For all those who thought I was a Goodie Two Shoes.....
As a preachers kid, I felt the pressure to uphold an image. I'd always heard and read the stories of Christians gone wild. I was slightly intrigued thinking that could possibly be my story, my own version of the prodigal son. But it wasn't. I wanted a captivating redemption story. But it wasn't the story I thought it would be. It wasn't the testimony I wanted.
But the cards were already dealt. See, God only gives us what we can handle and tests us to determine our faithfulness. It's been on my heart to share my testimony since starting my blog. I've been avoiding it for 2 years but now the sound is getting clearer and the weight of it is getting heavier. I've been running like Jonah and I'd hate that the call on my life will not be fulfilled because of "fear." Am I ready to share my testimony? Absolutely not. But will it be worth it? For sure. I've selfishly been holding out and finally realized it's not about me. It never was and I just need to let God do his work. So here goes....
I've lied, cheated, messed around and looked down on people. I thought I was better than certain people because I wasn't committing a sin (or so I thought) so I had the right to judge or condemn other people. Meanwhile, I've struggled with lust and masturbation for pretty much half of my life. Can you imagine? Little old me at the age of 12 sex crazed? Why? Because of a fire that was lit by a match called Sex Education.
When I was 12 years old, my sex Ed teacher gave our class an assignment to go home and complete. That is the only thing I remember learning from this class and was the start of an addiction.
I've learned over the years that one ever wants to discuss the repercussions or consequences of taking actions you shouldn't have been taking in the first place. Sex Education teaches you about sex and prevention of "consequences" but it doesn't teach you about healthy relationships, emotional and spiritual risk avoidance and more.
How can you properly deal with loneliness and low self esteem? How can you properly deal with feeling unloved Abandoned? Lost? Unattractive?
The only way to fully combat these issues is to know your identity. You can only find your identity in Jesus. I didn't understand my identity nor the concept of purity. I thought as long as I was a virgin and I let no man in, that I'd be good. But that's sooooo not what the Bible was talking about. We try to take all these shortcuts but hurt ourselves in the end. It's cheating. When the Bible calls women virgins this literally meant no sexual contact or experiences whatsoever. They were untouched. This was never taught in church. You'd think it'd be clear but we always try to find a loophole to get what we want! God doesn't want us to find loopholes. That only shows that our hearts aren't in the right place. So we need to remind ourselves "Who do you want to serve more?"
I remember my favorite verse to repeat was Romans 3:23; "For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God." Maybe this was my way of calling myself a sinner. Maybe I was crying out for help, for someone to hear me. I believe God did send several people to help me escape this cycle but I was too ashamed to admit my sin. This could've been broken yearssss ago. I felt like I didn't deserve God's forgiveness. The funny thing is when I recently re- read the verse in it's entirety I realized that's not what this meant! This verse wasn't trying to condemn but rather share the good news that "we are all justified freely by the grace and redemption of Jesus.” The enemy does a really great job of condemning you and trying to keep you out the running.
It wasn't until college that I learned what I was doing was wrong. I'd always felt ashamed or disgusted once I achieved that "feeling" but I didn't understand why since it wasn't explicitly a sin written in the Bible. I had finally gotten away from home and was able to live the college life, doing shows, partying and living it up. I became involved in a very unhealthy relationship during my first year on campus. All the rules were thrown out the window and we did almost everything sexually except for having sexual intercourse; 1. Because I knew I didn't want to give it away. 2. Because I knew he wasn't the one God had for me. 3. Because I knew that as a sin.
After God broke this up (because I couldn't leave even though I knew I had to), I joined the Christian groups on campus and really became serious in my walk. My younger sister introduced me to Heather Lindsay and I discovered poet Jackie Hill Perry and her crew shortly after. She shared her redemption story which was really amazing. God totally transformed her life and it was so inspiring to see. I also came across fellow poet Ezekiel Azonwu's interpretation of masturbation which really resonated with me and opened my eyes. God was distraught. The Holy Spirit had been grieving this entire time and I finally understood the seriousness of my sin.
After my final situationship in 2015, I decided to become celibate. This hasn't been without its challenges of course. But it's a direction in the right step. I'm pursuing a life and mindset of purity. I've stopped watching lustful shows and listening to sensual secular music. I've put this all before God and I'm continuously monitoring my mind and what I allow to come into my heart. I really thank God for bringing all the amazing people into my life and messages that ultimately led me to make this decision. It's been a long time coming and I pray that my story encourages you to make a decision that will honor God as well. Let go and let Him do the necessary work in your life. Great things will come.