What I Want You to Know is a series of reader submissions. It is an attempt to allow people to tell their personal stories, in the hopes of bringing greater compassion to the unique issues each of us face. (In case you noticed – this series has been switched to Tuesdays). If you would like to submit a story to this series, click here. This guest post is by an anonymous reader.
There are things I wish I never had to know.
I want you to know that I'm not a bad person. I'm actually a pretty good person. I love people, I pray when I remember to, I thank God for the things He's given me. I am a full time student and get decent grades, I work as a children's minister and love the kids I work with every Sunday, and I like investing time and energy and love into my friends. It's recently been brought to my attention that I'm a really good friend to my friends because I will drop everything to help someone with anything they need help with.
I'm a good person.
But I've done terrible things.
When I was in middle school, I stumbled onto websites and into chat rooms. What I saw attracted me to no end, and the people I talked to spoke of such adult-like things, I wanted more. It quickly turned into an addiction, these websites and chat rooms. I went from innocent little girl to professional online seductress in a matter of months. Somewhere along the line, I went from talking about everyday things to talking about what I wanted to do with whoever was at the other end of the computer connection.
These things, pornography and "cybersex" (I absolutely hate that term), continued on through high school, and more embarrassingly into my college years.
What I want you to know is this: I'm probably partly responsible for a few broken men, and too many broken relationships. My ignorant inattention to deeper issues as a child bloomed into a blatant disregard for all things holy and sacred as a young adult.
It wasn't too long ago that I would spend sleepless nights sitting in front of a computer screen, fixed on a chat room, hunting and waiting for my next fix.
And wouldn't you believe, that's exactly what all of this was. Just a fix. A fix that would carry me over for a few days, possibly weeks, or months, and then dissolve back into a need that had to be met.
I want you to know that 98% of the time, I'm not this person. I don't look at porn anymore, and I don't venture into chat rooms. I don't look at porn because it breaks me and breaks any chance at healthy relationships that I may have. I don't venture into chat rooms because, now, instead of only being aware of my need for satisfaction, I am painfully aware of the toll that will be taken on the relationships that the other person is a part of.
I want you to know that 2% of the time, I throw those reasons out the window and do what I want to do. When this happens, I usually end up laying face down on the floor crying and begging God for mercy.
What I want you to know is that I know the seriousness of my sins. I know the brokenness that stems from seducing men online, from enticing them with flirty wink-faces and letting them know that I'm an attractive young woman. I know that some of the men I mess with are married, because they say so. Their admittance to being married has rarely stopped either one of us, though.
I want you to know that the last time I wandered into the 2% was last week. I want you to know that I am one thousand times more angry and disappointed with myself than any of you are combined. Being aware of your own sin is painful, and it eats at you, and it breaks you down harder than anyone else ever could. There's a reason why it's called "trapped" in sin. It's difficult to get out. It's hard to walk away and to change your ways and to rely fully on Christ.
I want you to know that I'm sorry. That no one could be more sorry about this than I am. I want you to know that while I know I'm not the sole reason for the brokenness of other people, I know that I have played an important role in it. I want you to know that while I've hurt people in my actions, other people have hurt me too.
Why do I want you to know this? Because I am a generally good person. I'm kind and caring, I strive to do my best in school, work, and in relationships.
I am your neighbor, your sister, your best friend, your niece, your favorite girl in youth group, and your favorite small group leader.
I am just as broken as the next person, possibly a little more because of my awareness of my brokenness.
I want you to know that I hate my past, but know that there is beauty in the broken and that my part of the story can be turned around and used for the good.
I want you to know that I'm getting help. I'm seeing a counselor, and I'm opening up to friends. I have restrictions on my computer, and I have rules for myself regarding when I can and cannot use it.
I want you to know that I'm beginning to see myself as Christ sees me: Someone in need of love, correction, and guidance.
I want you to know that He makes all things new. I know this because the bible tells me so, and all the hope I've seen in the world points to the dead being brought into new life.
I'm being made new, I'm being brought back to life.
"And He who sits on the throne said, "Behold, I am making all things new." And He said, "Write, for these words are faithful and true.""
Revelation 21:5 (NASB)