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A Girl Who Struggled with Porn: Breaking Free from a Cardboard Prison

If you’ve missed the first part of Jessica’s story, be sure to read it here.

Through tears, I looked up at the dean from my seat in the second row and said, “Do I have to?” She seemed shocked, “Yes.”

I looked down at those sheets of paper and thought about what she had said moments before, “We know some of you struggle with pornography and masturbation.” I’m not alone. I’m not a freak. Other people struggle with this, too!

A Girl Who Struggled with Porn: Breaking Free from a Cardboard Prison     GrowingUpTriplets.com #porn #christiansandporn

Even with that hope, I struggled to write it down. I wanted something more ‘Christian’ like “loving my neighbor, or reading my Bible more.” After all, weren’t those important? I wouldn’t technically be lying.

That battle seemed to rage for hours, though I’m sure it was just a matter of minutes before I filled in the blanks:

My name is: Jessica Harris
My stronghold is: pornography

Breaking Free – Beginning with Confession

I sat there for a moment, just staring at it. It was ugly. It was not who I wanted to be at all, but it was who I was. That was the truth – the connection I had been wanting to make for so long.

I, Jessica Harris, was in fact, not the perfect little church girl I wanted everyone to believe I was. By this point, I was nearly sobbing. I rolled those slips up into tiny little scrolls, and handed them to the women over me in the student life department and walked out of the meeting.

As I made my way back to my dorm, I felt empty, broken, crushed, and defeated. I had just risked it all on a whim of hope. What if they lied to me? What if they really can’t help? What if I really am alone?

I laid on my bed, waiting for judgment, fearing what I would do next. If I can fall so far after I get caught, what horrible depths will I fall to if I confess and no one cares.

Later that night, one of the women knocked on my door and called me into the back hallway. I couldn’t bear to look at her and listened as she said, “Jessica, what you wrote on that slip was brave and we’re going to help you.” That moment was revolutionary.
One of the biggest lies I had believed in my struggle was that I couldn’t tell anyone. In that moment, as my brokenness was met with hope, I realized that I had been lied to.

It was as if my confession gave me the strength to turn to the devil and pornography and call them for what they are – the father of lies and a counterfeit love. As I like to say, I tested my prison bars and found they were cardboard; I had lived in a cardboard cell I believed was made of iron.

So began a long, tear-filled, trial-filled journey of freedom that still continues to this day. It started with confession.

Why Confession Works

One of the main reasons confession works is because it ends the secrecy. Sin thrives in secrecy – in the darkness, the hushed whispers, the anonymous e-mail accounts, and the locked rooms. Confession tears down your pride, silences your fear, and pulls the door off so the light can shine in. You weaken the devil’s lies by telling the truth about yourself.

Breaking Free – How to Confess

Perhaps you see the benefits ,or want to confess, but don’t know how. It can be easy to use that as an excuse to not tell anyone at all. Here are some thoughts:

  1. Tell Someone You Know. Confessions can’t be anonymous. Confessing it to an online stranger is not confession. Find a friend, spouse, parent, member of your church, roommate, etc.
  2. Tell Someone You Trust. This probably goes without saying, but it is important that the person you tell is someone you trust. People don’t need to find out until you’re ready to tell them. Don’t tell great Aunt Barbara just because you know she’ll tell everyone and save you the work.
  3. Confess Intentionally. The first step to confessing: tell someone you need to tell them something. Set aside a time to talk with this person – make sure you set aside a chunk of time, don’t try and pencil it in to some 15 minute time slot between soccer practice and dinner. Perhaps say something like, “Do you have an hour or so to spare next week? There is something I really need to tell you.” That last part is important, because it means that they’ll nag you if you start to get cold feet.
  4. Confess Discretely. It is easy to venture into TMI territory with this. Be careful with how graphic or detailed you are. In most cases, it is not necessary to explain all the different genres you watch or what you do in chat rooms. Don’t let your confession turn into an opportunity for sin to gloat.
  5. Confess Completely. At the same time, be sure to confess what needs to be confessed. If it’s something you feel the devil is holding over you, then confess it. An incomplete confession can be more crippling than no confession at all.

Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. James 5:16

What if you confess and they don’t listen? Click here to read more.

Recommended Resources:

About Jessica Harris

Jessica Harris is a Christian blogger, speaker and former porn addict. Since going public with her story in 2009, she has written for various ministries and travels, speaking on purity, addiction, and grace. She has self-published one book, an e-devotional entitled Love Done Right: Devos and is currently working on a book capturing her own journey into and out of porn addiction. She lives just north of Washington DC where she balances her ministry with being nanny to two adorable boys (both under two). You can read more of her story at Beggar’s Daughter and catch a glimpse into her reflections on life on her personal blog, Chai Dates with Grace.

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  1. […] in any relationship in our lives is good.  That confession is a murdering of your pride.  It is good to be honest about who you are and what your struggles are.  The church needs more […]

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