Friday, September 20, 2013

The Bride Wore...Off-White :: Is 'saving yourself' for marriage worth it? :: My Journey (Part 2)

(NOTE: I'll make this testimony into a series-ish. I'll (try to) post every Friday leading up to our wedding. So much I am called to share. So, stayed tuned! This is mainly targeted towards women, but...are you a guy? HEY! Welcome! Also, this is my experience. I am in no way condemning other women/men who chose and did otherwise. Don't worry, I will be as tactful as possible and not embarrass you by any sort of non-professional language. Please be respectful to others. I am head-over-heels excited to hear, err read, your thoughts! You can comment or email me if you would like. This testimony is full of how the grace-filled Gospel worked in me, and this is my act of worship.)

Picture belongs to my sister, Diana.

Teenage years. Oh my! Let me be honest, I was boy-crazy. My girlfriends and I talked about boys all.the.time. We talked about them, we dreamed about them. We even wrote about them in our diaries. Surprisingly, thinking about boys didn't lower my grades at school.  

During this time, I was still very involved with the church. I taught Pre-Kindergarten in Sunday School, was involved with the "youth" group, went and served in a lot of church retreats, and went to church every Sunday. You name it, I was there. I searched for God and all of His mystery. 

If I could describe these years in one word, it would be limbo. I tried to be a "good" girl, while still maintaining my sort-of-popular reputation at school. These two don't mix very well. I really wanted to be a good girl. I really wanted to know more about God. However, that boy who gave His life for me wasn't my priority.

When I was around thirteen, I began to develop this idea of wanting to wait for sex. My parents never really talked to me about waiting or the religious views on sexual intercourse. I've never had a "purity" ring or anything of that sort. Initially, I was too scared to "get pregnant". However, I didn't think about it too much. I just knew I wanted to wait for the right moment. 

I had my first, real boyfriend when I was fifteen. I was blessed and hurt a lot. I hugged, held hands and, yes, I kissed.

The peer-pressure to have sex increased as the years went by. I was called out "Virgen de Guadalupe" (Virgin of Guadalupe/Virgin Mary) every time the topic came up. Sometimes, I thought it was funny. Some other times, I was hurt. Those "right moments"? There were a lot of them! I was in love. I was never pressured, but there was a lot of temptation. Part of me did not want to run the risk of being pregnant at the time and another part of me just wanted to get over it. I mean, come on, I had been dating this guy for years and most of the girls were having it! It can't be that bad. 

God, on the other hand, continued working and tugging on my heart. Oh, He was so patient. I read deeper and deeper into the Bible and what He had to say about boys, relationships and sex. I found out He wanted people to wait to have sex within marriage only. I found out a lot about what He calls true love. But, Lord, it is so difficult! Why do you give me these thoughts and feelings if you don't want me to have sex, yet?

I don't mean to sound preach-y, but a verse in 1 Timothy was a source of discernment (and encouragement) during these years. "Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example to the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity." (4:12)  

Don't let anyone look down on you...what am I supposed to say to these people, Lord? "HELLOOO, YES, BELIEVE IT OR NOT, I AM STILL A VIRGIN, SO CALL ME 'VIRGIN MARY' ALL YOU WANT!", thanks. Purity? What in the world is to be "pure"? Well, I already had a boyfriend and I had already kissed there goes my purity. 

A lot of pretending and hiding went on. I didn't talk about sex or the fact I hadn't had it. I knew a lot about it thanks to classes and my reading, so that was on my side when the topic came up. People, besides my closest friends, had no idea I wasn't having it. Girls and guys who knew me called me regarding the science of sex, contraception, etc. I hid under this know-it-all mask and I was proud of it.

I never dared to talk to these girls and guys about God and about His will for us. I wasn't a living testimony of how God was working in me, in this area of my life, through the Gospel. 

It was like living two different lives.

. . .

Stay tuned!

Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you by the gazelles and by the does of the field: Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires. Song of Solomon 2:7

In Christ,

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