Sunday, August 7, 2011

Her Story: Emily

hi loves,
this week has been a really long week.
my father in law is having some medical (heart) issues so i'm asking for you to keep him in your prayers. unfortunately i don't have a lot of info, but pray for healing and Gods hand to move. we're hopeful because we serve a Mighty God who hears our prayers.

life at times...just sucks. things don't always go our way, but those are the times that i'm so thankful for the wonderful people i have in my life.

i've said this 1000 times, and i'll say it again. this blog has blessed me beyond anything i could have ever imagined.

and here's one huge reason.


she was one of the first girls i met through blogging and has been so amazing ever since.
her love for the Lord shines through her blog, and you just can't help but to love her. we've found out that we have a lot in common, stories that are similar, and futures that couldn't look brighter. she is a beautiful young girl in college and i'm so blessed to have her in my life. her story is one that i can oh so well relate too. we've all too many times put our hope and trust into people here on earth and forgotten about the One who deserves it. she's a very gifted writer, so when you're done, hop on over to her blog {psalm one thirty nine} and check it out!

Hi everyone! Wow, what a privileged it is to get to post on here for Meg! Y’all, that girl is a charm, and I am so honored to be her friend! I’m Emily over from (: and without further adieu, this is my story.

I guess you could say that it started at the ripe old age of four. Yes, this was about the time that I started getting those silly little butterflies in my tummy when it came to boys. Don’t laugh, y’all. I know I am not the only one! I had my first boyfriend when I was four years old. We met because he lived up the street and used to ride his bike by my house every afternoon. Our relationship quickly advanced and we were married four weeks later. His eight-year-old brother planned the entire wedding, my two-year-old brother was the “flower boy” and my ring was made out of a dandelion. Okay so maybe it wasn’t all that official, but by the time I was four years old, before I could even tie my shoes or count to one hundred, I was infatuated with the opposite gender. It’s history from there, people.

Well, kind of. Growing up (and by that I mean, from kindergarten to twelfth grade) my family moved seven times. The new girl that you’ve seen in school at the beginning of every year? That was always me. It seemed almost as if I was permanently in the spotlight, forever trying to look “acceptable” so maybe, just maybe, the popular crowd at the new school may give me a second glance. For most of my childhood and teen years I did not attend church regularly. I mean of course here and there my parents would sign me up for the summer VBS or the youth pizza night at the local church, but I never really understood why I went. It was fun, don’t get me wrong. But I never really got anything out of it. I would spend hours of my time preparing my hair and make-up to go to the youth group “lock in” at church in hopes that a cute boy might notice me from across the room. Do you see a pattern here? I was out to bring attention to myself. I was out to impress the guys. I was out to do anything that it took for him, the guy of the week that gave me butterflies, to give me a chance.

Fast forward to tenth grade. That year my family moved to Pennsylvania. Once again, I was the new girl in school. I had a total of three boyfriends over the period of six months. I had this thought in my mind that if I got a boy to tell me that he “loved” me, then maybe that meant that I was special and that I had something good to offer… and that everything was all going to work out. False. Each one of those boys took my heart, used it for a bit, ripped it up, stomped on it, handed it back to me, and moved onto the next girl. Each time it left me feeling hopeless and worthless. I would then search for the next guy to satisfy my inner hunger to feel loved… in hopes that maybe I would get it right this time. ..and when that one didn’t work, the cycle would viciously repeat itself.

Eleventh grade came and my family moved to North Carolina. I hope y’all are still with me, because this is where the story takes a lot of twists and turns (ok, maybe not too many) and gets rather interesting. At this point in my parents lives, they decided that we start attending church regularly. Not only that, but they wanted to start going to a Southern Baptist church. Whew, what!? That was considered absolutely NUTS back up north where I had spent most of my life. I was not for it. No thanks, mom and dad… I’m good! Needless to say, I went unwillingly. I started going to the 11th grade Sunday school and there I met my prince charming. Hah, got ya. Well, at the time I thought he was. He was the popular football player from the private school up the road. And guess what? We started hanging out. He eventually asked me to be his girlfriend. And of course I said yes. I mean like I was gaga for this guy! It seemed almost perfect: we went to church together, our families were friends, I “loved” him and he “loved” me… does it get any better? Mmm, my eleventh grade mind did not think so. Our relationship lasted a grand total of six months. I had sex with him after not even dating for two months. This is coming from the girl who was planning on saving herself for marriage. Not just because it was the “Christian thing to do”, but because I never really agreed with doing stuff like that before marriage anyway. Sure, I would do pretty much anything else with the guy. Just not sex. In fact, those three words are what I would tell all my boyfriends: just not sex. Well, it happened. He told me that he wanted me forever, he told me that he couldn’t see himself with anyone but me, and he told me that if we do it “just once” then it “cant be all that bad”. I fell for it. I believed it all, every single part of it, down to the “it cant be that bad”…which led to a continuous sexual relationship for four months. And it ruined me. It absolutely wrecked me. Not at the time it didn’t, but on June 28 the day he broke up with me, it turned my world upside down. The guy who promised me that he would love me forever, the guy who promised me he would marry me “if we had sex”, the guy who I gave absolutely everything to, decided that he wanted someone better. I didn’t quite “do it” for him. I was devastated. June 28 was the day that I made a promise to myself and to the Lord that I would not have sex with anyone until I get married. It was the day that I placed my faith and my trust in Jesus Christ. June 28 was the day that I became a new creation. I wish I could say that it has been a joy ride from there.

That’s not the case. Two years ago I made that promise. Here I am two years later, two more guys to add to my list of sexual partners… for a total of three. Why? That is the question that I deal with on a day-to-day basis. The guy that I dated for a year and a half broke up with me a month ago. He, too made me promises that he could not keep. I, too, broke my promise to God through making sinful choices in the relationship. I battled that sin for so long. T was a constant spiritual battle inside of me, between my mind and the devil. But do you want to know something? God won that battle. He didn’t exactly win it in an easy way though: He won it through removing that handsome man out of my life. I was and still am hurt. But I am beginning to see things more clearly. God is so good, you guys. God never left me. That night that I broke my promise to God and decided to sleep with that guy? God didn’t leave me then. God promises to never leave my side, even though I deserve nothing but hell and everything that comes with it. I know that I am such a sinner and I make mistakes on a daily basis. Those mistakes can be referred to as sins. I sin everyday. I fail my Savior every hour. But want to know something? God loves me everyday. He loves me every hour. Even every second. The reason that all of those past relationships didn’t work? Easy. God was not the center. God was not glorified in and through them. God has every right to rip those men out of my life and allow me to suffer the many heartbreaks that I have suffered. If I have learned one thing through all of this… it is that I am extremely hard headed. God has to teach me a lesson about fifty times for me to get it [somewhat] through my thick skull. I know that God is not finished with me yet. I am a work in progress and it is only by His grace that I am becoming sanctified and that I am holy in His eyes. Because I know that I sure am not holy in my eyes, or in the eyes of anyone else. God loves His children and He only wants what’s best for them. He saw me back in that sinful pattern of a lifestyle and He snatched me out of it. He knows my heart, and that is why I have to trust His motives and His will. I will be honest and tell you that I do not have it all together, but I have a God who does. I am a broken person, but I have a Savior who is unbreakable. I am a person who can be shaken so easily, but my Jesus is unshakable. This is my story, and it is not fully finished yet. I really don’t think that it ever will be. I’m a work in progress, with a God whose work in my life has been fully completed on the Cross. Thank you Jesus.


LeAhnna said...

So I have to say...this post spoke to me more than anything I've read lately. My boyfriend and I have been dating for nearly 4 years now, and while we love each other dearly, have a good relationship together, are both "good Christians" and sincerely desire to do the will of God...we struggle with going too far physically all the time.

Every time it happens we feel horribly guilty and swear we'll never do it again, but guess what? We're still sinners, and we'll never be as perfect as we wish we could be. Sad story, but true.

God's grace is so amazing, and can be so healing, if we only allow it to. He doesn't force us to accept His love and forgiveness. He doesn't push Himself on us. He offers Himself, and lets us take everything He has to give the second we realize we need it. That's when genuine love, faith, and worship comes in. And that's what he wants.

So thanks Emily for sharing your story...I think God spoke through you to me today. Hope you have a good day. :)


Anonymous said...

Thanks for being vulnerable, and sharing Emily. I'm certain this will speak to many girls.

It is so hard once you are in the moment, especially when it is someone you feel so connected/attracted to. I think that is one of the reasons breakups are so excruciatingly hard, especially when intimacy was involved.

I think what you touched on is key- if God is not at the center of the relationship- it makes moments of weakness, easier to give in to.

It takes determination. Just one person being determined can influence the other party. It has to be equally important to both parties, or there will be lots of pressure involved, and most people do not do well with pressure.

Mentally disciplining oneself also seems to be key. "A person without self control is like a city without walls"-back in the day if the city was without walls, it left the city vulnerable and open for attacks. That analogy is so true with people-if we don't have self control, we are opening ourselves to being in a vulnerable state that can lead to problems.

When there is a temptation of any kind, whether it is with food if you are dieting, sex, drugs, negative thinking (and the list goes on), it is crucial to not focus on the thought, but to change the focus. Scripture memorization with verses specific to the struggle are great. I used to make little 4x6 index cards with the verses so I had something to tangibly flip through, and read.

I didn't mean to write so much, but this subject is one I can empathize with.

I want to end this book of a comment by saying- is such a wonderful thing that when we turn from what has been ensnaring us, and turn to Him, "He makes all things new."

Much love,


Delaney said...

Wow, Emily! Thank you so much for being so honest and so real. Your story definitely hit home. It is so comforting to know that we as women are not alone. We all struggle with the same things.

Like, Leahnna I have been with my boyfriend for 4 years. 1 of which we were not saved so sexual sin was involved and it was hard to try to keep our commitment to God and still is. We set boundaries and flee from sin, but because we are horrible sinners we still stumble.

your honesty and open heart are encouraging and inspiring!

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for sharing Emily! It means a lot to hear your story.

Gennean said...

Emily, bless your heart for sharing and being so vulnerable! It means so much to me when, as sisters in Christ, we are honest and genuine with our struggles (and our triumphs)! Praise God for bringing you fully back to Him despite your trials. Praying for you and your beautiful, beautiful faith in our incredible and loving Jesus!

Jennifer said...

Did some visiting around and came across your blog. So refreshing to see more young people seeking God! Prayers are being lifted for your father-in-law.

God bless you!

Annie said...

oh, Emily. thank you for sharing your story.

"I am a work in progress and it is only by His grace that I am becoming sanctified and that I am holy in His eyes." amen. this is so true, about not only you, but the rest of us. & i also love these lines: "I will be honest and tell you that I do not have it all together, but I have a God who does. I am a broken person, but I have a Savior who is unbreakable. I am a person who can be shaken so easily, but my Jesus is unshakable."

beautiful. God is working something beautiful in you, Emily!

p.s. i know what you mean about southern baptists - i was raised southern baptist in southeast michigan and it is somethin' else! bless them. i wouldn't trade my upbringing for anything, but sometimes southern baptists are a little too strict about things that they don't have to be.

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