And I’d live in the poorest country in the entire world just to hear Him call me that.
I‘ve slept with six people. Yes, you heard me right. Six. Six men before I met my husband.
After my first boyfriend dumped me at eighteen, I thought no one would love me because I wasn’t a virgin anymore. I wasn’t a Christian at that point in my life, and lived mostly with the mindset: Well, I already lost it, so why wait now? What’s the point? And thus, I moved from man to man, not really caring or thinking about my actions.
I’ll be honest and tell you it wasn’t all bad. My last boyfriend, before I was saved, we jumped into bed together a mere month after we met, and dated for four years. I’ll never forget him. Two years later I moved into his apartment one wild summer, and he made all my dreams come true. I still love him. I probably always will.
Then one day God came knocking. Usually, when someone speaks about their salvation experience, it goes something like “God saved me from my sin, and life was amazing, like rainbows and puppies and everything started working out and I wasn’t sad anymore and then…” Mine goes something like “And then God turned my mostly amazing fun life upside down and I was miserable”. I felt guilty about having sex. Also, I felt guilty about wanting sex. I begged my boyfriend to marry me so that we could have sex without me crying afterwards. He said no. He said later. Later wasn’t good enough for me. I watched our “perfect” relationship crumble for a year before I just couldn’t take it anymore and left him. It was either leave him or keep living in sin–that is what I thought.
(One thing: I don’t blame him. What happened to us was just as much my fault as his, and I can’t put our story from first meeting to last into a few paragraphs, much less a book. This simple synopsis will have to do.) Suddenly, I was left alone, no boyfriend, with a God who I was extremely angry with and a life that definitely wasn’t going where I wanted it to go. I was supposed to be married by 25. Now I was living at home, with the memories of my broken love and one miscarriage and loneliness swallowing me whole every day. I remember thinking this isn’t fair. Where is my prince charming?
Pain from what I’d done with my last six years, the men I’d slept with and the lies I told and the broken promises ate at me. I knew that no one would ever love me now. God had to break me–again–and he did. He broke me by having me meet an amazing man named Brian who was a virgin, a Christian, and who loved me. He broke me by showing me how utterly selfish I was and how the world wasn’t about me, or about me getting this or getting that–but about me giving. And that trusting in God means you have his joy–his unspeakable, amazing joy–but that joy doesn’t equal a “happy” lifelike seen on TV or greener grass next door. Joy means being content with what you have, seeing the truth in the little things, living for God’s glory and being used by God to bring joy to others.
I don’t deserve my husband. He is an amazing man. I don’t know how he can look at me and smile and see something other than my horrendous past–but he does. And God does too.
I want to tell you that no matter what you’ve done, or with, or who, or what the state your heart is in–that there is hope. That someone does Love you. Your heavenly Father loves you with a heart so full it’s bursting at the seams and when you hurt his heart aches. He died for you. And for me. He died and took my filthy sins upon his cross and chose to save me. I am not even worthy to touch his robe–but he has called me Daughter!
Carolynn is a woman with a compelling story of God’s redeeming love. She’s a wife and an artist and blogger at Adventures of a Kitty Eared Girl.