that three letter “s” word that ends with “x”

If you’re still trying to figure out the title this blog post is about sex & sexuality! I have been trying to write about this for awhile but was not sure what specifically to talk about because it’s such a controversial topic. Most people talking about it in our generation are talking about it from a different angle than what I want to share.

I believe pornography and sexual behavior outside of marriage are not part of God’s perfect plans for us and they are constant battles we face in the generation we live in. Sex is a topic that seems to come up in just about every conversation when talking about guys, girls, relationships, etc. We live in a sex obsessed generation, and instead of taking charge and changing the conversation, too many of us allow these conversations to happen, and even if we don’t agree with it, we go along with it. Maybe we just don’t want to be called out for disagreeing with what is considered “normal” and “harmless” by so many of our peers. Maybe it’s because we don’t actually see what’s wrong with it. Or maybe we just have good intentions to take a stand but we just go with the flow because it’s easier. But a lot of hearts are getting hurt going along with it and there’s a lot of guilt and shame and regret we deal with, so what do we do about it?

If we want change we have to be the change. We can’t just hashtag a movement then do nothing to fix our own behavior. Let’s choose to be a generation that grows up to be respectful men and women, and who stop allowing our hormones to dictate what we say, who we date, what we watch, and how we behave. I am so serious about this and can say that I didn’t always feel this way. I’m not proud to admit it but there was a time in my life that I used to mock people who were practicing abstinence or even just trying to stay pure in general. I believed the lies I heard every day that sexual movies, songs and behavior were not a big deal. Part of me knew it was wrong but I also knew how to fit in, how to get attention and more likes on the pics I posted and when I did not realize my identity was found in the One who created me, that kind of attention was what fueled me.  Once I realized how much I was actually harming myself and others around me by choosing temporary counterfeit fulfillment instead of thinking long term, EVERYTHING changed for me. I hope you will hear me out.

What I don’t want to do is come across as judging or a know-it-all about any of this stuff, in fact I hope you hear my heart is that I settled for this stuff at points in my life and it left me soooo empty. I am sharing this because I truly believe that living a pure lifestyle is possible AND it’s God’s best for us, and hear me on this: you are NEVER too far gone and there is nothing He cannot wipe clean and redeem in your life. In order to do so you have to confess your sins, accept His forgiveness and ask Jesus to come into your heart and dwell, or else it will be a toxic cycle of going in between guilt and shame. We can’t do this in our own strength and empty promises. It’s not easy, once the door of “sexuality” is opened, it is hard (but not impossible) to close the door. We really do not realize how much we allow ourselves to be exposed to sexual stuff that just feeds the hunger for it, even just casually scrolling through social media. So hopefully what I share can help a little, and just know the conversation does NOT have to end here, feel free to reach out anytime, if not to me, to someone in your life who will pray for you and give you solid advice.

First off, I’m praying and believing 2019 will be the year pornography FINALLY stops being something that controls our generation.  Despite this being an unpopular opinion, watching pornography is not “victimless”, it’s actually harmful, it creates unrealistic scenarios in your head that one day could be damaging to your relationship with your significant other.  Watching porn sucks you in, you want more and it can cause you to struggle in your closest relationships, feeling more like the opposite sex are just sexual objects without even realizing your perception is changing. It’s also addictive so it reduces your ability to do/think about anything outside of sex. I also stand by the belief that if you are in a committed relationship, looking at porn is cheating. It may seem harmless, but it can consume you until it’s all you think about. There is an organization called Fight The New Drug and they have conducted so many studies on how pornography not only ruins relationships and hurts other people, but it can actually damage your brain. And if none of those reasons will stop you, most porn making industries participate in sex trafficking. Think about that a minute. These girls shown in pornography are someone’s sisters, daughters, friends, nieces and classmates and many ended up there from being forced into sex trafficking.  And so many of them are so young!

“To begin with, nearly half of sex trafficking victims report that pornography was made of them while they were in bondage.”

That line comes from the website of Fight The New Drug in talking about how sex trafficking and pornography feed off of each other. I know this is some heavy stuff but it is real and it is happening all around us. One of my professors once said, “I challenge you with this, if you ever feel tempted to watch pornography, just say this to yourself ‘I am participating in human trafficking’ and then go ahead and do whatever you please.” I challenge you to do the same.

So what about consensual relationships? I do not have a list of detailed do’s and don’ts for you, but I suggest you open up the Bible and see what God says about sex and relationships. And I heard something interesting once so maybe consider this, let’s say you are in a relationship with someone, you obviously like this person, think they are cute, and you see a future with them. Hopefully when you start dating you talk about boundaries and you are both on board. So after awhile of things going well, you two start to talk about getting married, how you can’t wait to try on  wedding dresses, your future kids, the perks of being married, etc… At some point a thought something like this probably crosses your mind, “If I am marrying this person, why can’t we do more than kiss and hold hands? I mean he or she loves me and is going to be my husband or wife anyways, right?” This is where things can begin to shift. Next thing you know you put yourself into situations where things get more physical and then it gets easier to move to the next level and do things way past what you first agreed was your stopping point. Annnnnnd then you guys break up and hearts end up hurt. So not only are you losing your boyfriend/girlfriend, but you are losing your best friend along with a part of yourself that was never supposed to belong to that person.  As you look back, you try to figure out where you went wrong, of course it was the lingering hugs or the dark nights talking in the car, and the list goes on, but before you ever gave him or her something physical that did not belong to them, you gave something emotional, and that was  talking about marriage and a future together.

When I first heard this concept I thought the person who shared it was crazy and so wrong, but after thinking about how our bodies are 3 parts, it started to make sense. Our bodies are divided into 3 main categories, physical, emotional and spiritual. When one is up really high, the other two try to equal out. It is like constantly doing arm days at the gym but never showing the legs or abs some love. Your body will constantly never be in a state of equilibrium and your brain works sort of the same way. When you are making all these emotional commitments like talking about marriage, your physical and spiritual parts want to catch up. If we do this, we can actually create unhealthy “soul ties” (a link to someone through intimacy) with not only physical ones, but emotional and spiritual as well. Our words and thoughts have power, they influence our actions so we need to choose them carefully. And we really should just focus more on the present not the far off future and what if’s in our relationships.

Here’s one other thought, God created sexual desire, He really did, but He created it in order to bond two people together in marriage. So when in a dating relationship it is important to remember that you are NOT guaranteed to marry this person, no matter how many times they tell you they want to.  I know it can be so hard to think of you possibly breaking up with the person you’re dating, because who wants to think those “negative thoughts” when you’re in love?  But we know it happens and it is so important to remember and respect your future husband or wife in your current relationship. On a practical note, I journal to my future husband not only for him to read one day and know I prayed for him, but it also keeps me on track to fight for him, to stay pure, to think long term and be patient in the waiting. So you might say “but Court what if this person I’m dating now does end up being “THE ONE” (side note: there is no “the one”,  there is only “THE ONE” and that is Jesus Christ 🙂 ) well then that’s awesome, think of how much richer your intimacy will be when you get married if you decide to wait on being physical! And you can start sticking to new boundaries tonight even if stuff has already happened. God doesn’t use our pasts against us and in fact He reminds us He has a bright future planned for us!

I know this was a long post and it goes against the cultural norms but I think it needs to be talked about honestly. Even though I am single and not having to set up dating boundaries or have a conversation regarding these things,  I’ve learned a few lessons and I’m praying the next man I give my heart to will honor and protect my desire to stay pure and I would not expect him to settle for less than that from me either.  And let me say this, if you have healthy boundaries and rules that your significant other does not agree with or respect, stand your ground PLEASE. You deserve to be valued and do not ever settle for less. If you don’t feel safe or respected in a relationship, please tell someone you can trust. When it comes to being physical no means no, even if you love that person, and even if it has happened before. Men this means you, too.

My heart breaks for our generation. We have become so desensitized. Trust me, I’ve been there and I thank God I’ve had people in my life who spoke truth to me and loved me enough to say the hard things I did not want to hear at first. I hope and pray that you understand these are not rules from God to ruin our fun, it really is what’s best for us because we are so loved by Him. And it’s not just about having sex, it’s talking about it, sending pics, watching movies that may not be labeled porn but they are very sexual, even Twitter accounts that are just trash.  I’ve learned that what we surround ourselves with becomes a part of us. And if any of this blog post hit close to home or you are thinking of something you may have done that you wished you hadn’t, please remember you get a fresh start every day! Don’t ever feel like you have done too much for God to forgive you, or that there is ANY sin He will hold against you. I promise you that God loves you so much and He doesn’t call you by your sin but calls you by your name. I am serious when I say please reach out for prayer or just someone to listen. Much love for y’all!!!  Xoxo

 

 

 

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being okay

First off,  I’m sorry I have been kinda bad at posting this summer, but I am gonna be honest with you, this season I’ve been walking through the last few months has been  HARD.  There have been sleepless nights and long days filled with disappointment, lots of tears and tough lessons learned the hard way. Through this whole time I have realized some things that I’m ready to share, but the main reason I am writing this is to let you know- it’s okay to not always be okay so I want to be vulnerable with you and share my thoughts and I’m coming from a place of still not quite being okay yet myself, but I know I will be! If it’s a little bit of a ramble I’ll apologize now!

So what do I mean by “not okay”?  When I say this I’m talking about when you don’t feel like doing stuff or you cry a little more than usual or questioning how you got to where you are and why you missed the warning signs. It’s even okay to not want to talk to certain people, especially people who are careless and can trigger you into feeling even worse. Listen, there is a difference between isolation and distance. Isolation involves you completely cutting yourself off from the world, not talking to anyone and feeling like a victim. Isolation usually leads to being in such a funk and feeling hopeless. Whereas with distance, you take some time off from certain activities or going out with certain friends and focus on spending time with just a few people you know you can trust while keeping others at a distance.  Not everyone is safe so choose who you spend your time with even more carefully during these tough times. This is a concept I have always been aware of and I’ve been trying to work on because isolation is unhealthy, but distance can be the thing your soul needs in order to heal.

Another big aspect of moving from not okay to okay is being able to talk over and process how you feel. And when I say talk about it I don’t mean bashing anyone, gossiping, cussing up a storm or being that person that is so obsessed with her own pain, it’s all she talks about. Instead, talk about it with someone you can trust, journal how you feel, even write a letter but never send it. Get the words out somehow, it’s such a release. I think sometimes we have a tendency to not talk about our feelings when we are hurt, because it is seen as weak, or that others will judge us, or that we are being annoying, and I am telling you guys, I have the best listener in the world, and that’s my mama. Some of you can relate like that with your own parents and maybe for others it’s a mentor, sibling, best friend, aunt/uncle, you name it, those are your “go to” people. Make sure they are trustworthy, and also make sure they are people who will encourage you to heal and help you move on from this season. And if the pain you are feeling is because someone hurt you, remember nobody is perfect so be careful of just having bashing sessions because honestly, it doesn’t help. Forgiving, choosing joy and praying are what will help you move on faster. Leave the past in the past and learn from it.

During this season, I will also encourage you to communicate with others but if it is one-sided on your part, you have to know when to stop. Know the difference between people who just tolerate you and those who genuinely care. You can’t force someone to be in your life if they don’t want to be, it’s their choice. The second we realize how accepted we are by our Father in Heaven and that we have no control over anyone but ourselves, is the moment we walk in freedom.  And as long as we can look in the mirror at the end of the year with no regrets (and be honest about it), then we can rest knowing that we tried our best.

One other big issue with these not okay seasons is trying not to focus on the negative but to also know what is reality and accept the truth. I think as humans, and me for sure, I tend to only see the good in people and situations until I’ve finally been hurt multiple times. The red flags would be flying but I ignored them. Friends and family can warn me, but for some reason I only saw potential instead of reality. I spent time very lost and misled in middle and high school which caused me to make some bad choices. I’m not alone, if you even look at people who have been in abusive relationships, they could be abused so many times but they hang on to a false hope or old happy memories and stay in that relationship or lifestyle they know they should be running from. I think I have gotten better with being more purposeful with who I spend my time with (and that has become a very small circle which is OK).  I want to be with people who have my back, want to help me grow as a person and become a better follower of Christ and vice versa!

On a practical note, I found it very helpful to make a list of issues in the situation making me feel not okay. At first when hearing this idea I was slightly taken back and had even questioned the idea just because I had thought, “Wait, if God wants me focusing on the positive and doesn’t want me judging or bashing on another person, how does this help anything?” But as I started to sit down at my computer and write a list, I started to quickly realize, I was not bashing in any shape or form, instead I was bringing to light some of the things that I made excuses for and had been hidden “in the darkness” for sooo long. As I typed this list out it brought such a freedom and just full on release from these things or times that had hurt me. I am now VERY thankful that God allowed these circumstances and even though it hurt, I realized it’s part of His perfect plan for me!

Being not okay hurts. It does. We’ve all been here. It doesn’t feel good to not feel good. Hurt, rejection and disappointment are real things. But God deosn’t make us feel this way, circumstances and other people do (and sometimes it’s self-inflicted too). He never intended for rejection, that is why when we are heartbroken it hurts so much.  God does allow these things to happen for a reason and He promises that He will work all things together for our good.  Just don’t overthink and try to make sense of things or else you will constantly be stuck.

I also wanted to write this to help you guys. Don’t feel stuck, and on the opposite side of that, please help others become unstuck! Check in and be that trustworthy friend to someone in their time of need, not just when it’s convenient or fun. Life can really hurt sometimes and I want you to know you’re not alone. And if anything comes from the seasons of confusion and disappointment, let me encourage you that God has such a beautiful plan for your life, you have no clue how much He loves and adores you. The best is yet to come! AHHHH GOD IS GOOD Y’ALL. Okay please dm me or email me, I’ll gladly talk and pray for you! xoxo