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Celebrate Recovery

Testimony: Jesus Stole My Sin

hand in grass, free

By Roger

I’m a faithful believer in Christ overcoming a Sexual Addiction to pornography and a lust for fantasy, and my name is Roger.

I was born into a family that stayed heavily involved in church my entire childhood. Growing up, our family certainly had its ups and downs, but I never questioned whether I was fully loved. Having no brothers, my childhood choices were to play with dolls or ride my bike, so I did both. I was the lead Barbie car driver and took great pride in chauffeuring my sisters’ dolls to the appointed location as reckless as I would imagine Bo and Luke Duke would. But riding my bike with my dog, Gummer, by my side was where I spent most of my childhood. I would imagine I was on a motorcycle as I rode by myself. It was like the noise of the wind would drown out all the real parts of life that I didn’t want to experience. Looking back, I am now able to see this season as the start of the longing for fantasy in my world.

As the teenage years commenced, the draw of Barbie cars and bicycles faded into the desire for female attention. I leveraged all my limited sports and humor abilities to make myself stand out amongst the other young bucks. I was increasingly hungry for the chemical reaction that would occur with every teenage note written. I manipulated circumstances to get as much of that dopamine as I could acquire. I sorely misunderstood how my God-breathed attraction was prompting me. I leaned on female attention as the source to offset my insecurities and insufficiencies. Add to that my growing pride, and I was one web site away from the fight for the rest of my life.

I continued to serve God but also allowed my flesh to grow into an adult who objectified women. OBJECTIFICATION: the action of degrading someone to the status of a mere object.

I can remember the first time I saw pornography. I was 13, and it was gross, but also off-the-charts intriguing. I was seeing someone in a way I wasn’t supposed to. I was eating fruit I knew I shouldn’t eat, and it was firing off parts of my brain that had never been fired off before. Pornography allowed me to be dangerously private with my addiction.

I continued to experience intimacy outside of the plan God had for me. I made physical soul ties with women who aren’t my wife. I led them into relationships and then ignored how God tells me to lead: with utmost honor and respect for his daughters. And worse, my Christian façade acted as a barrier keeping anyone who wanted to help me out of my life.

Outside of the covenant God asks us to commit to before sex, I was stealing a God-given life-benefit He intended for my good. Though it wasn’t as obvious to me then as it is now, my pornography addiction was isolating me, hardening my heart, and fueling the continued avalanche of female objectification in my world.

Proverbs 16:18 First pride, then the crash—the bigger the ego, the harder they fall.

Shortly after getting married in 2002, I hit my lowest point when my wife walked in on me, engaged in my addiction in the middle of the night. I didn’t realize the severity of my addiction, and it nearly cost me my marriage. For the next 7 years, I attempted to control my tendency to do the wrong thing. However, my strength was fleeting, and I continued to crash.

Realize I’m not God. I admit that I am powerless to control my tendency to do the wrong thing and my life is unmanageable. ­– Celebrate Recovery Principle 1

On August 18, 2009, I attended the opening night of Celebrate Recovery at our church. That same day, I allowed God to deeply pierce my heart for the first time. I started to understand what He really did for me on the cross. He stole my sin. He scandalously swapped my poor choices out for His connection with God the Father.

Over the last 11 years, through hundreds of large group and step study meetings, I’m getting better at relying on Christ’s power to remain free. I’m continuing to learn how to confess (James 5:16) before the pride can gather in my world. I’m learning how to listen, how to share, how to grow, and how to lead. I’m learning how to exist in reality, with all the pain and hardship that life brings. I’m growing in my ability to rely on my Savior to comfort me. Life is not just about going from fantasy to fantasy (or vacation to vacation). It rains a lot in Washington. I accept hardship as a pathway to peace, and I’m learning to appreciate the positive changes that the struggles of life can bring.

In 2020, Sarah and I celebrated 18 years of marriage. I credit Christ using Celebrate Recovery as the tool that saved me and my marriage. We will continue to serve in our Celebrate Recovery for the hope that Christ will continue to use it to save other families as well.

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