I trust that the first part of this series blessed your heart! Today, I would be sharing a brief sneak peek into my testimony. Just like God has assured me, I believe it would help someone finally break loose from the shackles of sin, shame, secrecy and silence so that they can come out of hiding and receive love, healing, restoration and wholeness from our heavenly Father!
I have been a single Christian for almost 30 years of my life. By God’s grace, it’s been an awesome journey thus far. I grew up as a Pastor’s kid in a very orthodox church. For obvious reasons, there were so many doctrines and rules to obey. As a child, I found it difficult navigating the rules and the latent pressure from church members and my parents to always be at my best behaviour.
When I was eight years old, I asked Jesus to come into my heart one day at church. I still clearly remember how I felt; joy and freedom flooded my heart in that moment! Albeit, for the longest time, my relationship with God was complicated. It was performance based, I felt I needed to abide by a set of rules and doctrines for God to love me. Anytime I told a lie or did anything I felt was wrong, even after praying to God to forgive me, I would almost literally drown myself in a pool of guilt, condemnation and fear.
During my childhood years, I knew all my Bible stories and I tried to obey the rules at all cost. In my teenage years, I started to have a lot of questions, feelings, confusion, and worries about sexuality. I needed practical solutions and answers, but no one was saying anything about it, especially the church whose opinion I valued alot and where I spent the most of my time. I knew I had an active sex drive but then, what was I meant to do with the urges? Who was I going to explain the weird feelings I was having to? How was I going to say it when there was an uncomfortable and creepy silence around it?! Who was I going to say it to when no one was transparent about it?!
My parents did their best by instilling Godly virtues and moral values into me from an early age; which I am forever grateful for! I knew sex before or outside marriage was a sin. I also knew about the reality of hell and heaven. I still haven’t figured exactly why, but I grew up knowing myself to have a very horrible low self worth and a dysfunctional relationship with myself. I hated being me! I also desperately needed to be loved and validated. It was so bad that if a random stranger complimented me, I would literally feel like I had won the lottery. I recall being abused on two occasions as a child; that may have played a role in me developing a low self-worth and identity crisis, but I guess other factors were involved. The devil thought he came early but he came too late, God had already planned my life and purpose before the foundations of the earth were laid!
My struggles with low self worth slowly resulted to me using “sexual immorality” as a placebo to norm my pain and insecurities for many years. I felt If I gave my body to the guys I dated, it would be the easiest way to get all the validation and love I needed. I went into so many dysfunctional relationships. I was literally breathing the validation I got from guys. I could barely survive being single, so the moment I was out of one relationship, I quickly jumped into the next within the shortest time possible. I struggled and suffered in silence because I was so scared that I would get judged or shamed if I spoke up. Since no one was talking about it, I kept silent because I did not want to be labelled as the “black sheep”. At that time, conversations about sex and sexuality within the church (maybe it was just the church I attended) was non-existent and it had a shame factor attached to it.
For many years I battled with masturbation, pornography, lust, illicit sex and their likes. My desire to do these things were not as much compared to my desire to be loved and receive affirmation. The more my desire for love and affection grew, the more I passionately searched for it in all the most wrong places. My search for love led to an avalanche of so many ill experiences which made my soul shattered and broken. I was seeking to fill a void in my heart which was meant for only God.
I knew that what I was doing was wrong, but I just did not have the power to quit. The struggle was so real! My heart was constantly plagued with pain, despair, guilt and shame. I was so desperate to be free. Sometimes, I would beg God to take my life the next time I fell but He just never did. I remember in those years, I always heard a still small voice in my head ( I now know it was the Holy Spirit) saying; “There is a way that seems right unto a man but the end is destruction” – Proverbs 14:12. Just like 2 Corinthians 4:4 says, the god of this world had blinded my eyes. My will obviously failed me! I needed a power that was greater than my will power. This made me understand that mere will power is not enough to break certain habits, they can only be broken by the power of the anointing in the blood of Jesus. To the glory of God, in the end, my quest for love and my brokenness were the exact things that led to my encounter with the real Love; God.
All those years of my struggle, I wish I could say I was absent from church but in fact, I was very present and active! That taught me that salvation is ‘one experience’ but sanctification is sometimes a process. In some cases, there is a need for close discipleship for an individual to totally break out of an addiction, bad habit or destructive pattern. I am not disputing the fact that some people get instant deliverances, which is awesome! But there’s still a huge percentage of people that still need to go through a process to break out of certain behaviours and habits even after coming to Christ. Mine was a painful process but I thank God that in the end, Grace found and rescued me!
Looking back on my past struggles and experiences, I can say that I let God drive every area of my life apart from my sex drive. I had made Jesus my saviour, but he was not the Lord of my life. The issue was not the sexual sins I was struggling with but the root of it all was sin, guilt, shame and condemnation. It was like I felt my sex drive and life was too dirty and I had to clean it up before presenting it to God. I was in church serving, worshiping and going through all the “church motions” but the reality is; I never felt whole. I looked nice on the outside and okay, but I wasn’t okay; I was badly broken! For years, I always cried myself to sleep. At that time, being in church basically meant I had to pretend and put on my “church face” so that no one gets to know but obviously, I could not hide from God.
Some where in the mist of my struggle, a friend introduced me to Joyce Meyer. I began to read and listen to tons of her books and sermons. Gradually, I discovered that I started having open and honest conversations about my sex drive and urges with God. I delved more into the Word, He began to reveal Himself to me and bring a few people into my life to help me. I knew God loved me, but I felt so filthy and unworthy. It was a really hard process for me to receive God’s love. It took me years! But I am glad God gave me the grace and courage to receive it after revealing Himself to me in Jeremiah 31:3 – “The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore, with loving-kindness have I drawn thee.” Once I stopped struggling and gave up my struggle to God, He’s love effortlessly and seamlessly wrapped my heart and restored my life! One day after my usual open and honest conversation with God, I realized I was FREE! Still don’t know how it happened! It was indeed a miracle!
My experience makes me know that there are many other singles in church who still struggle with their sexual drive, sexuality and sexual immorality, just like I did but unfortunately, its like a ‘taboo’ to speak up about it. The silence is as real as the struggle. I may not have gone into the deeper details of my past struggles but trust me when I say it was nothing to write home about, BUT GRACE. And it is even worse when you are in a Godly community and you have people around you, but you can’t vocalize what you are going through.
Just like I highlighted in part one of this series, it is high time we as the church of Jesus Christ started to break the silence! Remember Jesus and the woman caught in adultery, as opposed to the people who were about to stone her to death, He simply told her to “Go and sin no more” (John 8:11). Also, the Samaritan woman at the well, he simply offered her living water. “But whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life” (John 4:14). He is God, so obviously He knew the history of these women but, yet he had a conversation with them and offered them grace and love just like he did for me. For crying out loud God created sex! Our sex drive and sexuality are a gift and not a curse so long as it is driven by God and His principles regarding it.
Yes, we know as saved singles that we are not to engage in sexual immorality, but the fact we have a sex drive or urges to have sex doesn’t make us lustful, fornicators or adulterers. Please do not feel weird or alienated about your sexual feelings. If you are struggling with sexual immorality, I understand your struggle and feel your pain, how much more your heavenly father?! Please, do not give into the lie of the enemy that you are in it alone! There are so many genuine believers who would be more than willing to help and pray for you. I’m also right here for you! – you may email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. If my testimony resonates with what you are currently experiencing, begin by openly and honestly talking to God and then pray and ask Him to lead you to the right person that can help you via prayers and accountability. Please Beloved, do not suffer in silence, Break the silence!
Apart from within my inner cycle, this is the first time I am publicly sharing my testimony. I must confess it was not easy typing these words, it took me days! My fingers could literally feel the surge of vulnerability in my heart. But I am thankful for the grace to be obedient. If this is for the salvation of just one soul, then it is more than a billion times worth it!
In the next part of this series, I would be sharing some practical steps that can help you live a happy and Godly single life despite your sex drive. I would also share some tips on how you can overcome sexual temptations and immorality. I pray and hope it would be of tremendous help to you or someone you know! Until then, Thank you for reading! I love you! Stay firm in the Father’s Love.. ❤
Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.