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The 700 Club

Finding the Acceptance He Longed For

Amy Reid - 700 Club Producer

“I was trying to hold on to that feeling of, ‘You’re the man.’ I needed to feel like I was worth something.”

Josh North had always felt he was different from everyone else. Growing up just outside Seattle, Washington, he was the youngest of four boys. His dad was a groundskeeper, his mother, a new-age psychic.

"My mom was different from most parents, so I kinda thought it was weird and I just wanted to be in the ‘in’ crowd.”

Then, at ten-years-old, Josh started hanging out and huffing gasoline with an older boy, thinking it would make him cool. Until the boy started molesting him.

“It never felt right. It never felt good. It felt dirty. I was afraid of my parents knowing, basically because I didn’t want my parents to think I was a freak.”

Josh also started looking at porn. “My main goal was to see the violence and the thing that I’m not supposed to watch at this age. It made me, I guess, feel cool and it brought this rush.”  

By middle school, he’d gotten away from the molesting and huffing. Now he was in puberty and the acne and weight gain made him feel even more isolated. He skipped school often. “I felt absolutely disgusted with myself and I thought everybody else sees me this way, too. I felt so worthless.”

By high school, Josh had outgrown his awkwardness. “I finally was able to be somebody. What I lived for was partying, hanging out with my friends, and getting as many girls under my belt as I could. I became one of the popular kids during that year and dated one of the prettiest girls in the school.”

Until she broke up with him. Now, it wasn’t about just being popular; it was about proving he was the best.  

“I realized how healing music was and I latched onto it. I needed to feel like I was worth something. And my way of doing that was to be better than somebody. I couldn’t just be like them, I had to be better than them. So, I stopped hanging out with my friends. They didn’t know what was going on, but literally – all I focused on was school and music.”

Josh graduated with honors and earned acceptance into the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston. “For me as a musician and my identity, that was the ultimate validation. Just literally going out and living the rock star life.”

Then, his parents announced they were getting a divorce and selling his childhood home. For Josh, the loss was devastating. So, once at school, he turned back to porn to fill the emptiness.

“I watched a violent porn scene that I hadn’t watched in so many years and it brought this rush. I remember finishing watching that and knowing that I’d unlocked something that is going to be too strong to ever go back and it really depressed me; scared me, made me sad. Even if I did want to stop, I couldn’t. Socially, I was dead. I couldn’t even have a friendship.”

Two years later, Josh withdrew from school and moved to Hollywood where he became lead singer for a band that played for red carpet events. Fame seemed to be within his grasp, yet he couldn’t shake the emptiness or his growing addiction to porn.

“It started to wear on me emotionally. It was a darkness that started to wear on me. I realized how fake it was. So, without talking to anybody, I silently left Hollywood with my dreams shattered because that was the dream, that was the epitome.”

So, in 2011, addicted to alcohol, porn and sex, Josh moved back to Seattle and joined a local band. A couple of years later, he started dating Erin, a Christian. She was different from other girls he’d been with.

“She stuck with me. And I put her through hell. I put her through my hell.”

The two dated off and on for about a year. One night, during one of their separations, Josh had a one-night stand and then went on a porn and alcohol binge. Three days later..."I woke up feeling shame, guilt, and dirtiness like I hadn’t ever experienced before. It just was eating me alive. I literally just collapsed, crawling over to this corner I said, ‘God, I need help. Please help me.’ And I didn’t even know who I was really talking to. I just knew that I needed help from God.”

Right away, Josh went to his computer and googled the words ‘Christian testimony.’ The search pulled up the story of Brian “Head” Welch, lead singer and guitarist for the band Korn.

“I was enamored by it. And after I was done watching I felt this confidence, and I felt this power - and I felt this thing that was literally the exact opposite of what I’d been feeling.” Josh immediately called Erin and told her what happened.

"She said, ‘Last night, I felt compelled to pray for Jesus to come into your life.' At that moment I knew what had happened. It all made sense. At that moment I knew that I needed to figure out who Jesus is.”

So, Josh delved into learning more about Christianity. The next morning…"When I woke up, I couldn’t move. I felt something get on the bed. I couldn’t speak, but I knew that I could call on the name of Jesus, because I heard that. I was thinking, ‘In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, that which is not of the light be gone now.’ That thing and my paralysis dissipated. That was the thing that confirmed, it’s all true. The next day I gave my life to Jesus Christ.”

As he learned more about Jesus, Josh’s addictions to porn, sex, and alcohol fell away.

“Jesus started to change my heart. One of the first things I did was throw away all my movies, throw away all my music that didn’t represent him. I just wanted more of him. And I knew that anything that didn’t represent him, I don’t want in my life.”

Josh and Erin married in August of 2015. Since then, the couple have had two children and Josh is now in full-time ministry as a worship leader.

“I found that acceptance I was looking for. I don’t have to be the person that I once was. It doesn’t matter what anybody says, it matters what God says, and the only thing that can fill that hole is Jesus Christ.”
 

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