Micah Mabe: The Struggle

Posted by in Brotherhood,Temptation | November 14, 2012

Editor’s Note: Micah is our first brother to write on a topic many of us have struggled with: Pornography. He talks plainly about the lies and temptation, the silent killer, that comes in the night to steal and destroy. Thanks to Micah for his honesty and the integrity he pursues as a man after God’s own heart.

The next morning I woke up on a couch confused as to where I was. After a few minutes I recognized my friend’s basement where I had passed out the night before. My friends eventually showed up to make sure I was alright, but something was different about their expressions. I asked them what was wrong; and what they showed me on their phones and the report from the night before left me shocked, embarrassed, and numb. The videos showed me doing things I would never think of doing. And they informed me that one of the guys that spent the night stole the keys to my Dad’s car, got pulled over for a DUI, and that the car was impounded. Days later, I was in the police office being interrogated and was asked to recall what happened the night before. I didn’t even know where to begin because I drank so much alcohol that I passed out and didn’t remember anything. As I took it all in, I found myself looking at my Junior year in high school and asked myself, “How did this happen? Who am I?”

I grew up in a Christian home, was a member of Perimeter Church, and went to Perimeter Christian School until eighth grade. I attended Wesleyan School until my Junior year and spent the last two years in public school. I led a small group for a church retreat, mentored younger friends, and was a leader on my baseball team. I was living the dream, yet I longed to be free. Because on the outside I had everything together, but on the inside I was running in every direction trying to satisfy the need and pressure to please others and myself.

It started early my seventh grade year with pornography. As a seventh grader who was raised in a sheltered, Christian environment, sex was just an education… Sex was not part of a lifestyle or even part of discussion. Among the students, we laughed and joked but would never think of actually having sex. We didn’t even really know how. We were immature and naive. That said, never experiencing sex but learning about it made my curiosity even greater. And as far as I was concerned, the internet made it possible to experience sex on some level without intercourse being possible. The images on the screen made me feel wanted and accepted. It gave me a pathetic sense of belonging. I would spend school nights and weekends sleepless and staring at a computer screen. All I could focus on was my daily dosage of pornography. I became depressed because I was losing a battle that I did not even need to fight alone. All I needed to do was to let go and obey the hurting heart that God had pricked constantly, asking me to turn away. However, in my world, where there was hardly any light, that was much easier said than done. The depression coupled with the numbing effects of pornography had reached so far into my mind and heart that I forgot who I was. Looking back now, I can truly understand what Paul means when he says in Romans 7:15, “For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.”

During my sophomore year of high school, being social was something that should have been so easy, but pornography made it so hard. I felt like I did not deserve to live because Satan and my actions kept reaffirming that I was the low-life of society. No one knew what I was doing except for God and myself. My pornography addiction made my life an emotional rollercoaster ride. I would give in to watching porn, and then I would repent and promise God I would stop right then and there. The next day I would do and say the same thing. It was a war. All I could think was, “Where was God? Why is He letting me give in to this? I am praying to Him so why will He not answer my prayers?”

The addiction was so bad that my heart was torn into pieces, my social life was diminishing, and I was neglecting the girlfriends I had spiritually and emotionally and instead looking to them to physically please me. I was not myself—I allowed myself to become the person pornography wanted me to be, dependent and selfish. I realized that pornography is a silent killer that had distorted the image in which God created me. And I decided I had to expose myself. I thought, “If God knew everything about me and no one else knew what was becoming of me, then my only enemy was myself.” So I told my father everything that was going on, and that I needed help because I could not do it on my own.

Counseling and computer blockers were the next steps that I took. For a year and a half, counseling temporarily eased the pain; but when I turned eighteen, I turned to magazines and DVD’s. Despite being pure from digital pornography, I was far from it. The silent killer in my life was once again slowly stabbing my heart and I chose to hide the pain and pretend that my life was perfect, that I was living the dream. Despite having friends, winning a state baseball championship, having a girlfriend, and getting good grades, I felt numb. I was being more like the world and becoming numb to the daily life I lived. The mask I put on became an easy, daily task. I became a small group leader and role model for some of my guys in the group I was leading at Gold Rush. I knew the right answers. I knew that God was there with me. I knew Jesus loves me. But I did not love myself. I became a role model that I could not look up to because of my personal sins that were gripping me at the very core of who I was.

Junior year was the worst year of my life because it was my first year in public school. Coming into that year, I never drank or smoked, I was a recovering pornography addict, I was single, I was an athlete, I was smart, I was friendly, and I was eighteen. All that added up to a whole lot of temptation. I got out of a physical relationship before the start of my first year in public school; and I had so many friends from so many places that there was a party every weekend, which helped me meet more friends. Growing up, I was always told to say no to drugs, alcohol, and sex. However, I found myself saying yes to alcohol and drugs because unlike sex, I couldn’t get a fix on a computer screen. I drank at parties and smoked marijuana a couple of times. And even though I had no laptop and the family computer was blocked, that did not stop me from pursuing pornography. I just went to adult stores and service stations and bought magazines and movies. Again, porn was choking my social abilities, spiritual heart, and judgment. I made the wrong friends, did not respect girls or let them respect me, and gave into pressure situations because I had the same mindset when I watched porn—everyone does it so it must not be too bad.

Although I felt alone in this downward spiral, I was not. I guess God was listening when I asked him for help. During my junior year, my father and Jeff Knapp really influenced me. After I had come clean to my friends and family, my father called Jeff, who had mentored me throughout high school. Jeff and I met at an oriental restaurant and we simply talked man to man. He was genuine with me as was I with him about my decisions and the direction my life was headed. After we talked for about two and a half hours, Jeff and I prayed. Immediately after leaving the restaurant, I called my father in tears and thanked him for loving, caring, and punishing me. He wanted what was best for me, which was something that I did not see at first because I was lost in pornography and partying. I had lost my sense of self-worth and who I was in Christ. My father and Jeff showed me that by loving and caring about me. I felt wanted and loved, which was something I thought I felt through porn, parties, sports, girlfriends, and friends. From that point on, my life changed. I finally realized what it meant to live in Christ’s love. I still struggled with the same things I did before, but at that point in time, in that dark, hopeless world I lived in, I saw light. I saw God’s love.

Despite my struggles, senior year was an amazing year. It allowed me to love myself even though I sin daily. It allowed me to forgive myself and expose myself without shame. More importantly, it made me want to quit pornography. I wanted to be exposed. I admitted that I was an addict to many people, and tried to spread the news about the lies and deceit Satan and pornography offered. I wanted to share God’s love to others who were struggling, just as my father and Jeff showed me. Because of God using those men in my life, I was able to pass what they showed me on to my friends—some of which quit drugs and drinking, others of which respected and related to my struggles and became more curious about God.

Over this past summer, I attended Jeff’s ministry called IRON and FIRE Ministry. It has helped me tremendously with my walk and my faith in Christ. It has enabled me to go deeper in God’s Word with other college men like myself. We have wrestled through confusing and difficult passages in order to see God’s light and work. This has impacted me because I was able to be genuine with other men who were struggling with some of the same issues. We were able to share our struggles freely. Yet, we knew that there was accountability and support amongst us. There was sense of belonging. Proverbs 27:17 says, “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens the other,” which is exactly what IRON and FIRE is all about. We all had different stories, but shared in our weakness Christ’s strength, love, and support. Thus, I was able to share with many of my college friends at Covenant College as well as others at different colleges what I experienced that summer. I was able to lead and share with my teammates how to grow in God and play baseball for God’s glory. Moreover, I was able to counsel and encourage my friends and myself by delving into God’s Word and gaining insight just I had experienced with Jeff and my brothers at IRON and FIRE.

Currently, I am at Covenant College studying Theology. To help cut out the cancer that porn has spread in my life, I do not have internet on my iPhone, I use X3Watch on my laptop, and I talk weekly with multiple accountability partners. I know that I am weak if I go into battle without God, but with God I am able to do anything. Even though I have spent countless hours dealing with depression, watching pornography, and giving into peer pressure, I have also spent countless hours fighting it and trying to find ways to erase the images and temptations from my mind and heart. The things that the world offers are hard to say no to, but all it takes is saying no and your whole life can be changed for the better. Whether the world realizes it or not, people need people to love and support them. People need God and need to give thanks for organizations like IRON and FIRE.

Micah Mabe

One comment on “Micah Mabe: The Struggle

  1. Pingback: IRON and FIRE Ministries – Micah Mabe: When Demigods Fall

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