9 Months Sober: A Testimony from a Community Member

My name is AmyChristine and I’m sitting on the “eve’ of being 9 months sober from pornography use.

I’m currently 32 years old, but my first exposure to porn was at 8 years old. Pornography and I were the best of friends for 24 years, but in April 2012, I finally called it “quits” on the friendship.

I came across Dirty Girls Ministries (DGM) shortly after it was founded in 2009. I discovered it by searching the internet for porn addiction help. I was surprised to read that I was not alone and felt very encouraged to get involved.

DGM opened up a new world to me. For the first time I had some hope. I read the founder, Crystal Renaud, had found freedom from pornography, so it gave me hope too. At the time, DGM’s online community was my source of strength when I couldn’t find it in myself. Finding DGM opened my heart up to being more vulnerable with others, including my mentor who walked alongside me through life. Through my involvement in DGM’s online community I slowly began to learn to run to Jesus in the midst of temptations.The online forum was rather small at the time, so I got to know people quite well. The online friendships were incredibly helpful. It was a comfort to know I wasn’t the only one.

I was not alone.

In 2010, after being involved in DGM’s community for a while, I came to realize that I could not save someone else. I’m not their savior, Jesus is. I can not be responsible for another person’s healing or recovery. But I can be an encouragement & a catalyst for change nonetheless. I also realized through DGM, that pornography addiction is an epidemic. New women were joining daily and at times I felt a bit overwhelmed. It was difficult to see so many women hurting and struggling with the same crap.

As I look at my 9 months of sobriety, I find a few active ingredients that contributed to my recovery. The first ingredient is, of course, Jesus. It’s impossible without Him. The second ingredient is accountability. I achieve the accountability through using Covenant Eyes & have also found a great mentor. I cannot stress how important accountability is in regards to recovery. I learned that the hard way.

The third ingredient is community. It’s critical to have people in your life that care about your recovery and freedom. I thought I had became a Christian at 16 years old. But one day my friend & mentor was praying to God asking why I wasn’t finding freedom. She had seen God do miracles and knew He would heal but why wasn’t He doing it for me? God’s response to her was “She doesn’t know Me.” Once I heard that I realized I had never been verbal about my acceptance of Christ. That changed on Feb 17, 2011 and from there things slowly started to change.

It took over a year of actively going to counseling, changing counselors, trying recovery 12 step groups & everything imaginable, for my heart to begin to change as well. It wasn’t the groups that changed my heart, it was my walk with Christ and the people that care about me that changed my heart.

It was April 2012 when I finally decided to give up porn again. This was probably the millionth time “quitting,” but I didn’t know it was my last time. It’s also the same time I gave up the on/off again online relationship with woman I had met in 2009.

I am a testament to the fact that God can change hearts and lives! Am I worried about relapse? Yes, of course. I think every addict is. And I believe a relapse would be devastating. But now, I know who to run to… His name is Jesus.

If you are new to DGM, I want to welcome you. This community is a great place to start your recovery and find freedom!

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.

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