[Quick note: Since starting my Lent journey and sharing my raw and honest thoughts along the way I have found two things to be true: 1. It is not “acceptable” for women to speak of their struggles with lust and sex. There are countless resources, blogs and books written (and well read) by men. But for women…it seems to be a very taboo subject. So if you don’t like uncomfortable subjects or taboo topics, stop reading here. 2. As a single Christian woman, I have dealt with more criticism and judgment than I expected. I continue to blog, to journal, to transparently share my heart because I find no value in only sharing the “joys” of life. When I see/hear the struggles in someone’s life and then witness the joys, I feel like I can celebrate even more knowing the journey they had through the desert to get to the oasis. I hope you can do the same for me. Or, once again, just stop reading my blog. :-) ]
So for those of you still reading, you should know that last night Jesus and I had a conversation about sex. Actually it went from a pleasant talk quickly escalating to a debate, then to an all out fight and finally back to a sit down “let’s act like two mature adults, ok?” kind of discussion. It was exhausting. It was messy. But in the end it was beautiful, necessary and has radically changed much within me.
So Jesus and I are in the midst of a pretty heated discussion over what He says I need and what I tell Him I want. What is right and what is wrong. Where I should be and where I’m currently at. And right in the middle of it He calmly asks “Are you not valuable? What does your dignity look like right now?”
Shit. He always seems to ask the tough (and needed) questions. Am I valuable? Hell yes I am! Wait…I think I am. When I take a hard look at my life over the past few months I can see that my actions do not reflect that statement.
Last month Jesus asked me to give up sex. I remember laughing the first time I realized that was what He wanted from me. Umm….really Jesus? You sure about that one? Can we play “let’s make a deal?” Ultimately I chose to give up sex for at least the season of Lent. But let’s just get completely honest here. I wasn’t happy about it. At the time I was in a relationship with someone and was struggling (once again) with choosing God’s way over my own. And we’re not talking about giving up sex like you’d see in the boring Eyes Wide Shut movie. I’m talking about Halle Berry in Monster’s Ball kinda stuff. Understand? I can’t get anymore real than that. You get my point. Moving on…
Then, just days later Jesus throws something else my way. “Hey Kara, sex isn’t enough. You still are running from me. You have to give up music too. Ok?” Nope Jesus. Not gonna do it. I stuck my feet in the sand and argued til I was blue in the face. And once again, Jesus sat there patiently until I was done and asked “Do you love me more than anything or anyone else?” I fell apart. Cried for hours. It was obvious to me that no, I didn’t love Him like I should. I surrendered and chose to fast in the ways He was asking me to.
This past month has been difficult. I have struggled. I have cheated on my fast from music several times but I know that God is still teaching me and desires my whole heart, so I continue on.
What I am painfully learning is this struggle all comes down to one thing: my dignity.
(you can read part two here)