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to men on sexual hotlines were no longer satisfying. I had become manic, searching for where my next big hit was going to come from. But my biggest hit would be hitting rock bottom while I sat alone in a hotel room awaiting the anonymous sexual encounter I had arranged online. It was in that moment that I heard God’s voice say, “Crystal, I have something so much better for

macy above my desire for real intimacy with Jesus.

When we do that as Christians, we are telling God that we do not need Him. We’re telling Him that we find greater pleasure in serving our sin than in serving our Savior.

In John 8:34, Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin” (NIV). It took me a long time to see that I was worshiping a false god through pornography and that the pornography through sin was controlling me. I had become a slave to it.

Rock Bottom

John 10:10 says, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy” (NIV). This is exactly what the sin of pornog- raphy has done to God’s creation of sex, and is exactly what my choice to sin with pornography did to me. Pornography stole my innocence, killed my relation- ships, and destroyed my life.

Rock bottom looks different for every- one. My rock bottom occurred just a few weeks before my 19th birthday. The pornography I was viewing was no longer satisfying. The cybersex chat rooms were no longer satisfying. The phone calls

you . . . if only you’d give this to Me.” I sat on the edge of the bed, placing my head in my hands, closed my eyes tighter than I ever had before, and prayed that God would make the person I was waiting for go away.

When the knock on the door came, I did not answer. I remained in my prayer- ful position, asking God to make this person leave. Soon, the knocking stopped. I wiped the tears from my face and, ten minutes later, I went home.

At Last, Hope

Exactly one week later, I found myself back in my old life. This time I was at a Christian concert that I had helped put together with some students at a local youth group.

I wandered around until I found a place I could easily hide and get through the evening unnoticed. Then I saw the merchandise table for my friend’s band. I had been friends with him for a little while and figured it would be OK for me to hang out over there.

The band was already heading on stage, but I noticed my friend’s wife was sitting there. I had only seen her a few times at that point, but she was nice and

I knew I could easily make small talk, if necessary.

She was a few years older than I was, but we talked about all kinds of things, even laughing some and enjoying the concert, when all of a sudden she said, “I used to struggle with pornography and it is kind of creeping up again. I need some- one to help me keep that in check. Do you think you could help me with that?” I was deadpan. Almost choking on my diet cola, I simply said to her, “Yeah, sure, that would be fine.”

I had never known anyone who admit- ted having a pornography problem, let alone another woman.

I had a choice. I could walk away from my chance for help, or I could jump in headfirst and accept this gift sitting across the table from me.

So, I asked her to elaborate. She explained in great detail about how por- nography had been a thorn in her side since she was a teenager, and how she actually threw her computer away in order to free her life of it.

She explained there were very few resources for women porn addicts, but there was a certain computer software download that worked as accountability, instead of filtering—and would I help keep her accountable.

Interrupting her, I said two simple words: “Me too.”

I told her all about the last eight years of my entrapment. How I couldn’t stop. That I had hit rock bottom only the week before and had no clue how to climb out. We agreed that we would help each other. We would later become coworkers, and to this day she is the greatest friend I’ve ever known.

God used this woman to help set me free. And for over seven years now, I am living a life of sobriety. If God can set me free, He can rescue anyone.

Crystal Renaud is founder and director of a ministry helping women find freedom from pornography. The website is www.

EVANGEL | October 2010 13

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