I Don't Miss Him. I Miss Me.
The truth about sexual sin.
If I’m being completely honest, the past 8-ish months have been pretty terrible. Don’t get me wrong... I’ve done so many incredible things, had amazing opportunities, created some of the best memories, and gotten closer to people that I know will be my life-long friends. From an outsider perspective, it seems like I’ve had the best 8 months. But what they don’t know is that my relationship with The Lord has been at an all-time low.
When I spend time with God, it feels like I’m just going through the motions... and the worst part is that, deep down, I know what is hindering me. I know why I haven’t been fully encountering Jesus; because I haven’t fully surrendered this sin I’ve been living in, and I’ve been choosing things of this world over God, over and over again. I’ve felt as though I’ve just been wandering around, desperately trying to find my way back, and desperately trying to be myself again.
About 8 months ago, I met a guy... You know the kind; easy on the eyes, knows just the right things to say, kind of has that bad boy vibe that you know is trouble... yet you still find yourself wanting him. I knew he wasn’t a believer, so I kept my distance at first. But then I began playing with fire and before I knew it, I had real feelings for him. As much as I knew he wasn’t good for me, and as much as I desired to be with someone that was a follower of Jesus, the feelings were real and that was all that seemed to matter in the moment. I wanted so desperately to be with him, and I didn’t really care what it took.
I knew he had slept with many girls in the past (and present), so I felt like he wouldn’t be with someone that would only kiss him. I mean in a dream world, he would tell me how great I was and that the sexual stuff didn’t matter... but I knew to him it did. I felt that if I wasn’t giving it to him, he would go elsewhere. And I definitely didn’t want to even THINK about the possibility of him being with or doing things with someone else.
So, I put my morals and beliefs to the side and I gave in.
And no, I didn’t ever have sex with him. But even though I never FULLY went there with him, there are times when it felt like it wouldn’t have even mattered if we did. The vulnerability was there, the intimacy was there, and I felt as though I was still giving all of myself to him. Something I truly wanted to wait and give my husband, and my husband only. And here I am doing these things with someone who isn’t even my boyfriend. I think the worst part was feeling as though I gave him everything… but to him it was nothing. To him I was just another girl. To him it didn’t even count as a “hook up”, because we didn’t go all the way. Yeah, that hurt.
“Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body.”
1 Corinthians 6:18
Now the actual sin itself is bad and something that shouldn’t be done outside of marriage, but what seemed even worse, was the way it affected me. The way it made me feel. The way it changed my thoughts into thinking these things were okay. The way I suddenly had these sexual desires that felt inescapable. The way I hid it from everyone around me. The way the Devil would use it against me…
I felt like I couldn’t talk to my nonbeliever friends about Jesus because I was living as a hypocrite; knowing about the sexual sin I was living in and not turning from. I felt like it didn’t matter if I kept running back to it, because I had already messed up. I even felt sometimes that I was just too far down this path that it was pointless to try and get back on track.
One day my pastor said, “Repentance isn’t feeling sorry for what you’ve done, it’s feeling sorry enough that you change.” Even in Acts 3:19 it says, “Repent, then, and TURN TO GOD.” I thought about those words my pastor said ALL. THE. TIME. They would drive me crazy. They made me feel awful, shameful, and just angry… I wanted so badly to stop what I was doing, and I truly felt so sorry about it. But why couldn’t I change? Why would I do these things with this guy and cry the entire way home, and show up again at his place a few days later? Did I not love Jesus enough? Did I not believe his grace is sufficient for me? Why did I keep running back to it?
Well, first of all – I think we keep running back to it because it’s fun. There, I said it.. Sexual things are fun. They make you feel wanted by someone. They make you feel good. I mean God created sex as a GOOD thing.
However, he created it for marriage. Something to be shared between two people that are in a covenant with one another. And secondly, to answer my own question… YES.
Yes, His grace IS sufficient for me. Jesus did not die on the cross and then expect us to live a perfect, sinless, life. He died on the cross because he knew we couldn’t. He died on the cross so that THROUGH him, we can be saved, free of our sin, and have a relationship with God.
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-- and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God”
When I started writing this, I wanted to post it anonymously. I thought, what would happen if my mom or grandma saw this? What about my closest friends that I’ve been hiding this from? What about the younger girls from my church back home that look up to me? I immediately started crying at the thought of people actually reading this… because showing people the messy side of our lives isn’t easy. It’s much easier to show the sugar-coated & fake side – you know, the picture-perfect ‘Bible and coffee cup’ Instagram post – yeah, that side. But my hope and prayer is that writing this would help at least one person going through the same thing, or even that it would help myself. Help me to believe the words I’m writing. Help me to believe that I am forgiven. Help me to believe that I am loved. And help me to believe that I don’t have to stay chained to my sin. Because despite what I have done, or what you have done, there is FREEDOM in the Gospel.
"For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin - because anyone who has died has been set free from sin."
When God looks at us, He doesn’t see our imperfections and think, “if only you could do better.” Instead, He sees Jesus, who was able to live the perfect life that we cannot. He sees Jesus, who died on the cross to forgive ALL sins. He sees Jesus, who so deeply loves and cherishes us. He sees Jesus, who calls us his daughters.
So, if you’re reading this and feel like you’re too far gone for God's grace, please know that I have been there. Please know that it is HARD to turn away from your sin. But Jesus is with you every step of the way. And most importantly, please know that you are loved, you are forgiven, and you are free.