Beggar’s Daughter: Why I’m Still Speaking

Over the past couple years there’s been several times when I’ve questioned why I still do this. As white hairs pop out all over my head, I start to feel old and irrelevant. What is TikTok exactly?

As days are spent chasing my daughter, I’ve wondered if my time has come and gone. As it becomes harder and harder to write, harder and harder to reach, I’ve wondered if I should just hang up my boots and call it good enough.

But I’m still here, and this is why:

In 2009, I shared my story for the first time. Anonymously. Angrily. I was frustrated because it felt like God had called me to share my story and I didn’t want to.

I didn’t want the label.

I didn’t want the shame.

I didn’t want my most intimate struggle, the thing I swore I would never tell anyone, to be the only thing people knew me for.

And I was convinced I was alone.

The past decade has taught me I was wrong. Just a year and a half after first publishing my website, which was a static website thrown together with a WYSIWYG editor, I was speaking at a conference in Canada. I was leading a breakout session for women, and we were tackling lust.

Our tiny room was packed to the gills. Women were standing along the back of the room. Women were sitting on the floor. And as I shared my story and encouraged them to share theirs, healing entered the room.

I stepped out for a moment and a colleague asked how it was going. “God is in there,” I said, “and it’s amazing.”

And that’s why I’m still speaking.

As I reflected on the events of that conference, I realized, I’m no Beth Moore. Women didn’t flock to my breakout session to hear Jessica Harris speak. Jessica Harris was a nobody. Women came because they were hungry to hear about God’s grace and how it interfaces with their struggles. They were hungry for hope.

And that’s why I’m still speaking.

I returned home from that trip and it’s as if God told me I had a choice. I could choose the life I always wanted. The “success,” the white picket fence, the obscurity, the privacy. But now I knew. I knew there were women out there. Women like me. Women whose stories looked like mine.

Women who were trapped.

And I knew how to get them out. I could choose to walk away. I could choose to chase my dreams. Or I could choose to go behind enemy lines and help those women break free.

I chose the fight.

And that’s why I’m still speaking.

It has not been easy. Over the years, churches have said stories like mine are not welcome, are not needed. Women in their church don’t have this problem. So, I stopped asking the churches for permission to talk to their women and started writing to the women directly.

In 2016, I wrote my book and stood on a stage in front of pastors. And I told them they were wrong. They were missing it, and that while they focused all of their efforts on freeing men, they were losing their women. And that if we didn’t do something about it, we would find the very hearts and souls ripped from our churches.

And that’s why I’m still speaking.

A twelve year old girl heard me share my story in 2017, and she looked at her friend’s mom and said, “I don’t know what the big deal is… every girl watches porn.”

A high school girl at a Christian conference shared her story of struggle, broken, a puddle of tears in my arms.

Emails come in every day, Christian women, pastors wives, missionaries, Bible study leaders, preacher’s kids… struggling with porn and being crushed under the weight of shame. Each one of them convinced that they are alone.

And that’s why I’m still speaking.

I’m still speaking because there are thousands of Christian women out there convinced they are the only ones. Convinced they are alone.

There’s an online conference just for these women coming up next month. It’s free. It’s virtual. It’s everything a woman could ever ask for in a conference on such a sensitive and taboo topic, and the numbers are showing that we have so many more we could reach. 

You can help!

If you’re a woman who struggles with pornography, sign up! Registration is free and you’ll be able to access material designed specifically for you.

Register here.

If you aren’t a woman who struggles, I know for a fact that you know someone who does. You just may not realize it. Please, share this with people you know! Your pastor, your Bible study leader, your RA at college. There are women who are hurting, desperate for something like this, and we don’t want them to miss it.

I’m still speaking because I know they are out there, and yet, we haven’t reached them. We haven’t found them. We haven’t gotten a rescue to them.

I’m still speaking because we’re losing them.

And I refuse to go down without a fight.