Yup. You read the title correctly…
I lost my virginity as a teenager to my then girlfriend of a few years. I believed that I was in love, that I had full control of my actions, that I knew what I was doing, and that what I was doing was harmless.
My mother always told me that sex isn't just some "fun activity" in a relationship. It's an emotional investment with the other, almost impossible to describe... It's something that will stick with both partners for their entire lives.
A few relationships later, I (again) found myself sexually active, thinking that I was okay with my decision. I was completely wrapped in the modern view on sexuality… and then our relationship ended in August 2013. My life wasn't exactly headed in the best direction, and I knew that many things needed to change. I just wasn't ready to commit to those changes... But those changes were ready for me.
Here's the story:
I went through a major re-connection with my Father. (You know… the one whose son only begotten died for all of our sins.) I finally realized all of the sin that had taken place in my life, even outside of sexual activities, and how damaging it was… I finally accepted that I had been avoiding many issues in life, and that I was afraid to own up and talk about them…
I was truly sick of the individual that I became.
One Sunday in early October, I went to church and was quite moved by the Holy Spirit... The service was touching, and it was the final confirmation that I needed. I had to start making significant changes in my life, and looking forward to a brighter future. Towards the end of the service, the Pastor brought up the church leaders/prayer team and invited the congregation to come up for personal prayer. I held myself back, and attempted to speak with God on my own terms. There were many other people making the bold walk to the front, and I was fighting the urge to be "singled-out" (though I knew that I really needed to move my butt). After trying to pray on my own, I opened my eyes and found myself in steady eye-contact with the only lady in the front without someone to pray for... She was a small, African-American woman, connected to an oxygen-tank, and patiently waiting... I felt my feet moving, and didn't even know that I was already half-way down the aisle. When I approached her, I was afraid to fully spill the beans on my many fields of sin, and I simply stated that I needed to be healed. Her prayer brought tears to my eyes after the first few sentences... This was the beginning of a new me.
I slowly began to spend more time with my best friend, Brianna, and saw her becoming much more of a love interest. I went to visit her family over my fall break, and I saw how spirit-driven and connected/united her family was. It reminded me of being back at home, and all of the wonderful adult influences in my life who cared so deeply about my well-being. We attended her church, and the atmosphere was beyond welcoming... All of her hometown friends treated me like family... I introduced myself to the Pastor, who wanted to learn much more about my artistic abilities… And every individual that I spoke with had God’s love burning in their hearts.
The trip (though short) was an incredible experience.
On our way home, I kept thinking about how amazing this family was, and the experience that God gave me that weekend. This was during a time where I was unsure about my future with relationships, and truly desired to make improvements in my life.
At some point after the trip, I spent a long time in prayer... I thanked God for everything that occurred in October, for leading me back onto His path, and for giving me another chance at a healthy life. It was during this time that I brought up my sexual past... I asked to be forgiven for my lust, desires, and for allowing my flesh to control me for so long.
Brianna told me long before the possibility of our relationship that she would be waiting until marriage for sex. I knew that I wanted to be with her, yet I believed that I did not deserve that relationship. I wanted to prove to myself, and to God, that I truly desired a second chance. And I knew that for me to fully bounce back onto His path, I would need to put all of my faith in Him, and allow myself to release the "control" I thought I had over my life...
I finally prayed: "God, if this is the relationship that you desire for me... If this is the path that you want me to walk on, I'm ready. I am fully prepared to cease from all sexual activity. I pray that you will (once again) take control of my life, and lead me."
"Spiritual rebirth doesn't destroy the past. It transforms it. A second chance, spiritually, means there are no limitations to what you can become. The God who made the universe out of nothing can take your past and make from it something beautiful."
Tim Stafford, Christianity Today.
Did I expect my past to simply disappear as if it never occurred? Absolutely not.
The bottom line is this: I had sex before marriage. There is no way that I can possibly change that... God knows what I have done. And I will suffer the consequences of breaking God's request for a committed Christian lifestyle. I know that my commitment against having sex is not the same as someone who has never engaged in that activity. I am not a "second virgin" nor do I say that I've "reclaimed" my virginity.
However, I was man enough to admit where I was wrong.
My past is not something that I am proud of, and I strongly believe that it is never too late to change your ways for the better.
I recorded a Hip-Hop cover of "From Time" by Drake & Jhene Aiko, where I directly address this issue, and I feel as if this best explains what I went through during that time:
"… I'm ready to make you mine"
Maybe I've been ready, but looking for the perfect sign.
I'm on that "I was having sex before marriage,
but I'mma rededicate it if this is for what I'm waitin'."
And I know it ain't the same, but I'm willing to change.
Hoping that I'll replace my soul's carpet that I've stained (Cause, uh...)
I know what you were looking for before
But I guess that I'm ashamed of what I'm bringing ashore.
I leave you with this:
Next month, I will be celebrating five strong months of a solid relationship with Brianna.