Over the past few months I have mentioned off and on that I am writing a book! Well it finally dawned on me that perhaps each of you would like to know exactly what I am writing about! My book is a memoir of how God changed my life and restored what sin had destroyed and how God restored purity to me! You may have just read those words and thought, “What are you talking about?” Let me explain… It is lengthy but it’s worth the read!
When God told me eight years ago that I was to write a book I had no idea what I was to even write about. Over the following years God began to do a work in me that helped expose deep rooted hurts due to sin I committed in my life before I knew Christ. Through these eight years God has shown me great truths that have brought so much healing, restoration and freedom to my life. Those are the words God wanted me to share in my book.
Before I became a christian I was playing church while also trying to live a life of trying to fit in with my fellow peers. I went to church each Sunday but I usually ignored what the preacher was talking about. Although I had been raised in church and I knew better, being noticed and popular was one of my main priorities. Because of that I made a series of bad choices that eventually lead to me becoming sexually active by by sophomore year in high school. My desperate fight to be noticed only left me feeling miserable, dirty and alone. I knew I was acting in ways that I never wanted to act.
I began to imagine what I would end up like if I continued going down that same path and let me tell you, the path was not pretty. I wanted to change but I really didn’t know how. I tried going to church and making new friends only to feel like I was unworthy and out of place. I had told my parents of my poor choices and although they were hurt and disappointed with me they too knew I needed some new friends. I think my mom even was working to recruit new friends for me.
By the middle of my sophomore year I did have one girl that befriended me. Her name was Erin and she was our pastors daughter and she just began to make a point to talk with me each day and show me kindness. Erin didn’t beat me over the head with the bible and judge me, she just worked at becoming my friend. I liked begin around Erin, she had a relationship with God that I had never seen before and it was attractive to me. Over the process of a few months of developing a friendship with Erin, she asked me to come to church with her since I had been avoiding being at church for a few months now. I told her I would go and when I got there me and my sister just went straight to the back row and sat down. I had every intention of just zoning out to what the preacher was saying but that day the Holy Spirit had a different plan. That day for the first time I heard exactly what the preacher was saying and the words he spoke was as if the sermon was written for me! This shocked me and out of fear I wanted to get out of the church ASAP! As I was making a b-line for the door the pastor stopped me and asked me to come back to church that night. I just said, “okay,” as I scurried out of the church. Erin followed me out and told me that she really hoped I would come back to church that night. I was going to blow off my pastor but since Erin asked me I wanted to come but I was shaken due to the sermon I had just heard, so I told her maybe.
That night I ended up coming back to church and the preacher again preached a message that seemed to be tailored just for me. He preached a message of God’s desire to have a relationship with me and how He loved me. I remember He also said how there was no sin that was too great for God’s forgiveness. My heart raced when I heard those words! When the sermon was over I was trying to make a quick dash for the door when the pastor cut me off and said, “Jessica, why are you running from God?” I broke down! That night as my pastor continued to speak God’s truth to me, I accepted Jesus as my savior and began walking in a relationship with God! I felt a change happen inside of me and I knew I was a different person!
I was on fire for God and was feasting on His word daily and began growing in my relationship with Him. Through my study of God’s word He began to show me His standard for sex. God exposed a light on my past but never once did I feel condemnation. He forgave me and gave me a new standard to live by. I was fine with that and never once felt shame for my past mistakes. I lived like this for a couple of months until I went to my first abstinence rally. I do believe that abstinence until marriage is the best choice for everyone but that night the speaker at that event didn’t just stop at sharing about saving sex until marriage. He gave an illustration of virginity being like a gift (which it is) and had a beautifully wrapped gift sitting on a stool beside him. He encouraged everyone that by viewing virginity this way, it would help us to hold on to virginity until our wedding day (I agree). What I didn’t agree with was when he unwrapped the gift and then tried to give the gift to someone in the audience. Nobody wanted the gift. The guest speaker that night then said, “You see nobody wants an unwrapped gift so hang on to your virginity.” I felt like I had been punched in the stomach. That’s what I was, an unwrapped gift that nobody would want. It didn’t matter that God said I was a new creation, to me if people were going to only see me as an unwrapped gift, I had no chance. I was ashamed of my poor choices and was so afraid to tell anyone about my past because I didn’t want them to see me as an unwrapped gift. I wanted to get married some day and I feared that nobody would want an unwrapped gift.
I later would attend numerous other abstinence rallies that would call non-virgins, petal-less roses or recycled virgins (viewing myself as garbage that had been recycled did not help). Needless to say these shame labels only caused me to see myself as never good enough, unworthy of any godly man and feeling like I had to prove myself. I began to have this nightmare that one day I would meet this godly guy who wanted to marry me and when I told him that I was not a virgin he would leave me. So I then decided to keep my past a secrete from everyone for fear that if anyone really knew me they would be disgusted with me. I began a cycle of works righteousness trying to prove that I was a great godly girl. This cycle and this pain consumed me all through college. I worked so desperately to suppress the pain but it never would go away. By my Junior year in college I thought my works righteousness had finally paid off. I ended up dating this guy who seemed to be THE super christian guy. After we had dated for a few months he tells me that he wanted to marry me. I was shocked and felt it was only fair to tell him my past- hoping I would not run him off. All I will say is my nightmare became a reality! He said, “How could you not wait for me, I deserve someone better.” I ended up just falling into a deep depressive pit because I just knew this was how it was always going to be, I would never be good enough. I became bitter and angry on the inside while trying to hold myself together on the outside. At that point I decided I would become a nun!
I was deeply hurt and in need of God’s healing. The following summer I was doing a bible study and I read Galatians 5:1, “It is for freedom that Christ set you free, stand firm then and do not let yourself be subject to a yoke of slavery.” That is exactly what I was- a slave to my past. Then I looked at the beginning that said “It is for freedom that Christ set you free,” the truth just began to wash over me. Christ had died for my freedom from my past, I was letting a shame label placed on me by a human keep me in bondage to my past. Jesus set me free by the cross. Why was I letting myself be subject to slavery from my past?! Once I grasped that truth the largest weight fell off of my shoulders. I was not perfect but I was forgiven and a new creature. That was the truth I held onto.
After that season I began to start sharing with people about my past, the more I shared it the freer I became. During that time God spoke to me about my nightmare and said, “Jessica I do have a godly man for you and the man I have for you will love you like I love you and will see you the way I see you.” I had a promise from God and also realized I would not be a nun. God made me deal with my anger and bitterness and again I became more free.
By the middle of my senior year in college I had met DD (my now husband) and we had been friends and I enjoyed visiting with him when I got the chance. It was during fall final exams that DD had asked if I could meet him at the library to study for our final together. I don’t think we studied at all! We just talked about our families, what we had been through and what we were going through. It was at that point that I shared with him about how I had planned to be a nun and why. His response was this, “Jessica, the man God has for you to marry will love you like God loves you and will see you like God sees you. No person has the right to hold your past against you.”
It was in that moment that God said, “This is who you are going to marry.” We didn’t start dating until two months later and then ended up getting married a year later.
Although God had brought me an amazing godly man, I still struggled with believing the lie that I was not worthy. I shared my testimony with many people and spoke of God’s faithfulness to forgive yet I still never felt like I was worthy because I was not a virgin when I got married. Even after being married I still had a desire to be pure, but figured that was so far behind me that I was just dreaming. I was pregnant with my second child when God finally dealt with my purity desire. I know God had been trying to deal with my purity desire for some time now but I was just not ready to understand. I was at a ladies retreat when a group of women were doing a ministry time for the retreat attenders. One of the ladies pointed me out of the crowd and said, “You the pregnant lady in the yellow shirt, God wants you to know that you are pure in heart before the Lord.” “When He looks at you He sees you pure standing before Him.” (I still cry every time I think about those words)
That day was a paramount mind shift for me! When I accepted Jesus as my savior His blood washed me to purity! From that day on when God looked at me all He could see was a pure refection on Jesus within me! I realized that day 7 months pregnant that I was pure! I had been pure, that is how God had viewed me from the moment I began walking in a relationship with Him. I now believe that I am worthy!
This is what my book is about! It is about how God restores purity to a non-virgin! My prayer is that this book will help break the shackles caused by shame from sin and help us to walk in the new creation God made us! If you or someone you know needs to hear the truths God has taught me about purity I encourage you to grab a copy of my book when it is published.
I am getting close to finishing up my rough draft and will soon send my draft off to be edited. So the published product should be available before the end of the year!!! I hope you are blessed by the words God has spoken over me!
By the way, thank you everyone who has been sharing my post! I appreciate it so much!!