In the last week, I have thought about the road I took to get here a lot. I get to thinking about my journey quite a bit this time of year since the anniversary of my salvation is coming up on October 3. I can’t believe that it has been 4 years since I gave my heart to the Lord through repentance and by His Grace and Mercy.
I have not told my testimony very often. Very few of my friends know where I came from before I came to the Lord. I only pray that by telling this story I will give courage to others who think that they can’t be loved unconditionally by our Sovereign God who rules with Grace and Mercy and yet is still tough when he needs to be. I not only am thankful for His Grace and Mercy upon my life but that He also disciplines those that He loves.
To tell it all may take a few posts and starts about 13 years ago when I was starting my freshman year of high school and my first boyfriend, W.
W was 2 years older and went to a different school. He had a reputation of being a ‘player.’ I didn’t know him until the first time we met in September 1996 but I knew of him because of a friend of mine.
The attraction was immediate and dangerous. At 14, it was scary and intriguing all at the same time. I wanted to know who he was but I was scared to have my heart broken because I knew he was the type of guy who could do it and probably not care. And yet, I still found myself falling for him. (I was that girl who always wanted to be loved and never thought I was pretty enough for a boy to even like me.)
And yet, I still allowed him to pursue me and for two weeks he was mine.
Then, I broke it off. I told him the truth – I knew W could break my heart and I was too scared to let him. He didn’t come after me to try to make it work. Instead, he dated my ‘best’ friend. Needless to say, I lost my friend and my heart was still broken.
That December, just after my 15th birthday, he started to come around again. (Now, at this point I should also mention that the thing to do in my city at that time for high school kids who couldn’t drive was to go roller skating on Friday nights. So we always saw each other but we stayed away from each other. This had a little to do with another guy, M, who I had been friends with W but because of and unknown to me at the time, stopped being friends with W. But I digress…)
I wasn’t going to let him back in. And yet, all it took was one lost bet and he was in… he had my emotionally and physically. It is very much true what they say when someone tells you that you give away a part of your heart when you give yourself away physically.
I thought I could change him. I thought that I loved him enough for him to stay with me only. I thought at 15 I knew all I needed to know about love. I was wrong. One night in the backseat of his car started us down a rocky road that would last for the next 3 years. Every time we came to a place where we would date again or I would even allow him into my life, there was a fork in the road.
Really, it was an exit off of the circle we kept going around. And yet, I chose to stay…
I never wanted it to happen that way. That wasn’t how I planned it.
My parents raised me Catholic and I had come to believe that sex was for marriage. I had chosen to wait for marriage until I met W. And yet, there was no peer pressure. There was no pressure from W. That fateful night almost didn’t happen. There was nothing forced about it but I already felt that it was too late for me. So, instead of getting off the merry-go-round before it even started, we flipped the switch and away we went.
I didn’t know God’s grace then. Even as a Catholic, we were taught that you could sin and then, during penance, you could be forgiven after praying 10 Our Fathers’ and 10 Hail Mary’s. If that’s all it took, why not sin again?
And sin again I did. For the next 3 years I would endure heartache after heartache because of my own foolishness. After a few times, I could no longer claim naivete.
I was a willing participant until one day, at the age of 18 and after 3 years of our merry-go-round, I had enough.
I got off the ride.
He chose someone else.
But this is only the beginning of my story… Stay tuned for part 2.