and the darkness can never extinguish it."
This post was originally part of the 31 Day Writing Challenge: 31 Fears to Conquer Through Faith--Day 22: Fear of Rejection
I was not a virgin when I got married.
Somewhere in the middle of excessive drinking, two tattoos and the fear of being rejected, I lost my virginity. I grew up learning that sex was bad and shameful and that you weren't to do it until you got married. For 19 years, I stayed a virgin. And then...college.
It wasn't beautiful or special or anything that I had hoped for or pictured it would be. I immediately felt guilty and full of shame, and along with all the other mistakes I had chosen to make, I thought, "Well, that's it. God really doesn't love me anymore now." And the boys...well...it didn't make them like me any more either. Nothing was better. It was all worse, and I had to live with it for the rest of my life!
Oh how I wish I would have waited. Oh how I wish I would have made better choices for myself. Oh how I wish I would have protected my virginity. Oh how I wish I didn't have to feel these feelings of shame and guilt ALL...THE...TIME!
It was over. I was damaged goods. There was nothing I could do about it now. So, now what? Well, I felt doomed to hell forever. I felt that there was no way to change it. I thought that God didn't love me and never would. I felt rejected. The fear of being rejected and not being able to change it made me feel powerless. So what did I do? I fell into a pattern of making these bad choices over and over.
Through a 17 year span, I did ask God to forgive me several times. I always felt peace afterwards, but then here they came again...those feelings of shame and guilt and rejection. Those feelings wouldn't leave, therefore, I thought that I wasn't really forgiven. It was so destructive to my self-esteem, to my confidence, to my relationship with God, and even to my marriage.
After I got re-baptized in 2011, I remembered thinking, "Ok, God, now surely this has washed away my sin of premarital sex, and you won't reject me anymore."
He said, "What sin?"
I reminded Him.
He smiled and said, "I'd already forgotten about that, My Child, because I had already forgiven you the first time you asked. I never rejected You. I've always been with you and I always will."
Finally, I had peace. I knew I was loved. I knew that even though God hated sin, He loved me then, He loves me now, and He will always love me. I knew I was forgiven. I knew I could FINALLY let it all go!
I wish I could say that I never struggled with the fear of rejection again. But, I do. Even though, I'm happily married now...even though I have three kids...even though I've been re-baptized...even though God has forgiven me..I still struggle with the fear of rejection. I still struggle with forgiving myself!
I still struggle with this nagging sin from my past. I still struggle with the feelings of guilt, shame, and even embarrassment, especially because I am a Christian...especially when I'm around amazing women who did wait...who did save themselves...who were virgins when they got married. I get a sinking feeling in my stomach when they talk about it because I think if they really knew what I used to be like once upon a college time, I would be judged...I would be looked down upon...I would be thought less of...I would be rejected.
Once and for all, I need to let this go! Satan has used this sin against me long enough!
Are you ready to release your fears of being rejected? Are you ready to be free from a sin from your past? Are you ready to truly believe that you are forgiven? I am!
PRAY WITH ME:
Father, today, I give my fears of being rejected to You. No longer do I want to make decisions around this fear. No longer do I want to carry guilt because of this fear. Help me to know that even though the world may reject me, You never will. Father, I know that I've made mistakes because of my fear of rejection. Free me from the guilt and shame that I still feel today from sins You've already forgiven! Forgive me for not accepting Your sacrifice. Forgive me for not accepting Your forgiveness. Forgive me for not forgiving myself. Help me to have faith in what You did for me on the cross. Lord, please shine Your light into the darkness that my fears of rejection have created. Help me to walk boldly forward knowing that I am a new creation. I am loved. I am forgiven! In Jesus' name. Amen.
To My Readers: I did NOT want to write this blog. It took me a long time and a very deep breath to finally post it. Ironically, I struggled with a great deal of fear about writing about such a delicate and personal topic. What if I get rejected? What if I lose respect from others? What if...what if...what if... But I'm following the Lord completely. He asked me to write this, and so I did. I know that for some of you, losing your virginity may not have been a big deal, but for me, it was. This post isn't just about losing your virginity, it's about any mistake or sin from your past that keeps haunting you. It is my prayer that by sharing my struggle, I will give hope...freedom...and life to someone else who is struggling with something from the past and move forward!
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