Culture

A month without porn

JH Kwek // July 25, 2018, 11:27 am

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I woke up at 3:45AM.

I had a morning appointment that day, so I was eager to go back to sleep. I tossed and turned, did a couple of pushups, read Leviticus, watched YouTube … But still sleep evaded me.

This happened for a few nights in a row, and after awhile I gave up and just let my body sit with my thoughts. Only then did I notice an overwhelming sensation coming over me, a weight I hadn’t felt in years.

I am alone.

It’d been a month since I stopped watching porn. My sexual desires hadn’t gone away, but my desire to turn to pornography had. For some time, I had been crying out to God to help me overcome my addiction; this was the first noticeable progress I had made in years.

For the first couple of days I’d lived life as before, but now free from this thorn that had been a snare for most of my adolescence.

But now, without porn, I had no coping mechanism. No rush of pleasure to numb my pain, no height of ecstasy to solve my sorrow, no place of intimacy to feel close to someone.

And so there I was, awake, alone.



Is this holiness looks like, God? To be kept awake by my years of solitude?

Why is my heart still so broken? Why is my heart still so sick?

To feel lonely at in my early twenties might seem immature, but perhaps that’s the key.

Everything I had depended on to keep the loneliness in my heart at bay, up until that point, was now gone, and I felt like a broken-hearted 15-year-old again: Unable to cope with rejection. Unable to cope with pain. Unable to cope with the crushing realisation that not everyone you love will love you back.

And now I was feeling it again, again, again.

Is this what obedience looks like, God? To be miserable for Your kingdom, to be anxious for Your sake? My heart and mind now find no rest, where is that hiding place in You?

Where are You, my sun and shield? (Psalm 84:11)

And so on one of those sleepless nights I cried out again to God: Where are You? Am I not worthy of intimacy? Should I not have a place of sexual relief? Oh God, I feel so alone – how can this be?

Everything I had depended on to keep the loneliness in my heart at bay, up until that point, was now gone.

In that overwhelming silence the Lord spoke to me from Lamentations 3:22-23: “The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”

Your mercies are new every morning. It means that there is a new mercy, a new grace for each sleepless night.

That every night I wake screaming and crying there is a new grace to help me.

That every night I come before my God in humility and repentance I am shown mercy again and again.

My heart was sick and should have been left to die, yet His mercies are new every time I awake.

His love never ceases; indeed His love has never ceased. Even now in my loneliness I am not alone, for He is with me. Even if all the years I spend on this earth be spent alone, I am not alone.

God, give me the faith to preach to myself every night, to rebuke myself every night! How easily I forget how great is Your faithfulness.

Shall I remain in my self-pity? No! I shall lift up my eyes and hope in God. Shall obedience be marked by misery and despondency? No! It shall be marked by His mercy, that every morning or night I wake there is fresh grace, fresh life.

You could have changed me immediately, but You have not. And so each night I come to You, I am reminded with every ache and cry that You are my portion forever.

Every night is a reminder that only You provide cleansing, healing, loving. Who else can I go to? My soul longs only for You, only for You. And each time I return there is a new mercy for me, for a sinner undeserving.

“Why are you downcast o my soul?
And why are you in turmoil within me?
Hope in God, for you shall again praise Him,
My salvation and my God.”
(Psalm 42:5)


The author’s name has been changed for confidentiality.