Skip to content
Need some Easter Sermon inspiration? Check out our Easter Sermon Collection Learn more
Go back

Celebrate Recovery

James Daman: Celebrating Recovery from Sexual Sin

My name is James and I’m a grateful believer in Jesus Christ who struggles with shame and I celebrate recovery from sexual sin. The person I am today is not the same person that I was nine years ago when I walked through the doors of Celebrate Recovery.

I was a broken man. I was living a lie, and I had no idea what God’s path was for me. I didn’t know what it meant to truly have a relationship with someone, especially Christ.

I had a severe speech impediment as a child; it was so bad that I couldn’t even say my own name. I was relentlessly bullied as a child due to my speech impediment. This made school brutal, I couldn’t find much solace at home because my parents divorced when I was young and told me that I had to choose which parent I would live with. I chose my Dad, but he worked a lot and wasn’t home much. The bullying and loneliness I felt as a child made me feel like I was lost in a black box, where I couldn’t find the exit. I knew I needed to get out, but couldn’t.

The divorce made things very difficult at home and I had family members in my life that would say things like “I wished you were never born.” There were bright spots because God eventually put someone in my life who helped me overcome my stutter.

Later on, I was introduced to the “cool kids” and craved their attention. And because I spent so much time with them, we became like a family. I felt accepted and not threatened by my peers for the first time in my life. I noticed that they paid the most attention to me when I emulated everything they did, including things I’m not happy about. I got even more attention from them when I took things to the extreme and went even further than they did.

Looking back on this period of my life, I realized these “friends” really took advantage of me. I never got back what I gave them. Later on, I was introduced to pornography by an adult. Needless to say, it became an obsession. My Dad found out about my obsessive pornography use and I was not allowed to use a computer. A family member told my computer teacher about my problem with pornography and my teacher told the entire class.

Things got worse for me when I was diagnosed with a rare disease; it was really then that I felt like my life was unmanageable and this diagnosis reminded me that my time on earth was short. I realized how much of an impact my relationships had on my life and I began asking for God to put someone in my life that I could get closer to God with.

Soon after, I met my wife. I was amazed at her honesty, her commitment to God and of course her beauty. She had a very close relationship to God and was the first woman I wasn’t able to manipulate. The first year was pretty tough because she worked overnight and I worked during the day, sometimes the only time we would see each other would be when we would pass each other on the highway.

Two years into our marriage, I was shamed and guilty that I had passed the line I said I would never cross, looking at pornography while married. I took advantage of the time my wife worked to indulge myself. By day, I was helping others in recovery and at night I was indulging in my own addiction. At this point a family member was reaching their rock bottom and wanted recovery. I knew my church had started something called Celebrate Recovery. I thought it was just what they needed.

My family member and I went and that night a man gave his testimony about his addiction to pornography, how it led to infidelity, job loss, a failed marriage and ultimately the loss of his relationship with his children. I then heard about the transformation in the life of the man!  I came home convinced that I was tired of the old me. I felt compelled to confess my hidden lifestyle to my wife.

When I did, she immediately thought there was something wrong with her.  She took the blame. At first, I let her take the blame, but the more I heard other men take responsibility for their behavior, I began to do the same. I told her that it was my fault and began to take responsibility for my behavior. When I started doing the work, it stuck and it gave me a taste of what I wanted for the rest of my life. I later asked my wife what would have happened if I continued my behavior; she said she would have left me. It was then that I realized turning over my hurts, habits and hang-ups to Christ’s care and control has a lifelong change.

Today, I am a different person from who I was nine years ago. I love sharing my story, but it’s not always easy. Recently, my wife had a miscarriage. This came after a while of trying to have children. This happened right before we were supposed to give our testimony. My first thought was to cancel, because that’s what the old me would have done; however, I needed to be with my forever family.

We shared and it was amazing, we talked about how God never wastes a hurt and we read Psalm 27: 4-5, 7, “Delight yourself also in the LORD, and He shall give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass. Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for Him.” Giving our testimony was actually comforting, and it reminded me to trust in Him and He (not me) shall bring it to pass.

Related Posts

Subscribe to Rick Warren's Ministry Toolbox

Weekly Email for Pastors and Church Leaders

    We care about your data. Read our privacy policy.

    Pastor Rick Warren smiling