Man, something hit me hard this morning. Out of the freaking blue, a vision of a calendar pops into my head. Not just any calendar mind you. It was one I kept while I was in school…way back in high school one year.
This vision made me teary eyed. I’m sure it was the enemy trying to stick another knife in my heart…but it was just so random. So I go and ask God why this and why now. But before I share what he showed me, allow me to share with you…my calendar…
Like I said… it’s not just any calendar. This one was not hanging on my wall. It was hidden so my mom wouldn’t ask any questions about it.
You see this calendar had little boxes, that I made, on the bottom row of each day. And each box would either be blank or it might have a S or a M in it. If you use your imagination you can probably guess what I’m about to say.
So yeah…the S stood for sex and the M stood for masturbation…
Good grief, I’m really putting myself out there right now and how messed up I was as a teen.
That calendar was a place of selfishness and pride. A place I put how many times I had sex or masturbated every day for a year. I don’t remember how many of each were there but I do know there were many days where there were multiple S and M letters.
Oh God forgive me, was the first thing out of my mouth after saying where the freak did that come from. Another one of those things I either had forgotten about or blocked.
Now, here is what God told me after I asked why this and why now.
Calendars are a good thing in and of themselves, as they allow us to keep track of appointments, birthdays, meetings and such. But they can be both bad and good in certain scenarios. One scenario in particular is what was brought to me.
I know many men, not sure on the woman side of this, who use a calendar to keep track of how many days they have not watched porn or masturbated.
This can be a good thing if their heart is in the right place. And I know several men who have successfully navigated this area not with pride but humbleness and prayer. But it could be a bad thing if they look at that calendar with an attitude of look what I have done. I can say that from experience because that was me while trying to stop on my own.
It can be a great way of keeping track of how God IS working in your life towards freeing you if there are more marks of whatever you use to show the no porn or no masturbation for that week, month, or year.
But it could, at the same time, be a source of self condemnation if there are more marks of porn usage or masturbation than days of celibacy. That ole saying the devil uses of “See I told you that you couldn’t do it”, can wreak havoc on recovery to the point of actually giving up and giving in.
My freedom came when I stopped keeping track. Yeah, I fell. Sadly, many times. But I kept going. And I’m still going…one day at a time.
Stay focused on your relationship with God. Read your Bible. Pray. Talk with your accountability partner.
If you do use a calendar don’t let doubt and condemnation cloud your mind if you have to out that “bad” mark down. Instead, be thankful and praise God that He did leave you where you were, that you have been redeemed, and that He loves you.
Whatever method you use… DON’T give up…there is freedom!