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CBN.com "It [an addiction to pornography] was an excitement that captured me like nothing else could capture me. When I made love to my husband for the first time, it was that kind of excitement. But this was even a more heightened excitement than that because it stirred up something I didn’t know was inside of me," says Joean Senatore.
Joean was a happily married 40-year-old mother when she discovered a new passion -- pornography. Her cable service had just been upgraded. As Joean flipped through the new channels, she found something that both shocked and excited her.
"That was like opening up a door to hell. I opened this door to darkness and debauchery. All of these demons came in," she reveals.
Joean started buying porn videos at pawn shops and went to great lengths to hide her addiction. Every time she bought a video, she peeled off the label and hid it under the front seat of her car. After her family went to bed, Joean watched the video. The next day, she put it in a brown paper bag and buried it in the trash at work.
"It was a secret sin that had me, and I couldn’t shake it loose," she recalls. "It had me by the throat because it had me at the very heart. It was taking over my life, and it was snuffing out the life of Christ in me. It choked the Word and prayer out of my life."
Joean was a devoted Christian and often spoke to large groups about her faith, but even she wasn’t immune to the pull of pornography. Living two lives ultimately cost Joean her joy.
"I was a hypocrite," she admits. "Here I was living for Christ on one hand, and living to love these movies, these videos, the Internet, anything that I could get my hands on. Anything that had to do with pornography I was drawn to. How could I justify it? I couldn’t."
Joean ended up at an adult store she had never been to before and discovered an orgy. When someone asked her to join in, she knew her addiction had gone too far.
"I knew at that point I was at the lowest," Joean explains. "I was dying piece by piece, inch by inch. I was dying."
In desperation Joean prayed, “God, deliver me or take me home because I cannot live this any more."
Joean knew there was only one way out.
"I wanted to please my Lord," she says. "I loved God more than I loved the addiction, and because my love for God was so much stronger, I could reach my hands up to my Abba Father and say, 'Pick me up out of this situation because I love You more. Whatever it takes, that’s what I need to do.' "
Joean’s first step was to share her secret with her husband and her pastor. Both responded with love, forgiveness, and compassion.
"Once I knew that the sin was out in the open and I was accountable, I felt better," she says. "But it wasn’t over."
Joean was still drawn in by the power of pornography and desperately needed a touch from God. She got it one day while watching The 700 Club.
"I don’t know if Gordon said my name or if God called my name, but I heard my name," Joean recalls. "And he said, 'There’s a woman out there. Her name is Joean, and she is being delivered from a spirit of lust.' I said, 'Lord, that is me, God! That word is for me.' I felt the deliverance at that moment, and I felt the power of God enter that room. I felt the Holy Spirit upon me. I knew God was delivering me at that moment. I knew it."
Today Joean is completely free from pornography. She says her life has never been better.
"The joy is back, God’s joy, the happiness that I felt before," she says. "The pressure of sin is gone and the darkness of the addiction is over. It has no negative power over my life anymore. The sting of that memory is gone."
And Joean gives all the credit to God.
"There was nothing in my hands I could bring. It was only to the Cross I could cling because there was nothing I could do in and of myself to deliver myself," Joean explains. "I know the power of God to deliver, I know God is able, I know God is strong, and I know He wants to deliver. That’s why, today, I can sing the praises because I’ve been there. I went through it, I struggled with it, I almost died because of it, but now I’m free and I’m alive in Christ."
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