When I was eleven years old, I discovered pornography. What began as curiosity transformed into an ongoing, hidden wound for seven years. The devil took hold of my feelings of isolation and insecurities, feeding me lies. As is common in any form of habitual sin, I felt there was no way out. But that was a lie. As with any lie, it has since been overshadowed by Truth.
We are all wounded because of sin, and oftentimes, we feel permanently injured. But in Romans 8:28, the Lord promises that “All things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” The Lord constantly heals and works within, even when the wound still hurts. No matter how deep your wounds are, God’s love goes deeper.
During my senior year of high school, I attended a retreat where they offered Eucharistic Adoration. During this time, I felt overwhelmingly unclean before my Lord, and I shattered interiorly. When I hit rock-bottom, surrendering my prideful and self-sufficient mindset, I received the grace to admit my defeat to myself and then to a friend. Opening up in this way broke the “shame barrier” because I was finally taking responsibility for my actions. For so long, I believed that I had no control. I rationalized so deeply into that sin that I did not see a way out. My brokenness paralyzed me and left me hiding in the dark. But God as the Light of Truth led me to see who I truly am. My sin never defined me, and He offered me a way out. That night, I despaired, realizing that I could not break free by myself. But my friend, knowing the power of Love, led me to the altar. I desperately touched the cloth beneath the monstrance, seeking a miracle. In the same way that the hemorrhaging woman was healed in Mark 5:25-34, I received healing from impurity.
But it was not magic. God’s grace works in a mysterious way. It was not that He took away my freedom to choose impurity, but that I was so overcome with His Truth and Love that I lost the desire to offend Him. I still battle lies that I am not good enough or that I will never be truly loved, but by God’s grace, I have been introduced to the power of Christ. I live in the Truth, knowing I am a beloved child of God made to love and be loved. I am not chained to my sin or trapped in past addictions; I walk in the “newness of life” (Romans 6:4). We are all set free in the Lord, embracing His victory as our own. Our stories do not end in the suffering of Calvary but with the Resurrection! We all live by redemptive grace, and our past failures are transformed into fruit by which the Lord nourishes others.
By God’s grace, my wounds are a source of healing to people. I have been clean for almost a year and a half now, and I have already grown immensely and consoled others struggling. The Lord gradually leads me to acceptance of my past. But healing takes time, and even though I knew God immediately forgave my faults, I battled to forgive myself due to perfectionism. I could not bear to see how little respect I had for the dignity of myself and others, so I ignored it. Coming to terms with all of it at once frightened me and damaged my self-esteem. God has helped me accept my imperfections so that I can draw closer to Him.
“Where sin has abounded, grace abounds all the more,” for His “power is made perfect in weakness.”Romans 5:20, 2 Corinthians 12:8
If you struggle with impurity,
- Admit it to yourself.
2. Find an accountability partner.
3. Run to Jesus.
When Jesus asks, “Do you want to be healed?” tell him, “Yes,” and mean it. All that remains is cooperating with His grace. Dive into the Sacraments and prayer, strengthen this renewed relationship, and allow yourself to be truly loved by Love Himself. Go to Mass (or watch life-streamed Masses), read Scripture, and reach out to others when you feel alone.
Remember, loneliness is just a call to go deeper with the Lord. He has been waiting for you, and He is indescribably proud of how far you have come. He knows every battle you have fought, and now He wants you to rest in His love as He fights for you. Trust in Him. If He resurrected from the dead, what can stop Him from resurrecting you from the death of sin?