I haven't had sex in going on four years.

I know what you're thinking. 

First - WHAT? Aren't you dying?
Second - Aren't you in a committed relationship? Haven't y'all been together for 2+ years??
Third - WHAT?

Ha. I get it. But let me explain.

This blog post has been brewing within me for about a year now. I've written countless drafts of this post, but it's never quite felt like the right time. Plus, what happens (or doesn't happen) in my bedroom is my business. However, I have had so many conversations with young Christian women who are battling their sexual choices that I've felt the need to share pieces of my story. So, here we are. Let me share some of myself with you.

My introduction to sex was through sexual assault. I don't mean for that to be shocking or for you to give me pity. I just want to be raw and authentic. That was how sex began for me. It taught me to be afraid of men. It taught me to shut up and take whatever a man wanted to give to me, sexually. There was no love. No passion. No commitment. I learned to disconnect my soul from my body during sex so that whatever abuse was put upon my body, I guess I thought I wouldn't really feel it, because my soul wasn't there. 

When I realized this wasn't working, I decided to try and talk to my elders in the Christian community. I disguised what was really rape as "I chose to have sex" when really, there was no choice in it for me. I thought that if I shared with them my transgressions, they would help me. They would see that I was young. Broken. Ashamed.

Instead, the church elders shunned me. They treated me like a harlot who had chosen her path of sin. I was devastated. 

From that point on, I continued to endure sexual trauma, even after I escaped my abuser, in every relationship. The difference was, I learned to keep it in the dark. To hide my pain from friends and churchfolk. In that darkness, I learned that sex was just something you endured, not enjoyed. You never complained if it hurt, because you're too fearful of a man's wrath. You never complained if you didn't experience any joy or pleasure, because it wasn't about your pleasure, but the pleasure of the man.

In addition to this, I still attended churches where everyone would rant about the "Purity" movement and encourage young women (not really young men, which is a whole other story) to wear purity rings, to be chaste and modest, and to save themselves for marriage. I saw many young women crying at the altar, begging forgiveness from an angry God who looked down upon them for having had sex before "their time" (whatever that means).

But what about me? I didn't actually have a choice to wait for marriage. So, how did God view me? As a helpless victim? As a sinner? Someone who was distanced from grace?

Sex had cost me so much. And when I wanted to talk to other Christians about it, the response was "See, that's why you shouldn't be having it in the first place! Just wait till marriage, then it'll all be perfect."

But...then I did  get married. And it most definitely wasn't perfect. Sex in marriage hurt me more than I ever could have imagined. Isn't marriage when sex is supposed to be right? And holy? And perfect? Where was God in all of this?

After my divorce, I went through years of counseling. Years of unlearning and undoing. Years of seeking God in a real way - 

I didn't want "religious, anti-sex-before-marriage, then in marriage it becomes great" Jesus. 
I needed "Nothing can separate you from My love" Jesus. 

And that's who I found.

I could write a novel on what I discovered in my heart about how God feels about my having sex before marriage. But to make it as simple as possible, I'll say this:

God cares more about your heart than He does your sex life.

Before you Super Christians jump down my throat, just hear me out. When I finally released the guilt and shame associated with my sexual past to God, I began to hear God clearly speak. He said to me, "You didn't have a choice then. You had no hope. No desires. No freedom. But you do now. You are free to choose, in all things. And know that nothing could ever separate you from my love. Nothing."

That blew my mind. I have a choice?! What?? I thought, aww snaps, I'm about to get DOWN at every chance! 

Here's where you get to really laugh: Before I started dating DeMico, I tried my hand at flirting with other guys. "If I'm free to have sex, then dammit, I'm gonna have sex!" is what I thought to myself. So I started chatting with this guy. He would want to talk about sex, he would compliment my body, and tell me all the things he'd want me to do with him. I was thinking, "Oh yeah, this is it!" Then he asked me one, simple question - "So, how do you like your sex?" And I. Was. STUMPED. I realized I had no idea what I like. I had never had enjoyable, safe, free sex. So I had no idea what I wanted or who I was sexually. Plus, honestly, after years of Angry Jesus screaming at me that I should feel guilt and shame for even thinking about sex, I just couldn't go through with it.

This led me back to God. I remember praying and thinking, "So you're saying I am free to choose, right?" God smiled at me. I knew it, I could feel Her smiling down to me as She said, "Yes." 

I knew then, in my heart, that I was going to wait. Not because of some pseudo-religious bullshit. I was over that. I was going to wait until I felt safe, certain, and loved. 

The first time DeMico and I kissed, I felt my heart slam, shake, and roar. I knew he was special. I knew something was different about him. I felt protected. My soul reached for his soul. All in one single kiss. But even then, I knew I still needed to wait. I still needed healing. I still needed to know myself. And you want to know what's beautiful? DeMico looked me right in my eyes after that kiss and said, "You're worth the wait."

So we've chosen to wait. Not because "God wants us to." Nah -

I think God wants me to have great sex, the way that sex is supposed to be. 

I choose to wait because I want to heal. I choose to wait because I want to be free from the sexual trauma of my past. I choose to wait because I want there to be absolutely no guilt and no shame when DeMico and I become one for the first time.

Choosing to wait has equated to absolute freedom for me. 

But again, sex is about choice. You do know that you have one, right? And remember - "Nothing can separate you from His love." So make your choice, follow your conviction, and honor what is true. 

Stay tuned for Part Two, my friends ♥

For those who want to go deeper into the conversation about sex and Christianity, I must share this podcast with you. It has made more sense to me than anything I've ever read or heard about sex in the Christian community. Please listen, examine yourself, and be open to your own convictions.

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