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Wednesday
Apr132016

Abstinence requires sacrifice, but it’s so worth it

GETTY

Article By Jennifer Williams

“Girl, I’m sorry. You ain’t gone get no man without having sex,” said my then best friend.

When I first told her about my switch in mindset and wanting to become abstinent, she seemed taken aback.

“You can do whatever you wanna do, but that just sounds stupid if you ask me,” she said. “When did you become all holy and Ms. Perfect?”

I noticed a tinge of anger in her voice, as if there was something else just under the surface of her comments. I later learned that she felt like she was losing part of me—the carefree, reckless, take any and every risk part.

Once upon a time, I was crazy. I was fearless. I never walked away from a challenge and would try anything once. That’s what my friend was used to.

She and I had done everything together since the third grade. We had some truly wild moments in our early twenties, but we never judged each other and went by the motto, “You only live once.”

But that YOLO lifestyle no longer appealed to me after I got my heart broken by a man I thought loved me. We had a great relationship for a while. But after three years of dating, I wanted something more. When I hinted that I hoped marriage was in our future, things changed. He started pulling away and eventually broke the whole thing off.

“I don’t want to feel pressured,” he said.

That destroyed me. I had given him all of me: love, affection, understanding and yes, sex. But he wouldn’t give me the one thing I wanted: a lifelong commitment.

Didn’t I deserve that?

He didn’t think so.

For a time, I retreated into a hole. I stopped going out. I didn’t want to party anymore. My life was changing.

One day, after saying no for years, I went to church with another friend of mine. She and I went to the same college and graduated about two years apart. I always called her the goodie-two-shoes of the bunch. She didn’t smoke, drink, fornicate—nada. She was as straight-lace as they come.

Since my life seemed to be falling apart, I figured church couldn’t hurt anything.

The first time I went, I enjoyed myself, but nothing transformational happened in me right away. But, for some reason, I felt compelled to keep going. And the more I went, slowly but surely, my desires and mentality began changing.

I wanted to be saved.

But most of my non-church friends, like my longtime closest friend, had no interest in being a Christian. So when I talked to her about my longing to change my life, she mocked me—especially when it came to the no sex thing.

That, for her, didn’t make any sense.

But it didn’t make any sense to me to keep going down a path that wasn’t making me happy. I wasn’t fulfilled. I was doing all the things everyone called fun. I was supposedly living it up and yet, felt a huge void inside.

I realized that this person I had confided in and spent so much time with, wouldn’t be able to go with me to this next phase in my life.

Before I had the chance to tell her I didn’t think our friendship would last, she sent me this long text message saying she didn’t know who I was anymore. She wanted to give me “space to grow and figured things out.”

I cried. It hurt. Even after I gave my heart to the Lord, I had times when I missed her. But she never responded to my text messages.

I had to move on.

Today, my life looks totally different. I am in a loving relationship. I am still abstinent. Jesus is the center of my joy and I am clear about what I want out of life.

Back in my wild and crazy days I never imagined I would open my heart to God. I couldn’t imagine life without drinking, clubbing and having sex. But there is so much more to life. I’m happier now than I’ve ever been.

Although I have lost some friends along the way and my circle looks a lot different, I wouldn’t go back to where I was for the world.

Changing your life requires sacrifices. It won’t be easy always. You will hit some bumps in the road. But you don’t have to accept less than you deserve.

Living life for Christ is so much better than anything else. If you really want to be happy, joyful and full of life, give up your will and do things His way.

Then you’ll know what pure joy feels like.

I do.

RELATED: Single, abstinent & tired of waiting? Here's some encouragement for you

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