Hebrews 12:6 says, “For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.”
Galatians 6:7-8 says, “Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.”
I’m a junior in college. Throughout high school I was known as the girl that you ought to not bother with if you’re a guy interested in her. I walked around on a high horse condemning everyone around me and thinking I was better and wiser and more mature. In my mind, it was pointless to give any high school guys the time of day because I knew the likelihood of marrying one of those mentally 5 year old boys was slim. I don’t believe in recreational dating. I believe in intentional dating or “courtship” for the purpose of marriage and only firm men of God that could be accountable for my Spiritual walk and lead me in the ways of God, qualifies. I walked around with all this verbiage and spout it out to all who inquired. But I threw that all away my freshman year of college.
There was a guy named Chase. Man, I had the fattest crush on this guy to a very unhealthy degree. We were friends, really good friends, but that’s all we ever were. There were times it convincingly seemed he liked me but he had just broken up with a girlfriend he was still in love with from back home. She didn’t love him anymore but his semester was spent in a slump and in her fetters. It kept him from me – at least that’s what I think. Maybe it was God’s protection because he wasn’t even a Christian. I go to a Christian school but MANY people here are not. Well, nothing ever happened with me and him and he left spring semester to go back a school in Idaho to play baseball. However, his best friend was (let’s call him) John Smith. And this is where everything crumbled.
I didn’t like “John”, I liked Chase. I don’t know what happened but I guess I decided I DID like “John”…. maybe it’s because Chase rejected me and “John” was at least a Christian. My first impression was, “wow this guy is goofy. He’s loud and obnoxious, tall and skinny like Gumby… no thanks.” But a voice in my head said, ‘no, you like him.’ Maybe that voice was my friend Karis who actually said, ‘no, I think deep down you do like him and you’re just in denial.’ I don’t blame her, but that definitely got the wheels in my mind turning. I definitely was against recreational dating, I definitely had high standards, and I definitely believed it is the guys job to initiate. My first strike: Initiating.
Technically, I didn’t! One day our friends abruptly, almost mechanically, evacuated the cafeteria, leaving him and I alone together. We talked for a while before he took advantage of my comment on wanting froyo, and asked if I’d walk down the street with him to get some. That was the first time we really hung out alone together, but mutual feelings hadn’t been made known Here’s how I initiated: “John” was on something called “The Freshman Band.” He played bass at our chapels/timeouts. The practices were always really late at night and I knew he would have to walk by my dorm on his way down to his. I waited by my second floor window. We and our friends played this stupid game called “darting.” we would pretend to spit darts at each other (we each get one a day) and whoever you do it to, regardless of how public a place you’re in or what you’re holding, you would have to throw yourself to the ground as if it actually struck you. That was my plan. To use my dart on him and use that as a segway to hang out with him. Maybe I’d run down and pluck the ‘dart’ out of his neck. The time came but he was with someone and I chickened out! I didn’t expect his friend to be there. But I messaged him.
I told him what my coup was and how I had fumbled it. “I just drank half a red bull [I later found out this was a lie], I could come back up!” he said. Great! He hiked back up the giant hill separating our dorms and so it all began. We sat outside my dorm till super late at night (technically morning). We talked about life, family, whatever. This became something that happened somewhat frequently until we both knew we liked each other. I could feel the spiritual warfare. I liked him because it felt good. I liked him because he liked me and I liked being liked. I was willing to compromise my standards because he claimed to be a Christian. I even expressed my concerns. At one point I drew a picture of him and I and God. I told him that if his stick figure self is beside me, my eyes are not forward and on God but to the side, on him. I redrew him behind me. If you’re spiritually behind me, my eyes shift backwards, away from God. You need to be ahead of me so I see you and God before me. Sparing the details, I eventually convinced him and myself that this could work and he would just have to work at his relationship with God. Ah, but first, the rose.
Before he decided this was what he also wanted, he expressed a concern. The rose. He told me that he was a crumpled up rose and that I was a beautiful white rose, thornless. He didn’t want to tarnish it and he was worried he would. We had a serious conversation about how he wasn’t a virgin. I was. Immediately I didn’t care. “So what? You repented right?” What a gracious attitude. But it didn’t last. As we began to hang out more the devil found his foothold and man did I go crazy. I would picture him with his ex-girlfriends. My value was no longer in my identity in Christ but in how he viewed me and might compare me to them. I think the devil found the foothold after my first and probably most significant compromise.
My first kiss. I intended to cling to it till my wedding day. That didn’t happen. One night around Christmas time, he had me wrapped in a blanket, in his arms, and wearing his beanie. I was so naive. If I tugged on his jacket strings or winked, I noticed I would get a fun little reaction. His hands would tighten around my waist and he’d lose his breath. Sometimes he would pull me in, close to his body. I liked it. But I didn’t realize it was sexual frustration for him. I kept teasing him. I’d put my lips close to his and he would have to fold them in to hide them from me. As the night darkened, so did my spirit. Soon our lips would lock but we would realize we didn’t mean to freeze, then pull away before the suction popped and created our first real kiss. Finally the teasing got serious and I sat on his lap on a concrete bench outside my dorm. “You don’t want to do this. You want to be a testimony to young girls of being able to wait till your wedding day. You don’t want to do this.” He was struggling and trying to really convince himself. “Maybe just a half kiss,” I said. What even is that? It was my first kiss. It was like a princess kiss. His lips just gently held mine and that was it. My first kiss was lost forever in the lips of my mistake. I was so naive. After the cute gentle kiss, it quickly became passionately making out. I didn’t even realize that’s what it was. The image of his face when he walked away for the night is burned into my brain. I didn’t realize it then, all I knew was I didn’t like his face. It look malicious. It looked…evil. He looked at me like a piece of meat. That’s exactly what it was. I had awoken the lustful beast in him. I had opened the floodgates of temptations and dissolved the boundaries I valued. After our kiss, how could we stop. It’s hard to go backwards, that’s why you MUST be cautious how you move forward. I told him, “I may have compromised on kissing, but I will NEVER defile my wedding bed.” I did. Over and over again. It became perpetual. I was with “John” from early freshman year till the end of my sophomore year of college and it never stopped. We never found victory. Some seasons we didn’t even care. Other seasons we were so broken by our sin and seeking to overcome it, but it’s so hard to step back once you’ve lunged forward. The only way to stop the pattern of sin was to cut it off. We broke up. Sadly, it wasn’t even just because of our sexual sin, it was because that sexual sin quenched and grieved my Spirit to the point of my entire mind and body being dictated by sin and flesh. I doubted my salvation quite a bit and all my sinfulness surfaced. I became psychotic, possessive, distrusting, discontent, and valued myself so little. I accused him of lusting after every female that walked by – even if she was 13 years old. I warned that I would commit suicide over and over again. I jumped out of his car. I sat on sidewalks thinking about tossing myself in front of cars. I don’t think I would’ve done it, I just wanted him to think I would. All because of sin. Those were some pretty immediate consequences. Man, we had a lot of them. But I still suffer through some today. We even messed up sexually after we broke up! Late September of my junior year was the last time. We’ve stayed away from each other since then. So what are my consequences now?
Besides having to live with the fact that I compromised and gave myself away, and besides the future sucki-ness of having to tell my future husband that I’m not pure and gave away what belonged to him, I have so many others. This spring break that just passed, I confessed my sin to my entire family. They were hurt but gracious. Guys, that was Divine. I expected judgment, wrath, and that they would never look at me the same. I was convinced. They bragged all the time about how perfect their kids were, basically incapable of committing any sins! (exaggerating). How could I tell them? God made it happen and answered my prayer by softening their hearts and putting grace and forgiveness in it. But it hurt. It hurt me, it hurt them, it was a consequence. Another consequence just happened an hour ago, which prompted me to write this. “John” has a new girlfriend.
I shouldn’t care. God has restored me and cleansed me, and healed me! Praise God! So why does it hurt me? Why am I writing a blog in my finance class fighting tears? Why am I revisiting the feelings of worthlessness? Why do I care? Consequences. God forgave me and with him, I have no quarrels. But he disciplines those he loves and we reap what we sow. I sowed a whole lot of filth, so I’m reaping a whole lot of it now. When I gave myself away, though I stand here renewed, I really gave away a chunk of my heart. There are strings attached to his and I needed God’s grace to cut them. I believe I have. But now I have broken strings dangling from my heart, and they hurt. It’s difficult to fight the temptation to think, “Why is he being blessed? Why does he get a cute little blonde girlfriend? He doesn’t deserve to be happy! He added my virginity to his growing list, and then had the audacity to tell me upon breaking up, ‘I NEVER loved you!’ so why does he get blessed! God, vengeance is yours…avenge me!”Oh, I’m struggling with that folks…. I know in head knowledge and Scripturally how to deal with this… but I’m struggling to practically apply it. God help me. I think it’s part of the healing process. We work through our consequences, we grow, and God continues to renew. I thought I’d never go a day without crying or a month without pleading with him in search for humanity and empathy within him. But I stopped crying. I stopped calling him. I accepted that he truly never loved me. I accepted that I was a fool for ever dating him. But I also rejoice that God uses bad for good – and I’ve already seen so much good from this. I thought I was done being restored but clearly this new girlfriend situation has uncovered some deep wounds that haven’t patched quite up yet. One day, I won’t care that he has a girlfriend, or later, a wife. But today… I suffer through it and allow the mending of my deep wounds. I do believe God is good. I must remind myself daily. He is good, and He has great things in store for me.