To Never Feel Like Her Again

Last weekend I had the opportunity to hold a book signing at a church in Nevada. A great community of people who exemplify grace to the broken and downtrodden.

As I sat behind the 8-ft. folding table ladened with books, pens and brochures I found myself overcome with a feeling I haven’t felt in nearly eight years of sobriety.

ALONE. . .

While the staff and the volunteers were incredibly supportive, I was surprised by the looks and comments I received from many church attenders who stopped by and walked by my table.

Even in a church that is more open about these struggles than most—I found myself feeling like the only woman in the world who has ever struggled with pornography addiction. I founded this ministry so that no woman would ever have to feel like her again.

And yet, there I was feeling purposeless and defeated as I was questioned about the validity of my calling. Fighting the frog in my throat and the tears that welled my eyes—trying to keep good face. “What am I doing?” racing through my mind.

Then I remembered a prayer that many addicts are quite familiar with reciting.

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can; and the wisdom to know the difference.

I began to recite this prayer many, many times to myself as I watched people walk by and immediately peace entered my mind, my heart, my soul. Understanding that there are things I cannot change (ie. I can’t make anyone accept this issue), but there are things I can change (ie. have the courage to provide women with help). And then in these moments of what feels like persecution—I can know the difference.

Which brings me to a sweet girl named Ashlee.

Probably 18 or 19 years old, she was the last to come to my table. Having lived in Las Vegas her entire life she has watched friend after friend enter the sex industry. As strippers, prostitutes, porn actresses, you name it.

Thanking God and while texting on her phone, she describes how she has avoided this lifestyle. And she wants to help her friends find hope for a better life. She was so excited to share my book with one of her friends in particular, thanking me for being open with my struggles and for being a safe place for other women.

We’re only as alone as we allow the enemy to make us feel.

If ministry were meant to be easy, I would have founded a ministry and written a book on finance or marriage and this road would be met with much less grief. But if Ashlee and girls like her can somehow be helped as a result of this venture—the lower than expected book sales and dismissive words & looks are worth it.

It is worth it ALL for no woman to feel alone again.


  1. Natalie Witcher

    Girl. Stay in it. Stay real. I pray your story saves millions from addiction to that which could take them down for a lifetime. The enemy is out to kill, steal and destroy and you a target. I will fight with you and for you.

  2. michelle

    Crystal — thank you so much for your obedience to what God has called YOU to do. Only you can do what you are doing and He has strengthened you beyond measure. i am praying for you and your ministry and i pray that you continue to tear down every thought, distraction, lie that the enemy tries to get you with, seeing as he can’t touch you he has to instigate and prod you into believing his bull. rest in him. i love you sister. thank you again for what you are doing your ministry has helped me beyond words.

  3. It is brutal, living grace in the face of our shame. What you are doing is powerful because God has called you to it. He is the power, and He does not leave us alone.

    Thank you for sharing this. I needed it today, in the middle of being as real as He wants me to be, even if I know all the shoulds and the oughts and the answers I should be spouting. He’s called me to BE where I am, not what I know, and while I’ve never been into pornography or struggled with sexual sin, sometimes questioning God amounts to the same in the minds of the spiritual people, and living that in faith is the hardest thing I’ve ever done.

    You have really encouraged me today. Thank you.

  4. Kori

    Oh I love this post and am so thankful for your voice. As a counselor I’m glad to be able to refer women to your ministry. This post makes me take courage as I begin to work more publicly with post abortive women and share my own story. And you’ve worded it perfectly “It is worth it ALL for no woman to feel alone again.” Abortion is another very hard topic for ” the church” and shame women often carry alone.

    Love your heart and passion. Thank you for helping me feel a little braver today.

  5. You are amazing Crystal!! God is using you to change thousands of girls lives for good. And the Enemy is ticked off. You are NOT alone. Standing and fighting with and for you.

  6. Michele

    You are doing the work He needs you to do. The enemy will fight this with all his will but the will of our Savior is more powerful! You can’t force someone to change but you can offer your heart to them and show them what’s inside…God’s love! I will pray for continued strength for you and the ministry. So many lost people and the work you do is not far from a miracle. The Holy Spirit works through you. Stay strong! Defeat the enemy!!!

  7. Crystal,

    I thank God for what you are doing. I know it’s difficult, I know the looks, the whispers, and the open judgment. I also know the thrill of an Ashlee, or of someone who says God used you to bring them out of sin, shame, and sorrow and into what He intended for them.

    Please know that we pray for you, and that we are not the only ones. Hang strong, it’s more than worth it.

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