To most people, “Friday” isn’t until midnight (I say “most” because technically sunset to sunset makes a day-Genesis 1:5). ANYWAY, I am actually leaving to go on an assignment for X3Church.com on tomorrow and so this is the only time I have to blog for this week.
When I tell you that I am both amazed and relieved that I made it another year, words really cannot express. When I set out on this abstinence road, I didn’t really know where it was leading or how long I would be able to do it (and still don’t, so keep me lifted). As a matter of fact, I was just telling someone today that the main reason why I put all of my sex (or lack thereof) business on front street is because it helps to hold me accountable. I mean, when you tell all of cyberspace that you have an abstinence anniversary date, at some point, someone tends to ask, “So, how’s it going?” However, when you vaguely say, “I’m not having sex”…well…what does that really mean? You’re not having sex this second? You haven’t had sex since yesterday? See what I’m sayin’.
In another recent conversation, someone was asking me why I was doing it (I guess because God said to was not enough for them). When I sat and really thought about it, in hindsight, I think it’s because I have spent so long letting other people define me for me that it was time that I let me and God (not necessarily in that order) get in on the deal. Sex, as good as it was and as much as I liked it, was starting to consume everything about me: my time, my self-esteem, my emotions, my spirituality…everything. In my “detox”, I realized that since sex is a gift from God, it should actually be ADDING to my life. But, since I was not using it the way it was intended, it was actually taking from me…and after it was over, it usually left me in shreds…of dignity, trust, emotional stablity and consistent happiness.
I kind of compare it to eating a really big dessert that’s full of fat and sugar. As “sweet” as it may be, all it really leaves is extra weight…extra baggage. And what really sucks is that you usually have to do 2-3 times more work to get the weight off than it took to put it on! Shoot, you have no idea how some “one nights”…or “six months”…have lasted for one year…or 15. It was simply exhausting.
And so, I got off of the crazy emotional roller coaster that had it’s peaks but also it’s waaaaaay down low valleys. And now, here I am, two years in…all because I took it one day at a time.
And isn’t that what it’s really all about? Taking it one day at a time? Whew! I’m hear to tell you that when Paul said “I die daily” (I Corinthians 15:31), I sooooooo get where he was coming from! If I knew in ’07 that I would go through the tears, the mood swings, the temptations, the spiritual up/down swings to get outta this mess, I probably would’ve thrown in the towel after two weeks. Hmph. Maybe that’s why Solomon advised us not to worry about tomorrow (Proverbs 27:1)…it’s today that actually gives us with wisdom/strength to handle tomorrow. If we don’t see this moment through, we won’t be properly equipped for what comes up the road. It’s in denying our flesh in the here and now that we can stand up to the temptations that come later…AND THEY WILL COME. (Luke 4:13)
It reminds me of a C.S. Lewis quote that I came across last night:
silly idea is current that good people do not know what temptation
means. This is an obvious lie. Only those who try to resist
temptation know how strong it is…. A man who gives in to temptation
after five minutes simply does not know what it would have been like an
hour later. That is why bad people, in one sense, know very little
about badness. They have lived a sheltered life by always giving in.”
I know, right? Who woulda thought that the people restraining themselves are the ones who are considered “wild”? Either way, I knew it was God’s way of saying that he sympathizes with what I am going through AND that as Elbert Hubbard once said, “We are not punished for our sins, but by them.” God has been trying to “wean me off” from that lifestyle, not to hurt me, but to protect me…not from his wrath, but from myself.
Well, I need to get off of this thing and go pack, but I just wanted to jot a couple of lines of encouragement that YOU CAN DO IT. It’s not easy and a matter of fact, on the super weak days, it can be downright painful. But, to be sitting here, not stressed out over some man…not scraping up $20 for a pregnancy test…not going to the clinic for a bladder inflection (or worse)…not counting the days til the weekend where I have to put my face on the altar-AGAIN…not looking over my shoulder wondering who saw what when…not having to spend 30 minutes of my prayer time bartering with God for mercy (something we DON’T have to do, by the way-Hebrews 4:16), it feels good to have at least ONE issue off of my plate.
Next year? Honey…like I said, keep prayin’. If I ain’t learned nothin’ else in ’08, it’s not to stress over something that’s not even here yet. As for now, to not have some man over here to “celebrate” with me? Trust me...that’s progress, and for now, that’s good enough for me.