As a former youth pastor who is now managing a store in a high stress, balls-to-the-wall environment, I have been looking at a ton of porn. My wife is hours away with the kids while I live in a sh***y, one-bedroom apartment. Alas, temptation has turned into daily habit: come home, fix a way-too-strong drink, go to my typical websites, get off, feel terrible, look over at the books I should be reading that I brought with me, rinse, repeat.
I am an avid fan of BadChristian. I absolutely love their podcast and have listened to every one of them. What shocked me was when Seth and David Taylor were on there a week or two ago talking about My Pilgrimage. I was driving home to finally spend some-well deserved time with my family, listening to the podcast while driving home: mind blown.
I paused it and went to MyPilgrimage right away, mid-podcast. I thought man, if this is serious, I’ll buy in. I know it isn’t just porn for me; I’ll die early (like everyone has told me since I turned 21) because of the amount of alcohol I consume on the daily.
I only have (I think) two more chapters to listen to in the book—there have been many pauses for exercises and whatnot—but that book got me to pray for only the second time since moving here six months ago. The last time I prayed I was face-down in my stand up shower (an impressive feat for such a big dude), curled into a ball, asking God, “Why am I here? Are you even real? Do you give a s*** about me at all? Am I just like my father?” etc., etc., etc.
The other night, I prayed for so long, meditating, searching my soul for these wounds I carry. Every day while I’m at work I keep thinking to myself, “What are they?” What are the wounds that I’m medicating so heavily that I can’t stop trying to kill myself with alcohol? What is on my inside that led me to actually Google “can a .22 kill a man?” (as that is the only gun I brought with me on my move, should I get the chance to hit a shooting range).
I’m not fixed, I’m not porn-free, I’m not even fully sober (I am as I write this, but you know what I mean). I will tell you though, I have only looked at porn twice since last Thursday and I’ve been drunk a considerable amount less, in quantity and quality.
For a guy who used to masturbate 4 or 5 times a day while he watched his marriage and sex life with his wife fall apart, and who drank a half a gallon of whiskey every two days, it feels like a miracle. I can’t explain everything going on in me right now, I can’t even explain my morning prayers and the thoughts I have while I sit in my truck and wait for the windshield to defrost instead of opting for a morning cigarette (an easily dropped habit for me, but nonetheless).
It is borderline insane to me that I can walk like this, feel like this. To still even be doing what I’ve been doing, but to be able to watch it slowly die? Yeah, I still desire some things, but this…..it’s….free.
Porn has turned into something I just kind of want at moments instead of a driving force that I must have and fulfill the second I walk through my apartment door.
I’m not entirely sure what is at the end of this book, or even this path that I’m on, but I have to say this may be the greatest thing I’ve ever seen step foot out of your ministry.
You should really advertise this like crazy, too. It changed and is changing my life. I can’t express my gratitude enough, I’ve tried everything. I’ve tried Every Young Man’s Battle, Every Man’s Battle, X3watch, Covenant Eyes, and nothing could stop the monster I felt I had become. I always wanted it bad enough at some point that I would start the lies, the bait and switch, the whatever, whatever, whatever to get me to my end goal.
This is truly revolutionary and I am so thankful for this, the message, and the group of you guys out there right now that aren’t living in the “under a rock” mentality and ignoring real issues that real people are having. Even if this doesn’t reach you personally, even if I’m one of a thousand people that emails you and tells you how amazing this really is, I hope whoever gets this on your behalf just tells you and Seth, “Thanks, man.” Thanks for a new outlook, thanks for at least a little less cloud and depression and confusion on the daily. I wish I could think of something better to say than just thanks, but there really aren’t words for this freedom.
[Note: this testimony has been edited slightly for length and clarity.]