Looking back as an adult, I can see now that those Christian romance novels were not as harmless as they looked. As a teen, I would spend hours and hours fantasying about my future husband. These books stirred inside me feelings and emotions that shouldn’t have surfaced for years and awakened in me sexual desire, which in it’s timing is beautiful and God breathed. But before it’s time? Not always good.

By the time I was in my late teens, my life was taken up in these explicit and harmful fantasies (and all that comes with them!). 

I had always had a close relationship with Jesus, and had often come to Him, begging Him to take away my thoughts and show me how to have self control. God would constantly give me opportunities to walk away, but I would still choose to indulge my fantasies. I was so wrapped up in my shame and guilt I didn’t know how to choose to walk free. At my darkest point I googled the worst porn novel I could think of and read a few chapters, guilt and shame engulfing me.

If God hadn’t intervened right then and there, I can honestly say I would have slowly become addicted to porn novels. I remember being up at 3am, screaming alone in my room for Him to set me free. He spoke to me so clearly that night - “THIS IS YOUR CHOICE. I will help you fight these battles, but you must choose ME FIRST!”.  

From that day on, even though the battle didn’t stop, I could always feel Him fighting for me.

I stopped isolating myself. I asked for help from trusted friends and mentors. I had to train my mind to avoid triggers that would send me spiraling out of control again. My shame began to disappear as I confessed my darkest secrets and let others in to speak into my life.

As got older and got serious about a guy (an incred one who’s now my hubs!), I struggled to find balance between purity and my love for him - and at times I felt that I was slipping back into my old habits. 

I would spend hours with my King letting Him reaffirm my identity in Him, letting Him delve deep into my mind and reveal to me what needed OUT. By spending time with Him and letting the Holy Spirit do His work in me, self control didn’t become a war ground in my mind anymore - but instead a sounding board which I could rely on.

I was secure in knowing that I had a Father that not only LOVED me the way I was but was completely committed to continually helping me fight the battles in my mind.

Since then I’ve gotten married, and man - what an incredible adventure that is! My times with my husband are beautiful and REAL, not a figment of my imagination created for perfection - which is exactly the way it should be! Jesus came to give us a life of freedom and fullness, not to live a life entrenched in our fantasies and the shame that comes with them. Let Him set you free today