Tuesday's testimonies are from current and former Pureheart counselees. Most of these men and women have broken free and now walk in consistent purity and/or healed marriages but some are still in process. These brothers and sisters, married and single, represent a wide spectrum of ages, races, nationalities, denominations, backgrounds, personalities, and levels of addiction and dysfunction but all of them have changed dramatically. If they can change, so can you! For obvious reasons, we have changed their names. Here are their stories (unedited)
"Victor" Age 54 (Counseling with Tim)
Growing up I was always a chubby kid and grew up being made fun of names like: fatty, tub-o, and the one that stuck for the longest was Whale, which game from my older brother. As a young boy these names hurt and they flowed often as I grew up, even my friends would make jokes once and a while and I would laugh them off but inside I was deeply hurt. I remember being introduced to porn and masturbation at age 8 by my older brother.
Later our family moved to a small town and I had to meet new friends it was here that girls started to peek my interest I had a girlfriend but like some kids my age it was just for show. It was in junior high when porn and masturbation became a source of coping for my low self-image. Still being a big boy I was not boyfriend material but I could be a good friend and that was when fantasy and masturbation came into my life. I had easy access to my Father’s supply of porn so the combo of porn, fantasy, and masturbation soon became my secret coping tool for my low self-image.
By the time I was in high school I was masturbating nightly. My bedroom walls were covered with pin ups and centerfolds. I remember one day my Father taking his friends into my room and bragging about how proud he was of his son’s room. I was now deep into fantasy and porn and masturbation and it was stamped with the approval of my Father.
By the time I graduated high school I was still a virgin and felt if I ever wanted a woman I had to lose weight so I went on a crash diet staving myself to the point of blacking out at times; all for the purpose of finding a woman. I had lost 120lbs and soon moved in with a couple of my high school buddies and my new look soon gave me the attention I was wanting from girls. One night after my workout I noticed down the street this woman looking at me. Every day I would catch her looking at me so I finally went up to talk to her and we started dating and we became very physical. One night she took me to my room and she introduced me to sex and after that I was hooked and wanted more.
I soon met the woman who would become my wife. We became very physical. Because of how physical our relationship was she soon broke up with me but we still hung out and got back together and picked up right were we left off and soon discovered she was pregnant and we got married. Even with being married, porn and fantasy and masturbation were still very involved in my life.
After being married for 2 years, I came to ask Christ into my life and for a while I was pure. I became active in my church and hungry for my relationship with God. I soon felt the calling into the mission field and joined an organization to reach youth. But soon my old friend porn, masturbation and fantasy creeped back into my life and I soon was feeling very unsatisfied with my sexual life with my wife and I struggled often buying magazines, movies, and sex toys in secret. I had now taken my addiction to a new level.
One day my wife and I had a fight over my ideas of sex and she told me “if that was what I wanted then I needed to find someone else to do that with” so in my mind I took that to mean I had her approval to seek other sources and I soon took my addiction to a deeper level. The internet soon became my source for my addiction needs since it was private and my secret would be safer. My relationship with my wife soon became distant and we started doing our own things so internet chats rooms for sex started and internet games where I met many women and mastered the art of seduction and manipulation. I had convinced many women to send me pictures and movies of themselves and they did. I soon shared my number with some of these women and we would do video sex together or phone sex and sexting.
It was during this time I had an injury and decide to go to a massage parlor and discovered a new world for my addiction and I went even deeper into my addiction taking advantage of whatever they would allow me to have and I would gladly pay for, my addiction had gone far past anything I had ever imagined.
One morning I got up and checked my phone and left it to go to the restroom and that was when my wife grabbed my phone and my secret was now exposed. She confronted me. I knew my marriage was in danger, so I soon made calls for help. We attended marriage counseling for 6 months and I stopped everything except the massages but that was still a secret that was not exposed.
Once time had gone by, I had everything back including my addictions, I had decided to join many sex dating sites looking for opportunity for sex with other women. Once again my wife looked through my IPad and discovered what I was doing and It was this time I knew she was done if I didn’t get this handled and under control.
I was at rock bottom and the shame and guilt overcame me and I left my house not because my wife kicked me out but to punish myself as I drove around and finally settled in a parking lot where I intended to sleep that night. I started searching for help. Pureheart Ministries came up as the number 1 or 2 choice in my search so I went to the site and I took the sexual addiction test. I was very honest so my score was very high. I knew I was in desperate need of help so I called and left a message. I watched and read the testimonies and I saw my life before me. I wanted what these men had received. Freedom.
As I settled in for the night a real sense of fear came over me as I looked around and saw the activity around me so late at night in this parking lot. I felt endangered for my life, so coming to my senses I drove home and my wife embraced me much to my surprise. It was the next day I received a call from Tim and his no nonsense approach was just what I needed to hear. It was a scary step for me and we set my first appointment and he put me on a 30 day sexual fast. It was a week into this fast that my eyes where opened that I was a true addict. The withdrawals and shakes I went through were so powerful I did all I could to resist and praise God I made it through it.
As I continued my counseling with Pureheart I was given more and more arrows in my quiver to battle my addiction. One of the most powerful arrows was to find a group to be accountable and honest with. I have been blessed to find an awesome group of men to call my band of brothers. As I continued using my arrows and attending my counseling my arrows soon changed to automatic weapons. The briefing on Identity in Christ, for example, was so amazing. The power of my true identity gave me confidence beyond my imagination.
It was at this point, almost a year into my counseling with Tim, that I experienced an attack that confirmed my new identity in Christ. The demonic attack came first through a dream. In the dream I saw a shadowy demonic figure hovering in the air above me. The dream startled me into waking up but when I opened my eyes the thing was still there. I closed my eyes to adjust them but again when I opened them it was still there. I then commanded this spirit of lust to leave my home in the name of Jesus and stated that it had no right to attack a child of God. By the time I had finished praying it was gone. Chills and goose bumps filled my body and I was freaked out. I contacted Tim the next morning to share this and his response was this, “Awesome bro, you are finally worth attacking. About time you joined the ranks of warriors!” It was then I knew I had become a threat to the enemy once again.
This journey has not been an easy one, there have been strongholds to tear down and many temptations but the tools Pureheart has given me will always be part of my life. I am currently serving God by leading a group of 7 men who are struggling with addictions while still working on my own recovery. I have followed the my purity plan to the letter. I have filters on all my devices and no longer have cable TV. I have been committed to my daily devotions, worship and prayer time and my relationship this God is improving every day. I am happy to say I have been free from porn, masturbation, and sexual sins for a year now and have no desire to go back. Praise God!
In closing, 1 year ago my marriage was in danger of ending. Today as I write this, I celebrate my 33rd wedding anniversary with my wife, best-friend and partner. I have learned of God’s Love, Grace and Forgiveness through her as she has forgiven me, shown me grace and loves me, and we are closer today then we have ever been. I am truly blessed to have her. I am grateful for the ministry of Pureheart. It has saved my life, my marriage and restored my relationship with God. I Am a Child of God!
You too can know freedom! Contact Pureheart today!