Before I came to know Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, I found my worth in my appearance and attention from men. I believed that sex was synonymous with love, appreciation, acceptance, and comfort. But I was wrong. Insecurity and searching for acceptance led me down a path of promiscuity and toxic relationships that continue to haunt me all these years later.
After I met my husband and gave my life to Christ, I began truly understanding and feeling the weight of my sinful past. I felt ashamed, dirty, unworthy of my spouse, and the burden of the memories polluting my mind. I struggled with the guilt of remembering these encounters, feeling as though I couldn’t get them out of my mind — I felt chained and shameful.
However, there is Good News for me and other women who struggle with a painful past of sexual rebellion!
Nothing is hidden
First, I rejoice that Jesus is Lord over every second of my life. He is my Creator who laid the foundation of the earth from the beginning (Hebrews 1:10); he knows every piece of me and nothing is hidden from him (Psalm 33:13-15). Though the thought of nothing being hidden from him could make me afraid, it brings me comfort because I am his child. Jesus is the one who has, who is, and who will sustain my life — even in my rebellion and failures. He is the sovereign king and judge, and therefore, I do not have to be anxious about the judgement of others. The authority is his (Matthew 28:18).
Entertain sin or deny its power
I recognize that my sin is both indwelling and deliberate. And though I do not struggle with promiscuity anymore, I still struggle with the thoughts that run through my mind. I can choose to entertain these thoughts or deny their power over me — and I refuse to allow Satan’s schemes to take me captive. I have to confess my sins of not believing that I’m forgiven and cleansed before God (1 John 1:9).
I also recognize the sin of people-pleasing; I find that I struggle with wanting to justify my past to others in attempts to keep them from judgement, but it is still an offense to seek the approval of others (John 12:43; Galatians 1:10). Though I will never be sinless this side of heaven, I have hope and glory with Christ ahead.
My grace-giving, life-transforming Savior
Because Jesus is my Savior, he has taken every sin, my past, and what should be eternal condemnation to the cross with him. He bore the wrath that I deserve and has broken the chains of my sinful past through his life, death, resurrection, and ascension! My sins of promiscuity, self-shame, and people-pleasing have been paid, once and for all, and I no longer have to worry about their power of me. They have been cast out as far as the east is from the west (Psalm 103:2).
Jesus is faithful and just, and has cleansed me from all unrighteousness because I have asked for forgiveness (1 John 1:9); he has cancelled my debts to an almighty God. I have received the free gift of eternal life in Christ (Romans 6:23). I am a new creation; the old has gone and the new has come (2 Corinthians 5:17). He is a merciful, forgiving, grace-giving, life-transforming Savior — and I now know the meaning of true love through him.
Freedom through faith
My role as a Christ follower is to actively fight for my faith. I have to confess that I have not fully accepted his gift of forgiveness and grace, and I have to repent (to turn away) of my wallowing, guilt, fear, and shame. Spending intentional time in the Word daily and speaking his truths into my life is a way of committing to Christ-like growth. Jesus desires for intimacy in my prayer time with him, and so I bring all my cares to him in prayer. I am grateful that I can approach his throne of grace for mercy and grace in my time of need (Hebrews 4:16).
In faith, I will also keep fighting these thoughts as I persevere living in a fallen world. I will trust that Christ, my solid rock, will hold me fast and never let me go as his beloved daughter. Freedom from my chains is mine only because of Jesus! May I only boast of him!
Meredith Hodge is a freelance communications specialist and the Development Director for Refuge for Women Chicago, an organization that provides aftercare for sexually trafficked and exploited women. She and her husband Matt have been married for 10 years after meeting through The Orchard. She is passionate about ministry, plant-based cooking, nature, reading, and coffee.