As someone that grew up in a Christian family I have been surrounded by followers of Christ my entire life but as a teenager I ran from the teachings of my parents and grandparents into a deep and dark hole. My testimony is not easily shared, though as I continue to heal, God makes it easier for me.
From a small child and into my tween years I was ridiculed for my “boy-ish” hair, build, and lack of shaving my legs. As I transitioned into a teenager and my body made the transformation into a young woman I started taking pride in how I looked and started being noticed by older guys (guys that missed my ugly duckling childhood). Soon into high school I started dating and I gave myself away. At that time I didn’t truly understand what kind of problem I had started. I didn’t realize how destructive sex (if not saved for marriage) could become.
Today’s society is surrounded by sex. Women and even sometimes men are used for sexual pleasure even when fully clothed. Our culture has brainwashed us to look at every person with lustful and judgmental eyes. When I lost my virginity I felt like I had to fit that “sexy and desirable” mold. I became obsessed with every detail of how my body looked and performed, and who was interested in me. I desired to be desired and was willing to give myself to any guy that showed interest in me. At that time I never really considered that no man (no, not even my current husband) could give me the love and affection that I was craving because only God is capable of that kind of love. It is not God’s will for us to be exposed sexually before marriage or to anyone who isn’t our spouse. He knows how detrimental and addictive premarital relations can be because He made sex and He made it good (but ONLY for your marriage).
“God wants you to be made holy. He wants you to stay away from sexual sins. He wants all of you to learn to control your own bodies. You must live in a way that is holy. You must live with honor. Don’t desire to commit sexual sins like people who don’t know God.” 1 Thessalonians 4:3-5 (NIRV)
My last two years of high school were the worst as I continued to ruin my reputation and fall deeper and deeper into that dark hole. I began to lose friends and respect from others and for myself as I allowed myself to be emotionally and mentally abused by different guys. Near the middle of my junior year I was drugged and raped by someone that I had previously trusted with my safety. After questioning the events of that night I was told to keep my mouth shut, so I did. A year and a half later my worst accusations were confirmed and a load of heartache, pain, depression, and anxiety came with them. I was mad at myself for being in that situation, I was mad that I didn’t stand up for myself and tell anyone, and I was hurt that the only person I trusted with that information at the time acted as if they didn’t care.
From this point on it became my deepest, darkest secret and I continued to rebel. I ran from God. I felt dirty, used, and as if I was completely meaningless to society. Thankfully God swooped in and saved me with the man that I now call my husband and my daughter that came a year later. He has shown me a love that is not of this world. I now feel that I have worth. Beyond the sex, the way I acted, the partying and drinking, the rumors, and the nasty things people said to me, beyond my body… I. Have. Worth.
My husband is the only one that knows the details that I remember of that night and through our marriage I’ve begun to heal and feel the love of God more than ever. God’s unconditional love has changed my perspective of the terrible things that I have done and the things that have been done to me. I use them to my advantage to fight Satan and to be a light for God in these terribly dark days.
“I am the God who is tender and kind. I am gracious. I am slow to get angry. I am faithful and full of love.” Exodus 4:36 (NIRV)
I have forgiven the guy that raped me, the guys that used me, the people that said and did mean things to me, as well as those that didn’t give me the love and support that I unfairly expected. I am also learning to forgive myself. I see God’s amazing patience, and grace every day. He has wiped the slate clean and forgiven these things and because of Him, I can too. I am a child of God and despite my unfaithfulness, He is faithful and HE LOVES ME. After all, He did send His son to die for me. Because of that I have worth, and no matter your past, you do too.