The absence of God in my life is not a pleasant memory. As a Christian now, I look back and wish that all the things I know now, I could go back and tell the young Shannon everything I know; turn left here, not right, don’t go there with this person and don’t have sex at all until you’re married! Had I known God, I would have had the direction I needed. But I have come to know that God is faithful and that no matter how bad, or painful things are in life, miraculously He can and will turn them around for our good and that sometimes through our pain will come our purpose. (Romans 8:28 NLT – And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them)
I grew up in a single parent home with my mom and sister. My mom was a sweetheart, very loving and funny but she was controlled by her addiction to drugs and alcohol. Her addictions eventually killed her. While her addictions made my and my sister’s life very painful, I still loved my mom unconditionally, but I can’t help but to wonder how different her life would have been and how different my life and my sister’s life would have been had she had a deep relationship with Jesus Christ?
Not much has changed since my younger days except the fact that people are a heck of a lot bolder and daring it seems! When you are young, fitting in and being accepted is the ultimate goal. Unfortunately I never reached that goal. I was definitely an outsider! I walked funny or what’s called knock-kneed, I was shy, never wore the coolest clothes or shoes and I just didn’t fit with the “in” crowd. Now, I’m very grateful that I didn’t fit in but in junior high and high school, oh it mattered, tremendously. On top of being teased about my appearance I was teased about my family, my mom in particular. One of her drug suppliers went to my high school and he wasn’t interested in keeping my mom’s habit and the fact that my mom owed him money a secret and he wanted his money and he made a point to share this information with me at school in the hallway in everyone’s earshot! Oh, the horror of it all! The teasing was incessant and unbearable! My mom was a crack head, look at your shoes, your clothes and why do you walk that way! I was without a doubt, miserable! But as I got older and started attracting some attention from the opposite sex I didn’t pay too much attention to the way I walked anymore, because if boys were paying attention to me then maybe there was hope for me after all, right? But it still bothered me. I figured if the boys like me then I must be ok. My escape from the pains of my life came from the acceptance and attention I received from boys especially the older ones. Oh that was just awesome to me! Older boys thought I was cute and cool! In a young teenage girls mind, you just can’t beat that.
Not only did my mom have the drug and alcohol problems, she had all the accompanying health problems that come along with it. We received public assistance and by the third day of the month, if she didn’t get to the grocery store we were screwed! The money would be blown on drugs and alcohol. No food, no clean clothes, nothing. There were times when my sister and I had to wash our clothes by hand and let them dry overnight in the closet where the water heater was. Sucked in the summer, worked ok in the winter. Some days we would go to school with damp, smoke smelly clothes. So needless to say, any distraction I could get from my present circumstances were welcomed with open arms!
I learned the hard way about sex and I found out things on my own and from peers who didn’t know anymore than I did. I guess my mom figured I was smart and that I’d figure things out on my own. It wasn’t until she found my birth control pills hidden in a brown paper bag behind my bed that she decided to ask if I was having sex. Of course I lied and said the pills belonged to someone else. Somehow, she’d gotten pamphlets with pictures of all the sexually transmitted diseases and gave them to me. I can’t remember much of what she told me after that because sex had already been introduced to me. I was 14 years old when I lost my virginity and the guy was 22 years old! Surely older guys knew what they were doing, right? I could trust him, right? The attention from him was a welcomed distraction from the pains in my life. And, he was cute and my mom liked him! Everyone liked him! That fateful day produced more pain, bad circumstances, and consequences, which led to more bad choices.
No one ever told me to wait to until I was married to have sex. No one else around me was waiting for anything but the right opportunity to do so! No one told me that sex is a gift from God to married couples – male and female! Not told of how you sin against your own body and that each time you have sex with someone, you give yourself away and “become one” over and over again to someone who could care less about you or your feelings. You do NOT have to give yourself away! You do NOT have to prove yourself to anyone! Do NOT be pressured or guilted into doing something that will change your life sexually, mentally, emotionally and most of all, spiritually. This is NOT God’s plan for you! He loves you too much and wants to protect you.
God gave us gifts: sex, virginity and our body. However, there are consequences for abusing the gifts given to us. Look around, unwanted pregnancies, diseases, teen pregnancy, dysfunctional families, emotional, spiritual, and physical damage, wrong decisions, etc. The list goes on. God knew what He was doing when He reserved sex for marriage. He wanted to prevent this all from happening. He meant for us to experience life as Adam and Eve did before the fall. Yes, there are reasons He says to wait. I wish I had. I wish that I’d shared all these gifts with my husband first. I hope my story will make you think long and hard about having sex before marriage and living your life without God. And if you are or have had sex outside of marriage I pray that you stop and wait until marriage to experience sex the way God intended: without shame, guilt or inhibitions. I pray that you will treasure yourself and most of all begin or deepen your relationship with God.
The thing is, God is really not absent from our lives. He’s always there, waiting and watching, but the reason I say absent is because we don’t choose His presence or Lordship in our lives, so if we don’t choose Him to come into our lives to be our Lord and Savior then He’s absent from our choices and decisions. When we say no to God it’s as if we’re saying, “I got this and I don’t need your help!” I know what I need and want and what’s best for me! I have come to know that we don’t know what’s best! We don’t know anything! There are lasting consequences of choices and decisions of saying no to God. It’s not easy, this I know for a fact! But, sometimes, you just have to ask God to save you from yourself! He will!
Be blessed & encouraged!