I often have a hard time deciding how to start a blog entry. Once I get going, the words seem to come out in a flood, but those first few sentences are tough. I’ll write something, erase it, write something else, erase that too… I sometimes repeat this for 5 minutes.
Such is the case with this blog entry. It’s so important, yet I can’t figure out how to start. I want to talk about a new project being launched by XXXChurch.com and Shelley Lubben. For those of you unfamiliar with Shelly, she is a former porn star who surrendered her life to God several years ago. This new project is being called “The Esther Fund”. It’s one of those put your money where your mouth is type of projects.
It’s easy to be encouraged by a ministry that is helping people fight porn addiction, telling porn stars about Jesus’ love, and encouraging porn producers to consider God’s plan for their life. It’s a bit more difficult to pull out our checkbook to help support such a ministry.
What happens when people leave the porn world for God? Do they all just live happily ever after?
Unfortunately, the answer is a very loud “no”. It’s hard to leave a life where the money is so easy to make. Believe me, I know this very well from personal experience. Through the years I produced porn, I’d often feel God pulling on my heart strings. But I was afraid to lose everything I owned, and terrified I wouldn’t be able to support my ex-wife and son. I told Him there was no way I could ever leave because it would be too difficult to make a living outside of the porn world.
The Pastors of XXXChurch “get it”. They know the first few months, even the first year, after an individual leaves their former life is the most crucial, difficult time that individual is likely to face. That is the time they need God’s people to give them a bit of help re-establishing their life.
When I left, God miraculously took away my desire to shoot even one more image or one more minute of video footage. When I finally surrendered my life to Him, my biggest fear was no longer losing my possessions, because I knew that would happen and had resigned myself to it. My biggest fear was that I wouldn’t be able to provide for Wendy (my ex-wife) and Caden (my son). XXXChurch came through. I have no idea where the money came from, but they let the need be known and checks started showing up in my ex-wife’s mailbox. She was deeply touched by the generosity of those who cared enough to help.
The Esther Fund is something XXXChurch wants to use to assist future “Crissy Morans” and “Donovan Phillips” when the old life is left behind. It will greatly help with the transition to a new life. Every individual has unique issues that must be addressed when a major life change is made. It’s way too easy to say “I’ll pray for you and I know God will provide”. It’s often us He wants to use to do so.
I’ve been asking God for permission to travel to other churches, sharing my story in the hopes of raising awareness about the Esther Fund. In his time, I’m sure I’ll be doing so. You can help as well! Please take the time to read more about this project.