Being there for the broken

Josh GilmanCommunity, Culture, strengthtofight

By Josh Gilman:

Looking out into the audience of 400 high-school students at a christian high-school, I read the question texted to the big screen.

“My parents caught me watching porn. They were so angry that I can never talk to them about it again. And it’s pushed me deeper into my addiction. What do I do?” 

I looked out into those hundreds of faces, knowing that one brave student had texted the question in, but that I was speaking to many more who were asking this question in their hearts.

“When I was your age”, I said, “Sitting where you are. This was my question, word for word. But I didn’t ask anyone. I kept it hidden. And I wish nothing more than to have been brave enough to reach out, to have really talked to someone. I would saved myself years and years of pain.”

I spoke some more, but I was rejoicing in my heart that this school had the guts to invite us in. To say to their students “Hey! we know that you are dealing with this. We aren’t bringing in people to scare you from ever watching porn. We know it is finding you already and reeling you in, and we want to be a part of helping you out. To be a part of your journey to freedom”.

And I rejoiced. But I was also quite misty-eyed. I still am writing this several days later. Because 14 years ago. Sitting in that seat, I had no one to ask. No self-respecting christian school was acknowledging the porn plague festering within their own walls. No 600 parents (That’s how many showed up for the previous night’s session) were showing up to be equipped and encouraged to talk to their kids. There was nobody. A porn addicted christian teenager felt as alone as a human could be.

But for all the pain I went through in my life , I don’t regret it at all if it is what lead me to be there. To that stage, in front of that student, and all of their friends.

So more than I’ve ever said it before. On behalf of our entire team, who spoke in front of thousands of parents, teachers, students, both christian and secular since the beginning of this year. THANK YOU so much for making this possible. For helping us get there. Because simply helping us be there, is making a world of difference in peoples lives.

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