Overcoming My Thorn
Warning: I have been trying to write this post for the past 5 months. This is probably the longest post I've ever written up to date.
Secrets. It's fascinating how we all have mixed feelings about secrets but at the same time, we keep some of them to ourselves. We know how ugly secrets can be and how much they can hurt both parties but we still hold on to them. Honestly, it's our flesh man! I'm not about to sugar coat anything that I will be telling...then again, that's just how God has made me.
My biggest secret (the fight or flight sin that I had to answer in front of God) was: PORNOGRAPHY..
Note: I capitalize the word for a reason. It’s not a comfortable word for most of us.
Yes, me, Abigail Badu, battled it out with this deadly creature formed from lust called pornography. Apparently, it wasn't all that easy for me to have this written down and published for the rest of the world to see since it took me five months to finally get around with it. Though this is one of the greatest things I believe I've ever talked about with people in regards to the love, mercy, grace, and power of Christ. Let's get some background information before we proceed.
“Mom, I want to talk to you about..."
In fourth grade (oh yeah this is young but oh well) I was coming home from school when I got to the cream-colored door that led to my family's three bedroom apartment home when a colorful book covered in plastic packaging wrap caught my eyes. Innocent as much as a fourth-grade girl was, I picked up the magazine only to find out two things 1) it was mailed to my father and 2) this was meant for our household. Like what any African child would do, I obediently took the package and placed it on the arm of our living room couch when I had gotten home only to find out that my parents were both not at home (I was mature for an elementary school child so my parents were alright with leaving me at home for a couple of minutes to run some errands.)
This package obviously wasn't like other packages that came to our home because 1) my spirit knew something was wrong with bringing it home and 2) I was too eager to open my father's mail which had never happened before. Temptation gave in and after taking the book into my room I tore the plastic apart. The cover had a white sideways silhouette of a bunny next to a white word saying: PLAYBOY. I was familiar with the bunny drawing because I had seen girls in my grade and older wearing the logo on their clothing but I didn't know what the logo meant (first generation problems )...until I opened and consumed the images in the magazine. That's when the disease was introduced to my mind, heart, soul, and spirit.
Though I wasn't a believer at the time, that younger fourth-grade version of myself knew that the magazine was terrible but the lust that had overtaken me was overpowering. I ended up hiding the magazine underneath my pillow, never giving it to my father (the original recipient). Eventually, my mother saw the magazine and threw it away but the disease had already begun to spread.
From fourth grade to junior year of high school, I was quietly fighting this lust that urged me to look at guys wrongly and want to show more skin that God intended me to. It wasn't until a campus missions group came to my youth for a presentation that I finally made it aware to someone about this monster was underneath my spiritual bed.
I had accepted Christ as my Lord and Savior freshman year of high school but the infection was still there. The campus mission team had a beautiful drama the night they stopped by but what I remember the most is when one of the girls had a torn up cardboard piece that had the word pornography on her chest. She walked across the stage and turned the cardboard piece over revealing the words “truly loved and free". I felt God literally showing me a mirror and saying, "This is what you have to give me."
After the presentation, I got a chance to speak with the girl with the pornography sign and confessed to the girl that I was struggling with porn too, she was the first person I ever confessed this sin too.
“I am surprised that girls deal with this but...this is something that I have been fighting with and I don't know what to do.”
She didn't just pray with me, tell me her story, and listened to the story of my struggle but she also challenged me to tell someone close to me about my battle. She told me that the battle cannot be defeated alone but by bring Christ and an accountability partner into the war front, I would win this war. I told a close youth leader and eventually, it went from one to four people who knew the battle that I was facing. The hardest person to tell this to was my mother. Since we were so close and my mother was the one God used to bring me reveal himself to me, I felt that if I told her she would be disappointed with me. However, she was only understanding and loving.
All in all the reason why I told you this story wasn't that I wanted to just be ______(fill in the blank). I believe that God asked me to testify this beautiful story because it has created a strong woman who has found out that in her weakness, she is strength.
For we are glad when we are weak and you are strong. And this also we pray, that you may be made complete." - 2 Corinthians 13: 9 (NKJV)
God hasn't just shown me how to overcome this enemy but the Lord has also caused me to love him and his strength that abides in me more each day. Everyday I love Christ more for taking my enemy, pornography, and decimating it on the cross. Jesus took everything that made me feel ugly and gave me beauty. How amazing is that?!
Paul talks about his thorn in his flesh.
"For though I might desire to boast, I will not be a fool; for I will speak the truth. But I refrain, lest anyone should think of me above what he sees me to be or hears from me. And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure."
- 2 Corinthians 12: 7
It took me some time but God’s Word finally spoke to me through this verse in an intimate way. We all have a thorn, a sin that seems to outweigh everything in our eyes. A thorn that overshadows all the sins we're guilty of. Mine was pornography. Though, we all know that I'm far from perfect, I will boast in this: my weakness has made me strong through the power and the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Jesus was the one that fought my Goliath: porn.
Porn, lust, or whatever you call it is a sin; this is not worth debating. The girl from the campus missions group was correct, confession and a whole lot of Jesus together is the antidote for the vermin. When I began confessing my sin to others freedom began to wipe away the guilt and loneliness that were dumped on me. It wasn't just temporary freedom but the freedom Christ could only give, permanent freedom. The enemy made me feel that I was the only person, the only female, facing this struggle. News Flash: males and females struggle with porn and lust. You will never be alone on this matter!
Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much."
- James 5: 16
"No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it."
- 1 Corinthians 10: 13
There are many different but similar ways that each person battles their thorn. Below is the method that God allows me to use to stand firm in Him and be strengthened by his power .
How I battled porn:
Tell Jesus; yeah he knows but the conversation so helps!
Tell someone about the struggle (don't sugar coat it or run away from it).
Ask this person or at least 1- as many want to be your accountability partner.
Tell another person that your trust person (you can tell as many people as you want because the release is fantastic!)
Pray about this all the time because discernment is essential.
Get in tune with the Word of God daily and especially when the urge is real.
Read and read and then read some more since God's Word is just beautiful and healing.
Pray for others that are facing this battle because we're not alone.
Join an organization that fights this disease, this drug!
For more information you can go to Fight The New Drug
Unitl next time…
- 🌿 Abigail