Shelley Hitz: My Secret Confession and How God is Using My Pain to Help Others

Today we are happy to be hosting author and speaker Shelley Hitz. Take a moment to read her story of freedom from addiction and take advantage of her offer of a free Kindle copy of her book, “A Christian Woman’s Guide to Breaking Free From Pornography: It’s Not Just a Guy’s Problem.” More info below.

—Crystal Renaud
DGM Founder

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This past April, 2012, marked twenty years of following Christ in my life. I was blessed to grow up in a Christian home and was baptized when I was young, but did not choose to truly surrender my life to Christ until my junior year in high school. Once I committed my life to Christ everything in my life was perfect from that point on, right? Wrong.

I think sometimes we get the idea that being a Christian excludes us from certain trials, hardships and pain; but the Bible tells us differently. John 16:33 says, “In this world you will have trouble, but take heart! I (Jesus) have overcome the world.” Notice it doesn’t say you might have trouble or if you have enough faith you won’t have trouble…it says you will have trouble. Matthew 5:45 also says that the rain falls on the righteous and the unrighteous.

So even though I was a Christian, I had brokenness and pain. My grandma was murdered when I was eight years old, I experienced an instance of sexual abuse in junior high and my dad was emotionally unavailable for me when I was growing up. My life was not perfect, but I still tried to put on the image that I had it all together.

My coping mechanisms for the emotional pain I held deep inside started with harmless things like shopping and workaholism. Then, it progressed into something worse…I had a secret. This secret sin started when I was 25 years old. I had been married for two years, my husband was in full-time ministry and we were active in ministry at our church. I had a successful career as a Physical Therapist. From the outside, it appeared that my husband and I were the picture of an ideal Christian couple.

However, it could not have been farther from the truth.

I Had a Secret Sin

You see, for two years, I struggled with internet pornography and masturbation. I thought I was the only Christian woman to ever struggle with this particular sexual sin. I felt dirty and disgusted with myself, but couldn’t stop.

It was like the proverbial frog in the pot. If you put a frog in a pot of boiling water, it will jump out. However, if you put the frog in a pot of room temperature water and then gradually turn the temperature up, it will get cooked. And I got “cooked,” spiritually speaking. If Satan would have tempted me with hard core porn in the beginning, I would have rejected the temptation immediately. However, the temptation started out more innocently with soft porn. And I gave in. Pretty soon, that wasn’t enough and it gradually spiraled into worse material. I found myself looking at hard core porn.

It Shocked Me and I Knew I Needed Help

I am so thankful that God gave me the courage at that time to reach out for help. I confessed my sin to my husband and started Christian counseling. And I would love to say that I never gave in to viewing pornography after that point. But, it did not happen that way. As with most people that struggle with sexual addiction, it took time. I would take two steps forward and then one step back. But, through God’s grace I am free today.

Healing and Freedom is Possible

Recently, I was looking back at my journals from the last 12 years and realized that I have now been free from the stronghold of pornography and masturbation for a decade now. It was a process that was painful at times as I worked on forgiving those that hurt me and healed from deep emotional wounds from the past. But it was so worth it. St. Theophan Reculse is quoted saying, “Take one feeble step toward God and He will take a thousand toward you.” And I have found this to be true in my own life.

And now God is using my pain and the journey of healing He took me through to help others.

Shelley Hitz has been ministering alongside her husband, CJ, since 1998. They currently travel and speak to teens and adults around the country. Shelley’s main passion is to share God’s truth and the freedom in Christ she has found with others. She does this through her books, websites and speaking engagements. Shelley’s openness and vulnerability, as she shares her own story of hope and healing, will inspire and encourage you.

Shelley has been writing and publishing books since 2008 including the book she co-authored with S’ambrosia Curtis, “A Christian Woman’s Guide to Breaking Free From Pornography: It’s Not Just a Guy’s Problem.” During their book launch on 9/26/12-9/27/12, you can download a free Kindle copy and also enter to win over $400 worth of resources. Find out more at www.ChristianWomenandPorn.com

By Crystal Renaud

Crystal Renaud is the Founder & Executive Director of WHOLE Women Ministries whose projects include Dirty Girls Ministries and WHOLE Women’s Conference. She is also the author of Dirty Girls Come Clean (Moody Publishers), a speaker and student who lives in the Kansas City area. Follow @crystalrenaud on Twitter and visit her website for info on coaching and speaking at http://crystalrenaud.com.

3 comments

  1. Thank you for speaking so openly about this. I wrote about this on my blog a few months ago and broke free of the same addiction. Nice to see women coming out of the closet about this specific addiction and sin. Even better knowing I’m not alone in my struggle. Thank you.

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  2. Hey Girlfriends! This is RE: Shelley Hitz. Thought it might be helpful to hear from someone who actually knows this author.

    Shelley and I have become friends thru mutual friends, and subsequently, from doing minsitry together. As Director of Women’s Ministries for my Denomination (Churches of God General Conference, Findlay OH), we were thrilled to have Shelley as our speaker this past year at our annual March Retreat. Previously, we worked together to present a mini-workshop seminar, “Protecting out Minds, Bodies, and Souls”.

    But even before that, YEARS ago, I knew God had unique plans to work thru Shelley’s testimony after I heard it for the first time. I knew she would one day be a powerful, anointed speaker for the Lord. And trust me when I shout, “She is!”

    Today, I just started reading this new book of hers. Girls, this is awesome stuff! Real, honest, full of hope, ripe with the promise of God’s gift of healing, overflowing with down-to-earth-practical words of advice, and a push for each of us to have accountabilty in our lives.

    Whether or not you share these kinds of sexual struggles, you still need to read this book. Because, chances are (the statistics are included in the book, too!), you know several women/girls who need to hear God’s reassuring words of redemption, restoration, and fully return to His loving arms. Once you read this, the “invisible” will become “visible” to you. God will use it to reveal things to you either for your own growth and/or for others’ sake.

    WARNING:
    Be ready for God to speak loud & clear. Break free from “the sin that so easily entagles us.” With God, nothing is impossible!!

    [Reply]

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