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sex and abstinence

I couldn’t look her in the eye. “Yes, of course his mom will be there,” I said sarcastically. My mom questioned me like this all the time, and I deserved it. But I couldn’t let her know that. I was going to my boyfriend Kevin’s for dinner and a movie.

My Kevin. He played guitar in a band, he wrote poetry and he was incredibly sweet. He said he loved me, so I said I loved him too.

Mom drove me over to Kevin’s, just to make sure his mom was there. She was. But that didn’t really matter. I could make my own decisions. And I did …

what if?

Kevin drove me home that night. After he kissed me goodbye, I stepped inside and went upstairs. I looked at myself in the mirror, and I didn’t like to look into my own eyes. I went into my room, trying not to look at my bookshelf where the words “Teen Study Bible” glared back at me accusingly. I lay in bed for hours, and I couldn’t sleep.

All I could think was, What if? What if I get pregnant?

I cried as I wrote in my journal, mapping out a plan in case I did get pregnant. Who would I tell first? Would I try to have an abortion? Would I stay in school? How would I ever be able to face Dad (I remember we sang “Standing on the Promises” in front of the church a long time ago and I wore a blue dress) … or Mama (we baked chocolate chip cookies almost every week that one summer) … or my brother (I helped him build model rockets when we were little)?

“Oh please, God,” I prayed, “just let me not be pregnant. I’ll stop doing this.”

I didn’t get pregnant. But I didn’t stop, either.

feeling betrayed

Time passed, and little by little I became aggravated with Kevin. His friends kidded me about the physical side of our relationship; so much for his promised discretion.

He didn’t show at a dance recital that meant a lot to me. I started feeling betrayed. I’d shared my body with him, my soul, and he didn’t really care. It hurt a lot. I broke up with him after a six-month relationship.

A wall had been built, though, and it remained—between me and my parents, and, most importantly, between me and God. I went into another relationship, and again I went too far physically. I was addicted. It seemed like I was in an endless cycle, even after I broke up with my second boyfriend. Change seemed impossible.

A year later, I sat in church one Sunday, listening to something about a parable of wheat and tares (Matthew 13:24-30). Tares are weeds that grow in fields. Tares look like wheat, but are not. That hit me. Even though I’d been in church my whole life and came from a Christian family, I realized I had no true faith.

And faith was what it was all about. Faith that Christ had died on the cross so I could be with him—so my sins, all of them, could be washed away. Faith was the answer.

So I prayed. I told God I knew I was a sinner, that the things I’d done were wrong. I asked him to forgive me and be the Lord of my life. At 17 years old, I got saved.

As I began studying the Bible, I found more and more instances where God’s rules, and my parents’ rules, weren’t just stupid things that made no sense. They made perfect sense; they were there for a reason, to guide me on how to really be happy.

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