⚠️ Caution: Airing of dirty laundry ahead ⚠️
Growing up, many of the people closest to me disapproved of sharing unpleasant or private things in a public manner. And I understand why.
But I’m going to do it anyway.
I was 15 years old the first time I had sex. Two important women in my life had been raped their first time, and I remember feeling empowered because I was making the decision for myself. Every time I attended church, I felt both guilty and defiant. I knew that premarital sex went against what the Bible taught, but I was also proud of myself for taking control of my body.
I was in college when I finally realized there were ramifications from that decision that would impact my future spouse. I sank to my knees in tears one night, apologizing for the years of defiance and anger. I told God I knew I wasn’t on the right path and wanted to re-dedicate my life to Him. I started going back to church, and within a few months, I met a boy.
I was used to boys who rolled their eyes anytime I started talking about church, so I was ecstatic to have finally met someone who seemed interested in both Jesus and me. When he started asking me about my past, I decided to be open and honest with him. It was like a gut-punch when he told me we needed to stop seeing each other. He told me that we had different moral codes and that he didn’t want to spend his life unequally yoked.
I vaguely remembered reading something about that in Scripture, but hearing him use it in this context threw me for a loop. I started to wonder if my past had disqualified me from ever having a Godly husband. And then I began to question if my past was also going to keep God from ever being able to love me fully.
I started avoiding the men at church—I figured I just needed to find someone who was a lukewarm Christian and wouldn’t care so much about the things I had done when I was younger.
But praise God I met my husband when I did.
I liked him so much it scared me because he loved Jesus in a way I had never seen before. He pursued me for over a year before I finally decided to share my past with him.
We went outside on the porch, and I looked down to hide my face and my shame as I told him about the things I had done. When I finished, he lifted my chin and said, “Why would I judge you for something that Jesus has already forgiven?” He pointed out that for the woman caught in adultery, grace came first. Jesus didn’t say, “Go live your life perfectly, and then you will be forgiven.” He released her from her past and then told her to go and sin no more.
My husband taught me about God’s grace by giving it to me. He is the one who showed me (in Scripture) that Christ had removed my sins, “as far as the East is from the West.”
So today, I am choosing to air my dirty laundry on the internet because I believe that testimonies break chains. Scripture says we defeat the enemy by the blood of the lamb and the power of our testimony (Revelation 12:11).
For anyone who needs to hear this:
Your past has not disqualified you from the future God has for you, and nothing can keep Him from loving you just as much as He did when He sent His Son to the Cross for you.
Your future in Christ is bright, and it’s okay not to invite the people who try to tell you differently.
“I don’t depend on my own strength to accomplish this; however, I do have one compelling focus: I forget all of the past as I fasten my heart to the future instead.” –Philippians 3:13 (TPT)