Struggles 101

Am I lost, or just less found on the straight or roundabout of the wrong way?

Image by © Heide Benser

Image by © Heide Benser

I hid in my shame in shame.

NOVEMBER 2011

I have to come to terms with myself. I have a problem and its killing me.

Some days back, I was in church and the pastor said we should write our problems on a piece of paper, lift them up to God and trust Him to solve it. It was my umpteenth time of scribbling this word. I wrote it so fast, folded the paper so that the guy sitting next to me who had been staring at me since the service began won’t see what I have been fighting with for almost 10 years. As I lifted my ‘unholy, polluted hands’  to God, a tear dropped on my shirt..it was my shame..I am pretty messed up and my heart prayed for the whatever time…”Father, please, help me”

Months after that prayer, I’m back in my pool of mud. Its awesome when you have to blame the devil for your mistakes but its funny how we forget he never forced us to do it..he just presented an idea and we did the rest. I have to be sincere this time around. The devil didn’t do this..I did and its all on me.

if the flesh I fight was at best only light and momentary, then of course I’ll feel nude when to where I’m destined I’m compared.

Its like throwing sand into water and hoping you will find it still dry...hahaha!!!! I knew I was messed up and I hoped more than anything to have a new start.

The hope I have can be compared to throwing a handful of  dry sand into water and hoping I will find it still dry. – @d_darkhorse

Sometime in 2002

The book just sat there on his bed.

It had a boring cover. It didn’t look like it wanted to be read but I reached for it. The stories were boring until I stumbled upon a  page that described what those people were doing against a wall that night. The book even described more. So, I read the page over and over again but something didn’t feel right.

Breeze go blow, fawoul Chicken nyansh  bum bum buttocks go open!!!its not what you think..its never what you think..#sigh#

its not what you think..its never what you think..#sigh#

NOVEMBER 2011

If person tell me sey na like this my career go take end I for no believe…I dey tell you.

I woke up this morning to see that my laptop was shut down. That’s supposed to be a good thing shebi?  But No o!!! it is not a good thing. In fact who was theover sabi that came to shut it down? People sef!!!

See what happened o..

After going for weeks without engaging in porn, I slipped last night. I had just subscribed and I was excited about going online. I was done with my online work!!! Next thing I started checking out random stuffs. Next thing I was seeing funny pictures. Next thing I started getting ideas. Next thing…nah only me waka go there. I was just stuck.

I don’t know if you’ve ever avoided someone’s call because you are probably not ready for a long conversation; then, the person calls you with a different number and you pick and you realize it’s the person. Then, the gist got not necessarily interesting  but perhaps more ‘entertaining’, for some minutes(or whatever duration the call lasts), you’re occupied, you are void of worries probably because the person is interesting or you are extremely bored and need an escape which the person is offering at that time or you probably fancy the person. Whatever reason/s you have, you tried to run but the person use‘kornee’ (Nigerian pronunciation of Cunny) man sense to cash (catch) you. That’s the simple explanation of an addiction. You try to run but somehow, in every angle, is a laid out trap and the faster you run, the closer you get to the trap. That’s what it feels like when you run alone.you might be running straight but the trap is up..na wa o!!!

you might be running straight but the trap is up..na wa o!!!

So, I was ‘storghed on it honestlay‘ (its how an Ibadan man says ‘stuck on it honestly’). I just kept scrolling and scrolling until I slept off.  Then, I woke up this morning with this horrible pang of guilt. The feeling worsened when I realized my system was shut. Someone shut down my laptop. Meaning someone went to my desktop menu and clicked on ‘shut down’. Meaning someone walked to my bedside and realized I slept off probably watching a movie and decided to help me shut it down. Meaning someone saw the ‘everything’ #sigh#.

First, I was ‘forming vex’ (pretending to be angry). It was as if my brain was taking time to boot. Then I realized what had happened. Someone had discovered what I had spent 10 years protecting. I wasn’t protecting it because I enjoyed it: I was protecting the image everyone had come to be familiar with..”Esther, the good christian girl with innocent eyes and a lovely smile”. Everyone thought I was naive and absolutely adorable and at this point of my life when I am a three times executive in fellowship which makes me a ‘senior mama’  in church, I couldn’t be more ashamed of myself. Its sha funny how much shame we feel when we are caught. It makes me wonder if we didn’t feel any shame at all while engaging in the act. Now, this point I am drowned by shame. In fact, shame and I have become one. I refused to get up from my bed..it felt like getting up will make the shame worse ( walk of shame). In my mind I could hear all sorts of curses; I hated myself more.

I was trapped deep...beyond reach. I had come to 'get used' to my cell

I was trapped deep…beyond reach. I had come to ‘get used’ to my cell

She walked into the room and I stammered while greeting her. She mumbled some words and I just literally died. The tears started flowing out. I was mad at God. Mad at myself. I had prayed times without number for God to take this away from me. I had begged Him to delete my memory. I had prayed for Amnesia. I had sworn, made vows never to go back to my ‘vomit’ again. I had promised to fight. But this moment has proven my failure. I have failed and instantly I felt good. Someone knows now. I can die in peace. Every minutes increased my ‘shame level’. Every time she walked pass me, my temperature rose. It was like I was glued to the bed. I just laid there and wept. I need help.

In my heart..every time I went on my knees to pray...every time I acted insecure and withdrawn...that was the moment I cried for help..apparently, it was all the time.

In my heart..every time I went on my knees to pray…every time I acted insecure and withdrawn…that was the moment I cried for help..apparently, it was all the time.

This moment contains all moments.

As I wept, my friend walked in. She saw me crying and even if she had issues she was handling this morning, she walked up to me, sat by my bedside, placed her hands on my shoulder and said “Esther, what happened?” I couldn’t stand one more person judging me this morning so I wiped my face, looked the other way and said ” I’m fine”. She refused to go. She sat there and waited for like 5 mins. She tapped me again and said ‘its 5  minutes and you’ve not smiled. Esther, what’s the problem?’ I was just tired of everything so I took a pen and wrote

“IF I TELL YOU, YOU WILL JUDGE ME”.

She took the pen from my hand and wrote back ”TRY me” .

She said

She said ” I’m praying for you Esther…it will pass”So, I told her about my struggle. How words became pictures. How still pictures became clips, then videos and how much I needed to let go and move on..start afresh on a clean slate. She wrote back and told me stuffs she never told anyone and how I wasn’t alone and didn’t have to be. While I read her words, my mum called. I hesitated..I didn’t have to handle so much this morning..but Mfon is just Mfon; she wouldn’t stop calling till your battery dies and when it does, she will call your friend till her battery dies and the entire humans on the planet till their batteries die then she will trek from Lagos to Benin just to tell me she just called to ask if I have eaten. So, she kept calling and my friend said “Maybe you should do as your ringtone says” and she left.

Mfon called again and I just laid there and listened to the words of the ringtone..

“Its time for healing. Time to move on. Its time to fix whats been broken too long. Time to make right what has been wrong. Its time to find my way to where I belong.. Time for a milestone, time to begin again..reevaluate who I really am.Time to face up, clean this old house. Time to breathe in and let everything out. That I wanted to say for so many years. Time to release all my held back tears..”

And I picked the call and said, “Mum, I need to talk to you” and my dramatic mum said ” What is it? You had sex last night?”  (lmao)…I laughed for a second and said ‘No,I’ve been watching people have sex for years now’ and she yelled ” O my God!!’…The tears welled again.

I felt freedom in talking to these people and I knew my healing had begun

I felt freedom in talking to these people and I knew my healing had begun

Serendipity

image

Coming out because you want to is one thing. Coming out because you were caught is another.

I always wanted to do this anonymous chat with a pastor. I’ll tell him my struggles and get advice on what to do. Sometimes, I’ll feel so bad with myself that I’ll type ‘how to overcome pornography’ after watching one. Every single time, I will see almost the same posts. 10 steps to overcoming porn. Saying no to porn. Porn habit:lethal or dangerous? 20 reasons you should quit porn..blah blah blah.

There were days, I tried everything I read. I would ask God for help, I’ll not subscribe, I’ll avoid being alone or bored or name it. It probably worked for a while but overtime, I would find myself back in the same pit. Then I’ll go back to the internet and type ‘how to overcome pornography’.

The way forward

After I told my friend and my mum, I told a pastor (who was and is still an amazing friend and a huge part of my story) what I was struggling with. And I won’t forget how ashamed I was. I had tears in my eyes as I spoke not because I was ashamed or the fact that he might tell the other pastors or bring me before the Executive Council (at that point, I didn’t care about anybody’s opinion..I was too obsessed with being free and having a sincere relationship with God. He was my only priority and if I had to be disgraced and stripped of every title to get that…then..let it be done.) I cried as I spoke to Bob because I was scared that after my good intention of telling him, I would go back to it.

You see, I am a very funny reserved person. I like to play a whole lot but there are days..(which is most days) I might (or surely)strike you as the most uptight person you’ve ever met. I don’t smile while walking, I don’t swing my arms when I’m carrying my handbag(and its not because I’m uptight..I just don’t know how to. That ish is too hard abeg), and I raise my left brow when I’m trying to figure something out or involved in an intensely intelligent conversation which makes me look too serious and very uptight. With all these display, I now happened to be one of the Executives who prayed like ‘there is fire on the mountain’ and o boy! The vice-president made sure I handled prayer sessions a lot. In all these brethren, I was struggling with porn..some days, hours before prayer sessions, I’ll be begging God to have mercy on me for seeing a porn video that day. Little wonder I prayed like that. I was probably trying to chase all the demons out in a hurry!!! So, people had this ‘respect’ for me..they just thought I was very spiritual. But was I really?? We’ll talk about that.

I told Bob everything and again, he let me in on stories. Lots of stories and he told me these words “Esther, the fight is not yours”. And I asked “then whose is it? Because I’m the one involved in it”. He said “the fight has already been won”. I didn’t understand his point but I said okay. I told him I would avoid the altar for sometime. I told him I needed to sort some things out. And he said he understood.

image

The end of me.

This part of this story is where I appeal to you.

I am a believer and follower of Christ and I’m not ashamed of it.
I won’t hide and at the same time, I won’t rub it in. I have reasons for sticking to this belief and its more than the fact that a bunch of people go to church or as a human,  I must subscribe to a religion.

I’ve read thousand times and more-stories of God’s love for us. I have sat in sunday school and sang “Jesus loves me this I know for the bible tells me so. Little children to Him belong. They are weak but He is strong”. It was just a song to me. That didn’t make me a believer. I have stood on platforms to convince people that Jesus is love..nna..I wasn’t fully convinced myself.
The day I became a believer was the day my eyes were opened to God’s immeasurable love. I didn’t need convincing..I just needed to see how far He had taken me since I cried out for help. So, this is not me being religious at this point..this is me being sincere as I’ve always been to you. This is what worked for me and I can only suggest this option to you if every other has failed.

Now, I stepped away from the altar. I took time to shine the light in every corner of my life. I needed to know the root of this struggle. I had to come clean. So, I figured out two major things.
1. I am human. And humans make mistake. Before you say anything…think of one perfect man you know besides Jesus. You??? Hahaha, go and think again. (I’m taking it p)
2. I was curious. That was the starting point of this issue and it was the continuing factor. I wasn’t satisfied with what I had seen. I wanted to see more. And even though it kept leaving me with guilt and shame..i had made the curious part of my brain feel it was okay.Why??? Me sef no know.
As soon as I figured these out, I had to ask God to help me and show me ways to help myself.

image

The beginning of Him.

I had a discussion with a friend who had issues with sex (it always makes me laugh. The calmness she displayed despite this challenge marvelled me..it was like she was fighting without fighting). She said “Esther, whenever the urge comes, even speaking in tongues doesn’t solve it”.

When I got to the end of me, it was a relief to me because in a way I had given up on my human effort. Everything; 10 and 15 and 20 steps failed. So, I turned to God and I said “I give up, you can’t snob me now”
That moment..in that moment, a new me came up.

I realized curiosity was a factor so I shifted my curious mind to God’s word. I became less interested in showbiz and fashion trend. I just fixed my eyes on God’s trend. I slipped sometimes but then He made me realize I couldn’t stop in one day what took me years to build. It was one step at a time with Him and so He played His part and I played mine and days when I slipped, I didn’t get a heavenly slap or I didn’t become broke or have nightmares, He would clean me up and tell me to keep coming to Him. I was like a baby who was practicing her first steps.

I love God a whole lot. He’s been an amazing ‘man’..a faithful friend and He sincerely loves me. Even if I’ve heard the grace story over and over again, I don’t still think I can just sit back and watch Him love me so much without giving anything in return. So, if giving up porn was part of the price, I was ready to work it out till I could work no more. I just always think of Him as the good boyfriend who deserves goodness from the imperfect girlfriend. I’m not saying works earns us grace, I’m just saying I believe there’s a point we get to in our love walk with God that we’ll refuse to sit back and enjoy His goodness without giving up something just to show Him how much we love Him you get??  I think we shouldn’t take His love for granted. This was and is the strongest reason I had to quit porn. So, note HAVE A REASON TO QUIT. TO BE HONEST, IT’LL BE YOUR MOTIVATION..BESIDES GOD PLAYING HIS PART. YOU HAVE A RESPONSIBILITY AND YOU SHOULD HAVE A TANGIBLE REASON TO QUIT. WE MUST LEARN TO DO THINGS WITH REASONS.

As a human, one must learn that everyday there is a constant battle between good and evil in our hearts. Struggles and addictions don’t make you evil or doomed, it only proves you’re human who needs divine help. Someone might ask if God made us weak intentionally..o well yes!!!! If we were strong, we wouldn’t need Him. Don’t take it ‘p’.

image

The walk of freedom.

You were probably expecting me to give you a list of do’s and don’t’s bah?Don’t lie!!! I would expect that too. But no!!! I wouldn’t. I would give you just 1 do..

DO TRUST GOD LIKE YOUR FREEDOM DEPENDS ON HIM BECAUSE TRULY IT DOES.
DON’T TRUST YOURSELF. YOU’RE HUMAN AND YOU WILL FAIL.

After I came out and spoke to friends and admitted I needed help, I spent time with God. Gave Him my heart with understanding this time around. I told Him I needed His help and I was ready to play my part (which involved avoiding what could trigger my ‘curiosity’ in that aspect..including all of you guys that have ‘uncontrollable hands’, novels and a whole lot till it began to gradually wear off and I began to settle in my freedom. Don’t be mistakened, caution still tops my list till this day. I am free..which is one thing and I must stay free which is another. so if you have this struggle, be cautious of what you see, who you date..truth be told…some human body connections trigger these things..but then again, you’re not in it alone..please note again that one lie the devil tells is porn addiction ends after one gets married….it is a big lie from devil’s buttocks..couples still have issues because one or both of them are addicted to porn while married)

It been a beautiful walk with God since then..and He has opened my eyes to see not just my weakness but the weakness of humanity in general. From my experience, I learnt not to judge people..but pray for them because that’s the only thing that can make me a part of their struggle. I learnt to not wag my tongue when pastors and bishops and prophets slip, because Titles and The Human Flesh are two things entirely.

image

As an individual, as a church, or whatever religion you practice, weaknesses are real. People have struggles and judging them only makes it worse. Its our duty to have one another’s back.

image

So, if you are struggling with anything, Jesus worked it out with me..

Original post taken from; estaordia.wordpress.com

(Amazing post there?, make sure you check it out 😉 )

To share a/your story, kindly send an email to mail@lifegiva.com

MUST READ ALSO;
10 YEARS WITH PORNOGRAPHY; THE BATTLE I NEVER WON
WHO SAYS SIN IS NOT ENJOYABLE
How to Make a Fresh Start After Committing Sexual Sin
KIRK FRANKLIN’S STRUGGLE WITH PORNOGRAPHY AND HIS PAST: DAMAGED 4

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Comments

comments