A Life worth Fighting for

Five years have passed since my conversion, followed by my wondrous adventure with God. I have now decided to share my testimony with others who might be questioning their faith and are still not convinced that it is worth fighting for holiness. 

My life had always been ordered: I was a model student, an obedient daughter at home, a regular participant of Sunday Mass. However, at home our faith was not a tangible, living thing and we did not have a real relationship with Jesus, though our parents always made sure that we participated in the sacraments, went to first Friday confession and prayed every day. 

In my adolescent years I was greatly influenced by my peers. I had two friends who got me interested in watching anime (Japanese animated films – ed.) and in the virtual reality of social networking sites. At first glance, anime seems harmless enough, but I began to notice huge changes in the people who were watching them. Parents were not aware that these films were filled with violence, hatred, anger, vengeance and eroticism. Young viewers with unformed personalities imitated (often unconsciously) the behaviour of the characters in anime and fell into states of depression and aggression. I saw this with my own eyes in my own friends and acquaintances. 

During this period I set up my own internet account and got lost in the online reality that I had created for myself. I entered into new relationships, had many “adventures” and possessed incredible “powers”. I waited the whole day until I could have access to the computer, so that I could create my own new virtual world with my other virtual friends. 

 I eventually met a boyfriend through the internet. He lived on the other side of the country; he was very smart, with a great sense of humor. He seemed so mature to me. I immediately fell head over heels in love with him and he knew how to take advantage of this. He convinced me to have virtual sex with him, which quickly became the dominant aspect of our “relationship”. Despite my initial resistance, he got me involved in more extreme and perverse fantasies, eventually ruining any healthy idea I might have had of what an intimate relationship ought to be. This toxic affair lasted several months. After it ended I was basically a heartbroken teenager thirsty for love and attention. At this time I prayed sporadically, mechanically, and unwillingly. I went to confession once a month out of habit but it did not bring any improvement in my life. I did not know then that it would only get worse. 

After the experience with my virtual boyfriend I deleted my online accounts and gave up on that virtual world. However, the intense erotic awakening that had occurred within me led me to look for a substitute. Soon afterwards I discovered masturbation. I became addicted, made worse by pornography. I stopped praying, I went to confession only every few months, but without any attempt to make amends for my sins. I became very vulgar in my speech and in my dress. The sins of impurity brought with them other sins and resulted in a complete change in my behavior and attitude. Thank God that I did not find myself in the position of losing my virginity because I would have gladly done so. As time went on, I became afraid of going to confession because I was ashamed of admitting to the sins I had committed, and as a result I no longer received Holy Communion regularly. I still attended Sunday Mass, but only out of a sense of duty rather than as a heartfelt need. I lived in this desperate state for more than a year. As the time passed I felt worse and worse. The addiction was stronger than I was; I could not resist it in spite of all my efforts. It was then that I realized that something wrong was happening and I had lost all self-control. I had become a slave to my own body. 

Throughout this whole time I had a friend who was fighting for me. She did not know exactly what was happening to me, but she felt intuitively that something was not right. She tried to talk to me about Jesus, about changing one’s life, but I just blew her off. In the end, however, something in me broke and with her help I opened my heart to the Divine Healer. I wanted to change; I wanted for Jesus to help me. From that time on I started fighting against impurity. It was very difficult – I would fall, go to confession, and again fall. I went through a period of doubt, and some evenings I would tearfully pray to God to save me from temptation. Finally, I made it! Through God’s help I was able to endure the fight and I was able to stop masturbating. Up until now I have not committed that sin for four-and-a-half years. Glory be to God!

I am now presently at university and I am engaged to a wonderful man. Both of us belong to the Movement of Pure Hearts and we have been dating for more than four years. Because we were still studying, we decided to get married after three years in university. This was not an easy decision because living in purity demands a daily sacrifice of us to control our sexual desires and renounce physical pleasures. However, we knew that for Jesus’ sake it was worth fighting for a beautiful and pure love. Instead of being distracted by our physical needs, we could concentrate on working on our relationship so that we will have a good marriage and provide a good home for our children. Our dream is to build a holy, loving family and home in which Jesus is King. 

Purity is demanding and difficult but it is beautiful, and gives us peace in our spirit and the joy of closeness with Jesus. Do not let yourself be deceived by the world, which tells you that sexuality is the highest value in life and that giving in to physical pleasure is always worth it. Do not be too confident of your own strength for God is the only source of the great gift of purity. Let us pray for purity, especially for the youth, that they may become aware of its value. Let us become living witnesses of a life with Christ, because it is worth it!

Glory be to God for the miracle that He worked in my life! 

A Reader