As I sat behind the 8-ft. folding table ladened with books, pens and brochures I found myself overcome with a feeling I haven’t felt in nearly eight years of sobriety.
ALONE. . .
While the staff and the volunteers were incredibly supportive, I was surprised by the looks and comments I received from many church attenders who stopped by and walked by my table.
Even in a church that is more open about these struggles than most—I found myself feeling like the only woman in the world who has ever struggled with pornography addiction. I founded this ministry so that no woman would ever have to feel like her again.
And yet, there I was feeling purposeless and defeated as I was questioned about the validity of my calling. Fighting the frog in my throat and the tears that welled my eyes—trying to keep good face. “What am I doing?” racing through my mind.
Then I remembered a prayer that many addicts are quite familiar with reciting.
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can; and the wisdom to know the difference.
I began to recite this prayer many, many times to myself as I watched people walk by and immediately peace entered my mind, my heart, my soul. Understanding that there are things I cannot change (ie. I can’t make anyone accept this issue), but there are things I can change (ie. have the courage to provide women with help). And then in these moments of what feels like persecution—I can know the difference.
Which brings me to a sweet girl named Ashlee.
Probably 18 or 19 years old, she was the last to come to my table. Having lived in Las Vegas her entire life she has watched friend after friend enter the sex industry. As strippers, prostitutes, porn actresses, you name it.
Thanking God and while texting on her phone, she describes how she has avoided this lifestyle. And she wants to help her friends find hope for a better life. She was so excited to share my book with one of her friends in particular, thanking me for being open with my struggles and for being a safe place for other women.
We’re only as alone as we allow the enemy to make us feel.
If ministry were meant to be easy, I would have founded a ministry and written a book on finance or marriage and this road would be met with much less grief. But if Ashlee and girls like her can somehow be helped as a result of this venture—the lower than expected book sales and dismissive words & looks are worth it.
It is worth it ALL for no woman to feel alone again.