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CBN.com Driving a shiny, big bus with white walls and fancy trappings was Tom Buford’s childhood dream. But when that dream materialized years later, Tom didn’t realize he’d be driving himself right into a nightmare of addiction and perversion.
It started in his childhood at the corner drugstore.
"There was a magazine rack in there, and the people who ran the drugstore, they didn’t pay much attention to anything that was going on, and I stumbled across Playboy one day. That was the start. That was the first flake in the snowball," he explains.
Tom’s big break came when his bus company assigned him as “the driver” for one rock ‘n’ roll band after the next, bands like Twisted Sister and John Waite and UB40.
"There was zero accountability," notes Tom. "It was 'as long as you don’t aggravate me, and as long as you don’t step on my toes about my vices, we don’t even know you have one.'
With no one watching, Tom’s addiction to pornography moved quickly from looking to participating in heterosexual and homosexual activities.
"There’s a lot of garbage that goes on in those places. It’s really sickening to even think about," says Tom. "I remember one time in Detroit, where I learned about a particular porn shop, I called a cab to take me there. And this cab driver begged me not to go there."
At the time, Tom was a married man. But neither being married nor being raised as a preacher’s son was enough to stop Tom’s plunge into sexual addiction.
Tom recalls, "I would just get infuriated with myself. I knew at a gut level that God was not pleased with it. I would many times get down beside my bed and just cry and ask God, 'Why did I do that again?' "
God had not abandoned Tom. Instead, He sent help in the form of entertainer Buck White.
"I went to work the Whites driving their bus. We started going to their church. Life got better, but then it got worse," he says. "I was offered a job going back on the road. I didn’t know that if my heart didn’t leave the road, I would never leave the road entirely."
Tom fell deeper into his sexual addictions.
"The Bible talks about when a house is swept clean," he says, referencing Matthew 12:43-45.
For Tom, “worse” not only meant that he would feed his sexual appetites, but it meant that his “appetites” would lead to criminal activity—and prison.
"I acted out some of the things that I’d seen in pornography against a person," he admits. "I committed a sex crime against an individual. There’s a timeline here. The offense happened, and then a year-and-a-half later, God set me free from all this, in a deliverance time. Then a year-and-a-half after that, they began to investigate me for what had happened three year earlier. So I was already a free man when I went to prison."
Tom’s freedom came when his wife took her own bold step.
"I called a friend. I called Sharon Skaggs. She prayed with me and she said, 'Be strong,' " Tom's wife, Mera, remembers.
Tom knew nothing of Mera's prayers.
"What I didn’t know was that she had given me over to God. She had taken her hands off of me and literally just tossed me into God’s hands," he says.
As a result of Mera’s surrender, and the mercy of God, Tom Buford was about to receive deliverance from a lifetime of addiction.
"Buck White was in there with me," Tom states. "He said my face was so swollen, they didn’t know why it didn’t burst from the inward pressure. [I was] just trying to get it out, growling and groaning. But I knew that I was not carrying around some baggage that I had carried around in the past. I had a deep yearning desire to be a husband to my wife."
The addiction was broken, but his marriage wasn’t automatically reconciled. Tom’s time in prison was as difficult for Mera as his years on the road had been.
"With him being in prison, I’d get a weekly visit, and I lost our house during that time," Mera says. "I had a lot of garage sales and sold off our personal belongings, except for my clothes, and I had to walk away."
Despite her misfortunes, Mera didn't walk away from her marriage.
"I was still waiting for him," she says.
When asked, "Can you now say for a fact that this man is clean, that he is loyal to you, he is not a porn addict or sexual addict?" Mera says with conviction, "He is my husband, and I give him an 'A+'. I believe that God gives him an 'A+', too."
"Not every person who is addicted to pornography has a demonic situation like I had," Tom explains. "But no person will ever come free from pornography addiction or sexual addiction or homosexual addiction or what ever it is that falls within that realm until they want to do it more than the air around them. The Word of God says that God can give us a repentant heart."
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