Updated: January 6, 2018
Hello my beautiful people. I came across this Instagram page: Candi7777 https://www.instagram.com/candi7777 and I was gripped by her testimony so much so that I teamed up with her to share it with you. I know I have helped young women deal with these same issues and I know there are still others out there still struggling. Here’s another voice and testimony on how to overcome these issues.
It’s an honest portrayal of her journey. I pray it will be a blessing to you as it has been a blessing to read. Don’t forget to ‘LIKE and SHARE if you know someone else who can be blessed by it. Enjoy!
Candi’s Testimony Overcoming Masturbation & Low-Self Esteem
I have always struggled with self-acceptance and completely loving all of myself. My self-esteem in my younger years was low and as I transition into adulthood, it pretty much stayed there.
The home is where most people receive their validation and love (well at least this should be the place!) However, this was not the case for me. I was not raise in a traditional two-parent household. I did not have parental figures telling me I was beautiful. None of that was going on!
So naturally, my validation came from the world, I looked to see what others thought about me! From my peers and fellow classmates (by no means credible sources). Kids can be cruel and words do hurt. However, they were only speaking my own insecurities what I had already thought about myself. I was “too skinny”, “too dark”, and “ugly”. So, when the “perceptions” I thought of myself was confirmed by others around me, it just became my truth.
I was too skinny, too dark & ugly!
The reason my self-esteem was so low was because I was looking for someone else (outside of Christ) to validate me to tell me that I was beautiful. I struggled with no one liking me ENOUGH to be in a relationship with me. Because being in a relationship was the epitome of my “self-acceptance & self-worth.” Being in a relationship with someone meant I was accepted, loved and wanted by someone. A relationship is what I would always chase but always end up empty handed.
Due to the unhealthy perception I had of myself, I would find myself in so many uncompromising situations as it relates to my sexual integrity, which would in turn push my self-esteem down even more. All because I just wanted someone to like me!
Never going as far as having sex, but dang near close enough to not be wearing a promise ring (which I had by the way). As a Christian girl and now adult, this cycle continued. I knew God and the right things to do but my need for wanting to be liked overruled what God said or says about me. Yeah God told me I was beautiful, but that was not enough. As He God, He thinks everyone is beautiful. He made us and created us. He would never say we were nothing less. What I needed was a physical human being to tell me I was beautiful.
My life came crashing down at the age of 21 when insecurities got the best of me and I was raped. This catapulted into a spiral of one poor choice, after another poor choice. All in the name of wanting someone to like me. My self-esteem, however, reached the all-time lowest point when masturbation became my master. It ruled over me and I was its slave.
This sexual sin was something that had me stuck in a vicious cycle. So now not only didn’t men like me enough to be in a relationship, I did not like me. Now I am for sure God did not like me either. How could He, and why would He? I was a mess and disgusted with myself. Living in silence was also the worst part no one knew I was battling with this addiction alone. It was eating me up and tearing my self-esteem into micro-mini pieces.
It was not until I started to share my struggle with people I could trust that I start to work on putting an end to this addiction. Even then, I would still keep making the same mistakes to where I even lost a good friendship over my addictive habit. This addiction needed to end, but I knew I could not do it alone. It was not doing my self-esteem any good and I was starting to loss my identity. I did not know who I was anymore. Candi? “Who was she?” I was lost.
I was born and raised a Christian. I enjoyed church and my friends I had while at church. They accepted me and I never had to prove myself to them. I was actively involved in church as a child, a teenager, and young adult (I sang in the choir, I was a praise dancer, participated in church plays). Even now as an adult, I sing on the praise team. Church has always been a part of my life. With that said, even though church was a part of my life, I had not made God, the Lord over my life. I claimed to love Him but I did not really believe He could deliver me or love me the way He loved everyone else. I mean I did all the things (well at least all the things) a Christian should do. I obeyed my grandmother, listen to my teachers, got good grades, never cussed, and did what I was told. However, this struggle with masturbation created a separation between God and me. I did not know how to get close to Him to build a close relationship with Christ. God told me one time, “Candi you love me but you don’t know me. Each time I would mess up and fall into sexual immorality, I felt as if God did not accept me or approve me. I was reliving my school-age years all over again, now only with Jesus, and this was a tough pill to swallow. If Jesus did not like me then shoot, no one would ever like me. This discouraged my heart and left my self-esteem damaged.
It was not until about 2 years ago, I got serious about my walk with Christ. I was tired of going through the motions. I wanted a real relationship with the Lord. Most importantly, I just wanted to be healed and whole. I was willing to do whatever it took to be healed, I was desperate and I could not take the pain anymore. In that moment, I prayed and I ask God to help me in these areas of masturbation, self-acceptance, and low self-esteem. He surrounded me with some accountability partners that help me in my journey. It was during that time, I started to really focus on the areas within myself that I had been too afraid to confront. Rejection and abandonment were my too biggest issues. I had always dealt with the symptoms of my problems but not really addressed the root. I was not until I gave these areas to the Lord that I started to see myself how God views me. However, do not allow me to mislead you. This internal transformation did not happen overnight. I did not stop masturbating right away. There was a process. However, it was not until I started to see how my addiction started to affect my relationships with God that I knew I needed to make some serious changes if I wanted to be healed and whole completely. Today I still meet with my accountability partners on a weekly basis to discuss my progress and process. Today, I can confidently say, I do not need anyone to validate my self-worth. God has and still does call me beautiful. Simply put, I am enough!
Game Over Control Alt Delete (Poem)
Author Candi M. Marsh
Written in September 2012
Uhm…..okay so where do I began, I think I was 8 no 12, no 11, no I was 10.
Fourteen is when it all began. Fourteen is when my life and my identity had been taken over by sin. The sin of choice? Well it’s called “lust.” I ran track in high school so I left the Holy Spirit in the dust.
Fourteen, I said, is when it all began; when I became attracted to sin, or should I say it became attracted to me, I was young naïve I had not developed my inner beauty.
Not fond of my size, my skin or my face, when he said I was beautiful into his arms I embraced. All I wanted really was my “very first kiss” but I got so much more, the kissed it was nice, then he touched me “down there” I did not like it; it did not feel right.
I knew it was wrong but I was too scared to say anything, so I just played along. Ashamed of my actions; by what had just taken place I told no one because I felt like such a disgrace. I could not bear the look of disapproval on their face.
Brought up in the church how could I let this be? I am the holy Christian girl; you don’t do “those things.”
I keep my secret deep inside; nobody knew but the pain in my heart grew. The game never ended I kept playing along, I search deep inside myself trying to sing my song, Titled, “Can-di you can be free” but I guess there was a mix tape because I kept singing the sin song “lust lives inside of me.”
With each encounter I came across I played more and more; always thought I was doing good cause I never let them score.
I wore my celibacy ring proud, glad I did not lose my virginity, yet all the while I was losing my identity.
Masking my pain by doing well in school… all “A’s and no C’s;
I felt if I was “little miss goody two shoes,” no one would see the hurt inside of me.
If I appeared like I was fine, then no one would ask. It was oh so easy putting on the “mask.” “We wear the mask” like Paul Lawrence Dunbar would say; shoot this was easy I wore it all night and all day.
At the age of 21 the game had changed, I was raped by this older man; I don’t even remember his name.
I had my support from my friends, and my twin sister Brandi; but I never found the support inside of me.
I hated who I was and I didn’t want it to be; but I played the game so long I thought, “Hey this must be me”
I suppressed my feelings inside because I had become someone I hate; to the point, I just needed any encounter so I began to masturbate.
I felt like a drug addict; I had to have it, it was a need, a must, there was no escaping this drug of choice, what did I call it? Oh yea… lust!
This cycle repeated again, & again, continuously for years, to the point I stopped shedding tears.
This is when I became consumed with fear; oh my God what if I will never be free?!?! Will this spirit of lust always live inside of me?
I would tell my friends, trying to do the right thing. At this point in my life I knew it was important to have accountability.
I was tired of the lies! No more secrets! Time to be honest and speak the truth!
The truth will set you free. That’s what it says in the Word;
I wanted to soar in the sky; I wanted my voice to be heard.
I was doing good… I was feeling strong… I was finally feeling free;
But as soon as I would meet someone, out jumped that lust inside of me. Oh no not again, will this sin ever END!!
We fall down but we get up, for a saint is just a sinner who fell down, but got up. How many times must I fall Lord? Will I ever be free?
Or should I just stay on the ground, for this sin is beating me.
Defeated; cast down, but I knew I was not destroyed!
All I wanted was to join another Army so yep I enlisted so I would get deployed. So in the front line I stand with my internal wounds exposed! I die to my flesh, heart, mind body, and soul.
I am ready to be free; I need Jesus to take control.
Each day I stand on the front line dying daily to my flesh, each day I don’t sin, I am passing the test.
I am walking in purpose, I am soaring, & sailing the sea, this game is over press the keys end Ctrl- Alt-Delete. I am free!
Thank you Candi for sharing your story with us. I pray it will help others who struggle with the same things realize they are not alone and there is freedom in Christ! Follow her on Instagram to stay updated on her content.
Baskets of Blessings!
Jesus, family, ministry, and lots of coffee! My heart comes from being a young teen girl who didn’t know much and found Jesus in a dark time. My ministry focuses on the heart of God for this generation to make Godly decisions especially in the area of purity. A blog for all ages because God’s Word is eternal and has no age limit!