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All of Me.

Looking down at my tanned toes in the tan sand, I watched as my tears joined toes buried in the sand. My heart ached. I wanted to bury my past with my toes in that sand.  Healing wounds, healing hearts–they ache.

Damaged goods.

This is the lie with which I’m currently at war. Unlike all of the other long lived lies I am working to walk away from, the damaged goods lie is only in its first stages of life. This lie aches…tries to steal my joy.

Since giving my life to Jesus about 2.5 years ago, I’ve slowly asked him to change me in certain areas. There’s this one last piece of real estate in my heart that I reluctantly gave him one year ago. Relationships, men, and sex…I started walking down all of these roads at a tumultuous pace at the age of 15. This allowed me to create 14 years worth of scars, fuel for the damaged goods lie, to thrive on. The list of damages stems from sex outside of marriage with countless partners, cheating, being cheated on, abusive relationships, choosing to be in a toxic same sex relationship and a failed marriage to top it all off. The amount of damage a girl can do to herself with choices like these in 14 years is staggering. Though the scars cannot be seen, I know where each one inhabits in my heart.  I know well the pieces of my heart these scars have stolen. These 14 years of dangerous choices have left a haunting-deafening song on repeat in my heart–that my value is dependent upon the attention of a man, any man except Jesus.  Healing wounds burn.  They burn hearts down.

Last year, after another failed relationship, I threw my hands up and surrendered this part of my heart that I had been grasping so tightly, to Jesus.  The white flag was officially up.  I decided I was finished with sex outside of marriage once and for all. This wasn’t the first time I made this Promise; it was a vow I had made right before my last relationship and a vow I soon after, threw out the window.  I failed round one at my new vow but I wanted to try again. Failure ensued once more.  The old roads were haunting every step I took.

Exiling sex from my life was proving to be impossible. It was a drug I couldn’t quit. I found myself broken, face fallen to the ground in tears again. I knew the commands of the Bible. I knew sex was exclusively designed for the confines of marriage. What I hadn’t previously realised was just how much I had relied on sex to tell me that I was beautiful, worthy and sought after.  What I didn’t know, was how to stop. I didn’t know how to quit what had kept me feeling so superficially valuable.

2 Corinthians 12:9

“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”

 

Lucky for me, Jesus never gave up on me even after the 14 years of devastating choices.  He never stopped pursuing my heart.

He changed me, fundamentally.

He gave me the courage to walk away from relationships and focus solely on him. He gave me the strength to tell any men I met and that I was attracted to, that I was in a season of singleness.  He helped me begin to recognise the sound of my own voice.  He helped me start to find my feet again… to know my name.

One year later, thanks to Jesus, the promise to him to abstain from sex and all of its cousins, still stands– unbroken. There has been heartache every step of the way, but there has been a new kind of empowerment. My value is found in Jesus… an irrevocable truth. A truth I am slowly opening to. A truth that is healing the heart, soothing the burn of the lies.

This is my conclusion:

I am valuable.

I am valuable because… Jesus.

I am beautiful.

I am beautiful because… Jesus.

I am worthy.

I am worthy because… Jesus.

I am new.

I am new because… Jesus.

 

…because of Jesus my mind is shifting and the lies are loosening their strangling grip and I smile, because he has ALL of me.

 

While I do not know the ending of my story, what I DO know, is that not one fibre of my being regrets making and keeping the promise to become and remain pure, to renewing my covenant with God. What I DO know is that I am well on my way to letting go of the lies and truly experiencing my value through Jesus and the same healing is available for you.

– Laura Benson