3 years vs. 3 months

I’ve been abstinent for 3 years. Don’t applaud me; I’m no saint. I struggle and often look for ways out, but GRACE. Grace seems to be the invisible Chastity Belt around my lady parts. Grace even hides me in the way that I don’t receive a lot of sexual or romantic attention. When I have been interested in a guy, it hasn’t ended well. Obviously. I’m single. 

I’ve come to learn a few things about other people during my celibacy. PEOPLE have huge misconceptions about abstinence and followers of Christ. They assume that because I teach in the church and abstain from sex that I’m somehow innocent and not knowledgeable about sex and feelings. 

I have come to accept that people’s reactions to my abstinence only expose their fears and lack of self-control. Again, I’m no saint. The feelings come and I often relieve myself through masturbation, not that God is okay with it. My point is: I’m no different than any other female where my body is concerned, but the males I’ve encountered are not willing to even pursue a relationship where sex isn’t an option. Do I get lonely? Sure. Do I ever get sad or feel rejected when guys walk away? Of course, but it’s not my fault that they’re only interested in one piece of a woman. I have so much to offer and sex is only a tiny piece of the benefits package, but if one isn’t willing to take he entire package, he surely can’t sift through it taking what suits him while contaminating the rest before leaving it behind. No thanks

What led to my abstinence? Ultimately God. He created me for Himself and He called me to be Pure. I make my mistakes but I believe God cares that I try. Plus, I want to give my husband something not every guy in the city can also say they had. I want to be curious and explorative with sex within my marriage. If I do it all now, my wedding night will be like eating left overs while watching reruns of an old show. That’s my opinion. 

I began experimenting with sex way too young. I was 8 years old when an older guy forced me into oral sex and 13 when another older guy forced me into vaginal sex. Between 13-15, I had sex because I thought I had to. The guy I was in a “relationship” with required it. You’d think at 13 I would have known better, but let’s face it – in America, we’re not raising children who become parents that properly teach their kids about sexuality and life because they haven’t been properly taught themselves! So where it should have been my mom and dad showing me the way and teaching me about God and the value of my body, there were fast-tail lil girls and eager little boys who expected sex and sexual favors. 

There was no Sex Education class or manual on how boy-girl relationships work when I was coming up. Rape and molestation is still hushed and pushed aside leaving the victims to feel like they’re at fault. By age 16, most girls have had at least one pregnancy whether they carried to term or not, and most young men have had north of 10 sexual partners by that age. What’s worse, society is encouraging it. Disney, Nickolodeon, ABC, and every other public media outlet is selling sex to anybody watching. Nothing is censored. Fashion has been turned into one freak show after another and the world is just standing on the side clapping; amazed, in awe… of foolishness. There’s never been such a blanatant lack of self respect as there is in America in 2017. 

So yeah, being abstinent for me isn’t this wonderful sacrifice. I choose to honor God over and over. When I fall, I have to get back up because I’m fighting for my purity; the purity that was taken from me at a very young age. But Grace has fixed it to where I don’t have much of quality to choose from, and to disobey my vow of purity requires that I settle or compromise. 

Age 13, I began having sex with then boyfriend. That relationship ended when I was 15. At 16, I met Jesus and was baptized. I began following Jesus as much as I knew how and became very active in the church. By age 18, I was in love “for the first time” and I gave my body over. Three months later, the guy tossed me aside, but made sure to keep in touch to get sex as often as I would give it. There were a few “3 month stands” in college. I refer to them as “3 month stands” (TMS) because the guys typically put in a month or two of conversation and hangouts to get to the sex and after a month of sex, either I figured out they didn’t want more or they were gone. I wish there would’ve been someone telling me back then, “Hey, you’re valuable! Don’t let them use you!” 

As quick as one dead beat boyfriend is cut off, there’s another wolf in a sheepskin hoodie ready to sweet talk the panties off and to a young, insecure girl with major Daddy issues who had no real understanding of God other than the flow of church service on Sunday and most times society is looking at her sideways. I was that girl. I thank God that I was never permiscuious and that I haven’t had many sexual partners. At age 21, I found myself celibate and engaged. Now, in all honesty, I know now that marrying my ex husband was an act of rebellious desperation. He felt like a way out. The relationship ended up being hell, and again Grace showed up and got me out. 

From age 23-25, I was abstinent again and doing my best to honor God with my body. I learned about modesty and began realizing my true identity in Christ. I made more time for God and by the time the divorce was finalized (age 23), I was becoming a woman and Jesus became the blueprint. Until He wasn’t. I got an exciting new job and began shortening my time with God until I barely spent any time with him at all. At age 25, I entered into another sexually driven relationship. It was pretty much constant sex for, you guess it, three months. The guy moved back to his home state and again I found myself depleted and alone. Back to God I went. He didn’t turn me away, he just Loved me and cleaned my heart. 

I abstained for another year before rebelling during the summer of 2014. It was sporadic and random behavior which lasted three months & was mostly influenced by alcohol and weed. I was keeping the wrong people way too close and enjoying what I considered to be perks at the time. All glitter isn’t gold. 

So October 2014, is where I first surrendered, the last time, for the last time… I want the identity God says is mine in Christ. I want it more than I want a warm body next to me. I want it more than I want an orgasm. I want it so much that I’ve given up my entire life in expectation of it. 

So what’s the point of this post? Well, being committed to the call doesn’t meant the feelings stop. Just as my body feels fatigue, it feels arousal. Just as I see into the spirit, I see the body. I find men attractive. I have desires, dreams and idle thoughts. The difference is this:  today, nearly three years since my last three month stand, I am not controlled by the ideas in my mind. Just because my brain or body says I should act on a feeling, it doesn’t mean I should or will. 

Most recently, I began pursuing an intimate relationship with a young man. This situation was no different than the others have been: The guy meets few, if any, of my standards and I wasn’t requiring much from him. I wanted someone to have sex with. Period. The Grace of God showed up and shut it down. 

I’m not even mad at Him for it. I tried to rebel, and I failed, this time. Thank God. Maybe its protection from something I can’t even see. Either way, I have to believe that God cares that I am doing my best to honor Him. I believe that He sees me. He knows I’m 28 and at the peak of my sexual years, according to Wikipedia. He understands my body because He made it. It’s more important that He has access to me than it is that a man does. 

God created me and designed me to be a wife to my husband. I have not been successful at one nights, three month stands, or even LTRs because that’s not who He made me to be. He doesn’t call me girlfriend; He calls me the Bride of Christ. A wife… and that’s only PART of my identity in Christ. I will not compromise even the smallest part of my identity for a moment of pleasure. The man who comes to lie with me will have made provision for me not only physically, but emotionally and spiritually. Until then, I’m satisfied with Jesus. Don’t be fooled, though; the struggle is real. 

I am Eryka 

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