366 days ago I was saved, sanctified, Holy Ghost filled, fire baptized, in church every Sunday and Thursday, in my word, serving in several ministries, meeting with my pastor several times a month for discipleship, and guess what?
I. Had. Sex.
Yep. That’s right. All that accountability. God in my ear. Knowing Jesus is watching my every move, conviction by the Holy Spirit stronger than it had ever been before and..
I. Still. Had. Sex.
I fell. And when I fell, I went out with a bang. I had sex with someone I knew I shouldn’t have for my own benefit. I got drunk the day after because I felt soooo guilty and wanted to numb the pain of my silly decision, and I felt everywhere I turned people could see my sin! Went to church feeling guilty. And all I kept getting were “there is no condemnation in Christ” type words from people that had no idea that I was wyling out the week before, so the guilt was eating me alive!
Was this the first time I had sex in the 2 years, at that point, that I had been committed fully to this walk with God? No. I would never make it a full year of celibacy and that time was no different.
But this was the first time I felt the worst and KNEW that I couldn’t keep it to myself. I had to do what I refused to do the several times I had fallen before..
I had to tell on myself. And I had to tell on myself to the main people I didn’t want to know.
I confessed to one of my best friends first, who encouraged me to tell the person discipling me.
Side note: Discipleship at our church is when a more mature believer, like a pastor, elder or minister of the church, walks with you and does life with you. Helping you to become more like Christ. They hold you accountable to the word of God and give Godly wisdom as well as teaching you of the things of God and challenging those faulty belief systems and toxic behaviors. (Every church needs this on an individual basis)
Yeah. Guess who disciples me? The lead pastor of our church. APOSTLE Shawn Branham. I had to tell him I fell for accountability purposes and because He’s my spiritual father.
The thought alone made me want to throw up ?
But I knew I had to do it. And I knew he would tell me the truth in love. Was I scared?! Absolutely!!!!! Was I nervous he would reject me and throw me away?! Yes.
Has he ever given me a reason to believe he would ever do that to me?
So.. I scheduled a meeting with him outside of our normal one.. and..
I told on myself. I told him the whole truth, nothing but the truth, so help me God.
I was hot. I was sweating. Fidgeting. Not making eye contact. Hiding my face in my hands. Voice raising a few octaves from nerves. I was a mess.
But I was free from the condemnation the devil was trying to mentally put me through.
And though he was disappointed in my decision, and hurting for me.. he loved me in response. He gave me the word, talked me through the why of my decision, hugged me, told me he loved me and that he wasn’t mad at me. That the only opinion I should care about is God’s and He already forgave me. That He sent His son knowing I would mess up, knowing that I would fall and knowing that I was never going to be perfect.
I cried. I released. We laughed. And I was determined to never end up in this predicament again. I didn’t want to disappoint God, my leaders or myself. I didn’t want to feel the weight of that sin. I didn’t want to have to tell on myself again because let me tell you..
I had a decision to make. Did I want sin, or did I want to be free? Did I want the promise land? Or was I always going to thirst for Egypt? Was I going to wonder around in the wilderness for 40 years because of my refusal to be obedient and complaining about my certain lot?
Asking myself these questions, the decision was obvious. My flesh wasn’t going to win. God’s purpose is bigger than a moment of weakness. And just because I fell didn’t mean I had to stay there or that I had to be bound by my sin and shortcomings. Jesus already paid the ultimate price and I wasn’t going to aid in putting Him back on the cross in my heart.
I was determined to live in the freedom He died for.
Has the last 366 been easy? No. Is transformation of the mind, ever easy? Nah. But I can tell you what’s kept me on this journey is accountability and transparency. Admitting those areas of weakness to those I’m in relationship with and allowing them to speak into my life, to challenge me, to correct me when I’m wrong, and to love me back to life when it becomes too hard to get back up alone. You NEED people in this life. And you need people who love you enough to be honest and give you the truth despite how it could hurt your feelings.
Most times the truth is exactly what we need to change.
I’m thankful for my friends. They celebrated with me yesterday and gave the day new meaning and life! Now I won’t look at the day like another notch in my celibacy belt, but a day that I truly had fun with the people that love me and support me the most!
But I’m more thankful for a God that loves me in spite of me, and that gave me the power to turn away from sin by sending His only son Jesus as the ultimate sacrifice.
I would not have made it to day 365 without Him AND the community He blessed me with.