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

Celebrate Recovery

Testimony: Silence the Lies You Believe With God’s Truth

Testimony: Silence the Lies You Believe With God’s Truth

By Julia

Since before I can remember, before I even knew what the word “lust” meant, I was immersed in it. Around the age of six, I was acting out in lust with self-gratification. It controlled me, and no one knew about it. Hi, I am a grateful believer in Jesus Christ, I struggle with lust, control issues, codependency, and fear of failure, and my name is Julia.

At a young age, I remember being taught, mostly through the T.V. and movies, that love, being loved, and being in a relationship was the most important thing in life. Even growing up in a Christian world, I felt that lie was perpetuated as I came to believe that marriage would complete me and that it’s where my identity belongs.

I was six years old when I stumbled into self-gratification. I didn’t really understand what I was doing or the implications of it. All I remember is somehow feeling like what I was doing was bad. As I got older, the “bad” feeling grew into shame.

You see, I went to a private Christian high school, where we would frequently separate into male and female assemblies, where guys were taught not to watch pornography, and the girls were taught not to be the reason guys would want to watch pornography. There was never any explanation to the women about lust, porn, or self-gratification, only shame if we weren’t living up to the female Christian standards that were explained for us.

So, I learned early on—I am alone, and girls don’t struggle with sexual temptation, only guys, so I must be uniquely broken and alone. The disgust that I had for myself was overpowering. If anyone knew that I struggled with this, surely, they would reject me. I experienced so much pain and shame, that I would actually find myself asking God to take these sexual desires away from me. I didn’t understand that my sexual desires weren’t the enemy. I didn’t understand that they were a gift from God that were supposed to point me towards my deep need for intimacy in him.

Before Celebrate Recovery, I truly believed that God did not expect me to ever be completely free from this. I thought that the Christian battle was trying the best I could for as long as I could, knowing that I would inevitably fall back into it at some point. But that was a lie.

During college, I got involved with the Celebrate Recovery ministry for students called “The Landing” that met on Friday nights. Little did I know just what I was signing up for.

Through this ministry, I quickly remembered how old I was when my sexual addiction started. I was six, and in the first grade. I wondered how much pain it would have saved me to have a safe place like The Landing to talk about what I was struggling with. Maybe I wouldn’t have felt so alone. Maybe groups of women would have been a place of healing, rather than a place of shame. It didn’t take long after leading student open share groups for the Lord to press onto my heart to jump into a step study.

I was halfway through my first step study, still battling self-gratification, until my life changed on February 14, 2017. I was sitting across the table from Andy, my boyfriend at the time, who would later become my husband. He was battling with his own struggles, which I knew about, but he told me that day that he had been free from acting out in lust for over a year and a half. He was ashamed of how little time he felt it was, but I was overwhelmed by a different truth. There was freedom. Complete freedom. Finally, the truth to silence the lie. I realized I didn’t have to struggle with it anymore; I didn’t have to return to that ever again. In that moment, the Lord revealed the lie I was believing and immediately silenced it with the truth.

Almost everyone who has been through a step study will tell you, there is a turning point, a defining moment when everything changes. This was that moment for me. When I look back at my childhood, I feel like Satan did an excellent job of shaming me into not understanding the beautiful image of God’s design for intimacy. But hope is real, God is good, and change is possible. I have been sober from acting out in lust for over four and a half years now.

Looking at where I am now, it is absolutely crazy to think about where I was. I’m definitely still learning, but the Lord has redeemed me so much. I had to learn to recognize through prayer, journaling, and community when I am believing lies, and fight those with truth. I was able to retrain my brain to experience true intimacy. I learned that if I am tempted to run to those false images in my brain, that is usually a sign that I am hiding and afraid to be vulnerable and known. So now, the freedom that God has given me has ignited in me a passion to make sure every single or married man or woman who’s hiding in shame and struggling with this is not alone!

We serve the same God who delivered me out of my pain and shame. He can do the same for you! If you are battling any type of sexual struggle, married or single, male or female, there is hope for you! “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26 NIV). Thank goodness that he is where our hope lies!

Thank you for letting me share.


If you would like to learn how to start your own Celebrate Recovery ministry, to contact your Celebrate Recovery Rep, please visit: To get involved in an already existing Celebrate Recovery ministry near you, please visit:

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