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‘That Moment Changed My Life’

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When Joshua Broome was a young man interested in acting, he moved to Los Angeles and got caught in a trap that many have fallen into.

Struggling with bills and only able to land an occasional modeling gig or low-budget film part, his interest was piqued when customers at a restaurant where he was working told him to try acting in pornography.

He met with an agent, was promised he would be famous, and was sold “a counterfeit version” of the life he’d been dreaming of living.

“My lack of belief in myself caused me to think, ‘Man, maybe this is as close as I’m going to get,’” Broome said, according to Fox News.

At first he told himself he’d do one film, take the money, and run — but he eventually gained the stage name Rocco Reed, appeared in over 1,000 movies and earned more than $1 million.


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He was nominated for awards. He traveled constantly. He made money. But it was unfulfilling, and bit by bit he felt like he didn’t know himself anymore.

He was depressed and isolated, and he didn’t know where to turn.

“Joshua didn’t exist,” said Broome, 39. “Everyone knew me by my stage name because that’s who I had become.”

His life turned around in 2013 because of one simple interaction with a bank teller who used his real name and asked if there was anything else they could do to help.

“I lost it,” Broome told Fox News. “I lost it because [hearing] my name shattered my numbness.”

The same day, he quit porn. He packed a suitcase and left California. He moved back in with his mom in South Carolina and started focusing on a new career in personal training.

After two years of hard work and dedication to his new craft, he was a general manager at a gym, and he met a woman named Hope.

She changed everything, too.


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While running, he confided in her and told her all about his past, knowing that it might scare her off — as it had many others — but Hope was different.

“I was like, ‘I just don’t want to hurt this person. I’m just going to tell her the truth, and I’m sure she’s going to want to have nothing to do with me,’” he recalled thinking.

She was shocked, but she didn’t drop him. She told him that people aren’t defined by the best or worst things they’ve done, but by God: “God defines who you are.”

That led to another vulnerable conversation in which Broome acknowledged he didn’t have much faith. When she asked him about it, he was honest.

“I was just like, ‘I don’t know. I don’t know the answer,’” Broome said.

They kept talking. They met up and talked more. Hope invited him to an Easter church service, and on Easter 2015, Broome was introduced to the gospel.

“That moment changed my life,” he said. “I was able to relinquish not just the shame and the guilt from porn, but the shame and the guilt from feeling like I wasn’t good enough my entire life.”

Given his personal experience with the porn industry, Broome is uniquely qualified to warn of the dangers it presents, which he does on his social media platforms and a podcast titled “Counterfeit Culture.”

“The reality is: Porn is detrimental to you,” he said on an episode of his podcast, according to a 2021 article in the Christian Post. “It’s detrimental to the people you love most.

“What happens is: People create these false expectations of intimacy [and] relationships. What a woman should look like, what a woman should do … because they’re learning this from a fictitious representation of engagement.”

Now, after years of healing, walking with Christ, studying ministry and theology, marrying Hope and raising three sons, Broome is a pastor with Good News Baptist Church in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

He regularly travels to speak about his experiences and the redemption and fulfillment that Christ offers, eager to lead people away from shame and toward God’s forgiveness and goodness.

“I think that trauma and pain and mistakes may entangle you,” Broome said, according to Fox News. “They hold you back from the life that God designed you to live.

“I want to be the person to help untangle that web.”

Amanda holds an MA in Rhetoric and TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. After teaching composition and logic for several years, she’s strayed into writing full-time and especially enjoys animal-related topics.

As of January 2019, Amanda has written over 1,000 stories for The Western Journal but doesn’t really know how. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University with a MA in Rhetoric/Composition and TESOL, she wrote her thesis about metacognitive development and the skill transfer between reading and writing in freshman students.
She has a slew of interests that keep her busy, including trying out new recipes, enjoying nature, discussing ridiculous topics, reading, drawing, people watching, developing curriculum, and writing bios. Sometimes she has red hair, sometimes she has brown hair, sometimes she’s had teal hair.
With a book on productive communication strategies in the works, Amanda is also writing and illustrating some children’s books with her husband, Edward.


Austin, Texas

Languages Spoken

English und ein bißchen Deutsch

Topics of Expertise

Faith, Animals, Cooking

Western Journal

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