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Testimonies #5

“I will tell of all Your wonders, I will give thanks and rejoice in You.”Psalm 9:1-2

“So the man went away and told all over town how much Jesus had done for him.” Luke 8:39

Emily

    Note 1: The “Be Free in Christ” group is for men only – the following woman temporarily joined our group and then unsubscribed after realizing it was only for men.

    This letter touched the hearts of many of our men – and helped us to realize the DAMAGING EFFECTS OF THIS ADDICTION.

    Please read her letter – and pray for Emily, her family, and her husband.

   Note 2: Abbreviations are as follows: “sa”=sexual addict; “h”=husband

Brothers and the moderator,

I debated about sending this. I subscribed for one reason and that was to say that I was very touched by a “testimony” by Van on the site. This is not about sa bashing, just the contrary. I tried to contact the site but was unable to so I subscribed. I will unsubscribe once I send this or Tony please take me off. I am not here to spy or anything, please forgive me if this is a little disorganized.

Yesterday I was ready to give up my stand for the restoration of my marriage for my sa husband, and for some reason God brought me to this website, kinda don’t even know how I got on there, but anyway. I have a lot of respect for sa who admit they have a problem and try to work on it.

When I read what Van wrote it brought a tear to my eyes. See, my husband left me (divorced me) and the children. He is very deep into sa, more than most. Out of the wives group that I belong to he is 2nd to the worse, don’t need to talk about pain sa causes, we all know that. For 12 years I lived with a man that took and took and never once said he had a problem. I am the problem, my daughter (7) says “wait for my daddy, I know he is not happy without the family,” and of course my h says he has never been happier without me and the kids. My h has never said that he has had a problem and when I lovingly confronted him he said I was crazy…. it is very sad.

Lord I can not do this on my own strength, but reading Van’s testimony gave me a little more strength, my h and I don’t have contact, he has told me many times to leave him alone. I have given him over to our Lord and Savior. It is very difficult to see the man you love totally destroy himself. I do now and always will love my h, but there is not one thing I like about him, but that is ok, God is not concerned with my comfort, but character – yes.

I pray I have not hurt any man on here, hope you do not feel violated as that was not my thought. If so I will ask for forgiveness. Continue with your recovery, look to Him who is strong, same yesterday, today and the future. Don’t give up, I have seen what sa can do to a man, in 12 years it has totally destroyed my h.

I am still standing for the restoration of my marriage. Until God releases me from this marriage it still stands, the 3 roped marriage is now 2 but it continues to stand. I know I will never live with an active addict, but I pray for his repentance. Sometimes I think this man has no pit. May all of you find something in your daily struggles that give you peace. I know that my h’s lifestyle will bring him emotional, spiritual and eventually physical death – he has a lawless life. This is a door satan loves to trap our men with.

Praying for my prodigal, and all prodigals.

Thank you Lord for giving me something that I have longed for 12 years – peace.

Please unsubscribe me.

Moderator’s Note: Blessings to you all and may the peace of our Lord and Savior be with you, Emily.

Rocco

“Never-ending Love”

Since I have joined this group about eight months ago, I have been through many different stages of the p&m battle. Everywhere from white-knuckling and day counting to a complete disregard for my salvation in Christ. At times I felt like I was getting worse and that all I could do is to pray that my heart would change. Well, guess what gentlemen… today I can stand before you and tell you that my heart is changing for the better. A lot better.

It wasn’t until recently that I started to uncover the roots of my problems so that I could see how deep the foxhole really was. As I asked God to expose my past issues, he was faithful to bring them out to me IN HIS TIME. But he did, and as he did I asked to be healed from those emotional wounds and asked God to help me forgive any person that I held responsible for wronging me. The saying goes (sorry not the Bible but still good), “To forgive a person is like setting a prisoner free, only to realize that the prisoner is you.”

My praise is that God has carried me a great distance and He still hasn’t set me down. He has restored my relationship with my wife and my children and helped me to see what kind of man that He wants me to be. Without making the recurring mistake this time of being overly confident and thinking that it is all behind me now, I can tell you that I DO NOT HAVE THE SAME DESIRE to fall into the same old p&m trap anymore. My day starts out with praying that He takes away my desire to commit this sin and that He helps me to stand firm. The old thoughts are not nearly as appealing as they used to be.

The damage that it causes is more prominent in my mind now. When God shines his light, the torn lives of everyone involved in pornography become exposed right along with the rest of the lies that we choose to ignore. And EVERYONE HERE can be healed of this if He is healing me, because my draw to porn was dominant in my life JUST LIKE SOME OF YOU OUT THERE. Even at the expense of my business, my family and my salvation. God does deliver guys. Keep pressing ahead, keep fighting the good fight, keep praying for God to change your heart. It works.

May God bless all of you here. I also praise all of the brothers for their love and their prayers.

In His never-ending love,

Rocco

JB

“Reaching the Height of Manhood: A Testimony”

Through out my life I always thought I have to reach a certain height of manhood to reach God and experience love and acceptance from others. But I discovered I was wrong.

I battled with the confusion of my sexual identity and same-sex attraction since childhood. I was attracted to other boys and secretly believed I was gay because of that feeling. I was terrified with this because I am a Christian and I know its wrong to feel this way.

I was teased and accused of being gay because I was feminine and not athletic. As early as 6 years of age, I already carried the homosexual label in school and the negative stigma that goes along with it. Other children and some adults in school called me gay. I never understood why they saw me that way. I always think they know something about me that I didn¹t know.

The culture I grew up with was very homophobic. Everyday, big boys bullied and sexually harass me. They corner me in school and in the bathroom because I was different. I became very shy, insecure and intimidated by other children. I played alone and feared recess and lunchtime. I had no friends and I cannot relate to other boys because I always fear Ill end up publicly embarrassed, kicked out and beaten in the playground.

I felt abnormal and needed to change. I desired to be close to other boys and be one of them. I long to play games with them, but I never had the confidence to play because I never learned the rules and I was always worried of being rejected when they found out I act different from them. I felt alienated because I don¹t know how to have friends.

My desire to be one of the boys turned into sexual fantasies for other attractive boys. I thought I was gay because I know being attracted to the same-sex makes a person one and this is what other people told me who I was. But I decided to keep my sexual crisis to myself because I don¹t want to be ridiculed and sexually harassed because of my homosexuality. I also kept silent about this for hopes that the homosexual feelings would eventually go away.

I knew homosexuality was a sin. My parents never failed to teach me about God and what was right and wrong. They introduced me to Jesus Christ and I accepted Him as my savior in 3rd grade. My father later on became a pastor and everyone in the family was actively involved in church ministry.

I was fulfilling my obligation as a pastor¹s son by serving in church and meeting the expectation of others to be a good Christian boy and a role model to other children. Because of this, I was more afraid that my homosexuality would resurface and people would notice it. I suppressed my homosexual feelings and became more secretive about it.

I believed I was sinning against God because of these fantasies but I can¹t stop them. I was dealing with shame, frustration and confusion with my identity and secrets struggles. I cannot understand why this was happening to me. I always thought other Christian boys never experience this, and why does it have to be me?

The homosexual attraction led me to learn how to masturbate at a very young age, and when I reached puberty, I was excessively involved with it. At this same time, I was also introduced to pornography. Both pornography and masturbation gratified the fantasies I cannot act out in real life. It satisfied my curiosity to be with an attractive man.

Porn and masturbation became an addiction I cannot control. They became a habit that aggravated my damaged self-esteem and doubts about my identity and Christian life. I rented illegal porn videos from different video stores and I physically disguise myself and used fake IDs to hide my identity and real age.

I was terrified with my actions and the fact that my sexual attraction to men and addiction to porn was still with me. I felt very abnormal and cried many times to God to forgive me but I always went back sinning and desiring men over and over again. There were occasions I almost acted out my homosexual desires but I always resist in the very last minute because of my fear of God. But the curiosity of being with another man and to feel accepted by them remained strong.

I know Christians shouldn¹t be gay but why do I feel this way? I couldn¹t understand God and why He cannot make the gay feelings disappear. Sometimes I could not cope with the emotional and spiritual pain and considered ending my life several times.

I lived with my addiction and secret homosexual struggles for more than 20 years. My self-esteem remained low and I continued to distance myself from other men in fear of similar rejections I experienced in the past. God blessed me with my first girlfriend and later on got engaged. But I was still hiding my strong sexual attraction to men and my addiction to porn and masturbation to other people especially to my fiancée.

My addiction became more uncontrollable when I started to them in public and used the Internet to feed my desires for an unlimited access to porn in its most explicit forms. I became lonelier and wanted to talk with someone who understood my problems, but I could not open up to other Christians or to my fiancée for fear of rejection.

One morning in October 2000, while surfing the Internet for porn, I came across the website www.settingcaptivesfree.com  The site was a 60-day freedom from porn addiction course. Because of guilt and my desire to finally break free from my sins, I gave it a try and signed up. I thought that maybe this one would work.

The course (through www.settingcaptivesfree.com) revealed to me several truths about Satan and the stronghold he had in my life through my addiction and past painful experiences. One by one God revealed to me the truth about my identity as a child of God and His power to break me free from my sexual crisis.

Through the Setting Captives Free chat room, I met Randal who introduced me to Free in Christ (FIC), a Christ-centered online fellowship and support group of men dealing with pornography addiction and sexual sins. Randal signed me up and I became an active participant to the group. From the group I discovered I was not alone. It was very liberating to know that other men, whom I only know by email address, were in the same struggles as I was and there were others who were in worst condition than me. I made friends and felt accepted.

For the first time in my life, I was able to open up my same-sex attraction and addiction to porn and masturbation to other people. It was very liberating to know these men and share all my feelings and frustrations to them. I needed to overcome my deep fear of men and learn that I could trust them. I realized that not all men are homophobic and are not out to reject me or sexually take advantage of me. Building up a healthy male friendship developed my self-esteem and affirmed the truth of my male sexual identity. I found accountability and support as I went through the process of overcoming my same-sex attractions and sexual temptations.

During that time, I feared sharing my past and my struggles to my fiancée, but God gave me enough courage to open myself to her. She listened and didn¹t reject me, and to my surprise she loved more. She said she loved me not because of my past but because of the changed person I am in the present.

In February 25, 2001 I experienced the love of God through the life and acceptance of other men. I met Duke, a Christian man I met online. The personal welcome I received from him overwhelmed me. I felt this was the kind of acceptance I longed for a long time. He also introduced me to Jim, a man who came out of the homosexual lifestyle. His testimony inspired me and gave me hope that there¹s a way out of my homosexual struggles and I too can experience that.

My conversations with Duke and Jim were meaningful, but what impacted me the most were the simple acts of acceptance they showed me. Their welcoming embrace and their unselfish interest to spend time to see and hear a stranger like me made me feel so valued, respected and understood, something I always wanted to happen in my life. God showed me that simple acts of acceptance gave the significant change that I’ve been longing for. It over shadowed the painful memories of hurt and rejection I experienced in the past. God granted me that night what I’ve been praying for, and that was to be love, accepted and affirmed I¹m a real man.

That night, I surrendered my life to God and further denounced the strongholds of Satan. From that moment on, I was smiling before God because of the joy of experiencing Him to finally break free from my sins and sexual confusion. I finally knew that day would be the start of my transformation as a new man of God.

And God continues to heal me from my struggles with homosexuality and addiction. I now see myself in a different light, the way God sees me and not with the people who I grew up with. I discovered that only God set the true measure of my manhood and now lives my life according to that standard. Even when temptation occasionally resurface itself to lure me back, I know I can never be held captive again because I have loyal friends and the confidence on my true identity God revealed to me. I feel much more secure about myself as a God created man. I don¹t feel alone because of my new friendships and I experience Gods love through the people who know and love me. I am now married and in love to my wife who makes me feel complete as a man.

Without a doubt, the lies I used to live are gone. Being one with God is now my desire. I don¹t need to be one of the boys or strive to reach a certain height of manhood to be sexually secured and gain acceptance from other people. God proved it to me through the life of Jesus that I reached my maximum manhood when I gave my identity to Him. I spent many years deceived and depressed, but now I have more years to look forward to living and celebrating the truth that I am not gay, never was and never will be.

If you are touched by my testimony in anyway or know someone who are or may be inspired by it, I would love to hear from you.

My email address is jbhanger2001@yahoo.com

or visit http://jebruce.tripod.com