What I Learned In 2011 About Love, Sex, & God
Editor’s Note: Today’s post is by Kelsee. She shares her story through years of struggling with sex, abandonment, beauty and men – and what she learned this year by the grace of God. – Lauren
I grew up never feeling beautiful or lovable. I always felt out of place and awkward and at 5’10”, I am somewhat taller than the average woman. I have struggled with that extra fifteen to twenty pounds as long as I can remember.
I did not grow up with a good relationship with my dad. My dad, while around, was never present. He was busy, he was an adult, he was working. Constantly. Our interactions were limited to him yelling or lecturing and I never felt affirmed as a beautiful daughter.
My older brother left for the Marine Corps when I was 16. We had a rough relationship. He ridiculed me and never defended me. I was never affirmed as a beautiful little sister. He and our father had a rough relationship too, which affected his with me, as I know now, but this is my story, not his.
My parents are both Christians and my mother is the most courageous and graceful, gracious woman I have ever met in my life. I grew up basically living at my church in southwest Ohio. I was there four to five times a week: Sunday morning, afternoon, night, Wednesday night, and usually Friday and/or Saturdays too. I met my best friends at that church and today we are still very close – but when I was sixteen, my parents moved the family to Michigan, to my grandparents’ house.
I was a junior in high school and I felt like God was punishing me for something, but I didn’t know what, because I was good kid. The perfect kid really; I didn’t drink, do drugs, smoke, rebel in any way, or have sex. I was trustworthy, responsible, got amazing grades, and played sports. So when we moved, I became angry, so angry. When I went to my new school, I was nasty with my words to anyone I didn’t like and shot icy glares at anyone who crossed me. I did not speak to God. And I did not participate at any church we went to. I was going to show Him.
My mom says today that I handled everything with such grace and that she is so sorry and so proud of me for what I had to go through. She doesn’t know that I cried myself to sleep at night, that I was miserable, that I cursed God.
When I was eighteen, my dad went to prison. February 2, 2006. I will never forget the last conversation I had with him. I will never forget visiting him in prison. I will never forget sobbing uncontrollably the night my mom told me where he was. I will never forget my incredible friend Hope, holding me in her arms on the floor of the school bathroom for three periods the next day. I was a senior and my dad missed my graduation, my open house, my first job, and my first day of college. He missed all of it. And I was heartbroken and angry. Again. Once again I felt ugly and unlovable and a now, a new one: abandoned.
I got a job and went to college and started drinking and smoking and ignoring my grades and flunking out of classes. I wanted to be noticed and loved and God noticed me and God loved me but I still held onto my grudge and ignored Him.
At my first job I met lots of boys who liked me and I didn’t understand why. I never grew up feeling beautiful or lovable because I never felt my father’s presence in my life. I did not know how to accept love from men. I was embarrassed when they would compliment me. My father never complimented me. He did not express his love for me in a way that I understood.
Then one day, I met a boy and this boy liked me. A lot. He broke up with his girlfriend because he liked me so much. And I liked him, but I was terrified of what letting someone love me would mean. So, for six months I kept this boy at arm’s length. I partied instead, never letting him get within reach of my heart – until one day I decided that I was ready take a chance. May 1, 2009.
I was 21 years old and had never had a boyfriend in my life. I had never been kissed. Never held a boy’s hand. Nothing. And I did everything with this boy. Everything wrong because I did not know any better. I knew in my head not to sleep with this boy but my heart was so thirsty for affirmation that I ignored the Truth and fell for every single lie Satan told me.
Lies that said I was not a good girlfriend if I didn’t sleep with my boyfriend. Lies that said I wasn’t good for anything but sex. Lies that said sex is the ultimate fulfillment in a relationship. Lies that said even God did not love me. Lies that said I was not beautiful and not lovable.
I got pregnant, but God had other plans for that child and I had a miscarriage. September 3, 2010. 4 days later my boyfriend broke up with me because “God told him to”. Yes, he really used that; he brought his Bible with him and everything. Yes, I hated God in my heart. And the next weekend, my ex-boyfriend had a new girlfriend.
Satan reiterated the same lie that he had fed me from childhood: I was not beautiful and I certainly wasn’t lovable and I was abandoned. And again, Satan added something new; I was also a failure as a woman because I had lost a child. I was devastated.
I struggled with my guilt and mistakes for several months, dwelling on Satan’s lies and drowning myself in alcohol and cigarettes. I had the typical rebound and a one-night stand. Mid-January, 2011.
And then God did something. He spoke to me. He whispered softly to my heart and took hold of my hand. He stopped me dead in my tracks and gave me a choice. Point blank. He said very clearly, “Kelsee, either you trust and believe in me this day, like you’ve been saying you trust me your whole life, and you follow me and serve me and turn away from this sin or you don’t believe in me at all. And you need to choose. NOW.”
And I did. I chose God. I chose life. I chose love and I choose love.
That was almost a year ago. In that moment of choice, I felt God and I knew God and since that moment when I finally sought His forgiveness and healing, He has been blessing me. He has been renewing me daily and saving me daily. He has been pursuing me and loving me and washing me with His blood. He has taken away my guilt and shown me that I am beautiful and I am lovable and I am not alone and I am not a failure as a woman.
I am now 24. December 5th. I am once again a student, but this time I have a clear path with God’s blessing, and I am not flunking out of any classes. I quit smoking back in June. I have abstained from sex since that one-night stand and I am saving myself once again for my future husband. My dad has been out of prison for a couple of years now and our relationship is much better. We had a discussion full of tears and apologies awhile back and we still fight (we’re both pretty stubborn and determined) but I know that he loves me and that he thinks I am beautiful. And by God’s grace and renewing love and mercies, I am learning to love myself and others from the inside out.
I still struggle with my past and wrestle with my demons, but God is faithful and God is strong and I am learning every day to trust Him.
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