My name is Samuel, I am 18 years. I discovered masturbation at 13 years and felt guilt and shame immediately. Slowly over the years, it progressed into a worse situation from viewing images to viewing porn most days sometimes multiple times a day. I knew what I was doing was wrong but I didn’t know how to escape. I try many times to stop but kept failing. I felt that I was the only Christian who had fallen into this evilness; I was depressed. I wanted help but the shame and embarrassment of asking hindered me. Early November 2017, after a healing meeting at Pioneer engage cafe Church in Leatherhead Surrey Gerald Coates approached and we spoke for about 10 minutes and he mentioned about other people he had helped and he gave me his card. The following evening I messaged Gerald Coates and became accountable to him. From the day I met Gerald Coates to now, I haven’t viewed any porn. It’s been very close where at the last second I turned back. I was able to escape from porn because in my heart I didn’t want to be trapped. It is a daily battle and these are keys things I did.
The first key: It is a spiritual battle. You must make a decision: who will lead my life Jesus or Porn/ Masturbation?
You cannot live two lives.
You have to want to stop in your heart otherwise you will really struggle. Jesus is so much greater than Porn/Masturbation.
The second key is to actively pursue your relationship with God. Pray regularly and read scripture to help grow your relationship. Listen to God. As your relationship grows you will hear him better. For me, he helped warn me in places where I was putting myself in a situation with temptation. For example: Don’t take your phone with you to places you could mess up. Even if you aren’t looking at porn, social media can make you more likely to mess up. Whenever you about to lust command the evil thoughts to go.
Accountability was the third key, telling someone every time you mess up helps you keep track and also makes you think twice before messing up. Talking to someone who will encourage you and help you grow in your faith.
I made the decision, pursued my relationship with God and spoke to Gerald Coates fairly regularly when I messed up with masturbation. I reduced my messing up to only a few times a week. Sometimes I would have a bad week and I would mess up with masturbation many times. But remember the key is to keep going say to yourself next week I’m going to reduce it and that is as Gerald Coates would say “Progress”. Being sensible about my decisions also helped. Don’t stay at home alone. Try and surround yourself with good people.
Now I haven’t messed up with porn in 292 days and masturbation in 35 days. I have my life back. Jesus now rules my life not porn or masturbation, just Jesus and Jesus alone. My relationship with God is completely transformed, you don’t realise how much you are pushing away God when you are messing up. Now, I pray and listen to God. While I was revising for my a levels God would show me which topic to study and helped improve my efficiency. I don’t feel depressed or shameful or scared anymore. I feel loved by Jesus and how pleased he is when I don’t let temptation in. Temptation doesn’t go away but the way you deal with it is completely different because now God is on your side.
You too can have your life back, if you just make the decision to turn to God and away from porn and masturbation.
Back in the summer of 2014, I had just graduated from a Bible college in America and was wondering what to do next. After a few notable experiences, I became convinced that my next step was to move to Leatherhead to work with Gerald at Engage.
However, I still had no idea what I would do there upon my arrival. Even more significantly, it was ostensible that working for the church directly was out of the question due to a lack of funds. Despite these things, I was nonetheless undeterred in my resolve to follow God’s lead.
After I had settled the issue in my heart, God began to move on my behalf. Due to the incredible generosity of some significant donors, Engage were soon able to employ me as a full-time member of staff! If this wasn’t enough, a high school in Dorking opened it’s doors to our coterie (yet heterogeneous) group to work there as school-chaplains!
Even with the calming influence of hindsight, it still amazes me today how God provided for me simply in response to a commitment I had made to say: “Yes!”
Hope Through Depression
In 2004 I was in the Maldives when the tsunami hit. Through this horrific circumstance of near death it bought much perspective into my life. I realized that I was in an abusive relationship and found the courage to break free from it.
Once back in the UK I was invited around to a persons home and in the bathroom was a verse – Jer 29:11 “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope”.
At that point of time I knew that I knew I had been saved for a reason! Life journeyed on and early 2013 I had an emotional breakdown where I found myself at the Foodbank and was handed a card for Engage Church, I was also prayed for there and then. In late August I attended Engage for the first time and was warmly welcomed and was invited to the Picnic in the Park the following Saturday. Through attending the church I have found I have felt welcomed, loved, valued and accepted. I had people come along side me and support me as I worked through issues of suicide and self harm. Friends have become family and I now can say I am in a place of walking out freedom. I am now living for life and with hope looking toward the future!
Got A Story Of Hope?
As someone once said, “it’s the small stories that keep the big story alive”.
Have a read of what God has been doing in the lives of people in recent times.
If you would like your story of hope to appear here then please enter below the details of any stories of hope that you have of what God has been doing in your world and life. We can’t include every story but we will do our best.