This post has been on my heart for quite some time now. But I haven't written it out of fear. Fear of saying the wrong thing. Fear of sharing too much, or too little. Fear of judgement.
Just plain fear.
I fully recognize that fear does not come from God. And that He puts things on our hearts for a reason.
So it is my prayer that these words are His, and not my own. That they provide encouragement to those who need it. And most importantly, that they lead those who read these words straight to the creator behind them, Christ.
Please note that this is a personal post, so whoever may be reading this, be warned of that now.
And lastly, thank you to all of those who encouraged me to be bold by your own words. Specifically, L, Annie, Erin and Nadine.
Be still heart, just write.
I believe in the Bible. All of it.
I believe that it is 100% applicable to our lives, and was written to help protect us from the darkness in our world. To guide us to the light, Jesus Christ.
You may be nodding your head like "Yes, duh. We know you're a Christian." But I have found that proclaiming yourself a believer of Jesus Christ and deciding to live your life according to His word are two very different things. At least for me, they were.
For the majority of my life, I was desensitized to the sin in my life. Some of it, I simply didn't realize that I struggled with. I didn't acknowledged the dark stains of sins such as selfishness, pride and jealousy that lived in my heart. Mainly because I lived on the surface, and on the surface, those sins don't seem as apparent.
But some sins, I openly invited into my life. I was so lost in this world that I listened when it whispered that the Bible was outdated. That these sins were normal.
Sexual sin was one of those sins.
With each serious relationship that failed, I lost a part of myself in the process. I would be left feeling every bit broken as I watched men who I loved and once swore I would marry walk out of my life. I would doubt myself and my worth.
And the worst part was that I became very, very confused. I began to intertwine physical intimacy with love. Touch became the only form of affection that I recognized, the only way I would feel safe in a relationship. Without a clear sign of physical attraction, I did not feel loved. And if I didn't feel loved, I immediately developed a fear of abandonment.
Then God came in.
And to be honest, even as I was falling in love with Jesus for the first time, I wasn't sure if this was a part of my life that could be healed. I felt too far gone. Too lost in my ways.
Until God spoke to me.
I am certain it was Him. I was driving to San Diego from Santa Barbara when my own pastor came on the radio, hours away from home, and discussed the importance of Christians engaging in Christ-centered, biblical relationships.
That is the only sermon that I have ever listened to on the radio. And I have no doubt that it was entirely a part of God's plan. His plan to change my heart.
Since that moment, everything became clear to me. I recognize that God calls us to remain pure until marriage because that is the only way He can protect our hearts from the heartbreak that sexual intimacy outside of marriage can cause. I recognize how powerful that kind of intimacy is, and it's clear to me that it only belongs in a committed, lifelong marriage.
I am thankful every day that Jesus broke through the lies that the world had been filling me with. I am thankful every day that He removed the shame of my past, and is guiding me along the path to my future.
And that is not to say that I don't struggle. Since the moment that the truth finally broke through, there have been struggles. It will take time for God to heal all of the damage that my sin did to my heart. He has promised that there is no condemnation, but that does not mean that my sin does not have consequences.
But even with the struggle, there has not been a day where I doubt the truth. The truth is clear to me now, the scales have been removed from my eyes. And nothing that Satan can do will put those scales back on.
Though he may try to tempt me, he cannot undo what Jesus has done.
Thank you Jesus for bringing me out of the darkness of my sin, and into your beautiful light.