Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The Porn Girl

Last week I talked about Label Free Living and I was supposed to continue the story, but the truth is, there is a more pressing label now that I'm fighting.  The anxiety rises and I am afraid.  So, what better way to deal with it than to lay my heart bare to y'all and to God, to let the concern and the fear just pass through me, out from my fingertips, into safe hands?

What if I become "the girl who writes about porn?"  What if people think of me and think "oh, the girl who wrote that book about how her husband was addicted to porn?"  What if I like a certain blog post and there it shows up on my Facebook feed and people think "there she goes talking about porn again?"

It strikes me as ridiculous that I can record a vlog with no make-up and talk about authenticity and vulnerability and then my hand shakes and my heart stops before I actually hit that Facebook "Like" button, knowing that the title of the article ("50 Shades of Porn") is going to show up on my timeline.

But the larger truth is that all my friends who read those books -- I don't want them to read those books.  I don't want anyone to like those books.  Because I want them to like their husbands better.  And if they don't, I don't want them to escape into a book so that for a few moments that can feel what "it might be like if only..."  I want women to fight for their marriages.  I want men to fight for their marriages.  Watching some movie that is supposed to set the tone for a romp in the sack is not what God has intended for sex. It just leads down to a very, very bad road.

Trust me.  I know this.

And anxiety courses through my body because I DON'T WANT TO BE THE ONE WHO KNOWS THIS.

Sarah Young, in Jesus Calling, wrote on January 22nd, this:
"Anything that tends to make you anxious is a growth opportunity."
You can say that again, Sarah.  There are days that I kick and scream at God about this.  It's all in my head, though, most of the time.  And y'all, I am totally overwhelmed and blown away by this book contract with Discovery House.  And I know that there is going to be tremendous growth from it.

I know.

But I'm still scared. And I didn't realize how scared I still am until today.

I know I am more than this book.  And I certainly am more than the contents of the book.  And so, I'm not going to let the "porn girl" label stick.  People could call me that, and well, maybe it will get the book in more people's hands?  I don't know, but I'm not going to let it change how I see myself.  And it certainly doesn't change how God sees me.

Because we are more than what we write.  We are more than what we say.  We are more than how we act, what we look like, or what we dream.

We are His.  What more could we ask to be?

(Thank you for listening, friends.  I just had to get that off my chest today.)

Linking with Tracy.

34 comments :

  1. Good for you! This is a very important topic that needs to be discussed openly because of its destructive influence in marriage. Pornography is never a good thing. It is the enemy's tool to destroy marriages.

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  2. oh Jen, first congrats on your contract to write a book. I knew this was coming and so very excited for you. Second, I hear you on this. The issues I have with my man make me extra vulnerable to that subject. The anxiety that builds on the subject can make one feel like bursting! I so get it! The Lord has given you a beautiful platform to speak about this even though you have had to go thru what you have, but this makes you worthy of hearing because you have been thru it.I know what you mean when you say, "you would not have chosen this" but the Lord needs your voice to speak to others on the subject. Can I just say, I hate that people read those books too. I have neighbors that the family was reading this book 'together'. Husband, wife, and teen girl. I almost came unglued, it makes me crazy!
    When you feel judged by the subject you remember God is your defender and He will defend you, you just keep being obedient to His calling. Good girl there Jen!

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  3. Dear Jen, as I read your words I found myself cheering you on! I saw that "liked" link on FB and clicked on it because it interested me. Maybe I'm just happy that someone else out there is talking about this subject. I can relate to what you are saying because in October I started writing about my childhood sexual abuse. And I'm working with Rise and Shine Movement, so there is a lot of stuff on my wall relating to sexual abuse. I have struggled with a similar label — "the childhood sexual abuse girl". But I quickly remove it because I know people need to hear it and see it. And I don't want to apologize for it because it needs to be said. Like sexual abuse, pornography and sexual addiction are running rampant in this world and the people on the front lines, the ones who have had to struggle and heal from it make the best "spokespeople". God has this amazing plan and He will use what has happened in your life and my life to minister to others, if we are obedient to it. People need to hear what you and your husband have to say! It's going to be a hard road, but marriages are going to be saved because of how God will use your pain. I know this, firsthand in my own life!

    Thank you for vulnerably sharing! It can feel very lonely, but you are one of too many who have been affected by this. You speaking out helps others know they aren't alone.

    Christy @ A Heartening Life
    www.ahearteninglife.com

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  4. I just love your heart. Your inner struggle is a blessing to us when you write: "Because we are more than what we write. We are more than what we say. We are more than how we act, what we look like, or what we dream.

    We are His. What more could we ask to be?"

    good for you for sharing, expressing and growing!

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  5. I can not wait for this book. I was one who struggled with porn and I will be all for buying it. I know my husband won't mind because he knows it will be something that will help my growth. So do it, I am standing with you in this fight, to get teaching out. Love you!

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  6. Love Sarah's quote here- and your brave words. YES, we ARE more than we WRITE. And I love your passion for Jesus and the way you are letting Him speak through your fingertips. The only label for that is- "beautiful"!

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  7. Jen, thank you for broaching a topic that is uncomfortable to talk about. Thanks for putting your "online and author reputation" out there for the sake of proclaiming truth and for the purpose of advancing the Kingdom....because really, how can we do that effectively when porn takes captive our thoughts. I truly believe it's becoming an epidemic among kids/tweens/teens -with unlimited access at their fingertips on their digital devices. You are touching on a topic that is crippling not only our generation but the one we are to be investing in and raising up. So thank you for sharing your story and for doing it with the risk involved. It will be worth it. And btw: you will always be "Jen, that girl with a genuine heart to serve Jesus." in my opinion.

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    1. Oh, Melody, this makes me get all teary-eyed!! You totally blessed me today!

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  8. Jen, so many women are facing this. Sadly even many, many women in the church are facing this. Just the past couple of years I have seen marriages, Christian couples, torn apart and lives turned upside down from this. For women to know they are NOT alone in this and for women to be encouraged in this area is so important. God is truly using you and I am so excited for you!

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  9. Hi Jen, great post and very relevant topic. So glad there is someone like you tackling it and not allowing it to be swept under the carpet, and exposing it from a Godly perspective.
    God bless friend and thank you for linking up
    Tracy

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  10. I know I'm late in saying this because other commenters have but, turn it around, girlfriend! You may be the "porn girl" but that is so narrow. You are the "shes.been.there.so.I.can.talk.to.her.because.she.understand.my.situation-porn girl." You are the "Im.at.the.end.of.my.rope.I.wonder.who.I.can.talk.to.about.this- porn girl." You are the "I.need.resources.to.help.a.friend.with.this.problem.in.her.marriage-porn girl." You are the "let.me.go.to.Jen.because.she.can.help.me.forgive.my.husband -porn girl." You have been there, done that and you have a ministry of compassion, forgiveness, growth because of it. And if I saw a porn article in your feed I would not thing "ugh, there she goes again." I would think: "if SHE recommends it, I'm reading it." That's the kind of "porn girl" you are.

    Love you, friend.

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    1. Wow -- you know, Gaby, this really helps me put it in perspective. Again, crying here!

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  11. Can I just say AMEN to all the comments above? You are Jen, the beautiful girl who lives for the Lord and steps out in obedience, even if those steps are hard. I'm excited for you and the book you've written and I am excited for all who need and will read it and will be helped because of your obedience to write. Way to go sweet girl! :) You have many behind you. May you feel strong and confident with your cheerleaders behind you and with His righteous Right Hand in yours.

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  12. well, as everyone else has pretty much said. . . if you're gonna own it, rock it! :-) which you do. in spades. and i'm with gaby---i see you as the one who i would go to if i needed the support, the encouragement, the shoulder to cry on. . .
    yep. you the one to help see the One.
    and i love you for that.
    God BLESS you in your desire to be open and honest--all for His glory and for the healing of wounded hearts and souls who need to hear your message.
    love to you,
    steph

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  13. What Gaby said. (with about ten "Amens" attached...)

    I am so thankful for you and your writing and your honesty on this subject and so many others. You, Miss Jen, are a real inspiration to women to just get real.

    Blessings on you!

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  14. Maybe that should be SDG's new tagline, Laura. "Inspiring women to just get real."

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  15. Jen, praying for you as you write! Your story is needed and your wisdom will help a lot of people, I'm sure.

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  16. If I'm learning anything about fear it's that it is one of the enemy's most effective tools to get us to stop doing this God-thing. And, my lovely friend, he is absolutely threatened by your honesty and ability to share your experiences in your desire to help other marriages avoid exactly the same things. I am so, so proud of you for being so brave!

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  17. i wish i could just scoop you up and squeeze you. I AM SO PROUD OF YOU. I don't care what kind of girl you are. You will always identified with the girl who wasn't afraid to speak truth. even when that truth is scary and raw and...may i add? fantastic. you are helping so.many.people with your vulnerability. gah. i could just sit here for hours and type and type away all saying the same thing. Darlin' you are amazing.

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  18. I'm constantly amazed by how timely each entry from Jesus Calling seems to be - what a blessing. Because Sarah is exactly right. Anxiety = growth opportunity. Uuuggh! It isn't fun, is it? But it will ultimately be good. Just look at how much good has already happened here, because you are brave, every day, and share your sweet soul with us. Thank you! And keep it coming, Jen. You are am amazing vessel for Christ.

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  19. Ah, we are all broken and there is so much joy and freedom when we can say that out loud. The most healing has come to my husband and I in our marriage and life ... when we have just spoken out loud our brokeness to dear friends. Now you are doing it to a larger audience, so I am not surprised that it would feel frightening.

    If the fear is coming from the enemy, I pray with you that - that rat just loses. If it is a natural fear, I pray that God gives you comfort.

    We will help protect your story.

    Fondly,
    Glenda

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    1. Glenda, oh to know that our story is surrounded by this sisterhood, oh. And when I read your words, I just got tears in my eyes because we love each other so much across this wide world. And I am ever grateful to be a part of your world.

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  20. "Because I want them to like their husbands better." Therein lies entire lives worth of stories. It overwhelms my mind, trying to consider (because I can never understand) what you and your family have gone through. What I know for certain is God is able and will make you able. He is God of all creation (including your book) and will create in you, and yours, clean hearts. You're a daughter of the Most High King, HE made you in HIS image and is preparing for you a heavenly dwelling place for ALL eternity. What can man do to you? Nothing that God does not allow! And, because He is working, daily, in your life, He will hold you in His righteous hand of mercy, grace and love.
    Cling to His word; daily, immerse yourself in His word, grace, love, mercy, kindness and forgiveness. HE cherishes you, Jen. The love you feel for your children is nothing compared to His love for you. God cherishes Jen.

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    1. Such good wisdom that I'm letting soak in here. Thank you for championing me and for the encouragement that you bring.

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  21. A desperate prayer request from a church member I don't even know was in my email inbox. Her co-worker is caught in the porn-addiction trap and seeing her marriage crumble without any Godly influence. I prayed for the Christian friend and the nameless couple - this battle is the Lord's!
    I passed along a reference to your blogsite and to God be the glory. Your work is needed and useful. Keep taking one step forward.

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  22. MY label for you is "Good and Faithful Servant-Girl." I'm pretty sure Someone else came up with it first, though. ;)

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  23. Satan loves the fear. Not his, of course, and that's what he wants--you to be fearful. Your story makes him fearful. Your story in the hands of needy people makes him tremble in his shoes. Your obedience is going to touch hundreds and while you, through our Heavenly Father, help change people's lives Satan will still be trembling.

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  24. You and Craig are amazing and inspiring. End of story!

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  25. The more we know of you, the richer you become and the more we love you, Jen. The only label that can totally cover you is "His." Nothing else has sticking power like that.

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  26. So glad you mentioned this post today so I would click over, be able to read these encouraging comments, and add my hearty, "Amen!"

    And I love that you're reading Jesus Calling, too. Makes me feel like we're across the kitchen table talking about the same things. I have so many things that make me anxious--guess I've got incredible growth potential ahead of me!

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  27. Like Nancy, I popped over here from the other post. So glad I did. I will be praying for you with greater fervor after reading this post. The book your are writing is IMPORTANT, and it is going to help bring healing to so many who desperately need it. Can't wait for that to begin. Thanks for putting yourself out there -- the world is going to be a better place because you are willing and unselfish.

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  28. I LOVE this! I'm scared too, Jen. My hand shakes before I click the 'like' button, before I 'share". I'm worried about what people will label me as, how they will perceive me, because they don't know me in real life. They are only judging based upon some computer clicks and likes, and maybe what they view as ranting, but they don't know my heart, they can't hear my tone, as I implore women to love their husbands and mothers to really *see* their children. I love you, girl, I'm so proud of you, and I've missed you. I'm back, by the way. I'll be hanging around your place tonight and weeks after. Good to be back. Sharing this. <3

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  29. I am thankful that you and your husband are pushing past people's thoughts to write this. I know already that it will be a blessing. It's a subject that is so real and present but doesn't get talked about. Women don't know where to go to talk about it and deal with feelings because they don't want to "out" their husbands or people to think poorly, or think that their husbands aren't "good Christians". Eagerly looking forward to it. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

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