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When the Past Threatens to Destroy the Future

Ed Heath - 700 Club Producer

“So I’m up there for I don’t know I can’t remember and as I'm walking down the steps, he looks at me and he says, ‘Is that your apartment?’ And I turned up and there was a fire in there." Chris Plumb was 25 when he tried to burn away his past. He recalls, “Throughout my life, as a child, there was abuse. Physical abuse. There was the emotional abuse. But the abuse that really just impacted my life was sexual abuse.”

It was a close relative and started when Chris was 5. Chris told the Bishop of his Mormon congregation, but nothing was done.  He says, “I thought that I had done something wrong as a boy. And so, that was the beginning of my journey of the lack of self-worth.”

Confused and self-conscious, Chris discovered pornography as a way of dealing with his feelings. He remembers, “There was no guilt or shame. There was just filled with this newness. It took all my worries away.” The sexual abuse finally ended when Chris was 14.  But, by then, the women he fantasized about, had become more than just an escape. He says, “Afterwards, I just felt an enormous, enormous amount of guilt, and enormous amount of shame. I would ask God to take the shame and the guilt, and I asked Him, ‘Would you please take these addictions away from me, so I can feel free and I can feel peace?’ It felt like I was praying and-and prayers were-were hitting the ceiling.”

Chris sank into depression. In his early 20s he moved to Arizona for a ‘clean start’ but he couldn’t break free from his addictions. He says, “So, it wasn't just a porn addiction, it had now gone into the beginning of a full-blow sexual addiction. And I’m just thinking, ‘wow, I’m an awful person! How can I -- what’s going on with me?’” Chris had a few girlfriends, but they would never last long. He remembers, “I'd self-destruct the relationship. I am trying to get these girls to love me, and nurture me, based on the way that I felt that my mother should have loved and nurtured me.”

One evening after a bad break-up left Chris deeply depressed, he went to see his Uncle. He recalls, “And I said, ‘Man, I’m-I’m just in really bad shape.’ And then he said, ‘let’s go over and get your clothes and you can stay at my house’.”  After grabbing some clothes Chris met his Uncle at his car. Then they looked up and saw flames in Chris’ apartment window. Chris called 9-1-1, and the blaze was extinguished.  Investigators determined that the fire started with a photo album. Chris didn’t remember lighting it, but through counseling, he understood why. He says, “I was just trying to burn the memories of my life. And I had started with a photo album. It was a representation of getting rid of the old life because I was so dissatisfied and disgusted at what had happened throughout my life.”

Found guilty of felony arson, Chris served 3 years’ probation and had to pay damages. With the help of counseling he started to get his life on track. But he still had serious doubts about God. He says, “I wanted to know, is there a God in Heaven who loves me unconditionally? I was just looking for self-worth. And I wasn't finding that.” In 2001 Chris married and had 3 kids. Thinking he had finally found love, Chris was surprised that he still felt worthless and hurt inside. He remembers, “I was using someone to make me feel whole and worthy, and I just throughout the marriage I wasn't feeling it. So, I would be confrontational. I would get upset easily. I would get angry.”

After 10 years of marriage, Chris divorced his wife and left his kids. He quickly married again but just two years later they were separated. Chris turned back to his porn addiction. He says, “And that’s when it all began again. And I'm like, ‘why am I doing this? Why am I turning to this?’ And so, I’m like, ‘time-out’."

Seeking to break free from his pornography addiction Chris found a Christian church with a men’s sexual accountability group. He met with the group’s leader, Dan, who gave Chris a pamphlet explaining what a relationship with Jesus was all about. Chris recalls, “And it talks about how you’re kind of separated from God, and then there’s these two cliffs on each side, and that there is a cross that comes in the middle. And I'm reading in it towards the end and I look up to him and I go, ‘Dan, I got to do this. I accept Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. I invite him into my heart. Lord, forgive me of my sins, and I lay them at the cross for you to take. You know, God in Heaven, please have mercy on me, and heal my broken soul.’ That was the beginning journey of peace.”

Chris began attending the accountability meetings and grew in his personal walk with Jesus. He later attended an intensive 16-week program to get to the heart of his addictions. Today, Chris is addiction free. Over time he has been able to heal from his past and has a good relationship with his ex-wives and kids. He says, “There's healing and hope through the power of the Lord Jesus Christ. He is ready, He is willing, and He is equipped, and He's enough. God loves me, and I'm grounded in God's love. And so, the self-worth that I'm fueled by is by the Lord Jesus Christ.”

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