Krissy Field | @KrissyMField
“Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.” Philippians 4:6
I suffer from anxiety. And I’m not talking about occasional times where I’m worried about things. I mean I have a perpetual feeling of unease. It might be about something. It might be about everything. It might be about nothing at all. This is something that I keep very secret. I do not like people knowing, so it’s not something I talk about. Only a handful of people know and they don’t even know to what extent it is. I am anxious, right now, as I type this. But, God laid this on my heart to share. I tried to get out of it, but He wouldn’t let me. So, here we are.
For as long as I can remember, I have had some sort of anxiety. Worry was always the word we used for it. I can remember my parents saying “Don’t worry about it!” But, that was so much easier said than done. I tried. Oh how I tried to just quit worrying. But there was always just something that I could find to have concern over.
When I was in high school, I was having some real stomach problems. It finally got to where I needed medical help. The doctor figured out that I had a stomach ulcer. And it was concluded that I had given myself the ulcer from worrying. And I think, as an adult, what was there to worry about that much in high school. EVERYTHING.
Matt Coker | @MatthewSCoker
My name is Matt Coker and I’m a grateful believer in Jesus Christ who struggles with pornography, overeating, depression, and co-dependency.
I’ve given my testimony a quite a few times in the past few years, and I’ve always focused a lot on what God has saved me from. But now that I’ve got some significant clean time under my belt, I plan on also sharing what God has done with me since. But first, let me tell you how I got here.
Usually, when I give my testimony in person, it's when I'm standing in Celebrate Recovery meeting. And not many people tend to come to CR because they have a problem with pornography. But statistically, 80% of the men and 50% of the women have viewed pornography in the last month and 50% of the men and 20% of the women look at it habitually, addictively. In fact, that's true of ALL men and women.
So, the odds that you reading this right now have a problem with pornography are high.
I'm about to say something that might shock you, but I beg you to read until the end. Don't jump ship when I say this, because it's hard for me to admit, but a necessary part of my story: I’m a registered sex offender. And when someone wears that label, people immediately assume you have done the worst, most disgusting, perverted, devious things a human being can do and you are endangering them and their children just by existing.
So, what did I do to get put on this list?
Ellen Martin | @ellenmartin03
Because the ministry of The Back Row focuses on healing, I will tell my story of healing. I cannot summarize everything Jesus has done for me. He is continually transforming my life. I am so incredibly grateful for and humbled by all He has done and continues to do.
I’m currently 23 years old and completing my Masters of Education degree. I grew up in a Christian home. I have two younger brothers – aged 21 and 17. I accepted Christ when I was seven years old at a Christmas Eve service at my church. I did not know how much that small prayer would affect my life. In fact, I still have lots to learn. I was baptized at age ten at my grandparent’s cottage. Life has been an incredible and crazy journey ever since.
I attended a Baptist church from when I was six until I was twelve years old. After a series of events, my family was asked to leave the church. At that time, I realized I had a decision to make. I could either stand up for Jesus for the rest of my life, or succumb to the devil’s wishes and turn from the church.
Throughout my teenage years I struggled with honouring my parents. We were close during my childhood, but I struggled with trusting and listening to them once I reached my mid-teenage years. Emotionally separating myself from my parents left me feeling unloved and unwanted. As a result, I ended up seeking love from the wrong people.
Marty Field | @MartyMooseField
“It was never easy for me. I was born a poor black child.” Ok, so maybe I can’t steal the opening line from the movie "The Jerk", but I will say my story definitely has its moments. The more I think about it, the more I seem to remember ways in which my life could have been so different.
I was raised in a moderately strong Christian home, where I was taken to church pretty much every time the doors were open. Mom and dad both sang in the choir, played in a Gospel band, and taught Sunday School for as long as I could recall.
My story spells out like many. I was “saved” at the age of eight, mainly because Hell/my preacher scared me and my best friend went down front the week before.
My parents made sure that I didn’t miss any choir musicals, VBS weeks, or any other special children’s function that our good old Southern Baptist Church provided. Even into my teenage years, I was the pinnacle of what the All-American church kid looked like.
You see, by this point, I had already overcome so much. I was dropped on my head as a baby. Yea, I know. That’s what people always joke about. “What’s the deal? Were you dropped on your head or something?” Yes, yes I was. I would share more about that, but I can’t remember. Man, I’m hilarious.
Keith Hughes | @keithhughes9
God gave me the grace to believe on Jesus as my Savior when I was around seven years old. Like most 7 year olds back then I didn’t have any known hang-ups. However, when I became an adolescent I found myself ensnared by pornography. I think the first time I was exposed to it was in the fifth grade. It wasn’t an automatic addiction but it began the process of warping my mind.
Sometime later after I learned what masturbation was, pornography became the vehicle I used to fulfill what I believed to be my biggest need. Maybe it goes without saying but I wasn’t involved in church at all and definitely didn’t pray or read my Bible. So when I was promised to have my vile passions fulfilled I had no support to lean on to say no.
When I was getting ready to turn sixteen I made a deal with God. The deal was if I he didn’t let me die in a car accident then I would drive myself to church every Sunday morning. It was a deal He couldn’t pass up (joking). But I did attend church every Sunday morning. I even went to Sunday school once a year for a few years -- only because the third day of the NFL draft started at eleven A.M. and I would skip the main service so I could go home and watch it.
However, during this time God began to speak to my sin, not just porn.
Greg Stokley | @gregstokley
I have a confession to make.
I've never been addicted to anything. Not really.
I grew up in a conservative Christian home. I went to church every Sunday. I received salvation at a young age.
With the exception of a season of backsliding in college, I have always been chasing after God. Even in that season, my convictions made me miserable. But that season ended. God put a stop to all of that nonsense and I set my face to seek His again.
So what am I even writing about? No deliverance from drugs? Pornography? No immensely radical testimony to speak of? Then what have I recovered from? What is this post about?
It's about the Gospel. It's about grace.
I used to suffer from a condition I like to call Testimony Paralysis. Simply put, this means that, due to the fact that I don't have a dramatic conversion story, I assumed that I didn't have a testimony at all. No drugs or wanton behavior for me. My story is sheltered and tame compared to many others.
But here's something we often don't think about. If we are saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, we are a living, breathing miracle. Just because you don't have a dramatic story involving crack houses, jail time, and an incident involving a pineapple and a night club, doesn't mean you aren't every bit a miracle as the person who owns that story. Ephesians 2:1-5 says this:
The real, brutally honest testimonies to God's redeeming power from people on The Back Row.