BACK TO LIFE
Ever since I could remember, my parents have always had the passion for serving God. It was clear that they had dedicated their lives to Him and that He was their main priority, and they took every measure to make sure that my brother and I followed suit.
I always did as my parents told me. Almost every decision I made was made out of an obligation to obey them because they were really strict as I was growing up. My mom shared the Gospel to me and I accepted Christ as my Lord and Savior at the tender age of five, and since then everything was pretty much standard. Every day she would wake me up early in the morning to read the Bible to me and pray; I’d say grace before meals; attend youth choir on Saturdays; go to church on Sundays; and have family Bible study on Sunday nights. My life and actions were based on a meticulously planned regimen that quickly turned into monotony. Soon enough my “relationship” with Christ was reduced to just that – a dull, lifeless routine.
College was an entirely different environment for me. I felt the need to always belong and have fun, and relied on the company of friends to fill a missing void. And because of that, I learned to lie to my parents about my whereabouts. I’d tell them I would be studying overnight at the school dormitory for an exam, but in reality I’d be out with my friends going to places I shouldn’t be in. As soon as I started to become dishonest to my parents, my relationship with God became unstable. It came to a point where Christianity to me turned into nothing more than an inconvenience. I hid a lot of things from my parents and I hid them so well that I didn’t think it’d come to a point where it would all blow up in my face and they’d find out in the worst way possible.
I met Allen at a time when I wasn’t allowed to have a boyfriend. Cheesy as it sounds, I knew I loved this boy and I knew that he was the one I’d spend the rest of my life with. But I never got to introduce him to my parents. Of course at that time it didn’t matter to me because their approval was irrelevant.
Looking back, there were times that I knew deep down in my heart that God was convicting us for going behind my parents’ backs. But I ignored Him and His call to come back. I was just too stubborn.
Sex at our day and age has been diminished to a casual act. In an environment where everyone seems to be doing it, the commitment to keep oneself pure is next to impossible when you don’t have God to give you a way out when temptation comes. I lost my purity despite previously promising that I’d only give myself on my wedding day. The guilt I felt after doing it was tremendous. So tremendous that I made Allen promise that we’d never do it again.
When I found out I was pregnant, I remember the first thing I wanted to do was to kill myself.
I wanted to kill myself for the sole reason that I was afraid of what my parents and family would think. I’d rather die than for them to find out. I was so scared to face them all.
I knew I couldn’t go through with it, so I opted for another way out: abortion. Because it is illegal in the country, what we were about to do could potentially land me in prison, and could even kill me. But I was adamant with my decision. I would’ve rather died than have my parents find out. I was at the lowest point of my life, and I was desperate.
The day came when I was about to do it. My parents went to my room and sat down on my bed together, and asked me straight on, “Joana, are you pregnant?”
Words cannot express how much fear, shame, and guilt I felt when they asked that question. People overuse the phrase “my life is over” nowadays, but at that point I really felt that it was. I couldn’t speak. But I remember the first thing they told me when I confessed what I had done: “Whether or not this boy will stay, we will still support you.”
The rest of the night was one huge blur, but if there was one thing that really stuck with me, one lesson that He made sure became permanent in my head from that day on,
it’s that God is so sovereign that His forgiveness and love is greater than any sin that you have and ever will commit.
The moment I found out I was pregnant, every day I asked Him why. Of all the people, why me? I did it one time. Why me?And he answered later on with this: because I am His child and there was no way that he’ll allow me to fall into the same mistake for the rest of my life. He had a greater plan for me, and I am special to Him that it had to happen so that I’d turn away from my sinful ways. He wasn’t punishing me. It was his loving discipline towards me and Allen.
And God was indeed gracious despite our disobedience. After much praying, we knew deep in our hearts that He made us for each other. With our parents’ approval and their undying love and support, we got married, and I gave birth to a beautiful and healthy baby girl. Indeed, God has been gracious to us throughout this whole endeavor.
I can’t say that it’s been a walk in the park – the past few years for me and my husband have been filled with trials and hardships that further tested our relationship with God. And yes, there are some times when I still fail. But He never does. He is faithful to forgive whenever I repent, and never gives up on making sure that I always follow the right path.
God made sex a beautiful act – something that is to be enjoyed between a husband and a wife. And there is a reason why it should only be inside marriage. Although this world says otherwise, remember that the world is never our standard. As Christians, our standard is and always will be God. Whenever we are tempted to think otherwise, we should always remember 1 Corinthians 10:13, which says “remember that the temptations that come into your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will keep the temptation from becoming so strong that you can’t stand up against it. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you will not give in to it.” It was one of my best friends that had told my parents that I was pregnant. God used her to make sure that I wouldn’t fall into the temptation of covering up my sin with another sin, and for that, I will forever be grateful. I am also thankful for my parents who, in God’s love, continue to accept me and support me in all of this.
If you have already made the same mistake as I have, always remember that God loves you just the same and you are not of any lesser value.
If we simply ask for His forgiveness, the Holy Spirit has the power to cleanse us from our sins and make us pure once more.
God always has wonderful plans for His children and He wants nothing more than for us to share in His perfect will.
Proverbs 3:5-6 says,
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”
31 Girls is a Christian community for women where they share God’s love by aiming to be a safe place where girls can feel they’re not alone in what they are going through and that there is still joy after all the wrongs.