2015-07_StillnessBattle

Pornography/Sex and Chastity

Stillness in the Battle

I didn’t started the conversation. In fact, I had never once thought about sharing my struggle with her. And yet somehow, on a cold evening this past March, we were sitting in my car when my dear friend (let’s call her Maria) shared her struggle with porn and masturbation. She had no idea that I had been wrestling with the same thing for years.

It was only about a week later when I found out that another good friend of both mine and Maria’s (we’ll call her Laura) had also been struggling with the same sins. Suddenly, two women in my life understood EXACTLY what I meant when I talked about shame. They got the fact that when I said I needed to go to Confession, I really, really REALLY needed to go to Confession. And they understood the weight of the request of “Please pray for me, I’m really struggling right now.”

In that mutual understanding, we began to hold each other accountable. All of us are in different stages of this battle, but we get to walk together through it all. Besides praying for each other a whole lot and texting on a constant basis, we started using the Victory app as a team. Here are four words that have been helping us kick porn in the face:

1. Awareness

If you’re anything like high school and early college me, you probably haven’t stopped to reflect on temptation recently. We get so distracted by life that we fail to actually recognize temptation as temptation. A simple daily check-in may seem insignificant, but it’s intentional opportunity to stop and recognize where we are being tempted. On the Victory app we’ve been using, we all committed to checking in daily.

2. Analysis

Was I bored? Was I tired? Was I lonely? These are the questions we have started to ask ourselves in the case of a setback. It has been a purposeful opportunity to look at WHY we fall into sin, not simply wallowing in guilt or frustration. Once we’ve analyze why we fall, it’s much easier to share the struggle with another person.

3. Accountability

Maria has started sending us prayer requests often. Every time she’s struggling, I get a little reminder to pray for her. Not only is she reaching out for help, we as her friends are able to follow up with a phone call or an encouraging text. Also, having a consistent daily check in time to evaluate temptation has been really helpful.

4. Action

I asked Laura her favorite part of the Victory app and here’s what she said: “I love the fact that it counts victories. And how it sneakily (in a good way though) suggests Confession. It has the Confession counter and I think that’s important especially because porn addiction needs healing as well as forgiveness. And that’s what Confession is all about.” It’s not all about the setback and wallowing in guilt, it’s about where you allow victory to enter into your life. Maria said something similar: “I hate that I can see my setbacks. They make me upset, but I love that I see the victories too.”

I want to remind you that this fight isn’t about our weakness and our setbacks. This is about our reliance on God’s mercy and our vulnerability with others. Every setback is a testament to the radical love of the Father. The book of Exodus says “The LORD will fight for you; you have only to keep still” (Exodus 14:14).

I pray that the Lord will bring stillness and good friends into your life. The Lord will fight for you, and He will win.

About the Author

Grace Petrillo

I spend my free time in coffee shops, reading CS Lewis, and listening to Fr Mike Schmitz's podcasts. I just recently started drinking my coffee black and I love sunflowers. Confidently desperate for Christ's mercy. Trying to bring truth and freedom to the lies and shame the enemy uses against women.