The Squeezings of my Brain Grapes.
Go Now, And Leave Your Life Of Sin

We’re all supposed to believe that God forgives us.  And, sure, intellectually, we do.  But, for a lot of us, that just isn’t how we feel.

Truth is, we don’t feel forgiven.  We don’t feel “free”.  No, for a lot of us, we feel dirty, used-up, and out of second chances.  We might know that isn’t true, but that knowledge doesn’t change the feeling.

If you feel that way, this is for you.

There’s an amazing moment in the Bible where Jesus comes face-to-face with a woman caught in the act of sinning.  And, I’m talking about big old embarrassing sexual sin, the kind you hope nobody ever finds out about.

Jesus says two things to this woman. First, he says, “I do not condemn you.”  Second, he says, “Go now and leave your life of sin.”  (You can read the whole story in John chapter 8.)

Now, the first one - I don’t condemn you - that sounds about right.  I mean, Jesus is supposed to forgive people, so, that makes sense.

But let’s look at that second one.  "Go now and leave your life of sin."

If you asked most people what it means to leave a “life of sin”, they’d say, “Simple!  Stop doing bad stuff!”  But I’m not sure that’s exactly it.

See, sin, at its core, is about selfishness.  It’s a focus on me, and what I think might satisfy me at any given moment, regardless of anybody else.  By contrast, a life driven by God’s Spirit is a life focused on God, what God wants, and what God is doing.  (For more on this, check out the book of Galatians, and especially chapter 5.)

So, then, if our hearts and thoughts are consumed with beating up on ourselves for past sins, and trying to grit our teeth and whip ourselves to resist present temptations, sin is still the thing at the center of our lives.  We’re focused on our jacked-up mess, and what the heck is wrong with us, and how terrible we are.

Here’s what the Bible says about that:

"Focusing on the self is the opposite of focusing on God. Anyone completely absorbed in self ignores God, ends up thinking more about self than God. That person ignores who God is and what he is doing. And God isn’t pleased at being ignored." (Romans 8:8, MSG)

Whoa.  That does not sound good.  Ok.  So, what do we do instead?

We recognize that leaving a life of sin is about, well, leaving a life of sin.  It’s about putting something else at the center of our thoughts and energies.  It’s about having a life driven by something other than the draw and repulsion of sin.

If you want to leave your life of sin, I’ve got two suggestions for you.

First, don’t wait around for your emotions to agree with what God is telling you. He says you stand forgiven, and you do.  Waiting for 100% buy-in from your feelings…that’s a very long wait.

Second, take the focus off of yourself, and put it onto loving other people. 

It sounds funny to say it out loud, but, people who are hurting, people who are going through a rough time, they don’t care what you’ve done in your past.  The lonely kid in class who cuts himself?  If you’re willing to talk to him and be a friend, he’s not going to double check the last time you looked at porn before accepting your company.  The homeless guy at the soup kitchen who hasn’t eaten in three days?  He couldn’t care less if you went too far physically with your last boyfriend.  It just doesn’t matter.

And when you start to focus on loving other people, instead of obsessing over your sins, you’ll begin to realize, for yourself, that the sins don’t matter in the way you thought they did.  Sure, they were wrong.  Yes, we want to work on not doing them.  But they don’t define you.  They don’t tell you who you are.  And they don’t tell you what your life is about.

Beloved, leave your life of sin.  Leave your life of guilt and shame and introspection and obsession.  Jesus has a real life he wants to give you – a life following Him, a life serving others – and, I promise, it’s absolutely amazing.

I’m Tormented By Lust. What Do I Do?

Anonymous asked:
You have a beautiful picture of sex and marriage that I can hardly comprehend. I have been entrenched in to masturbation and lust for several years, even before being born again. I want the healthy, pure, and godly marriage that God has for me, but I almost don’t think that it is possible given how frequently I struggle with this particular sin. So often (I am sure from viewing pornography) when I see a girl my mind imagines her unclothed and it is a constant torment. How can I get out of this?

Jed Brewer replied:

Bro, I’m sorry you’re hurting.  I really am.

If you’re open to a crazy thought, I think it’s worth considering, even for a moment, that, just maybe, lust isn’t your main problem.

Yes, I get that you have looked at a lot of porn, given into a lot of lust, and engaged in masturbation on a regular basis.  That’s terrain I know well, and from personal experience.  And, yes, all of that is wrong.

But – and this is a very, very big but – it’s a pretty huge leap to go from saying, “I’m doing this wrong thing, and I know it ain’t good”, to saying, “Probably, God can’t bless me anymore, and I’m in torment.” 

Look, yes, mentally undressing girls is not a righteous thing to do.  It is, however, something that basically every man on the planet has done many, many times.  If God can’t deal with a serial-mental-undresser, then he really can’t deal with anyone.  All we’ve got down here are sinners.

Like I said, I don’t think the problem here is lust.  I think it’s shame.

I get the sense that you think you’re a pervert.  The problem with that thought is that you’re thinking your past (and present) mistakes define you.  They don’t.

Your identity is not “pervert”.  It’s “sinner-save-by-grace, and adopted Child-of-God.”  There’s no place for shame in that.  God knows you have issues, and he loves you anyway.

I think the challenge before you is not getting rid of lust – although that will come in time.  I think the challenge before you is accepting that God loves, desires, embraces, and accepts you today, as you are.  That he knows you’re a dude who is eaten up by lust, and he loves you anyway.  That he has enough grace to handle your failures, and enough strength to handle your weakness.

Here’s what the Bible says:

“I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me.  Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me.  But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’” (2 Cor 12:7-9, NIV)

So what’s the answer?  Simple.  

Let God love you.  Let him embrace you.  Get a copy of the Bible in The Message translation, read Ephesians chapter 1, and choose to accept that God is talking about you.  Read the story of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-32) and make up your mind that God’s talking about you.  Read the story of the treasure hidden in a field (Matthew 13:44) and decide to believe that the treasure God sold everything to have is you. 

Choke that shame out.  Show it no mercy.  Put it to death, and let God’s love for you take its place.  That love will change you, and in ways that nothing else can.

Lastly, relax.  As impossible as it sounds, let yourself relax.  Bro, you are not a super-sinner.  You just aren’t.  I work in prison ministry, and I deal with guys who have made an art form out of sinning, and God most definitely is prepared to receive them.  Well,  if God can receive my brothers from County, then he can receive you.  And he wants to, more than anything.

I Cut Myself For The First Time. What Do I Do Now?

Anonymous asked:
Hi. This is kind of hard for me to talk about. But i cut myself for the first time a couple days ago. And i feel horrible about it, i dont even know why i did it. I know that God’s love for me has not changed. but i feel like he is disappointed with how i view myself. how do i deal with this correctly?

Jed Brewer replied:

Hey my friend,

I’m sorry you’re going through a rough time.  My wife and I are praying for you, and we’ve got your back. 

I think there are three things to look at.  The first is just to sit down with God and clear the air.  Say, “God, I shouldn’t of done that, and it wasn’t cool.  And I’m sorry.”  And rest easy in the knowledge that God isn’t holding anything against you at all.  (1 John 1:9)

The second thing is to deal with the shame you’re feeling.  See, I’m guessing that part of what you’re struggling with is the question, “What does this say about me?  Am I a different kind of person now?”  That’s how taboos work.  People tell us that “only a certain kind of sinner would do xyz”, and, then, when we’ve done xyz, we’re left to wonder if that’s true.

Well, it’s not.  The person you are hasn’t changed.  At all.  Nearly everybody on the planet has, at some point, done something “they thought they’d never do.”  It didn’t change them or put them in a different category of human being.  All it did was to confirm that they – like everybody else – fall under the category of “sinner”.  And sinners sin.  And if you put a person in the right set of circumstances with the right pressures, they’re capable of doing just about anything.  Hence the phrase, “there but for the Grace of God go I.”

The good news, my friend, is that, if you’ll work through this shame with God, he’ll bring something amazing out of it.  Because, on the other side of thinking you’re a dirty sinner and realizing you’re not, you’re in an amazing position to set other people free.  You know, today, in your life, people who are convinced that they are damaged goods or “different” due to sex or drugs or any number of things.  And that belief becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.  You think you’re dirty, so you do dirty things that hurt you.  And God wants to use you to set those people free.  (How’s it taste, Satan?)

The last thing I’d suggest you look at is strategy.  See, people use heroin for a reason.  They get into bad relationships for a reason.  And they cut for a reason.  You have some legitimate needs in your life, and some part of you thought that cutting would help (this is another reason not to be ashamed).  Well, that makes sense, it just doesn’t turn out to be true.  But, to move forward, we need to know what needs you were trying to fulfill with the cutting.  Maybe it’s a need for excitement.  Maybe it’s a need to feel something full-on.  Maybe it’s a need for release.  Or for self-expression.  But it’s something, and we need to know what.  Find a mentor who is significantly farther along with the Lord than yourself, and start talking stuff out.  I bet the two of you will be able to find it.

And then you need a plan to answer that need in a healthy and Godly way.  God has a desire to give you excitement and immediacy and release and self-expression.  And he has a way to hook that up.  We just need to figure out what it is.

My friend, if you’ll work through these steps, you’ll have a first hand experience of what it means for something to be redeemed.  That God can and does take tragedies, and turn them into something good and right and beautiful.

What Do You Do When You Think God Is Ashamed Of You?

Anonymous asked:
I keep being ashamed of what god thinks of me.  Help?

Jed Brewer replied:

Anon, if I had to guess, I bet you’re thinking of God as a Boss.  In other words, when you do what the Boss wants, he’s happy.  When you don’t, he’s unhappy.  Do enough good stuff, and you get promoted.  Do enough bad stuff, and you get fired.

There are a lot of people that look at God that way, and I suppose it makes sense – most relationships in life work just like that.  And, if that’s the way we relate to God, then, yeah, God probably wouldn’t be very happy with you, what with you being a great big sinner and all.

The problem here, anon, is that this isn’t how God works.  At all.

Here’s what the Bible has to say:

“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8, NIV)

God’s opinion towards you is Love.  Period.  Always.  No matter what.  When you’re at rock bottom in the worst of your sins?  His opinion of you is Love.  When you’re completely disinterested in him?  Love.  When you consider him an enemy?  Love.

That’s God’s heart towards you.  Where you stand with God is one of two things.  Either…

A)   You are a person who is lost and hurting, separated from God by your sins, and yet sought and desired relentlessly by a Savior who stands at your door and knocks, and offers you – today – a free gift of forgiveness, salvation, and new and eternal life.


B)   You are a sinner saved by Grace, adopted as the beloved child of the God of the Universe, a person whose sins have been paid for both fully and permanently, who has been credited all of the righteousness of Jesus Christ himself and enjoys the full favor of God for the rest of eternity.

Those are the only two options for where you stand with God.  There is no plan C. 

What this means is that the noise in your head is a lie.  This sense that God is looking down on you, barely tolerating you, and that you’re hanging by a thread, with the threat of his wrath waiting to drop any time now?  It’s simply not true.

Beloved, God adores you.  He has desired you before there was time itself.  He has sought and pursued you every day of your life, including the worst ones.  He has given up everything to have you.  He has already paid every cost, borne ever burden, and removed every obstacle so that the two of you could be together.  I know you feel a desire in your heart for a great and transcendent romance; this is a desire for God, pure and simple.  And he stands before you today, epically crazy about you.  The only thing that stands in the way of that romance is your false belief that he wouldn’t have you.

If you’ve made a decision for Christ in your life already, I’d encourage you to go find a place where you are extending God’s impossible love to other people.  That may be a homeless shelter, soup kitchen, prison chapel service, etc.  It will change your thinking – I promise.

If you haven’t made a decision to accept Jesus as your savior – to say “I do” to God – you can do that right now.  Find a quiet place just you and God, tell him this, then send me a message and we’ll work together to help you find a good church in your area.

“Jesus, I’ve done wrong things in my life.  I admit it.  I’m asking you to forgive me.  Right now, I’m claiming your death on the cross as payment for every wrong thing I’ve ever done or will do.  From now on, I want you to be in charge of my life.  I’m asking you to give me a new life that comes out of being connected with you.  Thanks that, as of right now, your spirit lives inside of me, I’m forgiven and accepted, and nothing can change that, ever.  Thanks that, when I die, I will spend forever with you in Heaven.  Amen.”

How Do I Deal With Feeling Far From God?

snickleefritzz asked you:
Hey Jed, would you have any advice for someone who is going to a Bible school but recently feels far away from God? Not mentioning who it is or anything ;)

Jed Brewer replied:

Hey Tiffany,

Thanks for your question, sis!  And, just as a side note, I dig your photography!

The first thing I would offer, in terms of feeling far from God, is that it’s not something you need to feel ashamed of.  David, who the Bible describes as “a man after God’s own heart”, wrote both Psalm 13 and Psalm 22.  And those are pretty dang “feeling far from God” Psalms!

So, let’s take a deep breath, and set down that sense of shame.  I know that, particularly somewhere like a Bible school, there can be pressure to act like everything’s OK all the time.  Well, it isn’t, and it ain’t gonna be, so let’s just let that go.

The thing we want to determine is: where is this feeling coming from?  You and I, as human beings, are capable of having strong emotions for a wide variety of reasons.  Some of them stem from rather simple things.  Ever had a rough night’s sleep, and spent the next day pretty sure that everyone hates you?  Ever been really hungry, and you inexplicably find that you hate everyone around you?  See what I mean?  Huge emotion; small cause.

And, sometimes, our emotions are dislocated – there’s something substantial behind them, but the connection isn’t obvious.   So, in your life, family drama, a sense of uncertainty about the future, loneliness, and discouragement – just as examples – can all lead to feeling far from God.  None of those things are related to actually being far from God, but any one of them can lead you to feeling that way.

Now, Tiffany, I should note that, when Christians ask about feeling far from God, very often, they’re quietly afraid that the emotional distance they feel is the result of some secret and terrible sin, and, perhaps, one they’re not even aware of.

For what it’s worth, I haven’t found that – the secret sin – to be the case very often.  But, the generalized guilt that a lot of Christian carry around – feeling bad just cause – will absolutely, no question, mess with your head, and lead you to feel not only far from God, but unworthy of his love and grace and acceptance.  And it’s a nasty little lie.

So, what I’d encourage you to do is, first, for the next few days, get enough sleep, eat regular meals, and drink plenty of water, and see how you feel.  If you’re still feeling off, spend some time praying and journaling, and talking with a trusted friend or mentor, and try and get a sense of “where is this coming from?”  In particular, look for subjects that come up again and again.  If your parents’ troubled marriage – as an example – keeps coming up as you think, pray, journal, and talk, then that’s a good sign that that’s what you’re concerned about.  And then you can start dealing with that situation directly.

Lastly, sis, here’s what I know: God is not far from you.  Even if the worst was true, and you felt far from God because you were running away, you just turn around, and He’s right there.  That’s the kind of love he has for you.  So don’t be ashamed, and don’t be afraid.  Your Father is crazy about you.

What’s So Great About Sex? – Vol. 2

Quick Intro:
In this series, we’re taking a look at the way God designed sex to work within marriage, and how awesome it is.  We’re specifically looking at a book in the Bible called “Song of Solomon”, which comes right before Isaiah.  The whole book is about how great sex is within marriage.  In fact, it’s an explicit conversation between a husband and wife.  Seriously – check it out.

Today: The Joy of Passionately Wanting It, or, There’s No Shame In My Game

Ok, let’s get right to it.  Here’s another passage from Song of Solomon, and the wife is talking here:

“Restless in bed and sleepless through the night, I longed for my lover. I wanted him desperately. His absence was painful. So I got up…  I wanted my lover in the worst way! I looked high and low, and didn’t find him…  [Then] I found him, found my dear lost love. I threw my arms around him and held him tight, wouldn’t let him go until I had him home again, safe at home beside the fire.” (Song of Solomon 3:1-4, MSG)

Now, Christians know that lust is wrong.  And it is.  But, what is lust, exactly?  I’ll give you an easy definition.   Lust is a desire that comes from believing, “This thing – apart from God – can satisfy me.”  It’s that sense of, “I just need one more.”  Whatever “it” is – clothes, cars, sex, friends, money, food, drugs, relationships – I just need one more, and then I’ll be OK.

God doesn’t want you to lust because what you’re lusting after cannot satisfy you.  That car, or job, or relationship, cannot make you happy.  It cannot make you “OK.”  It doesn’t have that power.  And, so, what happens is, you lust, you get that thing, and it doesn’t work, and you’re on to the next object-of-lust, and you spend your life spinning your wheels.

Make sense?  Right.  But the problem that we often run into is thinking, “Well, if lust is bad, then, probably, I’d be safest to just not really want anything.  And if I find that I do really want something, that’s a bad sign.”  And so, we wind up with a lot of Christians who are never excited or passionate about anything – ‘cause we don’t want things to get out of control!  (I bet you know a single person who feels guilty over wanting to someday have a boyfriend or girlfriend.)

But when we enter into a relationship with God, and begin to let Him satisfy us on an ultimate level, a crazy thing happens.  We start to be able to enjoy things for what they are.  We can have ice cream, and, rather than trying to make it an answer to life’s troubles (which it isn’t and can’t be), we get to enjoy it for what it is: a delicious, delicious dessert. 

Ok, then, read that passage above, one more time.  The wife here isn’t confused about who her husband is.  She’s not calling him her Lord, or her Savior, or her God.  No, God’s her God.  And precisely because God is her God, she gets to enjoy her husband for what he is: her lover.

She has a lover, and dang it, she wants some loving.  She isn’t shy or demure about it.  She can’t sleep for the passion of it, and she ain’t waiting.  She gets up and says, “I’m gonna go find my Dude, ‘cause dagnabit, it’s go time.” 

Then what The Bible describes is a Holy and Righteous version of seduction.  Dude’s out doing his thing, and his girl shows up, wraps her arms around him, probably whispers a little something in his ear, and next thing you know, they’re back home, in front of the fire.  In case you’re confused, they’re not talking about snuggling under a blanket here.  That ain’t what fires are for.

Now, why does all this matter?  It matters because, within a Christian marriage, you are free to want sex, to want it real bad, and to make up your mind to go find your lover and do something about it.  You don’t ever have to deny or downplay your desires ever again.  There is no shame anywhere in this process, and there shouldn’t ever be any, either.

Think for a second about what the wife does when she finds her husband.  She doesn’t say, “Well, you know, I’m sure you’re, you know, busy, and probably, well, it’d be nice to have some, um, quality time.  If you have time.”  Heck no!  There’s no shame in her game!  No, she throws herself at him, and drags his narrow behind back to the house!

And God sees all of that, and say, “That’s just right.”  (Remember, we’re reading His Word here.)

My friends, this is what God wants for you.  A marriage where you can passionately desire your lover, go find them, and passionately do something about it.  This what awaits you, and it is worth waiting for.

Jed Presents: Your Verse For The Day (January 15, 2012)

The Verse!

Matthew 6:8

“Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.”

What do we know?

  • God is never surprised by your prayers, ever.
  • He knows what you’re struggling with already – sex, cutting, drugs, whatever.  He already knows, and wants you to come to him in prayer anyway.  He’s not put off by your past or your issues.
  • The longings you feel – for a boyfriend or girlfriend, a husband or wife – that you’re afraid to fully look at?  They’re fully known by God.  He’s aware of every intricate detail of your desires.
  • He knows that you have needs.  God doesn’t think you should be able to do this on your own.  You can’t make it without Him, and He wants prayer to be your life support system.
  • God is not offended by your neediness, and he’s not looking for you to be ashamed of it.  We need, and he supplies.  Rather, he’s looking for you to embrace it, where you could boldly step to him and say, “Dad, here’s what’s up, and here’s what I need.”

A bit of context!

  • This verse is smack dab in the middle of The Sermon On The Mount, a very famous sermon Jesus gave to his disciples, with a large crowd of followers listening in.
  • At this point in the sermon, Jesus is talking about hypocritical religious behavior – doing something “righteous” in order to impress other people.
  • The “them” Jesus is referring to in this verse are non-Christians, who can view prayer as something like a magic spell.  You can read 1 Kings 18 for an example of what Jesus was talking about.

So what now?

You know how awkward it feels when there’s something you kinda need to talk to somebody about, but you’re embarrassed to bring it up?  Yeah.  Take a minute, and thank God that you don’t ever have to feel awkward around him, ever.  He knows it all, and he loves you anyway.  Spend 5 minutes telling God what you’re struggling with, and what you need.  Be direct.  Be shameless.  It’s exactly what He wants.

It Doesn’t Matter Where You’ve Been

For many of us, we’re tempted to feel like there’s a thing we’ve done that’s put us into a different category of person.

For some, the thing is that we became sexually active.  For others, it’s that we started looking at pornography.  And for others still, it’s that we started using drugs.

And we think about that thing, and we’re temped to think that it puts us into some other class of human being:  Slut.  Pervert.  Burnout.  And we feel like we can’t ever get back to a time when we weren’t that slut, or pervert, or burnout.  We’re stuck, with our very selves defined by a moment we can’t ever take back.

Well, dang.  That’s a sucky way to live.  It’s a terrible weight to feel like you’re damaged goods, tainted forever by your mistakes.

And it also isn’t true. 

The witness of Scripture is that all have sinned, and fallen short of the glory of God.  And that, in fact, our sinfulness was in full effect from day one.  We didn’t enter this world mostly righteous only to later find a way to screw it up.  No, we came onto the scene as full-on sinners, from the get-go.  (See Romans 3:23 and Psalm 51:5.)

Now, why does this matter?  It matters because it says that we’re all in the same boat.  Here on planet earth, we do not have some upright citizens, and some perverted, slutty burnouts.  Nope.  We have 100% sinners.  Period.  That’s all we’ve got.

But it means something else, too, and something that’s even more important.  It means that your sinful past is boring. 

I mean, think for a second if you went around revealing to people the deep, dark secret that, at one point in your life, you had no bladder control.  “Bobby, before this relationship goes any further, you just need to know that, when I was about 3 years old, I peed myself multiple time a day.  It’s a part of my life I’m not proud of, and, well, I just need you to know who you’re dealing with.”

I think you can readily see what’s wrong here.  We all peed our pants.  Everyone on the whole dang planet.  In the same way, the weighty shame you carry in regards to your grievous, grievous sins?  We’ve all got that.  It’s old news.  It’s passé.  It’s boring.

All that says that, at the end of the day, it just doesn’t matter where you’ve been.  Where you’ve been is living out what you were born into, which is “great big sinner.”  The only question that matters is this: where you headed now?

Dear Lord,

I confessed my sins, and then I asked for forgiveness… But I still feel guilty. All the time. I mean, it’s not like I’m supposed to be happy, or even at peace, after what I did, right? On the other hand, I’m starting to realize that by carrying all this emotional guilt, I’m basically calling you a liar when you said you’d forgive me completely and unconditionally. So then I feel all guilty about feeling guilty, which is like some kind of weird meta-guilt, and I think maybe I’m going insane.

In many ways it seems like these guilty feelings keep me in line. If I was happy and pleased with myself, who knows what I might do? How would I behave, if it’s not about avoiding this crushing guilt? The only problem is, I feel guilty all the time anyway, and none of it brings me closer to you Lord. In fact, all this guilt makes me feel like running away from you. And that can’t be good.

Bottom line, I feel like I have to punish myself for what I’ve done. Yes, I know that Jesus was already punished for my sins, but why would He want to die for a sinful person like me? But then, even as I say that, I know good people don’t need anybody to die for them, so if Jesus died for sinners, it must be for sinners like me. Dang, I dunno. Could it be that you want all this guilt and condemnation out of our relationship? If so, that would be weird… and… good. So please help me work on that.


What Will My Future Husband Think?

Anonymous asked:

I recently got out of a two year homosexual relationship after being really convicted by the Lord. I understand that the healing process I’m going through will take a while but, lately, all I can think about is how I’ve ruined any chance I had at honoring a future husband. How could a man of God love me when I’m so disgusted with myself?

Jed Brewer replied:

Beloved, who you are and what you’ve done are not the same thing.

When we think about “big” sins – drug addiction, sexual stuff, violence – we have a way of thinking that the things we’ve done say something about us.  That they say something about the kind of people we are.

Well, they don’t.

The only thing that your sin tells us about you is your capacity.  That, in a given set of circumstances, if we line everything up just so, you are capable of doing something you’ll later regret.  As it turns out, this is not news – that’s what it is to be a sinner.

You may have heard this phrase before: “There but for the grace of God go I.”  If you haven’t, it’s a good one to remember and hold onto.  The idea is that, when we see a “great big sinner” crossing our path, we remind ourselves that the difference between us and them are the circumstances that God allowed to occur in our lives.

I’ve never had a homosexual relationship.  But, given the right set of circumstances in my life, I guarantee you I would have.  I can guarantee you that because I know that I am a sinner, and, as the Bible says, “No temptation has seized you except what is common to man.”

While we’re at it, I bet you have never bowed down and worshipped success as an idol, placing your health, youth, and relationships on its thirsty altar.  But I have, and, if you were in my shoes, you would have done the same thing.

So, where does that leave us?  It leaves us realizing that our sins don’t tell us who we are, so we need something else to do that.  That something is, in fact, a someone, and that someone is God.

If I may be so bold, let me offer a taste of what I think the Lord might say about you.

I see in this question a gal who has committed what Christian culture has (wrongly) made the chief and cardinal sin of our age, and who, in spite of that, finds herself wrestling with the fact that she knows God has something for her.  I don’t hear a girl who’s given up on the idea of a Godly husband, I hear a girl who knows, somewhere within her heart, that there will be a Godly husband, and she doesn’t know how that will work.

I sense a girl who, at the “height of her transgression”, knew that God was, and was with her, and sensed his gentle and insistent calling that, “Daughter, I have better for you than this.”

I see a girl who heard that, and who chose to follow.

I definitely see a girl who has made a decision to work this thing out, to not be ruled by shame, or guilt, or regret, but to walk the path the Lord has for her, and to get the help she needs in order to do that.

I sense, and hear, and see a daughter of God.  And your future, Godly husband will sense, and hear, and see the same.

Sis, there’s nothing wrong with you.  You are honoring your future husband by doing the hard work of healing you’re engaged in right now.  Live boldly into being the Godly woman the Lord made you to be – that’s who you really are.  The deeper you live into that identity, the more you’ll realize that not only did your sins never say anything about you, but, in fact, they never had that power to begin with.