Sharing My Own Story

I’ve told bits and pieces of my own story regarding sexual intimacy here and there throughout this blog, and more of it is entailed in the My Story page.

But today I’m focusing a bit more on what I went through and how it affected my initial years of my marriage. Here’s my story: Inside My Head.

Pen writing "My Story" on paper

17 Years Old

I haven’t had sex. Totally haven’t had sex. Fine, call me a “technical virgin.” But that word virgin is still in there, right? (Right?)

I don’t mean to go over the line with guys. I just end up there somehow. I tell myself I’ll keep anything beyond kissing from happening, and then he’s there and I’m there and we’re kissing and it’s hot and heavy and things just, well, happen. And once they’re already happening, it’s too late. Might as well enjoy it.

Besides, who decides what’s too far anyway? Whenever we ask that question of an adult in church or some youth event, we get one of two answers — “Just don’t have sex” (which is what I’m doing) or “Don’t ever be alone with a boy.” Seriously? Who are these people? It’s like they’ve forgotten what it was to be a teenager.

And I don’t even think they like kissing and foreplay and sex. That one wife in our “becoming a woman” Bible class pinches up her face every time one of us girls mentions it. Do they know what it’s like to have your heart thumping and your head floating and your lips entangled with a guy you really, really want to be with? Do they know how hard it is to say no when all that’s going on inside you?

Still, I’ll keep from doing the big thing. I’ll be a virgin until I marry. I will. Promise.

22 Years Old

When it comes to counting my lovers, it’s not a big number, at least not in the secular world. But it’s a big deal to me. And as much as I’ve tried to rationalize my decisions, I suspect it’s a big deal to God.

I apologize and try to repent each time, but I simply keep failing. I completely understand Paul’s statement that “the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” So very, very weak.

Although honestly, why did God make it feel so physically good? And why must I wait until I someday get married? I could have waited if I’d lived in biblical times, because they say Mary was probably a teenager, maybe even 15 or 16, when she got married. I was pure as new white porcelain when I was 16.

Now? Not so much.

Though here’s the real question: What wonderful Christian man wants this package of damaged goods?

Then again, what besides my sexuality do I have to offer? I’m not particularly beautiful or poised or rich or whatever. I’m smart, but how far does smart go? When it comes to who you want to kiss at night, are you thinking, Hey, this girl reads Tolstoy. I so want her!?

Still, there’s got to be a better way.

26 years old

“Sadie, Sadie, married lady, that’s me!” I can’t believe I’ve picked the guy, said the I Do‘s, and moved in with my lifetime love. Me? The girl whose monogamy track record is less than stellar. I had too much of a “love the one you’re with” approach.

But now I have this heart-sure feeling this is The One (cue serious music). I love him, more and deeper than any other. I can envision our lives together, lasting many years into the future. “Till Death Do Us Part.”

For the time being, however, it’s nice living in the present. The present that includes making love almost every day. Our sexual intimacy is amazing.

Although sometimes I’m nervous around him. Cautious about showing too much or seeming too experienced or eager. That uninhibited part of me comes from my days of premarital promiscuity, the days I’d now like to forever forget. (Why can’t I just forget?) After all, I’m Sadie, Sadie, married lady, so I really should be more feminine, more reserved, more coquettish. If I act like I did before, doesn’t that just make me a slut? All over again?

I have to keep that part of me inside. Bury it. Ignore it. Hope it goes away. I’m legit now. I’m not that same person I was before. Right?

God has forgiven me. Hasn’t He?

♦     ♦     ♦

So I just let you inside my head to hear what was going on regarding my sexual intimacy through the years. But the story doesn’t finish there. Not by a long shot! It took a while, but God righted my heart and my life regarding sexual intimacy.

I learned the difference between trying to do the right thing in my own might and surrendering to God. I learned God had indeed forgiven me and I needed to accept His grace, the grace He sacrificed His own son to give. I learned God was not punishing me for past sins when I experienced difficulties regarding sexual intimacy in marriage, that ongoing challenges were par for the course and opportunities to deepen my trust in His perfect plan.

I learned my husband never saw me in terms of my wayward past, that I was his cherished wife and lover. I learned that trying some different things and letting go of inhibitions could positively affect our marriage bed. I learned to feel good about my body and the beauty I possess.

I learned my past hardship and heartache shouldn’t be ignored or buried or wished away, but could be part of my personal testimony — from which to help others who struggle with sexual intimacy.

I learned that even regarding sex, God knows what He’s talking about. His design is good.

The words “THE END” haven’t been written on my story. There’s more to come. Yet I have absolute faith my story will end with the phrase: “And, with God’s help, she lived happily ever after.”

Now what’s your story? What lessons have you learned along the way?

28 thoughts on “Sharing My Own Story

  1. W

    Thank you so much for sharing in such a transparent way. I could have almost literally written the same thing as my story, including ages. I know that I have been forgiven, but still my past brings up much shame and disappointment. I am not sure I could be so open in a blog and share all. But I am glad that you did. This moved me to tears, thank you.

    1. J Post author

      Thank you. Whenever I feel that shame creeping up again, I go back and re-read 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 to remind myself that God has worked so powerfully in my life and my past is just that — past. Blessings, W!

  2. Megan@DoNotDisturb

    Thanks so much for sharing. I’m sure many can relate to your story and if they stick around they will be encouraged to continue writing their own in line with God’s desires.

    Megan

  3. Jessica713

    I feel like I could be your echo. Thanks for putting into words what has been on my heart. I have been married for 7 years and have been continually praying that I overcome the voice in my head, that I am failure in the intimacy with my husband because of my past. I too have found my self limiting myself in intimacy with husband thinking that I could make up for things. I wanted to make myself more “clean” more “valuable,” less “used.” It seems like forgiving yourself is the hardest part. I know God has forgiven me now I just have to do the same and walk in the truth and FREEDOM of that forgiveness. Thank you for sharing deep and personal testimony and encouraging others to do the same. And for being real with things. Just like you I think the church and other Godly women in my life had been so vague on sexual issues. I was left and still feel like left to figure it out on my own and it so relieving to know that there are others out there (even married women) that have intimacy issues. If only we could be open enough to share and help each other OVERCOME!!! A good take away and what I am going to put into practice from this post is; “…my husband never saw me in terms of my wayward past, that I was his cherished wife and lover. ” It’s going to get wild at my house tonight as I try to embrace God’s freedom and gift of forgiveness!!! ; ) Thanks girl!!!

    1. J Post author

      Well, that made me tear up. Good for you, Jessica! Lean into the grace God has given you. Many blessings!

  4. Bonny @oysterbed7

    J, your transparency will minister to many. There are way more of us who are damaged and redeemed than care to admit. It is a part of your personal testimony and it makes you real. It also makes our redemption and reclamation all the more sweet. Rahabs have beautiful lives because of there is no condemnation for those in Christ and strive to walk in his footsteps daily. I, too, am a Rahab. Thank you, J, for all you do here to bring marital sexual intimacy under the wings of God.

    1. J Post author

      Thanks so much, Bonny! Rahab is definitely one of my favorite stories — how she turned her life around and God blessed her blood line with our Savior. I pray that our turning around our sexual intimacy in marriage will bless future generations as well. (I do know my own kids are far more equipped than I felt.)

  5. Heather

    So proud of you! Take a lot to be that transparent. Reminds me of a book written by Sheila Gregoire, “The good girls guide to great sex.” Love her blog too (tolovehonorandvacuum) – she has some great stuff.

  6. Chris

    Thank you for opening a window into your head for us. I think I shared that head, as I struggled with so many of those same thoughts. I’ve been married for 23 years and still have the remnants rise to the surface from time to time.

    Bless you for sharing.

    1. J Post author

      Thanks, Chris. I think we’d all be more effective for the Gospel if we could fully accept it into our lives and let it permeate deeply. We are saved! And we continue to have God’s grace in our lives.

      Blessings back!

  7. Jolene @ The Alabaster Jar

    LOVED that you shared your story, J! Since I didn’t get saved until I was 26, I had MANY Rahab moments! But God redeemed me and at age 28 I married my Beloved, the one whom God chose for me. And the bride wore white because I was covered by the blood of Christ! 🙂

    But oh those voices of the Enemy were sure hard to overcome in the marriage bed. But with God, all things are possible. I shared a podcast about how with Christ I overcame my past and my journey to a redeemed marriage bed. Let me know if you want me to link it here.

    Much love to you, friend!

    1. J Post author

      Yes, please link! And thanks for asking first, Jolene. (I try not to approve links without checking them out in advance.)

      I wore white too! Well, ivory. 🙂

      1. Jolene @ The Alabaster Jar

        J, this podcast, “How I Overcame My Past So My Marriage Could Flourish” also has transcripts for the non-podcast listener: http://joleneengle.com/how-i-overcame-my-past-so-my-marriage-could-flourish/
        Sometimes we forget that Christ never condemns us but that condemnation is straight from the pit of hell. Our testimonies of transformed lives minister to the saved and unsaved. No reason to carry around the guilt and shame. God takes our mess and turns it into a message, that is, if we allow Him to use us.
        Thank you for being a willing vessel!

  8. Greg

    “I learned my past hardship and heartache shouldn’t be ignored or buried or wished away, but could be part of my personal testimony–from which to help others who struggle with sexual intimacy. … I learned that even regarding sex, God knows what He’s talking about. His design is good.”

    Thank you for sharing so honestly and transparently! Just for the record (FWIW), for those of us who may still be virgins in our later years (I think I can speak for a few anyway) we have a confession to make. Though our shyness/introversion and the lack of interest/desire toward us from the opposite sex may account for some of it, our virginity is not necessarily because we have such ‘robust, godly discipline’. Sometimes it’s because–for whatever reason He chose–God protected us from ourselves. Myself included.

    1. J Post author

      Very true. I know people who did have the desire, but not the opportunity. I’m glad you made it through and now put a premium on following God’s plan for sexual intimacy. Blessings, Greg!

  9. Anonymous

    By the grace of God, my husband and I made it to our wedding day without having been sexually intimate with anyone else. We then shortly discovered that we are physically unable to be sexually intimate with each other. We have been married for three months. It’s so encouraging to read stories like this where God redeems sexual stories for His glory, but it’s certainly difficult to see the light while in the midst of the story. Particularly when it seems like every couple our age is and should be, as you were, intimate almost every day. Looking forward to the day when we can truly be one flesh.

    1. H

      My wife and I found that after the birth of our first child we could no longer have intercourse. We put off getting help in the hope that things would get better. Time does not help. Do not make our mistake, get help now. There is a abundance of resources. Here are some of the resources we found helpful:

      National Vulvodynia Association – http://www.nva.org
      Vaginismus.com – http://www.vaginismus.com
      Peter T. Pacik, MD – http://www.vaginismusmd.com Dr. Pacik also wrote a book we found helpful – When Sex Seems Impossible
      The V Book – by Elizabeth G. Stewart M.D.

      Start with your gynecologist but they may or not be of help. Many are simply uninformed.

      1. J Post author

        Thanks for these resources. Honestly, I’m not familiar with any but the vaginismus site. I try to filter through what I post here, since I don’t want to recommend sources I don’t know anything about, but it looks like your list is a good one. I definitely think those in such difficult situations must pursue medical help, even changing doctors if necessary to address the problems.

    2. Jaimie

      Anonymous, three years ago I could have written the exact same thing. By God’s grace, my husband and I had not been sexually intimate with anyone else when we were married (although together we crossed some lines that should have remained uncrossed until after our wedding). I learned, after our wedding, that I had physical problems which made intercourse literally impossible. We slightly damaged my hymen during our wedding night, and then it healed and the scar tissue made it impossible for me to have sex without intense pain. We were intimate in other ways but didn’t have sex for several months, until after I had the hymen surgically removed and recovered from the surgery. I also had to get past a mental block, because I had learned to fear the pain which I had come to expect with sex. That also took some time from which to recover, but I am thrilled to report that, three-plus years into our marriage now, our sex life is fantastic and only getting better!

      I encourage you to visit an OB-GYN, if you haven’t already, and find out what the problem is (if you don’t already know). I hope my story is an encouragement to you, and that you and your husband will soon be able to enjoy the pleasures of sex! I will be praying for you!

  10. A Heart to Know

    “I learned my past hardship and heartache shouldn’t be ignored or buried or wished away, but could be part of my personal testimony–from which to help others who struggle with sexual intimacy.”

    Amen!

    As another Rahab, I too, used to struggle with my past… until the day that He impressed upon my heart that MY STORY IS HIS GLORY. It’s a story of forgiveness, redemption, love, mercy, and amazing grace. I will never, ever again be ashamed to tell of His glory.

    To the ladies who still struggle with their past, don’t let what Jesus accomplished on the cross be in vain. He hung there for YOU, because He wanted YOU to be set free. 🙂

  11. Kristi Walker

    Your story is a blessing to the rest of us out here who know we are redeemed but still marvel at all we’ve been forgiven for and know we’re loved beyond all measure even when we weren’t being all that lovable. It’s refreshing to see someone just tell the truth. Thank you!!

  12. Laura

    That’s my story too… down to the ages… only I still struggle with myself… I still struggle with sex… I am married to a man I love more than anything and I’ve hurt him by saying no so many times that I stuggle to say yes… And when I’m feeling brave and make the first move, he struggles to say yes… so disconnected… so broken… We’ve been married 12 years now, together for 13 years… He had struggle with a pornography addiction for most of that which added to my feelings of being unlovable… working on it… been to counseling… trying to make things better… The roller coaster has more ups than downs now… and we stay up longer… Thank you for writing your story…

  13. Rachael

    One thing I walked into my second marriage with was a torrid sexual past that I wanted to not share with my husband because I had already felt the effects of a failed marriage and wanted everything to be just perfect with my new husband. But we couldn’t keep our hands off of each other, either. Not only did God free me from every spiritual tie I created, but one day, God revealed that we were both forgiven for our together sexual past, and we needed to forgive ourselves. We did, and I kid you not, for the first time, we felt God’s presence so strongly in our marriage bed. It just fell and went wham! And our life has been so much more intimate, so amazing since that day. If you’re tied up in this chain, I can tell you living without that condemnation and in the freedom God has given me… He has changed me inside out.

  14. Ade Paz

    Hello I really your post and the things you are about but I gotta say something about why so many of you even tho still bad about what you did! I was marry to a woman who I thought it was perfect in her imperfections and specially about drugs and sex! You all need to stop feeling sorry about what you did and make sure that what you have learned through out the years to use it in your marriage and specially about sex! One way or another your husbands now or about to be, will be willing to understand or have understand that you weren’t a “virgin” but you need to stop holding back! I was frustrated with my sex life with my ex wife because even tho I knew she wasn’t a virgin I wanted her even more but she always held back and even pushed me away often! I was angry because some others guys really enjoyed being with her before me but how come she was not able to accept me for who I was! As I a husband I desired her as my wife but she would accused me of just using her as a sex object which I never in my mind or heart saw! I encourage to express yourself to your husband unless he is one of those rare man that I hate hearing that doesn’t like sex much! And please stop using the term ” since I am a Christian or a new born in Christ I can’t do that anymore”……helloooooo if you are marry and are expressing yourself to your husband get rid of that mentality because now you belong to each other and like most of you have said here that God has forgiven you so now forgive yourselfs and let this new woman out with all that she learned in her past! May I hear an amen?!!! God bless you all and I hope someone can learned from this frustrated ex husband!

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