Today's post was written by a Brook Hills member who is a college student at Samford.

As I begin to tell my story, I think about the constant freedom that the Lord has shown me from my sin this last year and a half. Masturbation, a sin that had once controlled my life, now has no hold on me. That is not to say there is no temptation, but rather my heart has been transformed.

I began noticing at a young age that I was a sexual person and began exploring that part of me when I was around nine years old. I had no idea what I was doing or what it even meant, but I knew it felt weird and good all at the same time. I continued masturbating from age nine to college with a few years of exception in between. When I became a senior in college, I realized that masturbation was continuing to take hold of my life, and I needed to bring it to the light in some way.

I opened up to a really good friend about it one night (so nervous as to what she would say) and found out she had also struggled with it too. That's when I began to realize way more females my age had this deep dark secret as well. It wasn’t just me. This friend and I began to pray together, asking the Lord to remove this hold that had been on both of our hearts for some time. We began to keep each other accountable and to check in on how the other one was holding up. Through constant prayer, accountability, and the Lord's continued grace we slowly became free of this sin. We were going 2 to 3 to 4 months with no acts and seeing how our hearts began to transform over time. Christ gave us more confidence.

We told our discipleship leader, and through her prayers and incredible support along the way, we would go even more months with no acts. That being said, there were temptations along the way. I felt more tempted when I was alone or when I was feeding myself lies. Getting away from my loneliness and running toward Scripture, a song, or even a walk always helped. I also would call up one of my accountability partners just to talk and to get my mind thinking of something other than what I was feeling.

Being proactive in my temptations and catching them before they got to the action is the key. I had to be mindful of certain TV shows or movies that would trigger inappropriate thoughts. I didn’t realize how much those types of images can be glued to your brain. As my story comes to an end, I am reminded of how this issue is not talked about much in regards to women. But believe me, it is a sin that women also struggle with and one that is kept in those dark places of people's hearts. The most freeing and joyful thing that I could have done was bring it to the light, and I would encourage anyone struggling with masturbation to tell someone and to take that leap of faith. Lastly, I give everything to Christ our Savior who brought me out of darkness, who continues to renew my heart daily, and who reminds me that He went to the cross for my sins and it is finished.

For more information on what it looks like to address the sin of masturbation in your life, read this post.