Hey! So you want to know a little bit about me. Sure why not?! First, I use a lot of exclamation points mostly because I’m excited about what God has in store for you. As a youth leader for several years now, God has been able to use my story to reach out to teen girls in a way I never thought was possible which is talking about everyone’s favorite topic, sex!
Let’s rewind time for a moment so you can understand why this would be so near and dear to my heart. At the age of six I wanted a pony…just kidding…my story does not begin there but a few years ahead at the age of around nine or ten. [ADDENDUM: this is for those who have already read my testimony…I didn’t realize how far back my eyes were opened to sex until I recently counseled a young woman.] I used to sleep over a friend’s house (she was the same age) and when her mom went to bed she would put on pornography. She then started to kiss and touch me. She said it was our secret and I shouldn’t tell anyone. I didn’t.
At the age of twelve, is when I had my first boyfriend and started getting involved in sexual behavior. My parents were divorced and I was with the non-custodial parent on the weekend. This is where supervision was lacking and I got away with a lot of things. It’s without coincidence this was one of the scariest times of my life. My mother was in an abusive relationship, I was being bullied almost every day. Anywhere from getting name called, being pushed and tripped down the hallway, my sneakers were stolen, and fights were common. I felt alone.
I started to cut myself because it made me feel alive. There were so many times where I wished God would just take my life. I was only in 7th grade! I remember one night asking God to take me. I couldn’t stand being here anymore and that’s when I started to feel my soul lifting. It was probably just an inch or two when I yelled “Wait! Umm…okay maybe I don’t want to die yet.” He did stop (obviously I’m still here). However, I did not have a relationship with God so I tried to find the love, acceptance, and affection in the arms of a boy.
Married at 17
I lost my virginity at the age of seventeen. A few partners later, I ended up getting pregnant after only being in a relationship for four months. I ended up losing that baby but to prove to everyone that I was “truly in love” I ended up getting married, still at the age of seventeen. I didn’t recognize the signs of an abusive relationship like losing friends and my connection with my family, having to change my wardrobe, being cursed at, using fear to keep me around, and this only got worse after I said, “I do” (or maybe that’s when I realized it really was a problem). After losing the first baby, I was in mourning and wanted to get pregnant again, which I did. I had my first child at the age of nineteen.
She was beautiful! I realized, while looking into those beautiful brown eyes, that I needed to get my life together. The abuse didn’t stop and it was embarrassing because it was done in front of friends and family. I clearly remember one night where he threatened my life by saying, “I’m going to kill you and then I’m going to kill myself.” This was no empty threat because this happened to his grandparents so I knew it was “in his blood”. I ran and locked myself in the bathroom with my eighteen-month-old daughter. As I was crying she reached up her little hand and started to dry my tears. This was a major wake up call because if she could recognize at that age that Mommy was crying then how much longer would it be before she will remember the abuse. I didn’t want her to think it was okay to be treated this way. So I said to God, “I don’t know if you are out there but I need Your help.” Of course, being the loyal and faithful God He is, He came through. A week later, I took my daughter, important papers, some clothes, and never looked back.
Let’s go back for a moment because something happened in between the abuse. I got pregnant shortly after my first child. I was scared. I was the only one working at the time, I was in an abusive relationship, and I had no other resources other than the advice from people to get an abortion. So I did. I remember walking into the clinic and being there for seven hours waiting to get called in. We were called in four at a time, felt like cattle going to the slaughterhouse. The few things I remember was going completely under and waking up to being shaken by the nurse. Everything was rushed. They rushed you out of the stretcher into a chair where they gave you a lollipop (I’m guessing to keep you from throwing up). I remember this one girl who worked there looking at me through narrowed eyes and said, “Look at her, taking her time, eating her lollipop.” I guess I shouldn’t have expected hospitality especially after what I just did. Abortions are not over in a few minutes. They last for years. One thing I do know is that I did give birth that day and that baby still lives in my heart.
Alright, are you still with me? Let’s fast forward time. I was in several relationships after my first husband. Even after I found God, I was still being sexually active. Although, there was something different that happened whenever I was sexually involved with someone. I started to feel dirty and ashamed. I felt turmoil inside. I didn’t know at the time what conviction was. I didn’t realize that once I gave myself to Christ I could no longer continue behaving the same way. My whole world came crashing down in February of ’06 when I contracted an STD.
I made an appointment with my Ob/Gyn to get a shot for birth control (apparently, that’s all I was worried about). Two weeks later I started to get a fever, could barely sit, and my only comfort was a warm bath. I knew something was wrong. My doctor took one look at my face and asked me “What’s wrong?” I told her everything I was feeling and when she checked me I remember her looking up at me and saying, “This looks like Herpes.” My heart sank, I started to cry, almost fainted, and thought to myself. “Who’s going to want me now? I’m dirty.”
9 Months ALONE with Jesus
Jesus wanted me. I know that sounds cliche but He truly did. He was there when I was crying on the floor. He was my Hope when I had nothing left. He spoke to that broken place in my heart where I thought no one could touch. He showed me what it was to act and think like a lady. He needed to renew my mind because I believed what the world was telling me which was, “Go for yours.” “If you don’t have sex with your boyfriend, someone else will.” “If you give him what he wants, he will give you what you want.” My words were vulgar, the way I dressed was inappropriate, and I took on the male role of pursuer in the relationships. For nine months He cleaned and restored me, I was in the most fulfilling relationship I have ever known. He showed me what love really looked like.
I made a pact with God (which I tried to go against but definitely learned my lesson…comic relief if you will). I told God, “Since I have bad luck with men, I know he will be from You if You send him.” I was giving total control to God. I would not tell any male if I liked him, ask anyone out on dates, or have sexual relations until I was married!
Time to rewind time just a month before I contracted the STD, when I saw my awaited husband for the first time. He was getting baptized the same night my little sister was. When I first saw him I remember thinking three things, “What service does he go to?” “Wow…he’s hot.” and God speaking to me saying “Imagine you were looking at your future husband.” I remember laughing to myself and thinking, “Wow, he’s hot but relax. Marriage?” Of course, I have learned since then not to laugh when God speaks. We didn’t get to meet that night but several months later at a bible study at my church.
I could get into all the gushy details but we’ll save that for future articles. I also want to save your eyelids and time so I’ll just cut to the chase. I did what I said. I waited for his lead. He called me first, he asked me out first, he told me he liked me and then loved me first, he gave me the first kiss, and he asked me to marry him…(giggling like a little girl). Most of all, we waited to have sex before marriage (believe me it was not easy…it was pretty close to the pain and agony of labor). I used to say, “My virginity is like my faith, born again!”
I remember standing in the bathroom with my wedding night attire (cough…lingerie) looking into the mirror, giggling like a little girl, and blushing! I finally understood what it meant to be a “blushing bride”. God had restored what was lost and that was allowed me to experience His original design for sex, which included this innocence about it. I didn’t have to worry about what people would say, getting caught, getting pregnant, or whether or not he was going to call me the next day. This was MY husband. The one who would keep our intimate details to himself. I could cuddle and not have to leave to go home. He was my home. To be perfectly honest, it was the BEST sex ever! I was free from all the worries and I was able to just enjoy my newly wedded husband!! So for all those that said sex is better outside of marriage, NO WAY!! This was way better and much more fulfilling. Knowing I was worth waiting for!
So there you have it. My testimony! It is not only for those who have been through what I’ve been through and can see that there is hope but it is also for those who can take my story and make it theirs so that way they don’t have to go through it. For those virgins and/or born-again virgins, He will meet you where you are but you must move with Him because He won’t stay there. He loves you too much to allow you to remain there.