Russel Willingham had a rough childhood. Growing up rejected and abandoned, he longed for the affection he did not receive as a young boy. He turned to pornography to fill his emptiness, but only Jesus’ love would satisfy him.
Rejected and Abandoned
Russel’s parents separated when he was still young. He and his little brother went with their mother to Texas. And she worked hard to make ends meet.
But looking back, Russel realized that his mother’s brokenness had made them anxious, feeling rejected and verbally abused. He also realized he had embraced this identity according to what his mother had called him. He regarded himself as worthless, unloved, and horrible.
When he was seven, he picked up a trashed magazine on his way home. He was surprised to see naked women inside the pages as he flipped it open. “They all seemed happy and joyous and welcoming,” he recalled.
For the first time, Russel felt comfort from a woman he longed for. And that started his wayward journey to pornography addiction.
But when he turned 12, one of his friends invited him to watch a movie about the “end-times rapture.” And it frightened him. He immediately rushed in front when a pastor asked them to receive Jesus. But after accepting Jesus, he felt cleansed. He knew that he had become born again after that.
Jesus is the Way
Nevertheless, Russel returned to his old ways because no one was following him. He continued with his addiction, which led him to curiosity about spirituality. But he leaned into the New Age and witchcraft.
Finally, on a trip with a stranger, he met a Christian woman who shared Jesus with Him. Russel talked about everything he read in witchcraft.
The woman did not condemn him. Instead, she shared the truth. “Russel, those are real experiences,” she said. “But do you realize that you’re on the wrong side of the spiritual world?”
She then told him about the true Way, Jesus.
The next day, Russel fasted, looked for a place to pray, and talked to God.
He said, “Lord, if what this woman is telling me is true, I’m kind of the wrong side of the fence here. But I want to know the truth. Please, rescue me.”
Since then, Russel’s relationship with Jesus started. For the first time, he met someone who truly cared for him. And slowly, Jesus revealed his unhealed heart from his addictions and abuse. He went through the healing process with Jesus, and now, he can finally say he is free and whole.
Listen to his whole testimony below.
Delafé Testimonies | YouTube. Accessed July 17, 2023. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TSQJXiuOMe0