I grew up in the church and thought I knew who Jesus was, but I didn’t. I knew religion and I knew it too well at that. I had no true relationship with Jesus. I got baptized at 12 for religious purposes. I knew all the rules and I treated it that way as simply rules. I was super curious about sex and never really heard much about sex in the church or at home except don’t do it until you get married. And honestly, as a kid hearing this you run to the thing they tell you not to do.
So it began, I started researching about sex on the internet at the beginning of 8th/9th grade. And by then I finally found out, how it worked and was shooked that’s how I was created and looked at my parents weird for a couple of days, but it didn’t stop my curiosity. I soon began watching porn on the internet because it is so easy to access and free. And the weird thing about it wants you watch one it’s so easy to click on the next because there are so many different categories. And I was curious duh.
I remember constantly deleting my tabs on my laptop after I was done watching. It became this terrible cycle of just deleting web browsers and search history. I soon started masturbating which is such an ugly word for an ugly action but I was addicted. And I couldn’t control myself. I couldn’t think straight. I was constantly undressing people with my mind. I felt so alone because at the time I was the only girl I knew that struggled with it. It was usually something people expect of guys.
So I was driven deeper into my secret sin due to feeling like I was the only one. Which the devil loves to isolate us in our sin but his lies are not true. Believe me. I was a mess and needed God to save me but I didn’t know how and I wanted to clean up my act before I could come to God but only if I knew I can come to Him in my mess.
I soon started dating my junior year of high school. So, I dated this guy. He was pretty manly in my mind, to say the least. He was a football player and had a super deep voice and initially, I felt secure. However, he was very sexually aggressive with me and verbally abused me a lot for going too slow. I told him about my porn struggles and my masturbation addiction and he saw nothing wrong with it and greatly encouraged my actions. And I gained approval from him instead of seeking what God thought. I remember one instance where he wrestled me to the ground and I remember not being able to move. And In his mind, he took it as flirting. And I tried to get up and I couldn’t and I remembered thinking if he wanted to hurt me, he could. At that moment I knew that I was scared of him. And In the word of God, it tells us that there is no fear in love but perfect love cast out fear (1 John 4:18). If only I knew that right...
He was a year older and told me he wanted me to follow him to his college. He said we will be roommates and we’ll be inseparable. I honestly didn’t want to go and the thought of it gave me so much anxiety. It was a lot of pressure to do things I didn’t want to do like sexting, sending inappropriate pictures of myself to him, which I did because that’s what he said people in relationships do. And this was my first one so I did. He told me that a nude a day will keep the hoes away. And looking back on it I’m like future Joy to past Joy, why did you entertain this guy?
Moreover, apart of me saw myself drift away from God and I needed to leave but I was so confused. I broke up with him through God’s help. It was not easy but I knew if I stayed any longer or went to college with him, I would have been a victim of domestic violence.
A couple of months went by and I had another boyfriend. I didn’t really ask God if he was the one but felt that way due to his upbringing. To fast forward we dated for four years and at my lowest point when I needed him the most he cheated on me. It was the craziest thing ever. I was so confused and so broken and hurt and the worst part was he didn’t care. He cared more about fulfilling his sexual desires and ego than caring for me. I lost 13 pounds within a month 1/2. I dated around immediately after entertaining situation-ships and making out with a complete stranger on the first date in his car. I knew deep inside this was not going to feel the deep void inside my heart. But even with all the pain of that God’s love shines through all the more. What a blessing it is to be deeply loved by God in every way. I could go on and on about it. The love of God is so filling it feels ever void, every hurt. He fills it all with His perfect love.
I also struggled a lot with anxiety and worrying. It all stemmed from wanting to be perfect at everything and maintaining a good reputation. I was always overcompensating for my imperfections. I didn’t want to be seen as someone who didn’t have it all together. I played sports and was toxically competitive. I didn’t like losing and some people easily get over losing but for me especially when it came to tennis, I couldn’t handle losing. And when it came time for college applications where I didn’t get into the posse program. I legit had a meltdown and remember crying in bed but only if I knew that God had a plannnnn!!!
So God brought me to Texas Woman’s University, which was actually my last choice but was God’s first choice for me. Isn’t that hilarious?! I mean who wants to go to an all-girls college, but to my surprise, 13% of the students were men lol. Anyways, I joined a college ministry because that was the Christian thing to do. But to my surprise, my eyes became open to the true gospel of Jesus Christ. I got saved my second year of college where I got re-baptized. I was amazed at how these people were 100% sure they were going to Heaven when they died and I had no idea. I would hope that as long as I was a “good girl”, give to the poor, and essentially work my way to Heaven I would be okay, but there was still that uncertainty of whether or not I've done enough good works to get into Heaven.
I remember hearing one of them say “ how could you work for something you have never earned.” And the honest truth of that is God’s grace and unmerited favor we didn’t earn but He granted it to us anyway. He died for sinners like you and me so that we can have the opportunity to live forever with Him. The love of the father astounds me to this day. In my ignorance, God patiently waited for me and I’m so thankful. You are never too far gone for the love of God. He will embrace you and call you His own. A holy God still looks at me as His child. Wow. Praise God. No longer a slave to the opinion of others, fear, worry, anxiety, doubt. No longer a slave to my sexual desires. I am a child of God and I am walking in freedom. Hallelujah Jesus ALL Glory and Honor go to you alone. Forever and Ever. Amen!!! :)