One Piece of My Puzzle

*GRAPHIC CONTENT WARNING*

When I decided just over two years ago to make significant changes in my life, there were a few things that were easy to decide upon. Other changes have taken a significant amount of prayer and meditation and trusting God’s plan for my life.

One of those areas is dating and sex.

Although not raised in a home where we attended religious services I always felt God as a part of my life and that He was always with me. I learned at a young age that sex was meant for marriage only and had every intention of saving myself for my husband.

I did not date in high school…mostly because I was not very popular or attractive as a child, but I was also one of the guys in the groups I did belong in. I was a tom-boy through and through.

I was still boy-crazy, as I think every girl is at some point in their lives. I just did not have opportunity to really act on it.

And then I turned 17 and fell in love with the first boy to show me attention beyond wanting to come ride my family’s snowmobiles or hang out at our cabin for the weekend. He told me he loved me.

Thankfully we lived 9 hours apart so the biggest risk was when my parents would get the monthly phone bill…but that’s another story.

Now for some background on the story.

I was raised in a family of seven children by my mom and her second husband. My mom had been married to my biological father until I was a year old and they had three children. My Dad is the man who raised me. The other guy, well, I still am not always sure how to address him and I am 42 years old.

Every year my mom and dad would send myself and my older two siblings to the town where our biological father lived (and still lives). We were “shipped to Grandma and Grandpa’s” for a week or two every year. We stayed at our grandparents home because my father is an alcoholic yet my mother did her part in maintaining a relationship between his children and his family. Thankfully his parents and his brothers and their wives made sure we knew we were wanted and that our visits were the best thing in the world.

We were only allowed to go there on the condition that our grandparents were our caregivers as chances were that our father was likely drunk anyway. I don’t remember seeing much of him during the visits in my younger years, but the times I do remember, I know he was drunk.

In our teens, my mother decided we were old enough to see this man for who he was on our own. We were allowed to stay at his place for the first time (maybe it was the second time…it must have been the second time because after the first time my brother and sister never went back. I did once, and this is what happened.

To get to the town where my grandparents lived, was a 10 hour bus ride, followed by a couple hour layover in Winnipeg, then a 4 hour bus ride.

I think this was also the first time I had made the trip alone. I made plans with my so-called boyfriend to meet me in Winnipeg and then we could hang out all day before taking the next bus to complete my trip.

I went to his house, his brother and a friend were there. I had met them both before and we were watching television when my boyfriend decided we were going to have sex. He knew I was a virgin, he knew I was saving myself for marriage. His brother and friend had disappeared leaving me alone with him.

At first I thought he was joking and I just shrugged it off. He loved me, of course he wouldn’t force me to go against my wishes…right?

Then I begged.

I pleaded.

I cried as he physically dragged me up the stairs to his bedroom, laughing at me the entire time.

I don’t remember if it hurt, I honestly don’t remember much…except the blood. There was blood everywhere.

He laughed at me as he finished taking off my clothes so I could shower off; it was almost time for me to go back and catch my bus, I’d better hurry if I didn’t want to have to explain to my mother why I missed my bus…

It was then I knew I was damaged goods, and I had asked for it. If I had just stayed at the bus station, none of this would have happened.

This was my fault.

Fast forward many years and I thought that sex was part of dating, there was no way around it. Except it left me feeling more empty and lonely each time. Being a person who lives with my heart on my sleeve, I was an easy target for predators and liars. As soon as they told me they loved me…I was mush. All I wanted was to be loved and they kept telling me sex meant love.

How I wish it hadn’t taken so long to figure out that sex has nothing to do with love.

I began a dialogue with my pastor about waiting for the man God has picked out just for me and that I know in my heart of hearts that this man would not have sex as a top priority. He would gladly wait for marriage, he would be honored to make that sacrifice.

And then somebody would come along and they would make me happy for a time. Then, when I would feel things were not going in a permanent direction I would inevitably give in and have sex…KNOWING that it was wrong. HATING myself for doing it. Doing it in hopes that it would fix things…this time it would be different.

But I knew each time, it wasn’t.

So here I am after ending a relationship that I thought was real. Before meeting in person I made it clear that intimacy was limited to holding hands and maybe cuddling on the couch while we watch a movie. He was so touched that I had chosen this path and admitted that although not easy, he was willing to wait. He promised me we would wait.

I know in my heart of hearts that God’s plan for me is much better than anything I could figure out on my own. Something just wasn’t right with the last gentleman.

It seems to be that each man I meet shows me a clearer picture of the man I hope is out there waiting for me. I want a man who is already heavily involved in his church, not just willing to jump in at mine. An active christian who has some of the same struggles and internal fights as he works hard to follow Christ.

Lately I am less confident that this man exists outside of my imagination. I pray. I pray for his heart to not lose hope, as I struggle to tell myself the same thing. I pray he feels my hand on his arm, telling him things are going to work out just fine, yet I do not feel that same touch.

So while dating is still on the radar as something I’m interested in, I am leaving it up to God to plop this poor bugger right down in front of me. HAHA…poor bugger. It is going to take a very unique man to jump in where we are; especially with the beginning of bowling and hockey season as well as me being fairly new at the back to work life. At least I am off the ice so less involved for at least the next four to six weeks, he can come watch practice with me (while I pout).

I just feel my focus changing I guess. The boys and I stay extremely busy all winter and will be travelling north for Thanksgiving as well as Christmas this year. We just returned from a four day weekend in my home town and it was the most renewing trip I have experienced in some time! ( I wonder if I say that every time I return)

Learning my own worth based on God’s plan for my life has been a difficult journey. I hope on e day a man can see how lucky he is to have found me now and not a year ago.

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