When I was 18 years old I met the man of my dreams. We started getting to know each other, and as time went on we really started to like each other. I remember one night lying in my bed at Redeemer university and saying to my best friend (who happened to be my roomate) "how is he ever going to want me?" "How will anyone ever want to be with me after all that I have done?" All the guilt and shame that I had been holding in was now really starting to creep up on me and scare me. Dean was a Christian, raised in a very Godly good Christian home, very much like mine. What I didn't realize was that Dean was also human, and he had made mistakes too. The two of us started our journey together. About five months into our relationship we really started to struggle. We had no idea where to go or who to talk to. A few weeks later we decided to meet with our pastor. I remember sitting in the chairs across from his desk feeling so nervous I could almost cry. Darren looked at us and smiled. Dean started to say "we are here because...." and Darren stopped him. He said "I know why you guys are here. It's for the exact same reason that many teens and adults have sat in these chairs. So lets talk". The words that were said to us that day TRULY helped change who we were and the way I viewed "sinning" and the church. Darren told us that we are human. We sin. We make mistakes. We are not perfect. And that all of that was ok. Yes sex before marriage is not right, drugs are bad when used for non medical reasons, alcohol when used for the wrong reasons is bad, stealing a cookie from the jar is bad. Do these things make us disgusting awful people though? No! They also don't make us any less worthy of a Christian. The beauty of it all though, is that we have an amazing God who loves each of us for who we are and if we ask and follow him, we will be forgiven. This didn't mean for us to go party every night and then pray to be forgiven and poof you are. What it meant was that if we slipped, life wasn't over.
For years I sat hating myself, feeling dirty and worthless. I never thought anyone would be able to love me. Boy was I wrong. Not only did I end up marrying Dean just over a year later, but I have a heavenly father who will ALWAYS love me, no matter what. Dean and I were really challenged in the first year of our marriage. Being married at 22 brings it's own challenges but we always had little thoughts of, "is this happening because of our sin?" After a few months of trying to get pregnant we experienced heart ache. In July 2012 we had a miscarriage. It is truly a feeling you can't describe. My first thoughts sitting at the doctors office were "this is our fault". I got into my car and hit shuffle on my IPod. The very first song that came on was the Potters Hand. I started bawling immeadetly. MY past didn't make me lose a baby,unfortunately it just wan't the right time for my body to hold that child. God didn't do that to me, but he is surely there for me now as we trek through the emotions.
My hope and prayer for everyone, especially teenage girls is that you will never feel scared to ask questions. You are not alone! Don't sit and hold in guilt and shame. Yes there are consequenses to our actions, but God wants what's good for us. Sitting for years hiding from who you are because of mistakes you made is not what he wants for our lives. I was so blindsided angry hearing those few sayings that I never listened to what our pastor fully had to say. I never heard why these things were wrong, or what you could do if you were having sex, or if you are a drug user, or had an addiction. I know now that by the grace of our amazing God that I am forgiven. The past is the past. Does it still sneak up on me from time to time? Yes, but only because I'm human! God wants us to have people to be able to talk to and for us to be able to run and talk to him. If you feel alone, there are probably hundreds of other people feeling the same way you are. Don't hold back from the amazing things God has planned for you. It is only through him that we can walk away and new and changed person.
|Brittany and Dean on their wedding day|