I Have Been Married to My Husband for 15 Years.
We Have Lived Together for 17 Years.
We Have Been Having Sex for Just as Long.
Just In Case You Had Any Preconceived Notions of Me Before Jesus.
It is a Friday night, or maybe late on a Tuesday, or a Saturday afternoon and all the kids are with my parents and I am so in love with my husband. We have had maybe the best day ever or the best date or watched “Crazy Stupid Love” for the billionth time…it doesn’t matter…I just love him. And we are headed to bed. Our bed. And as things go with married couples, you can imagine the rest of this story. And somewhere in all that love and in all that evening perfectness, I feel the catch in my heart. My husband has no idea. Maybe he does. I do my best not to let it show. And this isn’t about being tired. This isn’t about feeling fat. This is about feeling like a whore in my own bedroom with the man who loves me just the way I am, and is my biggest cheerleader…And I can’t close my eyes tight enough to make the movie of my past go away…the feeling that sex is for half conscious exits from random bars and a need to feel loved by anyone (and maybe everyone) and wake up the next morning feeling like a big ball of crap as you stumble out the door of someone’s apartment/dorm/bachelor pad…and say goodbye aware that they might not call again until it’s around 2am next weekend.
This is about feeling like a whore in my own bedroom with the man who loves me just the way I am, and is my biggest cheerleader…
As I have Walked Closer and Closer to Jesus…
The Memory of My Party Days has Become More and More Disgusting…
And So Much of My Party Days was Sex…
And Now I’m a Good Girl, Right?
In my bedroom, in my bed, the only place where I am truly alone with my husband (most nights at least), I find myself drowning in a sea of regret…losing the battle of being forgiven to the late night war of never being able to forget. I want to be wild for him. I want to be the hot, sexy girl of his 40 year old dreams. I really want that…but sometimes it just feels like there were too many bars and too many one night stands and too many mornings waking up to people I barely knew…to ever feel like incredible, unbelievable sex would fit inside this redeemed life.
And y’all, It Stings.
Some Nights I Live Under a Pile of Guilt.
And It Doesn’t Matter Why I Did All Those Things…
It Just Matters that I Did.
And I know he knows every inch of my story. I know he looks at me and doesn’t see the crazy party girl. I know he sees the girl Jesus created me to be. I know that he tells people he won the lottery when he married me. And I know that the pit of shame inside can feel so deep. The story of who I was before Jesus. The story of the girl with a reputation that walked in the door before she walked in the party…And that girl still feels worthless and loves to feel wanted…But I am LOVED now…and where does it all fit in? Where is the part of me that finally won’t want to hide from the phrase “True Love Waits”? Where is the me that doesn’t dread Sunday School sex talks? Or cringe at the thought of answering my daughter someday when she asks if I waited till I got married? And hopes she doesn’t ask too many follow-up questions…Where is the me who is free to enjoy all that I have, and by that I mean enjoy every moment of a spontaneous night of wild sex with my HUSBAND. I mean, he’s crazy about me y’all. He always has been…
I am Married to a Man Who LOVES Me.
I am Married to a Man Who Tells Me I am Hot Every Single Day.
He Still Pinches My Butt, Y’all.
I Know I am Lucky.
I woke up the other morning thinking about Daniel…from the Book of Daniel in the Old Testament. I was thinking about how he was taken into captivity. I was thinking about how all the choices of his people, and maybe even his choices, had lead to this captivity. And here he was a young man living in Babylon, and even his name had been changed from Daniel (which means, “God is my Judge”) to Belteshazzar (which means “Bel, protect his life!”…Bel was a Babylonian god).
Even his name did not reflect who he was anymore.
He was being stripped of who God created him to be, and inside of this captivity he was being changed and being made to believe he was something else…someone else…meant to serve the king of Babylon and no longer serve the God of the Universe…the only one who was Daniel’s judge. So, Daniel made a choice. And in this midst of being in bondage, he chose to live like he was free. When the king’s officials brought food to Daniel to eat which was against the law given to him by God, he chose to eat only the vegetables and water…not the meat or the wine from the Babylonian King.
Daniel chose not to live in his past…a past where his people did not obey God…did not listen to God…chose to do things that brought shame to their lives. Daniel chose instead, in that moment, to open his eyes wide, see the captivity all around him, and live free. He chose to live by the standards set out for him before all the mistakes were made. He chose to live free amidst his captivity by honoring God the best way he could…by eating only the food that was acceptable to God…by remembering who God had created him to be…Daniel did not sit under a blanket of guilt. Daniel’s eyes were open. Daniel CHOSE to live free. Daniel took his life back and gave it over to God, and God gave Daniel the courage to live free even when chained to the enemy’s table.
I Want My Bedroom Back.
I Want to Live Free.
I Want My Eyes Wide Open to See All God Gave Me In This Marriage.
I Want to Give God Every Moment of My Life…Even the ones After the Lights are Out.
So, y’all, I am taking my bedroom back.
No more closing my eyes and trying to get the movie of my life to quit playing. I am opening my eyes wide and looking into the face of the man God gave me. Yep, I have been chained to the enemy’s table. Yep, my choices and the choices of some others in my past have put me there…But I am choosing to start living free. I am choosing to not let my past ruin my present.
I am choosing to not see the girl who stumbled and fell and wrecked her own life. I am choosing to see the me that my husband sees…the beautiful gal Jesus created me to be. And you know what? I have the key to all those chains. I really do. I could forgive the girl in my past. I could remember that she was hurting and heartbroken, and then move on…just move on. And when the chains rattle around trying to tell me I am not free…I’m going to say the name of Jesus out loud, open my eyes wide, see all the freedom He gave me and just plain take back my bedroom. Because I AM free. And I love my husband, y’all. I really really do. And I don’t think it was ever in God’s plan for me to take him captive by my past too…Because MY past is nowhere to build OUR future.
I am choosing to not see the girl who stumbled and fell and wrecked her own life. I am choosing to see the me that my husband sees…the beautiful gal Jesus created me to be.
So, let me encourage you. Walk this road with me. If you are a girl like me with a past like mine and a marriage handed to you by God Almighty…take a look a good look around, and start living in the freedom you already have despite the chains that may feel so comfy…despite the past that may feel so present. Take your bedroom back. Say YES to where you are and where Jesus has brought you and don’t let that old movie play one more second in your mind. I am praying for you. I am praying for me too. This is a new road for me. And I am a little unsteady. But I know my Jesus is here. And I know He brought me here. And I know He loves me big enough to give me back my bedroom. It was never really mine to give away in the first place.
“I can do everything through him who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:13
I Can Even Lay Down Some Chains.
I Can Even Live Free.
I Can Even Take Back My Bedroom.
To hear Jackie’s full Jesus, story, click here.
I am an everyday ordinary gal who started following Jesus less than a decade ago, and has fallen madly in love with the Carpenter King who saved my life and my marriage. Corey and I are raising four holy moly messes (Jake 10, Jude 9, Grace 7 and Joshua 1). I am technically a stay at home mom, but rarely do I find myself at home, and the soap opera and bon bon life hasn’t found its way into my living room just yet. I do occasionally allow for a small celebration when all the laundry is clean AND folded at the SAME TIME on the SAME DAY…and that is typically twice a decade.
In 2012, God called me to begin Pruning Hooks Ministry. Pruning Hooks is a grass roots group of “Everyday ordinary women serving Jesus allowing their everyday ordinary lives to become extraordinary”. It is a ministry founded on the principal that Jesus wants your daily life, and following Him is a lifestyle of loving and serving and walking with Jesus…no event needed…just a Savior and our hands and feet. Jesus has called us to serve lunch and breakfast five days a week to Generation One Academy, provide monthly meals to residents of medical housing, love on teen moms in our area, help and encourage single moms and meet the needs of anyone God places in our path. Pruning Hooks gathers each month to listen to an ordinary woman share her Jesus Story which always encourages and reminds us how our amazing God works inside the every day. Because He wants our everyday …plain and simple.
And I write. Writing has been the tool Jesus gave me from the very beginning of my life to navigate every treacherous road I have walked. There are boxes of poetry notebooks and short stories stashed somewhere in my mom’s attic to prove it. My hope is that my words inspire and encourage you to see Jesus in your everyday too. He is right here waiting for each of us, in the daily mess, hoping we see He wants so much more from us and for us than we could ever imagine. I pray my writing will lead you to Him.
SDG Special Announcement
Pure Eyes, Clean Heart, the book my husband and I wrote together about our journey to freedom from pornography is ON SALE this week. The ebook edition is only $1.99 both on Amazon and iTunes. Please share if there is someone you know struggling and could use a dose of hope.