LaKeisha Rainey Collins: Beauty for Ashes Column
Addicted to pornography? God can set you free
Blog by Lakeisha Rainey Collins
Posted July 17, 2017
As I shared in my last post, I fell victim to sexual abuse at a very young age. One result of that
experience is that my body and mind became curious about sex and sexuality much sooner than it
should have. At a time when I should have still been playing with dolls and exploring with my
Easy
Bake Oven
, I was discovering the advanced form of human anatomy in the form of pornography.

The first time I encountered it was an honest mistake. I was around 11 or 12 years old. I remember
being on summer vacation at someone’s house. I went into one of the older children’s room to find a
movie to watch. Back then, VHS tapes were still quite popular, and the collection in the room was
endless. Browsing through the tapes, most of them had no labels or titles, so the only way to know
what was on them was to put it in the VCR and press play.


Well, let’s just say I came across the wrong movie.

Though I didn’t fully understand what the sounds and images meant, something within me knew it was
a movie I shouldn’t have been watching because I immediately closed the room door to keep anyone
from catching me. I didn’t know much, but I knew it was like one of those scenes in the movie when
your mama made you cover your eyes. I was sure my eyes had no business seeing that, but I couldn’t
look away. I guess because of the seed that had been planted within me by my abuser, something
inside of me was drawn to the images on the TV screen.

As a girl just entering puberty, my body responded in a way that was confusing. It was confusing, yet
interesting. According to a study published in the CyberPsychology and Behavior, 62% of women
have seen pornography by the age of 18. I didn’t know it then, but I became a statistic. I was
simultaneously intrigued and puzzled. I didn't understand what my body was feeling, and a part of me
knew it was probably wrong, but in a strange way, I liked it. After that very first time, I was hooked. I
snuck that VHS into my suitcase and took it home with me, and I watched it every time I got the chance
to be alone. Yep, at just 12 years old.

The more I watched, the more my desire for it, and my collection of flicks, grew. Before I realized it, I'd
formed an addiction to pornography. Watching it became my stress-reliever, my stimulant, and my
depressant. It became my guilty pleasure and my escape from the troubles of life.

In what seemed like a blink of an eye, over a decade had passed, and there I was -- wife, mother,
Christian woman -- bound in the chains and guilt of a pornography addiction.

I wanted so badly to be free. My convictions had changed since I first discovered triple-X rated
movies, and I knew it was displeasing to God and disrespectful to my husband. Still, even in my best
efforts to stop, I found myself hiding away behind closed doors, indulging in my secret sin. Even
though I would become instantly disgusted with myself for falling again and again, I was in so deep
that I couldn't find that way of escape 1 Corinthians 10:13 speaks of. I was a prisoner to porn, sucked
in to its false gratification, and its claws were embedded deep into my spirit.

I was so ashamed. My soul was begging to be free from the stronghold, but I was so stuck. There
were times when I felt so out of control that I couldn't stop the urges. The spirit of lust had greatly
overtaken me.

I wish I could tell you that I finally enrolled myself into
Porn Addicts Anonymous, followed a 12-step
program, and successfully overcame. Or that I went to the altar one Sunday to receive prayer from
the prayer warrior, and I was instantly delivered, but that's not my testimony at all.

I fought tooth and nail for my freedom, and it was HARD.

I cried out to God from the depths of my heart.
I fasted for weeks at a time.
I prayed morning, noon, and night.

I studied scriptures on deliverance and controlling the flesh.
I fell.

Then, I’d start all over again…repeat, repeat, and repeat.

I beat myself up so many times, until I finally decided to grab hold to God’s amazing grace. I had been
trying to overcome a battle that was bigger than me without understanding that I deserved to win over
it even though I created the fight myself. One thing I absolutely love about God is that He’s such a
loving Father. It doesn’t matter to Him how you get yourself tangled up in sin, how long you’ve dwelled
in it, or how deep you’ve sank into its grip, His hands are still extended to pull you up out of it.

Now that doesn’t mean I didn’t have to do my part and learn to deny myself and operate in the spirit of
self-control made available to me through the Holy Spirit. Faith without works is dead, amen?

I also had to understand that just because I decided to turn away from temptation did not mean it
would not continue to show up and try to trip me up, so I had to be careful about what I allowed to
enter the gates of my eyes, ears, and heart, and keep my spirit nourished with God’s word. The only
way to win over the flesh is to ensure that your spirit is stronger, and that is only possible through a
healthy spiritual appetite. You have to tell your flesh no and mean it.

Another thing that gave me strength to turn away was firmly deciding that my love for God and my
husband was greater than my desire for self-gratification, and falling into that temptation meant failing
at honoring my Father and my spouse. The true nature of my heart just would not allow me to
continue to settle in sin.

I’m so thankful God was gracious and merciful towards me during that struggle and broke that chain
from my life. I’m even more grateful that my filthy desires did change because of His favored destiny
for my life. Thanks be to God who always causes us to triumph (2 Corinthians 2:14).

He’s not changing His mind about you either, my friend. Your struggle may not be what mine was, but
whatever it is that keeps sucking you in time after time and pulling you away from God does not have
the power to overtake you or strip God’s love, mercy, and grace from you.

You are more than a conqueror and you can do all things through Christ who gives you strength.

That’s not just some church slang; that is God’s word and His promise to you. You can break free
from whatever has you bound. Healing and deliverance is possible and available for you.

Take your weakness to God.

Receive His help.

Forgive yourself.

Commit to the process.

No, it won’t be easy, but your freedom is totally worth it.

Know this: No matter how many times you've fallen, God will pick you up, dust you off, and still use you
for His glory.

You can be free. Better yet, you are free. Walk in it.

Read last week's blog: Broken by sexual abuse?

LaKeisha Rainey Collins is an Mobile, Alabama-based wife, mom of three boys and one girl, Founder
of Beauty for Ashes, Inc. and author of two books --
Beautiful Me and My Baby Has Wings. Learn
more about her
here.
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