Sunday, November 8, 2015

No Longer Broken

One of the greatest lies our culture whispers with a deafening din is that a woman’s body is no one’s but her own.

In reality, a woman’s body, and her heart are not hers at all; at least not in the perfect design of the King.

In the name of equality, and independence, and in the name of other justly desired, yet not fully understood realities, we fight this simple truth. We want to be in control.

To quote C.S. Lewis:

We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. 

We are far too easily pleased. 

I was far too easily pleased.

Back before the life I live now, alongside my husband and my children.

Back before I took hold on my future and lay tossed about in the waves.

I found myself in the arms of another, and another and another.

I shouted “female sexual empowerment” and “I’m just having fun!” and “it doesn’t mean anything!”

I craved for more attention than the night brought from my man of the hour, but with a heart’s walls too high to see the top, fell short and counted it not but a loss, but a victory.

“Look how tough I am!” “See, girls can be like guys too!”

“I won’t get hurt again, because I just won’t let myself get hurt again.”

I found myself at rock bottom.

What I didn’t realize that I was far from free.

I was emotionally and physically and spiritually attaching myself to each of these men.

I was in their power, in their bondage, until they set me free to repeat, and repeat, and repeat; all the while losing more and more of who I am.

I was a prisoner; controlled by my own sense of entitlement and desire and lack of self-worth.

Looking back, I do not know how I missed the signs.

I cannot understand how I didn’t see what a trap I laid for myself time and time again.

Tears were streaming down my face.

A man who was mentally and physically abusive, who had a live-in fiancé in another town, who claimed I was “the one” (or “one of the ones?”) and that I was special and that he wanted to be with me, but couldn’t, still had not returned my call.

When I had silenced his deceitful dual relationship with both myself and his fiancé and “forced” him to choose, somehow he played the victim.

How could I make him do such a thing?

And I ate it up.

He was “forced” to flip a coin.

He told me (and probably her) that he had a special connection with God; a special “in” with the spiritual side of the universe.

He said that God told him to flip a coin.

Heads, he would stay with his fiancé.

Tails, he would be with me.

My phone illuminated with a text message (He couldn’t even call me? Seriously?) that “God” had spoken.

The coin was flipped seven times.

And all seven times it was heads.

I was crushed. Heartbroken. How could it be?

Looking back, I know that God had spoken.

That God had used that deep pit in my life not to bury me but to plant me; not to break me, but to create me.

That man was right about one thing. God had spoken. He was calling me by name.

(The odds of flipping a coin seven times in a row “heads” is 0.78%).

It was right then and there that I pulled over and Jesus joined me in the passenger seat.

I gave my heart and soul to Jesus right then and there, and though I wouldn’t experience the gravity of that moment for years, and not even realize what had just happened for months, I was saved.

I was freed.

I was ransomed.

I was redeemed.

I wasn’t to be bought or ransomed by some creep and a coin flip. Or seven coin flips.

I was bought and paid for by the almighty God with the blood of Jesus Christ.

My heart previously available to the highest (or lowest) bidder was now paid in full by the Father of the Universe.

When Jesus reached out His hand to me, I did but take hold.

And that has made but all the difference.

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It would be easy to spend the rest of my life pretending stories like the one aforementioned never existed.

To all the people that meet me today, I am a church-going, college bookstore running, supermom, and wife to my husband. I never, ever go to “da club,” am asked often to be personal or professional references for acquaintances and friends, I tithe regularly, and half a glass of wine is the extent of my relationship with alcohol.

Besides my family (who was really distant during the darkest times of my young adulthood), the people I had associated with are not a part of my current life. It would be all too easy to forget where I came from and how far I have come.

It would be easy to say simply, “I was lost, and now I am found” and leave it at that. Period.

However, I wonder if this story, my story, is the one not being told.

I want to tell women everywhere that the wounds from an absent father and a promiscuous youth are real.

I want to tell young married women (and long time married women) that it’s okay to struggle with your sexuality with your husband because of past decisions that may still linger.

I want to say that healing can be found and that it’s going to be awkward, but that it will be okay!

That you are no longer broken.

I want to tell my story because maybe you are out there somewhere with a similar weight on your heart.

You’re looking for someone to talk to about this, about them, free from guilt or misplaced judgment or shame.

When we encounter these intimate issues that inevitably arise and the world around us is offering a pill, I want to be able to help offer, through Christ, something better, something that actually addresses, what I believe, to be the issue at hand.

In Systemic Sex Therapy, a secular sex therapist textbook for psychology graduates, the realities of how broken this section of our society is (and how hard it is to get actual help):

…two people in a relationship who are distressed about their sexual desire discrepancy are told to “just compromise,” when sex is merely a battleground for far more complex power dynamics; the infertile couple who is told to “just relax”...” 

“More frighteningly, because sex therapist is not generally a registered title, anyone can advertise himself or herself as having an interest of expertise in treating sexual problems or even claim to be a sex therapist... clients/patients assume they are in competent hands when there is no assurance of any skill, knowledge base, or clinical training…” (Hertlein, 2009).

So, where can we get real help?

The Bible says that we need to shine light on to our closet’s dark shadows and reveal it and in that light healing can be found.

The idea that premarital sex is damaging to all relationships, even “strong Christian ones,” is one that we can shine a light on together. It’s a conversation that we can have, in safe space, with other women in community and with our husbands.

We can honor God by repenting of what happened and moving forward embracing full forgiveness from the King of King, the Father to the Fatherless, and the Light of the Universe.

We cannot succumb to the idea that sex is merely a tool, that our ability to enjoy and have sex is strictly a matter of biological principle. We must look at our sexuality as a part of our individuality in Christ.

And through Christ, all wounds can be healed.

The above is a work in progress towards my book which inspires the Christian wife with a troubling sexual past  ... if you would like to see this happen, please consider a donation to help me attend the next step in my journey : The Mount Hermon Christian Writing Conference 2016

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