Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Just Stop!

Earlier today I found the blog of another Christian battling with same sex attraction. I was glad I did, because truth be told, a great number of the blogs I’ve typically kept up with have either ended, or it’s been a very long time since anyone posted anything on them. Finding this new blog gave me a chance to actually feel not as alone in this struggle as I’ll admit I’ve been feeling some lately. But, above that, and more importantly, it also gave me a chance to read several very encouraging things.

To begin with, this fellow blogger, Tom, wrote that at one point he’d been able to resist pornography for about eight months. And he’d only masturbated once during that time. Being that those are two things I’ve been trying very seriously to resist the last couple of weeks, I have to say that I find this a great source of hope—if he could do that, then so can I (today, by the way, marks three days in a row that I haven’t masturbated or looked up pornography, and I thank God for that).

But in reading some of Tom’s stuff, I came across one post where he talks about a sermon he’d heard. The preacher, who was usually rather calm and mild, suddenly screamed out, “Stop it! Just stop it! No more! Let today be the day that you just leave that sin all behind you." I read this and it reminded me of something I experienced a few years ago. It reminded me of a dream. I’ve thought about this dream in light of a more recent one I had about a week ago, which I’ve already told you about. In the dream, I stood looking up at a really tall tree in my front yard, which stands near the road. I was amazed by the scale of the tree. Then suddenly my dad appeared. But it wasn’t really my dad. He looked and sounded like my dad, but I knew he was really someone else. He smiled at me and then told me, “Just stop.” And when He said it, I knew exactly what he was talking about. He was telling me to stop looking at porn. He was telling me to stop masturbating. He was telling me to stop going down a path of outright homosexual living. That was another dream where I woke up shaking, out of breath. It was just so realistic. And I knew the second I was awake what it meant. God was telling me, appearing as my dad, that I had a path to choose. I could go left or right, but only one would lead to the tree of life. Reading Tom’s post reminded me of this (I think I wrote about this dream in more detail sometime a few years ago).

I know pornography and masturbation are the two things that lead me most toward completely giving in to my desires to be with another man. These things tempt me the most toward that. That being the case, I really want to put up as much resolve as possible to stop doing those things.

A road block in the past for me has been my mindset. I’d rationalize going a day at a time, a week at a time, and so forth, as if that was good enough. I’d promise not to give in at least until a certain time. But then I’d always fail or give in after I’d met that expectation (as if it was a reward for past good effort). And the reason I sat such limited goals was because I honestly don’t think I ever expected I could go beyond them. To never, EVER, look up pornography or masturbate again just seemed impossible. Pornography I could probably live without. But could I really go the rest of my life without ever masturbating? Could I really go the rest of my life with absolutely no means of sexual release or pleasure? Looking back, I know I haven’t believed in that. But I wonder now if I really could. I know it’d be a struggle. I know it’d probably drive me crazy at times. But I also know that I want that; that it’s worth trying for. I want to be able to resist, to truly free myself from some of the crap I’ve encased myself in. I just want to stop. I want to resist because it’s the right thing to do, because it brings me closer to God.

And so, if you’re reading this, please pray for me. As I said earlier, I’m on day three, and I really, really, REALLY, want to be able to keep this up. And, Tom, if you happen to read this, thanks for writing about your own journey. You give me much encouragement.


naturgesetz said...

The alcoholics who are in AA and have the idea of going "one day at a time" without drinking have the intention of never taking a drink for the rest of their lives. Making it day by day is intended to make it seem less daunting than if they think of their whole lives.

However you express it, putting those sins out of your life forever is what you want to do (same for any other sin). It is harder to break a habit than never to start, but it is possible when you cooperate with God's grace.

Brandon said...

I understand going at it a day at a time, but not each day in and of itself, as I'd been doing way back. I think to go each day at a time is good, but only if you consider each day as a small step in a single direction, on a long, narrow road. What I'd been doing was having this sort of conscious/unconscious mindset that if I could just get one day in, that would be far enough, or one week, or what have you. And that's not enough. I didn't really believe this would be anything I could ever completely stop doing. I know I feel differently about that now. I know my desires and such to do these things are still strong, but I honestly believe it is possible to fight them.

And I know I want to do this for God. Before, I'm not sure I always thought that, or believed it. I knew that's why I should be trying, but I think a lot of times I was really just trying for myself. I know this is making a huge difference in this fight this time. It seems easier in a way, but I also feel so much more connected with God. And I desperately want to keep that up. I just don't believe one day alone is enough.