My years as a child and youth were a picture of unfaithfulness. I had been sexually abused when I was three, my parents were divorced when I was 7, and I chose a lifestyle of sin to cope with my pain. In response to tragedy, I hid in the empty comfort of sex, drugs, and alcohol. These vices kept me numb to pain and spoke security to my heart and mind. In truth, they only dragged me deeper into their clutches. This mixed up exchange began when I was thirteen and by the time I was 18, I was entrenched in darkness. My emotions shut down, joy was gone. I had no purpose.

But there was a knock on the door; quiet at first, yet continuously resounding through family members, friends, and teachers.

I began to question my bondage and asked friends, “Do you ever want to stop needing alcohol?” My questions were met with a scoff. “Alcoholics for life!” they jeered.

Though the quiet questions in my mind lingered, I continued with my sin. It was what I knew, and I was not willing to let go.

I wrestled back and forth, wanting to be free of the heavy weight of sin but secure with the familiarity of it. I finally came to a point where I had to choose.

I was driving drunk on the freeway when I lost control. Everyone in the car was safe but my car was totaled. I knew the Lord wasn’t giving up on me.

Two days later I was in South Africa serving the locals in need. There, far from home, as we served the locals I wrestled with sobriety, condemnation, and grace.
In the midst of my wrestling God asked me to turn and fully face Him. In one transforming moment, I turned and said yes.

I still had unanswered questions when I left South Africa, but freedom was in sight. Over the next four years, I found healing from the abuse of my childhood.

I struggled with the meaning of purity and continued to fall into old sin from time to time. With each failure I would turn again to the Lord. Every time, He opened His arms with grace, acceptance and even comfort as only a father could give.

I still considered myself defined by my past; that I would never be “pure”.
The Lord was relentless. He pursued me, wanting every part of me; even the filthy, dirty parts of my past.

I never would have guessed that God would use a man who was saving himself for marriage to reach the depths of my shame; to accept me as his “pure bride”.

This man was captivated by my heart. He desired more than my body; he sought the deep love of God in me -body, soul and spirit. When he learned of my past he didn’t turn away. Instead, he took me in his arms for our first kiss and spoke words of purity and healing over my shame.

God taught me that ‘Lover’ really means one who loves and pursues with deep longing and intimacy of the heart. His love stretched far beyond where impurity could ever reach.

God didn’t take anything away. Instead, He redeemed my sexuality and restored my self worth. He established a better foundation. Not only do I see myself now as pure, but my husband and I enjoy a healthy, fulfilling and satisfying exchange in each area of our lives. No shame!

Through my husband, Jesus clothed me in righteousness, and called me His own.

God’s still working on me and in me, but as I follow His lead I walk in peace and confidence. Once bound by shame, I am now a picture of faithfulness because Christ, the Lover of my soul is is faithful to me.