Will he still love me?
This was the question I struggled with over and over again when I was single, before I met my now husband. Anytime I would think about a future relationship and having to have “the talk” about my past, I would find myself becoming anxious. Instantly I would think, “Will he still love me after I tell him?”
I think for most of us Catholic/Christian women who have struggled with impurity and stumbled in our past, one of our greatest fears is that we will not be worthy of love from a virtuous man. I know how this fear taunted me repeatedly over the course of my continued healing. I used to replay scenes in my mind where the guy I was dating would look at me with disgust, shame me for what I did, and walk out of the room, confirming once again that I’d ruined any possibility of finding authentic love, now that my virginity was gone. (It might seem dramatic, but at that time in my mind, this was how my shame shaped everything).
But an amazing thing happened. When I stopped focusing on how my future husband might respond and I started looking at how Jesus has responded to me, my fear became less paralyzing and my heart became more at peace. Jesus responded to my brokenness with compassion and mercy. He didn’t shame me. He didn’t condemn me. He held me and wept with me.
Was Jesus happy about my sins? Never. Jesus is never happy when we are enslaved. Did his heart break for me? I’m sure, because He wanted better for me and He saw how my past had so badly wounded me. But the response from Jesus has always been love.
And this should be the response of any virtuous man you decide to let love you. He should meet you with understanding and compassion. He should not cast stones of condemnation at you, but embrace you for your courage to be transformed by Jesus. Will your past inhibit him from seeing how God has made a new creation in you? Not if he sees through the eyes of Jesus.
My now husband has been such a huge instrument in my healing and I thank God everyday for the gift of a good man. He truly has seen me through the lens of Christ and has helped reflect my value and beauty back to me. When we first started dating, he always made sure he did his best to honor me, respect me and protect me. When you are loved so purely, it takes nothing from you. I had never experienced that kind of love from a man before, and once I did, I knew why I never wanted to settle for anything less again. My husband taught me what kind of love is possible for me, but I never would’ve been able to receive it from him if I first didn’t go to Jesus, and let Him prepare my heart for that kind of genuine, life-giving love.
I pray that all my fellow sisters would discover the beauty of beginning again. I pray you would refuse to compromise your body or purity. I pray Jesus would be your greatest love and that you would let Him heal you, and offer you His mercy and hope. And I pray that you would find a man that loves you in such a way that it brings you closer to the peace, freedom and joy that Jesus yearns for you to experience.
If you remember one thing, remember this: Your past doesn’t disqualify you from being loved. It hasn’t disqualified you from being loved by Jesus, and it shouldn’t disqualify you from being loved by a godly man one day. So, when the fear and anxiety come, when the lies start to knock at the door of your mind, remember that you are already loved by Jesus and let your heart rest in this truth. This truth will set you free for a beautiful love one day.
To my husband Kyle, thank you for loving me so purely and for always pointing me to Christ. Thank you for taking me as I am and loving all of me. You constantly remind me of my value and beauty, especially on days when I am quick to forget it. In you I found the love I always prayed for. I love you! 🙂
2018 Drewe DeJesus
Photo from our engagement