First off let me start out with an apology. This was going to be posted Friday until I realized early Friday morning that my post had gone up on (in)courage. Because of that, I switched sharing this post until the next day, Saturday. Then quickly realized that my weekend was jam-packed full of stuff, and I would have no time to write this post out. So the date got pushed back to Monday aka yesterday. What I didn’t realize then was that I was working almost all day Monday because it was a holiday. I also worked today, and am just getting time to write this. I apologize that the dates have shifted so much. Honestly I have so much that needs to be done right now. March 1st seems to be the deadline for just about everything, and that’s all weighing on my shoulders.
Welcome to Stress Week, folks.
But I feel really bad about this post never going up so I’m sitting down to write it now, at 10:22pm. I know it’s late, and that perhaps no one will ever really even read it. But I’m doing this more for me than for anyone else…and so here I go.
I’ve been sharing my five biggest fears. Not in order, mind you, but just my five biggest fears. What I’m most afraid of. What terrifies me the most.
A little while ago I stopped blogging for about a week. Not because I didn’t have things to say, because I had much to share and talk about. No, see it was because I felt really convicted. How can I continue sharing mundane things, or even funny things or spiritual things, yet not ever talk about something that has weighed heavy on my heart for years?
I know I’m supposed to talk about this.
I’ve known for years that I’m supposed to talk about this.
But I’ve stayed quiet. Only sharing with a few people. Pushing it down as far as I can.
Ignoring every prompting and urge from the Holy Spirit.
I’ve simply remained quiet. Silent.
How could I continue to blog about other things and ignore Him? I couldn’t. So I didn’t blog at all.
But after about a week I decided that one week was enough. I wasn’t going to sit in silence anymore here. I was going to share, no matter the cost, no matter the fear. I knew I would need to work up the courage, though, so I shared four of my other biggest fears first.
On Valentine’s Day I opened up about my huge fear of love. Loving other people, and receiving love from others absolutely terrifies me. The next day I shared that I’m scared I won’t pursue God while I’m away at college. Because if I don’t pursue Him here at home, why would I suddenly change and pursue Him then? Wednesday I told ya’ll that I’m really afraid that we won’t be able to afford for me to go to college. And then I shared my fear of not even being able to graduate this May.
And now here I am. My Really Big Fear left to share. I don’t know how to begin it, and I can almost guarantee all of you that it’s not what you would expect.
I don’t know what you might think my Really Big Fear is, but I would bet that you wouldn’t guess it. Not on your first few tries, anyways. If you would, props to you. But seriously…who would?
Alright – I feel like I’m beginning to stall, so let me just get it out and say it.
That’s my Really Big Fear.
Not what you were expecting, huh? :)
Before I go any further, let me clear something up.
I have never in my life seen pornography. Not once. I know that might seem incredibly rare, but it’s the truth. I feel blessed to have never seen it, never gone to the wrong site, never randomly gotten something in the mail.
So why would that be my Really Big Fear? Confusing, right? I know.
Let me back up a little.
Back when I was in middle school I found out some of my guy friends used to struggle with it. I don’t know why they chose to tell me about their prior struggle. Maybe so that they would have someone to encourage them to stay away from it, someone to pray for them, I don’t know. I do, however, know that more people were told than just me. So it wasn’t some big thing that only I knew.
I had never dealt with anything like that, and all I knew to do was pray for them and that they would have strength to stay away. To not go to certain websites, to not look for a second time when their eyes accidentally stumbled onto something they weren’t supposed to see.
Then came high school when a friend told me they had struggled with it big time. In fact, they really needed encouragement and prayers to help them not turn back into that addiction. It was something they really seemed to be fighting. I cared a lot about my friend and was so sad that they were fighting this addiction.
Yeah, I’m going there. Porn is an addiction.
Finding out they had struggled so hard and long with pornography broke a little piece of my heart. I wanted for this friend, as with all my friends, to never struggle with an addiction, to never feel the guilt of doing something that they knew was wrong, to never be so sad and heartbroken that they didn’t know how to get away or move far away from something so tempting.
I tried to understand and be there to help them, but because I’ve never even seen pornography, it’s hard for me to sympathize completely, though my heart was broken for them. It’s never tempted me at all, so it was, and is, just hard for me to understand.
But when I think about addictions I’ve faced, like the beauty trap and not eating like I should, I can begin to understand how easy it is to fall into temptation.
Still my heart was broken for these guys, these friends of mine. Something needed to be done. I was bound and determined that it was wrong for them to be able to stumble onto pornography sites.
It’s not like they had gone out looking that first time for pornography. No, it had found them. And they had been sucked in. Just like that: addiction.
I talked to one of my friends about what could be done to prevent this. Some people WANT to look at porn. But some people do NOT want to look at porn. They, like my friends, stumble onto (or into) it and then get stuck.
The more I thought about it, the more I realized that there should be something on each site to make sure the person viewing the content is, first and foremost, of adult age. There should be a way to prove if the viewer is 18 or older. Because really, is there such a strong argument that people under 18 should be viewing pornography? Really? C’mon now.
When I talked to one of my friends about it, he suggested something for the spouse. A way for them to ‘ok’ it. This sounds pretty drastic to me, but it’s a drastic situation. One that most people (at least at first) don’t want to find themselves in.
But to expand on his idea, to get onto a pornography site the spouse of the viewer would have to give their “permission” or their “okay.”
Another idea was simply that a code would be needed to access any pornography site. The code would only be available once certain steps had been completed, like being over the age of 18.
These were all ideas, all dreams, but I didn’t know where to take them. Where to speak them. How to have the voice to share them.
It’s not like you can just show up to small group and say, “Hey, can we talk about porn real quick? It’s weighing on me a lot, and I feel like I’m called to make a huge difference in an industry that I don’t even know a bit.”
No. You don’t just say that sort of thing.
Even when you feel called to do something. To move. To act. To speak out.
I’ve felt this tugging inside of me for years now. I’ve only spoken up two times that I can remember. Two times in years of an inner battle.
That’s where the fear comes in. I’m not afraid of porn. I’m not afraid of being tempted with it. I’m afraid of speaking out. I’m afraid of being a voice amongst so many others that will disagree with me. People don’t talk about pornography. They just don’t.
And here I am, for years now, feeling called over and over and over more times than I can count to just do one thing: speak about pornography.
I’ve seen the way it has ruined the lives of others. I’ve seen the terrible impact it’s made on my friends lives. Friends that never wanted to be addicted to this in the first place. Friends that fell into a trap and had to fight their way out.
I’ve seen the devastation, I’ve made the choice to cry out that something must be changed, and then I’ve sat idly by for years…waiting for someone else to do it. Someone else to make a change. Someone else to be the one that gets called.
My Really Big Fear is that I’ll waste my life never doing anything about what I know I’m supposed to do. My Really Big Fear is that I’ll spend my days staying quiet instead of speaking out. My Really Big Fear is that I’ll let the fear and worries of embarrassment, hard questions, lack of understanding, name-calling, rude people, and “what now?” keep me away from what I’ve been called to do.
Because if I refuse to answer the call (which I’ve pretty much been doing for years now, with sporadic little “Yes, Lord, I’ll do it. I will, I really will. I’ll stand up, I won’t be afraid anymore.” …until the next day when I give in to fear again…) He will place the call on someone else.
Today I’m shaking off my Really Big Fear for good. I’m standing up, I’m speaking out, and I’m saying loudly that SOMETHING. MUST. CHANGE.
Whether you’re with me or against me, I can’t back down. I hope you’re with me, but I know many will be against me in this. I expect that. I know that will happen. And I’ve let that stop me for years now.
Not anymore. Today is a new day and I’m standing up. See the title of my blog, I’ve never explained it…but now maybe you’ll get it a little more.
It Just Takes One.
Just one person makes all the difference. I’m just OneGirl…only one girl in the entire world full of people, men and women, boys and girls…I’m only one out of billions.
But it just takes one.
I’m shaking off my Really Big Fear. Take that, porn. Take that.