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Early Exposure to Pornography Leads to Dark Path

Laura Leigh grew up in a loving family, but at age seven she was traumatized when her mom was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis.

“All of my memories, from there forward were dominated by fear and insecurity.” Says Laura Leigh, “I have so many school memories of-of high anxiety, wanting to be at home, wanting to be made secure at home and feeling ill and asking my teachers, "Can I go home".

During that time, she discovered a book in her parents’ bathroom with pornographic adult humor and that opened the door to finding pornography in magazines and graphic novels.

She remembers, “There was something about the use of porn that isolated me. It made me want to find time alone and away from people, I could get lost in it and the anxieties would go away.”

Her addiction grew by experimenting with other children sexually.  Then another traumatic life experience hit her.

“My dad was diagnosed with an illness and it-it took him, it took him quickly,” she says sadly,  “and I really did collapse under the anxieties and the fears and the responsibilities and the perceptions of myself and my comfort was to go back to porn.”

Her feelings of shame grew, along with a skewed perception of who she was as a girl. Through all of this she had started attending church and gave her life to Christ.

“I prayed to receive Christ and was sincere in every way of my desire to follow him.” stated Laura Leigh, “I really had a problem with some of my secret behaviors, but when I would bring them up, there was no-no real help. I just – it actually kind of increased my shame. I would go through seasons of swearing off my behaviors, only to have them come back and be much, much worse.”

In college she was invited to church where she had a new awakening of her faith.  

“I remember what it was like to be in an environment that-that ministered the word in ways that opened my heart. Instead of it being an intellectual decision to follow Jesus because I knew it was the right thing to do, now I'm contending with the battle being really at the heart level. I could really see that there was a part of me that did not agree with God and it was in that season that I came to a point where I understood his forgiveness. I actually felt I had a real experience of feeling forgiven.  I knew that it had to do with the shameful stuff. In a matter of just a few weeks, the – all that tormenting traffic in my mind stopped”, says Laura Leigh.  

For the next six months she was overwhelmed by god’s loving-kindness, and then the unexpected happened.

“I met a woman in-in my church, she and I became quick, fast friends. And we thought being roommates would be great, but on the night we became roommates, I fell into a same-sex relationship with her and I stayed in that relationship for three years.” She reflects, “there was a real conflict because I had tasted the Lord's lovingkindness by then, I really did know. It's like 'What do I do? I-I love her so completely, but I love the Lord.' And that wrestling stayed in place the whole time that we were together.  And I didn't know what to do with it. So what I did was I moved apart from her thinking if I could just get some emotional space, I'll be able to manage this thing better.”

One night after a fight with her lover, Laura Leigh heard from the Lord something she never anticipated.

Laura thinks back, “The Lord of Life spoke in my ear, and he said, 'I love you. What are you doing?' And it was like – it was… like…a giant shift happened. And what was in front of me, what was happening right then became nothing. 'I do not want it. this is not what I want, this life, with this woman this way, the way I'm conducting myself, this is not what I want.  And all of a sudden everything became different. Two days later she broke off the relationship for reasons that I would never be able to explain, except the Lord.'”

Laura continues, “It seems like in that first few weeks of my time – my repentance, my forsaking sin, it was like he was answering me, 'I've got all of your shame.' 
By his Holy Spirit, He led me to make an inventory of everything that had been hidden in my life, as He showed me my clear sin and got me to clearly admit it, He began to really unhook me from that uh – the power of shame. 

And things started changing, significantly started changing. I had a-a lot of peace come into my life at that point, you know, not just at salvation when the tormenting voices stopped, that was great. I mean, that was great. I thought I could live the rest of my life that way. But what it was like to actually be with him and have peace when I was quiet, anxiety wasn't driving me to-to sexual sin.”

Today Laura Leigh is married and ministers to women at First Stone Ministries.

She smiles, “I was just reading in Ephesians and I was just thinking about how Paul would encourage them. He didn't say, you know, he didn't just say 'Stop doing what you're doing.' He did say that, but he would say, 'This is not who you are. You were formerly darkness, but not you're light. Walk like children of light.' So I – that's what I want for young women is really to understand that there is a hope beyond just gutting to out. Fighting for sobriety is what put me deeply in the community of faith.”

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