By Brian Murray
When I was 14, I started at a new school and had trouble fitting in both socially and academically. I grew up in a Christian home where going to church on Sundays was the normal routine, but I also didn’t really feel like I fit in there either. Feeling completely isolated and like an outsider, I began looking for answers elsewhere. Eventually I discovered pornography, which began its slow, strangling grip on my life.
For two years I shut myself off from everyone around me, hoping to find happiness, but never felt a deep sense of satisfaction in it. I looked up to my older sister, who seemed to possess all the things I wished I wanted—friends, looks, intelligence. I noticed that even though she had all of these things, they weren’t her top priorities. What made an impact on me was that above all else, she seemed to enjoy her time at church.
Around the time I was 16 someone introduced me to a book called Power for Living. The book explained the “Bridge Illustration” about how our sins separate us from God. I learned from Romans 6:23 that “the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” I was destined to worse than a miserable life!
In my heart I knew I had never made the decision to follow Christ, and the book walked me through the truth of Romans 10:9-10,
If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.
I finally decided to trust in this truth and declare that Jesus is Lord.
Addiction and Recovery
From then on I felt a deep sense of hope in my life, but that didn’t mean that things were easy. Unfortunately, because I wasn’t in a church that was strongly biblically based at the time, I still struggled with pornography and with finding my place throughout high school. Finally, in college, my porn problem became an all-out addiction and I failed out of school, twice.
God placed on my heart the need to come clean about my struggle with those who loved me. After confessing to my parents, we decided it was in my best interest to leave college for a year and get help.
I attended Celebrate Recovery and saw a counselor while I missed my senior year at A&M. True to the scripture in 1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness,” God forgave me of my sin and I began the healing process.
Change through Community
Afterwards, I was able to earn my degree from A&M. However, because I was turned off from church due to past experiences, I attempted to go solo on my walk with God for many years. I never made very much progress with God on my own, and there was still a small sense of legalism in everything I was doing, even though I knew my deeds weren’t what God was looking for.
Things changed after I got involved at Watermark last year. I began growing in my walk due to being part of a great community group of guys who have challenged me in my daily fight against sin, and have encouraged me to make Christ ultimate in my life. I am becoming more comfortable around my peers, more bold in sharing my faith, and more confident in God’s immense love for me. I look forward to being able to share His love with others, and to encourage others who have struggled with pornography addiction and other hang-ups that God’s love is your only answer.