time. I don't know if you know of Joyce Meyer – she is a powerful speaker and teacher of the Word of God, she has gone through incredible emotional pain in her life and with God's help has overcome it and is now an amazing example of the power of the Word and how it can change our lives no matter what… She was sexually abused as a child for years by her father and abandoned in the situation by her mother… she has suffered rejection and had to deal with anger and anxiety and resentment and all this emotional baggage that one has to deal with in the aftermath of it all… She said something that is very powerful and she speaks it out having experienced it herself: She was saved as a 9-year old girl unto Christ and she prayed desperately for God to get her out of the abuse situation… she prayed unceasingly… she was so desperate she even prayed for God to make her father die… She said, God didn't take her out of it. He could have – He is God. He didn't take her out of it BUT He gave her the Grace to go through it. She said, seeing how God uses her and her testimony to help people in their despair and in their emotional struggles, how God helps other girls through her, girls that have suffered the same or similar atrocities… she said, had she not walked through what she walked through with God, she wouldn't be the same person, who is now able to help so many because she has been where they are, she lived it. She said, it's like the Apostle Paul who said in the Bible that it is for the people's sake that he has to go through all the troubles that he went through – through the persecution, through the incarceration, through everything – it was for our sake, because through Paul, God has shown Himself mighty for our eyes to see that no matter what the situation, with God all things are possible.

    I was blessed to be able to go to Joyce’s Conference in Houston in November this year and she spoke about anger because anger is such a rampant epidemic in this day and age and it destroys people, their health and their lives. We got her teaching on anger from that night of the conference for free as a download, and I wanna share it with you and heartily encourage you to listen to it in whole and let it be helpful to you. Here is the link to the download:

    Joyce has helped me tremendously in my walk of faith and in overcoming challenges in my life, and I hope that she will be a helpful resource to you as well. She is practical and genuine and speaks in truth and love. She has great teaching downloads on Emotional Healing and the thought life as well. If you would like to have these teachings too, I’ll see if I can share a link of them as well.

    Dear Josh, you are not a freak. Know that we will keep you in prayer. I will carry you within my heart and lift you up to God. We will be there for you as best as we know how, and be sure God is right there for you too, not idle but powerfully at work on your behalf through everything. I’m confident that you will make it through, with God and all those that he will give you at hand to encourage you along the way.

    „In order for us to be free from anything, we have to face truth.“

    „In the wake of every heartache, in the death of every field, there were diamonds, diamonds, waiting to break out of here. Don’t you think I hear the whispers, those subtle lies, those angry pleas, they’re just demons, demons, wishing they were free like me. All your curses will surrender, every damning word will kneel. They’re just mountains, mountains about to turn into fields. We’re the fire from the sun, we’re the light when the day is done. We’re the brave, the chosen ones. We’re the diamonds, diamonds, rising up out of the dust! We’re rising up out of the dust!“

    You’re a diamond, Josh! In these ashes, you’re stronger still. You’re rising up out of the dust. God bless you!

  9. Moviefan2k4 says:

    I just wanted to update on this, since its been a few weeks and I'm still struggling. March 24th was the first anniversary of my Mom's passing (I still don't like using the word "death"), and with Easter so soon afterward, a lot's been going on in my heart, mind, and soul.

    Physically and emotionally, the same thing's been happening for a while now. I don't mean to be crude, but I usually wake up in the morning with an erection, and lots of conflicted feelings and thoughts in addition to it. Part of my "inner self" just wants to release the pressure, and be done with it…but I still feel horrible about it most of the time. In the past, its often taken me days after a release, to feel anything good toward God or myself again. I've wound up praying recently, for all the women I can remember having lusted after, asking god to help them seek Him and free me of my obsession. I haven't pursued porn in a long time, but the memories are still there…and I want so desperately to be done with them. I've also been praying for my ex-girlfriend Michelle, wondering if I should try to contact her again since its been more than a year. My deepest desire in a relationship right now, is to have a woman who I can completely trust with every dark thing I've done, said, and thought of doing…getting zero condemnation from her over it. I've told God in prayer, that I ache for a wife who will trust me both in bed and out, helping me to stop seeing myself as a monster in the sexual and emotional arenas. I often relate to characters like the Phantom of the Opera or Disney's Beast, and this constant conflict results in more despair and bitterness than anything else.

  10. PassionateForChrist says:

    Dear Josh, I'm aware that there is not much that I can really do for you to alleviate in any way the struggle that you are fighting so bravely through – I cannot be where you are and walk it out with you but God is right there with you – especially when you feel as if nothing would be moving forward or as if He may be far away or as if He may be against you… He is not against you or far from you ever. Never ever will He leave you or forsake you. He is a very present help in times of trouble and close to the crushed in spirit and the broken-hearted. He is close to you and holds and keeps you firmly, safely. I am proud of you because of the goodness I see in your heart and the way you fight this battle – you don't let go of God, you cling to Him, through this storm in you, and I know that God is faithful to do what only He can do in us and for us when we do all we can to stick to Him, to run to Him in the midst of our troubles and storms. Though I cannot be with you, I can be there for you here and encourage you as best I know how and let you know that you are loved. I have no idea of all that you've done, said or thought of doing, but I want you to know that you are not a monster. Just because a dark thought pops up in your mind doesn't mean it's your thought – if a "dark thing" thought pops up in your mind, it's from the Enemy, who wants to tempt or torture you. Don't take up ownership of his schemes by thinking it's your thought. Don't make such a thought your own by dwelling on it. No matter how often it pops back up – just keep dismissing it anew every time it comes up and refocus your thinking on something that helps you balance yourself anew. It will be harder in the beginning but with every time that you dismiss it without beating yourself up in the process but helping yourself by knowing where this attack really comes from and finding your peace in that moment in a thought that proves helpful to you, you'll see, it will get easier and easier to keep or regain your peace and inner balance. Try to not be against yourself in this battle. God is for you and He knows you better than you do yourself. He will get you through, as you keep your heart on Him and faith in Him and do what you can do, even if it's not much in your own sight. You are good and brave. Don't give up. Don't despair. Be sure that I (and many others, I'm sure) will keep you in prayer and at heart. May God bless you and keep you! May He make His Face to shine upon you and be gracious to you! May He watch over you and give you His peace!

  11. PassionateForChrist says:

    Hey Josh, a thought popped up in me and it is quite out of box… I've pondered it and chose to at least speak it out here 'cause if it is a thought that God put in my heart for you to be blessed through than I don't wanna miss offering it to you…

    No one can ever love us like Jesus does. No one has greater and more powerful love for us than God. His love is stronger and, receiving it, knowing and holding on to this truth is the key to unlocking within us everything we need to attain in the end full freedom in Christ from whatever chains keep us still bound. In His love for you is found the strength, the comfort, the mercy you need to overcome. Out of His mighty love flows His amazing grace that empowers, covers and carries you through, even beyond what you believe you can bear. Your personal relationship with God is the key to entering into a whole new relationship with yourself. God can give you a new beginning and help you ditch all the baggage of your past. You need to find inner peace with yourself before you can find true fulfillment and the safety you seek and need in a romantic relationship. That inner peace with yourself – the one that's lasting; being at peace with yourself when you mess up as well as when you get it right, when things go your way as well as when they don't go as you wished or hoped – that inner peace and stability can only be found through and in your relationship with God. I don't know how church is for you where you go to church – I don't know if you feel as if you need to wear a mask, so to speak, when you are at church, or if you feel safe to stand in the presence of God just as you are in this very moment and worship Him through your current pain and encounter Him unveiled. In order for us to be able to attain His freedom in anything and to receive the touches of God within us that can change our course according to His will, I believe it to be important that we can come to church as we are in our current state – with our insecurities, our fears, our frailties, our sins, our battles and all. Jesus sees all of these in us anyway already and He wants us to be free from that which breaks us and keeps us bound and caught up. Jesus sees you as you are and He wants you to come to Him as you are, with an open heart and a teachable spirit and a receptive mind, fully exposed in sweet surrender to Him, entrusting all of you to Him for however long the journey to full restoration and freedom takes, so that He can make you all He has created you to be through His continual work within you. He is powerfully at work within you. And His plans are for good, to prosper you, not to harm you, to give you a future and a hope.

    So, what I wanna offer you is the following – don't get weirded out… I'm someone who goes the extra mile for God where need be:

    I will soon (within this month) be visiting my church home in Houston anew. If you happen to be in the area, it would be my pleasure to invite you to come to church with me. No worries, this is not a date or anything; I don't ask or expect anything from you in return or any such thing. I just want to give you the opportunity to get a shot at a new beginning in your relationship with God and yourself – a fresh new start. Only you can decide for yourself if this would be an opportunity you would wanna seize or a possibility for you… but this much I believe I can say: you won't have to wear a mask when you visit my church home, for they will love on you and pray for you about whatever need you have, if you wish to, and I will be by your side at church, knowing by what you've shared enough about who you are at your core for you to have no need to feel as if you'd need to wear a mask, so you can really relax, be yourself and completely focus on soaking up on God like you may never have been able to do in a long time. We will be there for God and God will be there in our midst. As I said, I have pondered about it and I believe, with the gracious support of the MH admins, who I will handle this with, away from public eyes, if you wanna seize the opportunity, there is a way to make it possible without us having to exchange personal info or anything… so the privacy of the both of us won't be breached in any way. We would just be 2 children of God among a loving family of believers meeting at church for service – to personally worship and encounter God in spirit and in truth. So, let me know if you wish to do this or not. It's also ok if you wouldn't want to, if you believe that it's not something you should do. As I said, it's not about me. We would not exchange private info, before or after. It's all about God and your relationship with Him. Just pray to God about it and let me know in a comment if it would be something for you or not.

    • Moviefan2k4 says:

      What church do you go to? I've only been to Sagemont since moving to the Houston area last November. Its okay overall, but they're really big on "believer's baptism", and the only good thing about such a huge crowd is being able to disappear. The pastor also seems like a "King James only" type, which I disagree with. They have a great apologetics class though, which is why I keep going; my sister's not willing to skip the main service and just attend the classes.

    • PassionateForChrist says:

      I go to Lakewood Church. God has given me my church home there and I couldn’t be more grateful to Him for it. He brought me unto Jesus through Lakewood in the summer of 2011 and has not ceased to keep growing me up in Christ and building me in the faith through their ministry. I was blessed to experience their gentleness and care, their love for God and people first-hand. They have many gifted and anointed pastors there, who work and serve with integrity and hearty dedication, staying true to the Word while making it tangible (and fun too). I am very grateful for their leadership by example.

      You're not afraid of a big crowd, which is good. Worship is amazing and a beautiful time to soak up on God. I believe you may just really enjoy it. The people are really kind and open-hearted.

    • Moviefan2k4 says:

      Its not so much a lack of fear regarding crowds in general, so much as being worried about what to expect. I don't remember if my previous posts mentioned this, but I have Asperger's Syndrome, a common trait being a high IQ mixed with a low social comprehension. I always knew I was different from most my age, on the inside…but never got diagnosed until late 2013. Looking back, this is probably one of many things which helped wreck my only previous relationship (though the main reason was neither of us listening to God at the time). I often feel like an outcast around typical "church people", partly due to the battle in my mind and heart with lust. It got so bad at one point, I couldn't look women I found attractive in the face, for fear they'd see my struggles when looking into my eyes. Thankfully, most of that has gone away…but my loneliness and despair are still a challenge. Its not easy wanting to respect women as people so badly, only for my thoughts to go VERY carnal followed by shame or resentment over having to internalize it. I've often wished I'd never delved into porn during my teen years, and never met my ex-girlfriend who shared in my adultery. The reasons are many, but I'm reminded of this adage: "It's a lot tougher to miss what you've never had."

  12. PassionateForChrist says:

    I know about your Asperger's. You did mention it before 🙂 I know that social interaction can be challenging for Asperger's people… I know that there is an internal struggle between the need/yearning for social interaction/relationship that you have and the difficulty of connecting with people because of the internal conflict in the emotional department and such… That's why I wasn't sure if you would be ok in a setting with a larger crowd but seeing that you can handle that solves this question.

    The people I'm with at church, I don't consider them to be like what I'd picture "typical church people" to be. I like real people, who are authentic, loving, honest, kind, gentle in behavior… I was unchurched before God led me to Christ and my church home and I was worried, that first time I stepped into church anew, about how meeting with church people would be for me, how it would feel for me but, as for me, the moment I met with them, they were just simply so kind and real and authentic… It was beautiful! I was welcomed as I am, the way I was at that moment. I was loved on and it was a truthful love – which is always important to me 'cause I don't like just superficial "duty love". This church is a home to my heart and soul – and I thank God for it 'cause He did it, He made it be for me, He prepared me for it and them for me. Now, I don't know how you would perceive it to be but this much I can say: I will not expose you. What you've shared about your inner life is safe with me. Thus far, I have but shared a bit about your story with a group of choice church friends, who are further in the faith than I am and able to pray in the Spirit for people, because I wished to give you all the prayer support that I have at hand to lift you up to God. The moment we pray, the tide of the battle begins to turn. So that's the only liberty I took to share from what you've shared, and I hope you don't mind that I did. You won't have to worry though because you won't meet those I've shared it with… they are faith friends of mine from DFW, TX, who go to a church there. I believe that when you'll meet people at my church home in Houston, what will happen is that they will greet you and be kind to you, just as they greet me. I will be by your side. I don't know if there are things that I must be aware of better not to do, so you won't feel uncomfortable, but you can let me know about these, if you wish, when I'll be in convo with you about how to meet up (away from public eyes, with the help from my dear MH admins). I don't think you'll have to worry about having trouble with lust concerning me 'cause I don't dress or act "sexy" in any way – I go comfy casual most of the time and don't dress or appear like a "girly girl" type. In the unlikely case that you would feel something, please don't beat yourself up for it – rest assured that I won't hold it against you or think bad about you or any such thing – I know your heart, its goodness and willingness to do right. If any kind of thought should pop up during or after our time at church, you remember to keep your peace, to dismiss the thought that you do not want to dwell on and to focus your attention on something else on purpose. Don't fall into the pit of self-hatred – it won't help you, just hurt you further. I believe that you can feel secure with me – at least, this is my hope.

    Now, to help you with knowing ahead of time what to expect when you come out to my church home… I would meet up with you a bit ahead of service time, so we won't have stress and won't miss each other (I'll let you know the details of where and when and how you'll recognize me in private through the MH admins). They have greeters at the doors of the church who will welcome you and may hand you a bulletin but you don't have to worry about them, they won't stop you in your tracks, they don't force themselves upon people – so you can as well just say a kind Hi and give them a smile and pass by them and go to where we will have agreed to meet. I believe a Saturday evening or Wednesday evening service would be best for you to attend… you can decide which one you'd prefer. If I run into people I know, they will probably greet me and I will then introduce you as my friend (unless you wouldn't want me to introduce you to them – but I'd wanna treat you as I would anyone else because you are not an outcast). In service, you'll sit with me. They seat me in the first rows somewhere usually because I'm their guest and they wanna honor and bless me. Don't you worry about being in the front section though because you can feel safe and secure with me – remember that. No one will call you out or put you on a spot or any such thing. You can completely relax and enjoy the worship music and the service – you can sing if you wanna sing (no one will notice if you miss a tune – it's not about performance at my church home, it's about relationship – we all just love to worship God) or you can just listen and connect to God the way you feel drawn to do. I'm someone who sings along, so if you do too, awesome, and if not, just as awesome 🙂 During worship we usually stand up because our worship team is amazing and does a great job at bringing the praise on. If you don't know a song, don't worry, the lyrics are visible on screens. You'll not get lost in worship with us – if anything, you may only get lost in God but that's a mighty good thing 😉 They have a prayer time in service, where people who would wanna be prayed for can step forth to a prayer partner and agree in faith with them for whatever their need is. You can take advantage of this, if you wish. Who knows what God has in store for you when you step out in faith with Him? Step forth expectant and believing in the power of Christ, agreeing in faith with a prayer partner, and there's no telling what all God can do for you, unlock for you, move for you from then on. Even if it hasn't happened yet, don't let your expectancy, your hope, your faith flicker out. The next step you take with God may be the one that changes everything. During and after prayer time, the worship continues. Then comes the word of encouragement and exhortation by our pastor's wife or sister or another pastor. Following that they collect the offering, while worship comes on once more. Then comes the message, which we always start of with a declaration of faith (which I'll send you in private upfront but the words to it are also seen on screen, so no worries 🙂 ). I'll be with you, so whenever you feel unsure in yourself, just stick to me and focus on Jesus. My hope and wish is for you to enjoy a beautiful time at church – being free and able to connect with God in a new, fresh atmosphere and setting, where you won't have to think about how you would rather not be there because you have trouble within yourself about something about the preacher or one thing or another. This is why I would just really encourage you about one thing, if you wanna seize the opportunity that I offer you: Come with an open mind and receptive heart – "forget" about everything you've thus far experienced about church or whatever, start with a fresh, clean slate, be open to experience God personally in some way and focus on the possibility of breakthrough, of a new beginning, of a mighty good seed planted in you that will change it all for the better. Don't let accusing or negative voices steal your moment with God. The devil cannot take it from you in Jesus' Name.

  13. PassionateForChrist says:

    Another thing I can help you with knowing about ahead of time: When you will have enjoyed your time at church and with God and you happen to feel within yourself that I would be someone you can trust and feel safe with, someone you would feel safe and able to confide in, then rest assured that I will not withhold from you the possibility to stay connected to me, to have a friend in Christ in me. As I said before, this is not a prerequisite or anything… I don't want you to be under any kind of pressure or feel compelled to do anything. But I do wish you to see and get it deep down inside of you how valuable you are and how great God's love is for you. God has in you an amazing testimony in the making. Some issues we go through are too great to handle on our own – to overcome these, we need someone we can trust, someone we can confide in our inner life, someone, whom we can tell unabridged what we're dealing with (for support, for accountability, for prayer,…). Only God can heal and restore and make new (and He will as we hold on to Him and follow Him as best we can), but through the process, through the journey, we who are in Christ can love each other through, we can help carry one another's burden, we can encourage one another, we can just simply be someone who is there even if we ourselves don't have a final answer to an issue. God will provide everything we need at the right time – He will not be late. He is usually not early either but we can count on Him to never be late. God's best takes time because God doesn't do junk but it's worth the fight and the wait. Let's pitch our tent in the land of hope. Let hope abide in us. Let's give the devil a big kick in the butt and enforce the defeat that Jesus has already given him on that glorious Cross, where He finished it for us, where He crushed the devil's head once and for all, where He rose again in complete victory. You can break out of the rut and don't have to internalize what the Enemy tries to bury you with. You can reach out to a trusted heart and bring light to whatever dark places there are. Be bold and courageous, knowing that where Jesus' light hits, darkness cannot remain for long. His light will drive it out and healing will come, freedom will come, His life and life more abundantly will come. If you haven't found a trusted heart yet, whom you can take these steps with, and would wanna take them with me, then rest assured that I will be there for you with a heart willing to comfort you, to listen to you and stand with you.

    "Let faith arise. In spite of what I see, Lord, I believe. But help my unbelief. I choose to trust You. No matter what I feel, let faith arise! Let faith arise, for my Champion's not dead. He is alive! Oh, and He already knows my every need. Surely, He will come and rescue me!

    God of miracles, come. We need Your supernatural Love to break through. Nothing's impossible! You're the God of miracles!

    Let faith arise, and see the Kingdom come. I lift my eyes, for the battle has been won. My God is faithful! Oh, and every single Word He said is true.

    God of miracles, come. We need Your supernatural Love to break through. Nothing's impossible! You're the God of miracles!

    This world is shaking but You cannot be shaken. My heart is breaking but I'm not broken yet. Your love is fearless. Help me to be courageous too. Oh, there is nothing impossible for the God of miracles!"

    • Moviefan2k4 says:

      Thanks for your offer to attend Lakewood; I'd love to go but I'm worried because its just so huge. Generally speaking, "mega-churches" tend to be very impersonal…and I really need someone to be there with me in the mental, emotional, and spiritual trenches. My sexuality has been a war zone, ever since puberty…and failing with things like porn and adultery have just made it worse. My spirit and soul feel broken, to the point I can't even release the pressure through masturbation without spending at least a full day afterward, consumed by hate, fear, bitterness, and resentment. My desires go crazy, often back to my sins…and I feel rotten for enjoying the rush. In my mind and heart, its like I'm making sex my God, because I've become so terrified of trusting the real God with this part of my life. I never had a stable father figure growing up, and combined with my childhood abuse…the only clear message was "sex is evil". I recognize that's not true intellectually, but everything else screams inside of me for a way to release and enjoy this without betraying God, Jesus, or the Holy Spirit. I loved having sex with my ex-girlfriend, but despised the emptiness that followed because I knew I was a traitor in the process. My Mom's death last year, and my ex's silence over it, have caused such bitterness and rage to persist in my being. I have prayed like crazy, read my Bible and Christian books, screamed at God and cried to Him…none of it provides a lasting peace. The only two women I've loved the absolute most in my life are both gone, and this hate tears me apart inside. I feel spiritually sick from keeping it bottled, and yet I fear letting it out because I'm scared I won't love God anymore. He's the only hope I have, and yet loving Him back feels so forced and false. If you want a simple comparison, think of Gollum from Lord of the Rings. He hates and loves the One Ring, just as he hates and loves himself. That's how I often feel inside, about both God and my sex drive. I can't even remember who abused me, yet I often want them condemned to hell instead of forgiven. I know that's selfish, but don't know how to stop it. Posting on this site was not an easy decision; I did it because I thought there had to be people in this world, who loved God and didn't see sex as a curse. I wish so much, from the depths of my heart, that I could be like the writers here, without coveting their sex lives or worshiping myself instead of God.

  14. PassionateForChrist says:

    Ok, first of all, that you want your abuser to be condemned, to pay for what he did to you, doesn't make you selfish – it makes you human. And to be human is neither a fault nor a sin nor a blemish. Our ability to forgive those who have done harm to our most inner being, our most vulnerable parts of our soul, doesn't come easy and it certainly doesn't happen overnight. The best example I can encourage you to touch base with is Joyce Meyer. I have listened to her testimony about her childhood and the sexual, emotional and verbal abuse she suffered at the hands of her father and the neglect and abandonment she suffered at the hands of her mother. For years her own father sexual abused her, made her do despicable acts, and even gave her into the hands of other men to abuse her. She told how lonely she was and isolated because her father was a controller and a violent man – she couldn't go anywhere, she couldn't meet up with friends, her father wanted her to bring girls, classmates of hers, home from school and she was terrified because she knew what he had in mind and would do to them. She carried the guilt that was never hers in all of this. She was desperate and lonely and crushed and hated her father for what he did and her mother for abandoning her to the situation. Her mother caught her father abusing her one day and she turned around and left the house again to come back later. She acted as if it never happened. Can you imagine the hurt and pain, the despair, the anger Joyce must have felt in that moment? And Joyce rightfully now says that her mother didn't do it out of a mean spirit but because she was so scared of her husband, who abused her and beat her just as he terrorized the rest of the family, that she didn't dare to take a step and do something against it, she was so scared that she chose to ignore it altogether. It doesn't make her choice right but it explains her situation. Joyce didn't get to the point of forgiving her father and mother for years and years. And this is perfectly understandable. She was broken, battered and bruised, and certainly it felt to her as if she would be beyond possibility of repair – she said that she was convinced that because of all that happened to her she would always only be able to have a second class life because she was now only some kind of second class person -, but she loved God and her hope was in Him. And through her lifetime, He did an amazing work in her that took her from being merely a survivor of abuse to being an overcomer in Christ. Josh, your story may be different in detail from hers, just like all of our stories are unique, but what you feel and the place you're at with God and yourself isn't so different from hers. God did it for Joyce; He is more than able to do it for you. Now, God's work in us is not a one-way job. He needs our cooperation. And I love Joyce because she is so transparent, honest and authentic about every tiny baby step that she took with God on her journey of restoration – how to grow in trusting God and how to overcome and how to receive His grace and unfailing love for you and how to hold on to your identity in Christ when the devil just wants to rip you apart with sin (past or present)… She knows how hard it is because she walked through it and she can testify to the faithfulness, goodness, mercy, grace, power and love of God, who has given her by now back double, more than enough, abundantly for all the trouble she had to endure. Joyce said frankly: She didn't have a good start in life but she is DETERMINED to have a good finish. And God makes it all possible – no matter in how much junk of a situation we start out of, God can make all things new and bring glory out of it and amazing blessedness.

    My father was an unstable father figure to me as well. He was emotionally manipulative, a liar, someone who didn't take care of himself physically, a man who yelled at my mom whenever he didn't get his way or whenever there was any kind of issue, a man that never was able to speak the words "I'm sorry"… a man who tells me he loves me but when push comes to shove he made fun of me or ridiculed me for my faith or made clear to me how foolish I was just because I refuse to be of his opinion and take part in the heated discussions he stirs up every once in a while… My mom always ended up crying when my father and her would have a fight over whatever issue while I grew up, and as I am someone who can't stand when another gets hurt and saw that she couldn't defend herself, I as a young teenager took it upon myself to face-off with him in those situations. I comforted my mom and put my dad in the right place. Then after the strife moment was over, I comforted my father when he would come around to me in the attempt to mend the pieces. I got in the position of being the rock of the family – the one who is strong for everyone, the one who fills the gap, the helper… This was a training ground God used to sharpen and prepare me – before I even knew Jesus personally. From the dynamics that were at play while I was growing up, I developed sexual anorexia as a child – an aversion to any and everything sexual. No word was every spoken about sex in my family and no marital intimacy was modeled. If anything, the message I got taught about sex was that sex was evil because sex is what the easy-to-get girls do. The first exposure to porn I had was as a young (pre-)teenage girl – I caught my father at night watching an inappropriate movie on late-night TV. He didn't notice me seeing him. He didn't do anything. But I saw the movie and it sparked a curiosity that I cannot explain, which had set me on seeking for a short while what these movies were about. So I ended up sneaking up late and seeing to peek at such a movie. I was pathetic while doing that… I have an enormous conscience, I must say, so I wasn't able to watch it all-out – I sat in front of the TV, the sound on mute (or very very low), I covered my eyes as soon as the scene would get to what it was scripted to get to and every once in a while I peeked through my fingers… I didn't do anything while "watching" the scenes… I didn't know what there could be to do anyhow back then. I remember the moment my mom caught me one day while I was in my room, with my underwear down, mimicking the motion of the women I saw in those scenes, and the way my mom looked at me, I just knew I did something that shouldn't be done, and she asked me what I was doing and I said I was just changing my underwear (don't ask me why I lied, I don't know, but in all truth I couldn't have said what I was doing 'cause, frankly, I didn't even know myself what I was doing). She never spoke to me about it again. It was as if it never happened. As I grew older, I got more and more into blanking everything sexual out, in the world around me and in myself – in the world we live in today, this is a mammoth task to do… I tried to gain control over what I couldn't have control over by avoiding everything sexual, denying my own sexuality and becoming fiercely judgmental about sex and sexuality in others and in myself. I isolated myself from social gatherings. My aversion grew worse and worse. I didn't know I was a sexual anorexic until God showed me this truth about myself in 2014. How He led me to this truth is amazing to me and shows how He leads us step by step. When I started to confront my fears and aversion with God, as He led me to, I cannot tell you how afraid I was within me when I took some of the steps I took with Him. I loved God and I didn't want to do something that He would not approve of. When He led me to learn about His truth about sex and sexuality through Christian articles of His choice that I was to study through, I was at times literally trembling while I read about how the sweet Christians talked about God's design and the beauty and importance of sex in marriage. Despite the fear I felt, I kept going forward, taking my baby steps with God, pushing past my limitations and deceptions, failing at times for sure, but through it all letting God work in me the renewal of my mind that desperately needed to take place before I could walk in the freedom that was mine in Christ. During these studies God had me do, I do well remember how I almost fell off my chair when I read in a resource that the wife was to help the husband insert his part into herself – I literally thought "Oh my God, I am supposed to do what??? I don't even know WHERE IT is." I was terrified at the thought of it. I do well remember how one day during my studies God sparked a tangible desire in me and I remember how scared I was about feeling it but I also felt within my spirit that, now that He had begun to lay the foundation in my heart and mind about His truth on sex and sexuality, He was encouraging me to take the next step and let Him reconcile me with my body… Courage is not the absence of fear. Whenever we are at significant moments in our journeys, we will feel (great) fear but it shouldn't keep us from being bold and courageous nevertheless, just as God encourages us to be throughout the Bible. So, that day, with inner fear but also with the assurance of His presence in my spirit, I laid down on my bed, fully clothed, spoke to God unceasingly while I slowly led my hand down south. For the first time in my life I consciously, with God, was "exploring" skin on skin, first-hand, what He had created me with. It was not about seeking pleasure or anything. It was about reconciling me and my sexuality. All throughout it, I spoke to myself what He taught me in the weeks before about the beauty of His gift and His creation and about its purpose and I thanked Him for having made me the way He made me and I thanked Him for being with me and loving me the way He does. I remember the time when I stepped in front of a mirror, naked, with God, and on purpose looked at myself as a sexual being, and spoke to myself, thanking God for the body He has given me, for every part of me that He has given me (counting the parts up that I had avoided for life before) and that He will cause to be a beautiful blessing to my future husband, thanking Him for the beauty He has given me in my body and sexual drive, that my future husband will be blessed through in marriage. I remember the moment I wanted to give up and get stuck and told God that I'm so grateful for the restoration He had begun to work in me but how sorry I was because I couldn't see how I could go on… I told God I'm sorry but I can't do it, I just can't do it. I remember how gracious He was and how in all the inner turmoil I felt He filled my spirit with His peace, the peace that passes understanding. And I knew He was with me. And as He was with me, I dared to press on, I dared to take another step and another step. The journey God led me on in this personal challenge is and always will be amazing to me. There is so much that He taught me through it, especially about trusting Him despite it all – and certainly He taught me more than I realize right now – and there is such a good work that He started in me, which He is far from having finished yet, for which I am forever grateful. Josh, don't be discouraged and don't ever think that your case is too broken, too difficult for God to lead you out. He takes us step by step, if need be, baby step by baby step. I am by no means perfect – I fail, miserably at times, but my heart is set on God and on letting Him help me, letting Him do His work on me, while I do what I can – be available, step out and try something, repent where I need to repent, get back up as to not letting His grace and mercy and love be poured out in vain. Josh, you love God and your heart is set on Him – if you have trouble believing this, then take my word for it… I see your heart for Him, and He sees it too. I understand everything that you say. I feel with you. And I am so proud of you for having made the bold choice to post on this site, and I firmly believe that it was a mighty good thing to do for you. I have no doubt that the good seeds that have been spoken over you throughout the comments by your brothers and sisters in Christ will bring forth a good fruit in and for you as you take them in and don't let them go away from your heart and mind. As you do what you can do, God will do what you can't do. To reach out of ourselves in our trouble is the most essential step we can take towards finding the help we need, the help God makes available, and becoming free in the end. Now, concerning your Gollum comparison… I always have compassion on Gollum whenever I watch the Lord of the Rings and I do understand Gollum's dilemma and pain – but can I tell you that Gollum had a choice. It may not have been an easy choice for him because of how long he already seethed in his condition of being bound to that Ring but it was a doable choice. He had the choice to do right but chose differently. And I know circumstances and dynamics played a part in it, and this reply is already quite lengthy, so I won't elaborate on this much, but Gollum could have been free. One major mistake Gollum made was to constantly focus inwardly. Do yourself a favor and don't say any more negative things about yourself – don't keep rehearsing your painful places over and over and over… this will keep you stuck and keep you from focusing on God and all that He is up to in your life. I know that damaged self-esteem can cause some pretty hard-to-beat impaired thinking to occur within oneself, which usually consists of being highly self-critical, self-defeating and ultimately self-destructive… I know that when such thinking patterns have become one's norm, it's not easy to break out of them (because of the experiences we've had that just seem to only confirm our deepest fears and doubts and worries or because we've rehearsed the same impaired thoughts so often that they just appear to be true and fact to us) but I've learned that if I keep thinking the same way I've always thought (about myself, about situations, about whatever,…), then I'll keep doing what I've always done (following the same patterns), and then I'll most probably end up having the same results I've always had. So, if I wanna get out of the rut, reach a new level, get closer to the miracle or freedom I'm believing God for, then I often have to stretch out of my comfort zone first, do what I can do, entrust to Him what I can't do, and take a risk with God as I step out in faith. Sometimes I worry about whether a step I take is the right one or not but Joyce said something about these issues that really helped me put it into perspective: If you believe that God wants you to do something, then step out and try it, just like standing before the Red Sea… to see if it parts, you have to step into the water first. If it turns out that it wasn't a step you should have taken, then no problem, just step back, get with God and take the next step forward with Him. The goal is to stay open for change, stay open for God to do something in you…

    Josh, I surely understand your worries. I don't wanna force anything on you. It is a huge church but from personal experience I can say that it doesn't feel huge when you are there and know where to go and they know you, so you won't have much "embarrassing" situations getting around the place. That's why I offered that I take you with me, that I will be by your side, so you won't have to take a step on your own and get confronted with having to be social with people you don't know on your own. The only thing that you may have to do here and there, as the members of the church are really sweet, is shake a hand and say "hi, nice to meet you". I love the perfect mix between it being a huge church, where you don't get stopped in the tracks by everyone or noticed by everyone, and having lovely fellowship with the people God has blessed me to know personally thus far at my church home. I don't know exactly what you mean by "to be there with me in the mental, emotional, and spiritual trenches" – if you wish, you can elaborate on that for me in a comment – but I thought I'd be with you throughout the whole time and you can talk to me about whatever you would wanna talk about. If it would help, we could meet up earlier and have a bite somewhere casual, next to the church is a yummy sushi place, so you can have time to accustom yourself to my company and the setting. Ps. John Gray is an excellent preacher and is always super funny while he preaches, so if you like funny, his service may be a good choice to come to. If you worry about where to park your car, I can offer you to park it at my hotel, so you won't have stress with crowds after service and getting back to your car – it's right next by and no big deal to me. We can take our time after service and "stroll around" in the building without difficulty, waiting for the first rush of home-goers to have left. Whatever I can do to make it more comfortable for you, I'll try to do it. But there are some things that only you can do – like, coming with an open heart (whatever the preacher will be preaching about, you set your mind on soaking it up and not closing off your heart to it for whatever reason) and coming with a courage in you to be willing to face your fears or worries. It can be that April may be too soon for you to step out and try something new in your approach to a new beginning with God. No problem, if you would want to take up the opportunity sometime later, I'll be there for you. If you prefer not to do it, that's ok too. Whatever you choose to do, Josh, in everything stay strong and keep the faith. Don't feel so bad about yourself. You and God have got this.

  15. PassionateForChrist says:

    Josh, may I ask you a question? Do you have good worship songs and music at hand that you can listen to when you are pressured or worried or spiritually under attack? Songs such as those from Matt Redman, Phil Wickham, Kari Jobe, Bethel Music, Christy Nockels… In my troubled times, listening to good Christian songs and music helped me with focusing my thoughts on God and His Truth. Let me know, if you don't mind 🙂

    • PassionateForChrist says:

      If you haven't, then I could assemble you a few on a cd before I head out to TX on Saturday… that's why I'm asking. Just to know if I'd need to take that into my preparation time plan tomorrow. Praise precedes the victory, so we should never underestimate the helpful power of immersing ourselves with praise and worship music in our everyday lives, especially in the embattled times when it gets harder for us to bring our own praise freely and fully on here and there.

    • Moviefan2k4 says:

      I'm not a huge fan of traditional "worship" music, because it often feels either forced or even gay to me. Male intimacy has been a very prominent struggle for me; I don't feel comfortable with most other men, for more than a few minutes or hours. I think part of its due to the abuse, and also my Dad leaving before my birth; my Mom's uncle being an angry legalist certainly didn't help either. I do listen to quite a bit of contemporary Christian music though, some faves being Amy Grant, Michael W. Smith, and Skillet.

  16. Moviefan2k4 says:

    I just wanted to bump this up, since its been a couple of months. My thoughts and emotions keeps going all sorts of places I don't want them to go, because I know in my heart most of them go against God. I find myself momentarily lusting after friends or family, only to clamp my eyes shut and pray under my breath, hoping things will go back to better territory quickly instead of taking hours or days. Its not limited to one age or gender, either; they pop into my head about men and women, young and old, related and not. Its driving me crazy, because I don't want to dishonor God…and yet, I just want the chaos to end for good. I keep thinking about the abuse I suffered as a child (see my first post), and my "inner self" goes wildly across the spectrum, from wanting to kill the man to almost enjoying the abuse…which in turn, makes me feel even more sick and twisted inside. I've avoided coming back to Marriage Heat, because all that resulted were rampant fantasies about the people who write here and their stories. I know that's not a Godly thing either, so I was trying to starve the temptation instead of feeding it. The only reason I'm writing this now is because I'm desperate for answers, and very few people in my "real life" even know I've visited this site. To the best of my knowledge, none of them know I've actually submitted my own history in a plea for help…so this page alone is a kind of "haven" so long as I avoid everything else. I just want the madness I feel inside to be over, and I'm sick of suffering across the board. I'm not suicidal or anything like that, but my faith often feels like a lie that I desperately want to be true; I need help and don't know where to look. Thanks for your time.

    • PassionateForChrist says:

      Dear Josh, I'm so sorry to hear that the battles within you have worsened… I didn't forget about you during the last couple of months… whenever God brought you to remembrance in my heart, I've lifted you up to Him in prayer and love. I am so proud of you for holding on to God in desperate hope and for running to prayer and talking to God in your plight, when under attack! Josh, I have no doubt that God is so proud of you in this too and that He is doing the fighting for you in the spirit realm (where it matters most) against all those forces of darkness that are seeking to crush and destroy you from within. You have a reason to hope – don't let any demon that attacks you tell you otherwise. God is not afraid of nor repelled by what is going on within you – He is not looking at you and thinking "he's got so much junk going on in him, so much sin – he's unworthy, he's a basket case" – NO WAY, Josh. God loves you and hates what those demons are doing to you. God never gives up on you and neither should you. God never leaves you nor forsakes you – He promised it and I can guarantee you He means business. God is for you. And He is closer than your own breath in all those nasty moments – not condemning you but fighting for you, steadying you, speaking hope to your spirit, your innermost being. God looks on the heart, and when He looks onto yours, I can tell you from what you've shared, He sees a heart clinging to Him, clinging to His hope, crying out to Him – and He is never idle in such a case. I'm sorry that breakthrough hasn't manifested for you yet in this battle but I stand with you believing that God has it in the works. Jesus healed and set free the demon-possessed man in Mark 5:1-20 (also Luke 8:26-39) – keep praying, Josh, keep asking God to heal you and set you free like He did Legion that day. Do what you can do – submit to God and resist the devil: keep your focus on the Goodness of God – even if it's hard to experience for you right now in all your battles – keep talking to God (don't be scared if in your despair you happen to scream at Him… He understands you better than anyone ever can, He is not easy to offend – He is filled with unfailing love for you, merciful and compassionate, sloooowwwww to get angry). In your weakness, He is strong for you. Your faith is not a lie, Josh. If it were, you wouldn't even care to resort to prayer in your distress and you certainly wouldn't stick to God as you do inspire of all that you face. You have true faith and He saves you through it, He will restore you through it, He will redeem you through it. I feel your pain strongly and I've taken a bit to reply because I've pondered if I can find some more tangible help that I could encourage you to pursue but I don't know yet myself a clear answer to that yet… But I didn't want to leave you here alone for too long without a reply, for I know how much it can hurt when we reach out about anything to anyone in hope for just some encouragement at least or a little word of love, only for it not to come and us then feeling bad about having even taken the first step. If at some point I'd have a suggestion for help that you may be able to consider, I'll post it up here for you. I'm proud of you, Josh. Stay strong. Even if every breath you breathe seems so hard to take at times, remember: God is picking you up whenever you're falling down. You're not a lost case. You are in the loving care of the Almighty – your shield and shelter, your keeper and healer.

    • PassionateForChrist says:

      Good morning Josh! I have some news for you that I hope will bless you and enable you to not only find the help you seek but also bring you one step further towards lasting freedom and healing.

      Feeling your heart and your cry for help and change, I have reached out for you to the people of Mercy Multiplied (formerly known as Mercy Ministries) asking them for direction about where I could encourage you to find the help you seek and need. Mercy Multiplied is a non-profit Christian organization dedicated to helping young women break free from life-controlling issues since 1983. They specialize on women but I believed in my heart that I could go to them and ask for help concerning you also because they have a lot of experience about cases such as yours through their ministry and they are open to help whoever reaches out to them in the best way they can. I have followed their ministry's work and it never ceases to amaze me how effectively they help those young women break free from any and all kinds of life-controlling issues (including sexual abuse and all). I have taken the liberty to privately share with them what you've shared with us here, keeping it in your own words, so as to not add or subtract from you and to give them the possibility to provide as accurate as possible a direction and help for you. Their answer to my email came already the next day. They have included in there an email message for you, Josh, with several different tools and resources that you may find helpful. They have also given me a list of referrals for faith-based organizations for men that may be of use to you. What they have given me for you is confidential – I am supposed to keep it only between the intended recipients (which is you and me), so I will not post it up here for all to see, but I have conferred with the gracious MH admins yesterday and, if you're ok with it, all that Mercy Multiplied wishes to tell you through me and the information they wish me to hand over to you, I will get it to you through MH privately (the admins will forward it to the email they have of you).

      Josh, I wholeheartedly mean all that I say to you. You have precious true faith – you have a faith that prevails, that perseveres through the trenches, the battlefields you're caught up in for the time being. You don't need to be ashamed of anything – the devil is a lowlife and a liar… all this trash that he throws at you (in your mind and in your soul) doesn't define you, Christ alone defines you and that's how God sees you: in Christ, wrapped up securely, sealed in the righteousness of His own Son. The battle is the Lord's and He will never stop fighting for you. God bless you and keep you always!

    • Moviefan2k4 says:

      Send me the info; I'm more than willing to look through it. I was raised in a mostly-female family anyway, with very few male role models…so I feel comfortable relating to women a lot of the time. That's probably one reason though, why my sexuality is such a battle: it changes how I see women so drastically that I can't reconcile both views. I want to treat women as daughters of God worthy of respect, but my lustful side rages like crazy for the obvious; it really makes me feel like "Jekyll vs. Hyde" a lot.

    • PassionateForChrist says:

      Dear Admins, thank you bunches for your help!! I've sent you the mail for Josh/Moviefan2k4 on Saturday 18th of June around 8am CST. God bless you for going out of your way to help and support!

  17. Moviefan2k4 says:

    Hey, all. I just wanted to make a quick post, asking for prayer. Tomorrow is my ex-girlfriend's birthday – the same woman who I've loved and missed so much over the past 15 years. My mind has accepted she was never properly mine, but my heart still screams for her a lot of the time…along with raging against her, myself, and God for all the horrors that drove us apart. If you want a fairly-accurate example, think of Forrest Gump and Jenny, minus the happy ending (so far). I'm really wrestling with feelings of bitterness and rage, wanting to wish her a Happy Birthday but also hating that so much has recently changed in my life. I'm grateful to God for His blessings, but also angry because of the emptiness I still feel. I've had an account with Christian Mingle for a few months, trying desperately to move on…but no luck as of yet. I just don't know how to make my mind and heart change, and trusting God goes from easy one moment to extremely hard the next. Please pray for me, but also for Michelle and her daughter Lizzie. I'm glad she has the child she always wanted; my only regret was not being able to give her the life she deserved.

    • PassionateForChrist says:

      We, on our own, cannot make our mind and heart change. Only with God can the renewal of our mind take place, and a change of heart will occur upon His touch. You are on the right path, Josh. Stay encouraged! The first big step is wanting to change. You got that. I'm sure you prayed to God asking Him to change you, inviting Him into your different areas, into your depths. That's the second step. The moment you pray, the tide of the battle turns to your favor. You got that. What you need to make sure now is that you allow Him to lead you – don't try to make it just happen on your own – allow Him to show you what to feed your mind with (Christian articles, devotionals, Scripture, etc…), the material through which He will show you where your thought patterns need readjustment, need correction, need healing… and as you diligently work through these materials that He will draw you and lead you to, He will work the healing in you… just as He did in me with the area I was deceived in and operating in out of wrong thought patterns, wrong logic in my own mind. I had no idea my thought patterns were wrong until I took step 1 and 2 and then submitted myself to His lead – that included being willing to let whatever truth He would show me overrule my own long-held thought pattern or (deceived) belief. I took this journey towards restoration on my own with God and it was not always easy but so worth it, as it allowed me to experience God like never before and deepened my personal relationship with Him – it require being fiercely honest with Him and accountable to God and willing to change my ways of handling my thoughts and my ways of responding and such… it also required that I would allow Him to hold me, to steady me in His Grace through the process, that I would receive this Grace of His and Love of His for me, especially when I felt like I messed up or would let God down or anything… you need to override the voices of the Enemy, those voices that will accuse you and remind you of all that went wrong and all… you need to choose in the nasty moments to believe God about His Grace, undeserved and unmerited yet given freely and compassionately by Him, and you need to claim it for yourself and hold on to it no matter what and thank Him for it right then and there in those moments. I know this is all easier said than done but with God you can do it. He can and will set you free, as you make sure to keep feeding your mind with thoughts that are in accord with His heart and Word, to keep the faith in God, your heart set on Him, and to be courageous, committed and open to let Him redefine the way you think, your patterns and habits. I'll keep you in prayer, Josh. You're on your way to freedom in Christ. Way to go! God bless you!

  18. Moviefan2k4 says:

    OK, so I gave in today, which only restarts the cycle of fear, anger, bitterness, and resentment…towards God, myself, and others. I didn't involve anyone else, look up porn, or even seek the stories here; it was just me and my mind. But I keep going back to memories from the past which I shouldn't have done, and its more automatic than deliberate. If anything, I'm trying to avoid thinking about porn, or my ex-girlfriend, celebrities, family, etc. I feel like a pervert with most of this, which is why I fight so much to stifle it. Deep down, I truly want to honor Jesus and God, especially in this area of my life. I keep thinking of how I did so much wrong, and I'm desperate to experience sex the right way so my heart can finally rest. I've heard people say that I'm trying to earn God's grace, or somehow pay Him back for His death on the cross…which only stresses me further. So many thoughts enter my mind with this behavior, to the point I can't enjoy it without feeling immense shame, guilt, or outright hate…even when its over. Thoughts and feelings combine that don't even involve sex, like missing my Mom or wishing other people I loved and admired were still alive…but it all gets twisted together which sends me into a spiral. I pray like crazy, on my knees and not; I also read and confess my Bible but it rarely seems alive to me. Like I said earlier, this whole mess feels like a beast, that keeps tearing at me from the inside out. HELP!!!!!

    • PassionateForChrist says:

      Hey Josh, don't panic – God's got you still. He will never let you fall. So you slipped into the old spiral in your mind anew – that's not too big for God to handle, to help you out of. Don't beat yourself up over it so fiercely. That's not gonna do you any good. Go to God right now and tell Him that you are sorry and tell Him how thankful you are for His help to keep changing you bit by bit, making you whole in Him and setting you free – and when you speak it to Him, make sure you receive His forgiveness in this very moment. That means really BELIEVE, by faith, that right in this moment God has forgiven you, removed the sin from you and remembers it no more. The Blood of Christ has made you white as snow, cleansed. Take a deep breath and relax in this moment – Christ has you covered! Don't let some logic of your own or whatever guilt and shame keep you from starting afresh and anew from that moment on. Right now is your fresh start, your second chance (and yes, God has got as many second chances in store as you need while you keep clinging to Him through the battle on the way to freedom in Christ). Those thoughts have not come overnight and they probably will not vanish overnight but don't let that discourage you or let your focus be drawn away from your ultimate goal of being set free from them one by one, as you keep running to God and letting Him carry you through when you are overwhelmed. May God speak peace to your soul and your current storm! Refuse to give into the pressures of stress or anxiety. (I know that's easier said than done but you got this with God). Nothing can snatch you out of God's hand. No beast whatsoever. God is stronger! Jesus is greater!

      "For in the hour of our darkest day, we will not tremble, we won't be afraid. Hope is rising like the light of dawn. Our God is for us, He has overcome! For we trust in our God, and through His unfailing love, we will not be shaken, we will not be shaken, we will not be shaken!"

    • Moviefan2k4 says:

      Thanks for replying again, and for more encouragement. The hardest part for me with God on most things, is really believing because I'm not always sure what that means. My feelings often say one thing, my mind another, and they fight it out like a prolonged boxing match inside my head. I start quoting Scripture, trying to have some peace…only for the anger and hate to swell even further because I feel so stressed out. I've battled these lustful thoughts and emotions in one form or another, ever since puberty…but its become a lot more chaotic since my Mom died. The bitterness I often feel over her death, and my desire to have her back, often gets mixed with all the lust and my desire for a Godly marriage; yuck! Pardon the crassness, but who in their right mind wants to feel sexually attracted to their parents?! I've had so much difficulty keeping all these thoughts and emotions separate; its like a poison in my soul. Additionally, I bottle up so much anger from other things, because no matter how much I scream into pillows or hit things it never goes away. My last screaming fit left with me a hoarse voice for almost a week; it literally hurt when I drank anything. I was telling God in prayer this morning, "Show me the way out. I'm sick of people telling me to read my Bible and basically hope for the best. This chaos is killing me; show me the way out. No more just talking or giving signs; show me the way out!" I know some of the things I want, I just don't know how to really believe for them…if that makes any sense.

    • PassionateForChrist says:

      You're welcome, Josh. Let me simplify it for you… believing means you take what God says at face value. For example: God says when you ask Him to forgive you (for whatever – big or small – no matter how often you need to), He instantly and completely forgives you. (Boy, we all can be forever grateful for this amazing promise of God!!) To believe this promise means that you have done your part asking Him and you can know beyond the shadow of a doubt that God did just what He said – it's a settled matter. He forgave, remembers the trespass(es) no more and has erased it. He said it, so it is finished and done. No proof needed.

      Now, here comes where I believe you need to guard yourself diligently to not maneuver yourself in such a spiral… When it comes to believing, neither your feelings nor your mind have any authority to make the call of whether God just did for you what He promised in His Word to do for you. God said He instantly forgives you, and so He did. That's how simple believing really is. Your feelings and your mind may conflict with each other but none of what they dish you changes the truth of the Word. So don't let them drag you into a battle you don't have to fight. God will take care of that – He will bring wholeness to your being. That should already give you some rest to your soul and peace to your heart.

      Josh, from what you share, this is how I see it: one key I believe is that you need to stay away from getting on the treadmill of being stressed out. The pressure of that treadmill just makes it all the more chaotic and difficult for you. I don't wanna make light of the pain you feel and all, I understand it, but I wanna give you a practical way, a little something that you can see to do, and I'm convinced if you follow through on it, you will see betterment in the long run… I hope what I share to be a stepping stone for you towards a greater freedom, towards restoration, towards breakthrough… I hope that even though it may sound simple, you will take it to heart and persevere in it (even if you stumble here and there… don't let that derail you… God will not let you fall). So, here is what I wanna impress on your heart:

      Stress is an ignitor that sets you up to freefall into that spiral and causes you to lose yourself in and be overwhelmed by the confusion and chaos, emotionally, mentally and physically. So, when you sense your stress level becoming tangible, stop yourself in that moment – don't rush to quote Scripture in that moment and thereby put even more pressure on you… sit down somewhere quiet and breathe, in and out, on purpose put yourself physically in a position to be calm and relaxed, so the momentary tempest of your mind and emotions can go by without taking center stage and grabbing control. Have no fear, Josh. You do not let God down or anything if you don't quote Scripture in that moment. God is in you, believe me, He is with you, right there in the mess and the struggle… and He is speaking to you. You have just so many voices and noises in you that make it hard for you to hear Him. In the stillness, we can hear Him best. So this is where I wanna encourage you to put your focus on and work on… Let your first response to a storm that tries to rush in on you be that you stop any hustle and bustle. The storm will pass. In the beginning you will have to persevere in this new response, not beating yourself up for the fact that wrong thoughts and feelings come to mind and well up… in spite of them, hold on to your position of calm and rest, breathe – it's all gonna be alright. God will not move one inch away from your side. His shield is not broken over you. He will fight the battle while you rest. Be consistent in this one thing for now, to begin with, and you will see victory, I'm sure… it will get better in time.

      Also, I wanna say this clearly: You are not sexually attracted to your parents. Don't buy into this lie from the Enemy! Like you said, it just all gets mixed up in you because of the chaos. That's the torment the Enemy brings into you but that's not you. So, don't make it a part of your identity. You loved your mom and miss her. That's perfectly fine. You are alive and have desires and emotions. That's perfectly ok. Don't let the Enemy push your buttons about any of it. Don't focus so much on the darkness he throws around. You belong to God, that means the Enemy can't touch you – he may rattle and stomp and what not but he can't touch you. Be encouraged to work on the step I've suggested, begin with being and staying calm when you would naturally be enticed to lose your peace. It will get better. Remember to keep believing simple 'cause it is and it will work for you. Stay encouraged! You are not alone. God bless you!

    • Moviefan2k4 says:

      Thanks; I will try that. What do I do about all the lust I feel, in the meantime? I wrote a letter today, to my ex-girlfriend. I'm not intending to send it, but unlike past attempts this letter was written "no holds barred". I'd always made preserving her emotions the top priority, but this wound up being seven typed pages…and some of it was not very nice at all. Part of me is sorry I wrote it, but another part gets a small amount of relief from letting all the stress out. She's moved on with her life, and I'm trying to do so with mine…but all these emotions keep getting in the way. When it comes to my sex drive, nothing is ever mentally or emotionally consistent. Just like with my anger, the cycle starts swirling like crazy, to the point I can't keep my thoughts away from things I know are wrong. One thing I'm hoping for in a wife someday, is for her to be patient and comforting with me regarding our intimacy. I remember having flashbacks to my childhood abuse, one of my first times with my ex-girlfriend…and I'd hate to be thinking of her while making love to my wife. I really do want a relationship that honors God, but being single at almost 36 years old really sucks. I woke up in the middle of the night, maybe two weeks ago, to realize I'd had a wet dream…but I'd completely slept through it with zero memory. It was a relief in some ways, but also frustrating since I didn't have any mental images or feelings to use as a Godly source of relief. I'm just tired of the chaos, and the uncertainty. I long to be closer to God, but sometimes I really wish His standards (and mine) weren't so high. I know sex isn't the whole of marriage, but its definitely a huge perk in my opinion. I long for a wife who will help me see that in her eyes and in God's, my sexuality does not make me a pervert or a freak. In the meantime, its very challenging to be patient, and not let selfish lust or bitterness take hold. Please pray for me; thanks.

    • PassionateForChrist says:

      Hi Josh! Getting what clutters you inner system out on paper is a good way to relieve the pressure – and when you do it, it is important to be all-open and honest, so you shouldn't feel bad about that, even if some of it was not very nice at all. When you've written it out on paper and are relieved of the pressure, make sure to rip up the letter, as to not be enticed to send it off. There is absolutely nothing wrong about doing what you've done. Indeed you are in good company with this method: Abraham Lincoln handled stressful situations this way as well – he wrote "angry letters" to the persons he had problems with (no holds barred) but of course never sent one of these off. It was a way to get the feelings off his chest, to declutter, which is why it's important to say exactly what's on your mind. So no fear about that. Get the clutter out in writing, then rip it up and cool off. Calm down. You are a good person – you'll surely be bent towards objecting me on that but just take it as I say it. God differentiates your "who" from your "do". Who you are is His child. What you do is what He is patiently and lovingly working on with you (as He does with everyone of us 'cause we all have our personal crosses to bear).

      I believe you shouldn't let the "lust" you feel keep you from focusing on finding that rest, from seeking calm, rest and no hustle and bustle to be your 1st response. Breaking free from a spiral, a negative habit that we've formed, will have in its beginning stages always a period of time where the wrong thoughts or feelings will still manifest here and there while we are working on learning a new, more healthy response to the triggers that set us off. Have no fear because of lust that you still may feel temporarily, God can handle it and He will steady you in His unfailing love. He knows that you don't want these thoughts or feelings – they are not yours – and He will not crush you in this moment. You can count on God's goodness and love. He differentiates the who from the do. He is on your side. I believe the best you can do while you work on learning that new response of rest is to not give lustful feelings much of your attention – they may well up in you but you keep sticking to seeking positioning you physically at rest and staying calm in spite of it. Don't beat yourself up about it. Know that this is normal in this transitionary stage that you embark on. If you do not give up in this, I'm sure that you will see it getting better – the more relaxed you learn to stay in those moments, the more these wrong feelings and thoughts won't be able to shake you into spiral and chaos, the sooner they will go away and eventually be gone.

      Don't worry about and build up additional stress concerning your future relationship with you future wife – God will take care of it all when the time comes but right now He needs to steady you first. Don't be anxious about being 36 and still single – that's a good age for a man, you're in the prime of your years. Time is not running out on you. Why not consider having had that wet dream without conscious memory a blessing of God? I'd see it this way if I were you. In His mercy, He gave you a relief, shielding you from the risk of spiraling out because of it as He gave it to you in the shelter of deep sleep, a relief that your body legitimately needs every now and then. I'm reminded of Martha and Mary when Jesus came to their house to visit – and Martha was anxious and troubled and greatly laboring to do everything good and all because she wanted to please Jesus while Mary rested at the feet of Jesus in this moment soaking up on Jesus. Be encouraged, Josh, to choose to rest at the feet of Jesus in the middle of your various situations. Look at it this way: instead of you laboring exhaustingly to have godly mental images to go with it, He relieved you in this moment by taking control over you and you in your sleep did relinquish control to Him and were peaceful. That's a start. His standards and your own exhaust you so greatly because you're laboring at them in your own strength. But God's strength is available to you – and it will make the burden easy and the yoke light. So, again, I'm convinced if you focus your energy on persevering in learning that new response of rest and calm to stressful situations (sexual, emotional, mental, or all of these at once), to break free from the spirals, you will get closer to God, just as you long to, because you'll be able to hear His voice better, and you will see a betterment in yourself and your situations. Don't give up in the beginning stages of this transition! God's got you. His embrace is greater than the mess that manifests currently. He will never let go of you. He cares about you. He holds you safely. I'll keep you in prayer. God bless!

  19. Moviefan2k4 says:

    Hey, all. Its been more than a year since my last post on this, and almost two since my first one. I wish I could say things have become easier with this, but they really haven't. I avoided this place for a long time too, because I didn't want to be lusting after anyone who wrote here. I even added an image blocker to my browser, so I couldn't see the pictures attached to each story.

    I feel so alone, abandoned, taken for granted, ignored, and just unwanted the vast majority of the time. When I first started this post, I'd been in my older sister's house for about three months, living with her family. That quickly went from a house of four (including me) to a house of nine, which only increased my stress since there were thin walls and lots of noisy kids around. About a month ago, I left her home and started renting a room about 20 minutes away. My roommate is a man in his 50s, who spends most of every day at work while I'm at the house alone. I haven't been able to get out much, and I feel the desire to improve my own life evaporating. Deep in my heart, I'm still bitter about my Mom's death and my ex-girlfriend's abandonment. While I know in my head that neither are God's fault, my heart screams otherwise almost every day. I've also worn my voice out many times, both at my sister's and in my new home…screaming my lungs out in a desperate attempt to release the darkness which seems to be taking me over. I got so angry two days ago, that I just started hitting my bedroom door as hard as I could, over and over while screaming…only to suffer a bruised wrist muscle and a sore throat for my efforts.

    When it comes to my sex drive, I'm still filled with so much fear and conflict. There's times where I want nothing more than to masturbate, regardless of lust or anything else…just to feel some sort of comfort no matter how brief. I've even looked up some stories on here, still trying to keep away from full-on porn…but the emotions triggered are the same to me. I've also been dealing with another problem – sexually perverted thoughts entering my mind and refusing to leave, no matter how much I pray or beg God to take them away. Its often thoughts of a gay nature, like performing oral and/or anal sex on another man…even my new roommate! I've also battled lustful thoughts about little kids from my sister's home, animals like dogs and cats, and even disgusting stuff like drinking pee and eating crap! I cry out in my heart, though rarely with my voice, "God, help!!! What the hell is going on? Why is this happening to me, and why won't it stop?" And most of the time, all I feel in return is silence. I go to sleep most nights hoping I either wake up in Heaven, or with a new mind not contaminated by such horrible garbage. Seeing reports on Facebook and such about "the newest gay person or issue" (even though I don't look these things up!), certainly doesn't help anything either.

    One good thing that did happen, was my getting baptized maybe 3 months ago. It was originally forced on me as a teenager, but this time I chose it for myself because i wanted things to be right and more peaceful between me and God. I do sometimes feel a little bit of peace, but its overwhelmed by everything I've been describing in this update. I find myself writing letters to people I lusted after years ago, just to say I'm sorry and get it out of me. But I'm just so exhausted, in more ways than I know how to describe. Please, somebody…please help me. I feel like a monster in so many ways, and its just become too much.

  20. Harper Shelby Thornton says:

    Moviefan2k4 I need you calm down and take a breath. I have read ur response and I feel the need to say something. Take time to calm down. God loves you, He sees your struggles. Trust in Jesus and enter in to His rest, son. Read the bible everyday, I think that's very important. And all these horrible things like screaming, getting yourself hurt, and being scared all the time – that's not of God! Do you honestly believe God wants you hurting yourself like that? Don't you think God wants you to have blessed assurance rather than fear? God gives us hope! This site is WAY better than porn, as it's real, genuine, beautiful and most importantly Godly.

    Regarding ur perverted thoughts, it's good that you see and acknowledge that they're wrong. Believe me, son God sees this and He understands that you don't mean that. He knows you hate it. And GOD BLESS you for being humble enough to admit to Him and us. Also, these letters you're writing who are they for? If they were some pretty girl, don't worry you did nothing wrong you've got nothing to apologize for. You are wired by God Himself to get pleasure from women, that's natural for a man to feel, so don't worry about image blockers, and all that. There is nothing to be ashamed of with normal thoughts about women. But these other thoughts, the fact that you're acknowledging them is a good sign. I don't condone them, but I don't judge you either. I believe that the enemy is trying to destroy your relationship with God, it does happen. Don't ever let him get you you are way better than are worth more than that.I can assure you that you are not a monster. You just have a very big struggle right now, and it WILL pass.

    U say that "all you feel you get is silence" but I think God already gave you an answer – everything you need to know is in His word. Read it everyday, it's so important. I really hope things get better for you, dear. But please, stop hurting yourself, it's not going to help you, and your situation. So I want you to promise me that you'll stop that. There is no need for you to be scared if you're saved. God will always look after you, and may He bring you through this horrid time and make you a stronger man. God bless

  21. Moviefan2k4 says:

    I don't like to make a lot of promises, since I have a bad track record at keeping them…especially the important ones. And where my screaming is concerned, whether God wants me to release those emotions is rarely on my mind at all; I'm just desperate to be free and have them stop filling my mind or my heart. About the image blocker, I don't see how lusting after these images is Godly…particularly for a single person like me. If that's suddenly okay, then what's the difference on a visual level, between this site and Playboy or worse? True, the preview images here are usually clothed…but the emotions they stir are the same in my experience. Its still sexual desire for someone you're not married to, which is sin according to God. In all honesty, I often don't feel right even coming here, because sex and God just seem like opposites from how I was raised. A common expression in my home was, "Don't do anything, unless you can picture God being there and smiling over it." I block the images because I know that if I look at them, I won't just be desiring whoever's writing the story; my cravings will be for the person in the picture as well. That's what got me into porn (and later adultery) from the very beginning – wanting women I knew I couldn't have because it went against God. I couldn't make the desires disappear, while hate and resentment grew toward both God for His rules, and myself for being unable and/or unwilling to keep them. Sex is probably the one thing I feel most trapped about it in my life, with regard to God. I think it started with the abuse mentioned in my first post, and then having to go through puberty alone because those around me were too scared or "religious" to help me. Many days and nights, I still feel like that 16-year-old boy, watching erotic thrillers and shaking in front of the TV…hoping his Mom doesn't wake up and be ashamed of him. I don't read my Bible every day, but I do watch sermons and listen to preachers a lot. I just keep wanting more than the Bible, if that makes any sense. i want God to be 100% real to me, without the fear, hate, shame, disgust, loathing, or anything else I feel keeps getting in the way. Often times, I wind up masturbating from pure, unadulterated desperation…and feeling like the worst sinner in the world for days on end afterwards. Sometimes, I've looked at the clock on my computer, waiting for midnight to hit so I can receive God's love and grace…even though my head knows time has nothing to do with it. I've often told people I feel like The Phantom of the Opera, and I think one of my prior posts mentioned Darth Vader as well. I want to trust God and Jesus like crazy, letting go of the anger and fear, placing my trust in Him…but I honestly don't know how. Others have told me "you just do it", and i want to scream their way – "This isn't a Nike commercial – I need some real help!"

  22. Harper Shelby Thornton says:

    I already gave you the definition of "lust" it's not what so many people think it is. It just means to think about how you can get someone into bed with you without marrying them first, but that's all I'll say on that. God is 100% real about everything. When people say "just do it" essentially they're right. Remember what I mentioned about the bible reading too. Consider that maybe some things you were taught growing up were wrong. That happens all the time. Sometimes we need to unlearn things. No one is right about everything, only God is.

  23. Snakedoc says:

    I'm new to this conversation, but I see you are trying to move forward. I was touched by a pastors son when I was 6 or so, then found porn. I've had and have thought like you do. It got worse before it got better. It has taken time to change my desires for sex towards what God intended to be. It is a learning process, but it is worth it. Have you heard of ransomed heart ministries? The books have been a big help to me. I would recommend doing sacred romance and desire first, then do wild at heart. From there you can chose another on what you need. One thing though take your time and take note in something that you will come back to. The books are templets to help you heal and draw you closer to God. Now this next part is helped me and am relaying to you so you can maybe start towards healing and the endless joy from Jesus Christ. If you haven't already I would forgive yourself and sit with it. Then pray Jesus blood and healing over all the porn and masturbation you see as sin, then put the cross of Jesus between you and the person/people you had sex with allowing only God love, grace, and mercy to flow through you. There is walk through prayer that I have found to work here . It is a christian website and there are other prayer that they have that work when I can think of on my own. After doing it a few times with that prayer, you do not have to go through your whole sexual history, just what you did since the last time you prayed. Now God may bring something up so you will let Him come and heal that spot. I would also recommend a counselor from there allies network. You can message, call, or if you close to one meet in person. You are loved by an almighty God, that is why He sent His Son to die for us. If you can I would recommend find a place that is close to look at beauty of the earth God created and just sit, walk..ect to watch what He does to show you how much He loves you. The main thing you should know is it take time and coming back to God when you walk away. We have an enemy and it is satin and his demons. He is the resin for what has happened to you and would love nothing less than you renouncing or walking away from God. So draw your sword and fight against satin along side with God and his angels. You will learn what work and won't work in your fight. Just allow God help you in his timing, we may not know why He does or doesn't do something. But He know what is best and restoring our hearts is his highest goal. Let God lead you, you may not hear Him now. You have to learn His voice in quiet with no drama to the question you are asking. I hope I can help. Your brother in Christ

  24. Moviefan2k4 says:

    Just a quick update, for those who have kept track. About three weeks ago, I went into a mental hospital, desperate for answers about all the sexual, occultic, and violent crap which often races through my mind. They wouldn't admit me, but I've been attending outpatient services every day. While some of the group therapy has helped, the meds they placed me on wore off quickly, and tonight I wound up lusting after a woman from the hospital while reading one of the stories on Marriage Heat. I know it was wrong, and I've told God I'm sorry yet again…but I'm just so desperate to escape this hell inside of me. I've compared myself to characters like Darth Vader in the past, but now I feel almost like the Ghost Rider…my sexuality and my hate towards God for my Mom's death being the two main battles I face every day. I quickly wrote a letter to the hospital lady in my journal, then prayed over it, crumbled it up, and threw it away. I just don't know how I'm supposed to face her tomorrow, or any of them for that matter. I feel poisoned in the core of my being, by a rampant lust and a seething hatred I don't know how to let go of…and a crippling fear that's defined me for so long I'm scared of living without it. I ask anyone who reads this to please keep praying for me. Christmas is usually my favorite time of year, but right now a lot of the joy feels forced.

  25. Harper Shelby Thornton says:

    When are you going to stop feeling guilty for something that is NORMAL! You got turned on by a woman, and possible thought about her that's normal! This is why we have sites like MH, because it's these kinds of prudish doctrines over the centuries that have caused this kind of thing. You are oppressed, and oppressed people suffer from psychological problems, so please, stop feeling guilty for how God Himself wired you, and He wired you to get sexual pleasure from woman. Were you thinking of how you could get this woman into bed with you without being married to her first? I'm guessing the answer would be no, so you've done NOTHING wrong. NOTHING. Prayers are coming your way son. God love you

  26. Moviefan2k4 says:

    As I understnd it, the meaning of "normal" has changed considerably since Jesus' earthly days. Many now use it to describe things God detetests, but have become socially acceptable – adultery, fornication, bestiality, pedophilia, etc.

    As for your question about this woman, her name is Veronica, and she is a classmate of mine at one of the mental hospital's outpatient therapy groups. She's a single mother, and the no-nonsense type who said today she behaves more like a typical man with regards to her speech and general outlook on life. Yesterday, I arrived home from the hospital after a very tough emotional day, feeling so horrible from all this hell that has raged inside of me (including but not limited to my sex drive). Desperate to feel anything even remotely Godly or holy that I didn't have to "make myself believe", I prayed more than once for God to help me NOT lust after Veronica, or anyone else. But once I started reading on Marriage Heat, thoughts of her coursed through my mind, heart, and body anyway. And while my climax was good for the ten seconds or so that it lasted, I immediately became overwhelmed by regret, bitterness, hate toward God and myself, plus deep-rooted misery and resentment. I hit my knees a few minutes later, in tears because I knew I had treated someone I barely even knew like a selfish toy, instead of a human being made in God's image. There's so many conflicting desires running through me; I miss my Mom who's been dead almost three years, and I feel bad about not being able to do a lot for my sisters this Christmas. I still feel bitter toward my ex-girlfriend who's never said a single word since I told her Mom died, though I've prayed countless times for God to help me forgive her. My Alzheimer's-stricken Dad has effectively disowned me, encouraged no doubt by my territorial stepmother who acts like she prefers I never existed. And all the while, I'm a lonely 37-year-old who wants so badly most days to be pure, and yet others just wants a woman who will validate the sexuality I often see as a curse. I have told God so many times, usually after lusting over someone, "If this is the escape You spoke of in Your Word, then I hate it! Its not enough; all it does is remind me of how I was willing to choose lust over You! When will you fix me, so this doesn't happen anymore?! I hate this, and it constant happening often makes me hate You! HELP ME, JESUS – PLEASE!!!"

  27. A Better Pastime says:

    This article and comments from the author are soul crushing…the pain conveyed is just heart breaking. Thanks and God's blessing to Harper for her heart and compassion…love and grace moreover.

  28. PassionateForChrist says:

    Dear Moviefan2k4, I have been absent from MH for some time and just happened to check back on your post today. I hope this will find you in good spirits, friend. As I have read through your most recent updates, my heart rejoiced for you – please let me explain… I know that the road you are on is a long and challenging one but it is my hope that you would see just how well you are walking it, step by step, with strength, moment by moment, sheltered by His grace and mercy. Josh, your heart for God is on display in what you share – you have a well-anchored respect for God and His Word… you care about doing it justice, and that surely pleases Him. There is so much hope for you, friend – you have already made meaningful progress on your journey and within yourself. God has a loving hold on you, He is lifting you out of the pit, and you can count on the bond of His love – it never cracks nor breaks. I pray that He would help you be patient with yourself when the pressure is on. I pray that He would help you see just how He matches your every effort to reach for Him, how He carries you through those dark times, how there is not 1 step you have to take on your own in this. Whenever your feet may fail, He is already there to catch you. He is awaiting you with abundant and sweet mercy whenever you are in need. Whenever you do, the moment you call out for His help is when Jesus stops right in His tracks and gives you His all. I pray that He would help you to always see the beauty inside the frame that He paints. We all have no righteousness apart from Jesus. We are all sinners in daily need of the fullness of God, our Helper and Redeemer, to walk through this life in His ways. Thank You, Lord, for the work you have begun in Josh! Thank You for the light You bring! Thank You for taking care of him! Thank You for making him strong in You! Thank You for simply everything!

  29. CrazyHappyLoved says:

    Wow! This MH family really has gone above and beyond to try to advise and help. It's such a blessing to be a part of this community, who love like Jesus and pray without ceasing for hurting people. I'm joining in prayer for you, Josh, that you will get the help you need to understand truth, follow your convictions, and stop hating yourself.

    Thoughts are just that. Desires are not always things we can control. Actions are what we do have control over. We can choose to obey even though it isn't what we want, like the two sons Jesus referenced in Matthew 21.

    I disagree with you for blaming yourself for what you call lust. I feel like your definition of it and self-incrimination are feeding the problem, making you think natural responses are monstrous. ACTING on those thought may be, but you can take every thought that occurs to you captive and lay it at Jesus' feet.

    But if this site or any others cause you to do what you are convinced is wrong, then *to you* it is sin. And clearly you are suffering. Your repression of sexual responses may be like trying not to think of a pink elephant. I expect that if you could develop a healthy masturbation routine that didn't involve focusing on scenarios that hurt your conscious, maybe it wouldn't control you so? Focusing on that future wife who accepts you warts and all (as you will her) can be a good choice. Try imagining all the ways you will meet each others needs "so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control." (1 Cor 7:5)

    FOR ME, if I have a problem with where my mind is going when I masturbate (it happens), I just talk to myself as if I were making love to myself rather than involving another person. Could that help you?

    Try to shake it off and move on when you stumble, knowing you are forgiven. Forgive yourself for your human weakness. Be grateful to God that he gave you a release that caused no one else the mental or social anguish that you suffered at the hands of another. And start again. I had a pastor once (a recovering alcoholic) who was fond of reminding us that righteousness is "a long obedience in the same direction". His point was not that we would never get off track, but that a right relationship with God means turning around and getting back on track.

    I wonder if you ever share these mental fixations with health care professionals familiar with the repercussions of Aspergers and other conditions on the continuum? There may be medical or nutritional intervention available. Maybe Google it?

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply