Peter Martin – firstname.lastname@example.org
Men’s Accountability Group Leader
I grew up in Tucson Arizona in a very Christian home. From the time I was a kid, my parents were always reading me stories from the bible and I believed with all of my heart in the existence and love of God. But when I was around the age of 13 I fell into the sin of pornography and self-gratification, and slowly I fell away from the love of God. After a little bit, porn became my idol and I stopped seeking God in my life, and eventually, I stopped even believing in Him. Without God in my life, I entered into the most depressing time in my life. Without God I couldn’t see the value in my life, after all, I was just one life a midst billions, a finite life in the span of eternity. I started to contemplate suicide during this time to try to end the pain that exists in a purposeless existence. Thankfully, God came back in to my life, and brought me to Him when I was around the age of 16, but that didn’t stop the struggle that I had with pornography.
After high school, I enlisted into the Marine Corps and became part of the infantry, but even there, this sin continued to haunt me, and even became stronger while I was in. But, during this time in my life, I continued to feel the pull of Christ on my life, and I saw clearly in the lives of my friends what a life without God brings as they tried to drown their depression in the emptiness of this world. During my enlistment, I did two tours to Afghanistan where I saw the very dark side of war and the effects that it can have on those who go there.
After my second deployment, I came back home to visit my family, and I found myself falling time and time again to porn and self-gratification. And it was in this time of utter depression and surrender before God, that He led me to Setting Captives Free, and He used these lessons to show me how I could break free from this sin by the power of His love. Psalm 16:11 “You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” God showed me the truth of this statement, because in this world all I found was emptiness and pain, but in Him I found the satisfaction, the joy, and the acceptance that I had been craving for so long, and in making Jesus Christ the treasure of my life, I found freedom from this sin. God also protected me from the pain of PTSD that affects so many of my friends, and He is using me to mentor other men on Setting Captives Free; and I am truly excited to see what other things that God has in store for my life.