I was born into a very devout religious family, all about perfection in Christianity and as a result my upbringing was very strict and rigid. The church I was raised in was so incredibly strict that they had a certain dress code and hairstyle, and a set of rules such as no watching TV and things like that. The entire city considered it a cult. I was forbidden to mingle with "worldly" children, which was very hard since I went to a public school. As a result, I grew up very secluded and lonely except for my siblings. But coming from a family of 13 kids also made me feel very lonely as my parents worked all the time to support us. I was left alone most of the time, searching for a way to fill the loneliness I had from having little parental attention and no friends. I blamed this emptiness and loneliness on our church, and as a result grew up with a deep-rooted resentment for all things religious. This resentment festered into hatred and a rebellion for all forms of authority. I started to hang out with the worst groups at school just to spite my upbringing.
It was from my school friends that I got introduced into pornography. It was soft core at first but I started getting into hardcore just to fill the gaping hole I had. It was also a way to spite all forms of Godly authority that surrounded me. Unfortunately the more I got into it, the emptier and guiltier I felt. But I didnít stop and I got into more perversions, each worse than the last just to find that initial thrill I got when I first started it.
Soon I started introducing all my friends to pornography; I thought I was also setting them free not knowing I was leading them into a deeper bondage. They were pretty excited but I was miserable and empty inside. I started getting into all sorts of violence, starting with the most violent video games, the bloodiest movies and finally watching live executions just to get that same high. While I tried to appear as a good Christian on the outside, my life was becoming dark inside and there seemed to be no escape from it.
A friend of mine who I hadnít seen in a long time came back into my life, and I noticed there was something different about her, something changed. When I asked her about this, she told me about the Bible College she went to. After seeing this change in her, I wanted it in my own life. Bible College appeared to be an escape from the perverse community I had created and the double life I was living. Maybe God could set me free.
When I arrive at school, I went through what was called deliverance week. It was a week focused on nightly teachings of freedom from addictions and serving God. I felt God really moving in my heart. During a prayer session, a gentleman praying for me asked me what it was I wanted deliverance from, and for the first time, as I confided in him and the Lord, a sense of freeing started from my chest and grew all over me. I felt like I was being cleansed even as I was speaking. When I finished confessing, he said a simple prayer breaking the enemy's hold over me, and as if something snapped, instantaneously I was free! It felt like I could breathe easier, laughter came naturally; I felt a joy like never before. It was such an exhilarating feeling. Not only did I not have a desire for anything perverse but I also felt the sting of all the years of bitterness rejection and loneliness was broken off of me. I had to share this freedom with my friends from back home. I called them and immediately everyone could tell the change in me. The friends I had introduced to pornography, wanted to live in that same freedom.
I am so grateful to God because not only can I worship him with clean hands, a pure heart and an untainted conscience but I found a father I could be real with, real with my struggles and aspirations. Now my passion is to lead young people to that same freedom and confidence in worshiping a God who accepts ANYONE who comes as they are. A God we can all relate to in freedom and joy, no bondage, no obligations, just a simple love relationship. I'm grateful to a God who broke my mask, my shackles and led me into a world of freedom and love.