No sex, no peace
Know sex, know shame
I was not ok. With that list, why bother? I cannot give my husband the gift of my sexual purity. Why keep trying? I am used, damaged. I hated myself for the sexual decisions I had made. Geez, I already messed it up, and I was tired of trying to understand and follow all the rules. When I graduated college, I walked across that stage away from church folk and ghosted God. Aside from shame, I was numb. Recklessly, I acted out my shame.
Depression and suicide ideation became a fog around me. I could not outrun it or move away from it—though I tried. I ran away from Ohio to Arizona. Then, during a monsoon like thunderstorm in the middle of night, God showed up while I cried uncontrollably on the floor in my bedroom. Though I could not hear it audibly, “I love you” echoed within me repeatedly. In the first few minutes of it, I shook my head vigorously in denial. Aloud I said, “No, no You don’t!” Mentally, I rebutted by going through all my sexual wrongs. The words did not stop, and neither did my tears. I cried myself to sleep that night.
When I woke up, I told God that I did not love myself or like myself, but if He did, then I would start there. That Sunday I went to church. In a silent prayer as I sat down, I made an agreement with myself that I would not walk away from God because of people.
Through the years, my agreement has been tested often, yet the Most High God continued to affirm their love for me by opening my eyes to more and more truth. In every season, those religious, fundamentalist “sacred cows” have been slaughtered. I stopped focusing on not having sex and started paying attention to my Creator. Their nature. Their character. Their works. Their ways. This was communion and intimacy. I had not known this, and I would not give it up.
Layers of shame and scales of fear have shed from my being. My beauty is not a curse. My body is not a stumbling block. Sex is a divine gift and so am I.