From Bitter to Sweet

From Bitter to Sweet
by Kimberly Johonson

Ashamed, alone, damaged, perverted, twisted, abnormal, and did I mention alone? These are just a few of the negative emotions I had as a female who was sexually addicted. For 23 years I struggled in secret with masturbation; then masturbation and porn; and eventually masturbation, porn and anonymous sexual encounters. All of this while living a double life. On week nights I would teach Bible Studies, minister to new believers, and was even a Sunday School teacher. Was I a hypocrite? Some would say yes. Actually, I was just a believer that really loved Jesus, but was clueless about how to manage the addiction that I had become trapped in since I was 11 years old.

One day, like the prodigal son, my pride was finally conquered by my need. The voices that screamed that I was hopeless, worthless, and could never be free had to be fought through. I could no longer live this double life of shame. As difficult as it was, the Lord led me to open up to a lady in my church. She was the first that I shared my entire struggle with. After that, He led me to my counselor. Then He led me to open up to my pastor. Later, He led me to a women's group for sexual strugglers. Then He dealt with me to open up to several more ladies in my church. Before I knew it, this person who felt so alone and abandoned, was surrounded by an army of support. These were people who helped to fill the needs that I was using my sexual acting out to fulfill. You see, although some don't understand this, sexual acting out often has little to do with sex. It is not about a sexual need, it is about a relational need.

We all are given a need by God to connect with ourselves, God, and others. Those of us who are believers that have struggled sexually in some cases have prayed for years for Christ to deliver us. He is a Deliverer. But He will not deliver us from a need that He himself placed within us. Often we stay bound because we do not know how to meet our need for connection in a healthy way.

"One who is full loathes honey, but to one who is hungry everything bitter is sweet."—Proverbs 27:7

The above scripture has spoken so many times to me. When I am feasting on Christ and allowing Him to fill me, and to meet the needs He has given me in His way and His time, I will be satisfied, and not need to seek for "food" in other places. When I do not satisfy my hunger (needs) in the way God intended, then I set myself up to be satisfied by everything bitter (ie: pornography, masturbation, and inappropriate sexual activity). This is true for men and women. As females, though, we are by design incredibly relational. Man was created by God's breath and from dirt, the very thing that he ended up working. Yes, men are relational, but they are "doers" by design. That is why men can bond together while doing things. As women, we were created from flesh. That is what makes us tick so to speak— we are made from flesh and the breath of His Spirit, and it is relationship with God and humans that we crave. It is how we were designed.

For many of us love was awakened before it was time. For some that was through abuse, for others it was through inappropriate viewing of porn, or someone introducing us to something perhaps not as erotic as porn but that left us damaged. It also could have happened by a boyfriend persuading us to experiment sexually when we were far too young. Regardless of how it happened, scripture warns against this:

"Swear to me, young women of Jerusalem, that you won't awaken
or arouse love before its proper time!"—Song of Solomon 8:4

When love is awakened before time, we learn not what sex is, we learn what sex is not. Though pornography is filled with naked bodies having intercourse this is not an accurate picture of what sex is. Sex is holy and undefiled. We have been sold a lie, and have believed that we are satisfying our hunger when instead we are eating something very bitter and believing that it is sweet. Like most bitter things though, the aftertaste eventually catches up with us.

After 23 years of bondage, in 2005 Jesus began to place me on the path of true healing. Today, I have been free for almost 11 years, and now am helping others on their journey to freedom. The difference came when I learned to feast on Christ, and the resources that He provides. He will do the same for all who come to Him. How sweet He is!

More about Kimberly Johnson
Posted: Aug 26, 2016,
Categories: Women,
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