Free shipping on all orders over $75🎄

I was not a virgin when I got married.

Somewhere in the middle of excessive drinking, two tattoos, and the fear of being rejected, I lost my virginity. I grew up learning that sex was bad and shameful and that you weren’t to do it until you got married. For 19 years, I stayed a virgin. And then…college.

I didn’t want to be rejected from my friends because I was the only virgin I knew. I didn’t want to be rejected by boys because I wouldn’t let them go “all the way.” So, not out of love, or marriage, or a lifetime commitment to my husband, not out of sharing a beautiful thing that God created to unite a man and his wife, not out of anything wonderful and pure like I had always imagined when I was a little girl. It was only out of the fear of rejection that I gave up something that I could never get back. In a blink of an eye, it was gone. 

It wasn’t beautiful or special or anything that I had hoped it would be. I immediately felt guilty and full of shame, and along with all the other mistakes I had chosen to make, I thought, “Well, that’s it. God really doesn’t love me anymore now.” And the boys, well, it didn’t make them like me any more either. Nothing was better. It was all worse, and I had to live with it for the rest of my life!

Oh how I wish I would have waited. Oh how I wish I would have made better choices for myself. Oh how I wish I would have protected my virginity. Oh how I wish I didn’t have to feel these feelings of shame and guilt ALL THE TIME!

But it was over. I was damaged goods. There was nothing I could do about it now. I felt doomed to hell forever. I felt that there was no way to change it. I thought that God didn’t love me and never would. I felt rejected. So what did I do? I fell into a pattern of making these bad choices over and over.

Through a 17 year span, I did ask God to forgive me several times. I always felt peace afterwards, but then those feelings of shame and guilt and rejection would come again. Those feelings wouldn’t leave, therefore, I thought that I wasn’t really forgiven. It was so destructive to my self-worth, to my confidence, to my relationship with God, and even to my marriage. 

After I got re-baptized in 2011, I remembered thinking, “OK, God, now surely this has washed away my sins, and you won’t reject me anymore.” 

I Shouldn't Have Worn White On My Wedding Day

He said, “What sin?” 

I reminded Him. 

He smiled and said, “I’ve already forgotten about that, My Child, because I had already forgiven you the first time you asked. I never rejected You. You are always accepted by me. I’ve always been with you and I always will.”

Finally, I had peace. I knew I was loved. I knew that even though God hated sin, He loved me then, He loves me now, and He will always love me. I knew I was forgiven. I knew I could FINALLY let it all go! 

But I didn’t. I still struggled and I couldn’t figure out why. Even though, I was happily married, had three kids, and had been re-baptized. Even though God had forgiven me, I still hadn’t forgiven myself!

I still felt full of shame and guilt especially when I was around women who did wait, who did save themselves, who were virgins when they got married. I always got  a sick feeling in my stomach because I thought if they really knew what I used to be like once-upon-a-college-time, I would be judged. I would be looked down upon. I would be thought less of. I would be rejected.

I’ve learned that I can’t worry about being rejected by others when I’ve already been accepted as a daughter of Christ. No one is perfect. We all make mistakes. We all have done something that we regret. But it’s what we do with those mistakes and regrets that count. Do we seek forgiveness from the One who died for us? Yes. Do we allow Him to use our stories to shape and mold us into a vessel that He can use to bring light into this dark world? Yes. And then what? We forgive ourselves!

We must walk forward in the freedom that God has given us to be forgiven. We must silence the enemy’s lies that we are still in the prison of our mistakes. We must release ourselves from the sins of our past, forgive ourselves, and move on—loving God, loving others, and loving ourselves.

God is light. In Him, there is no darkness. 1 John 1:5

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our new book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available now!

Order Now

Christine Leeb

Christine Leeb--Speaker and Christian Family Coach specializing in Parenting and Child Discipline.  Founder of Real Life Families--a non-profit organization building better families through free classes and resources.  Mother to three awesome (and exhausting) children from whom she shamefully hides brownies.  Wife to one patient (and polar-opposite) husband with whom she constantly quotes "Friends". 

God Had Different Plans

In: Faith, Motherhood
Silhouette of family swinging child between two parents

As I sip my twice-reheated coffee holding one baby and watching another run laps around the messy living room, I catch bits and pieces of the Good Morning America news broadcast. My mind drifts off for a second to the dreams I once had of being the one on the screen. Live from New York City with hair and makeup fixed before 6 a.m. I really believed that would be me. I just knew I’d be the one telling the mama with unwashed hair and tired eyes about the world events that happened overnight while she rocked babies and pumped milk....

Keep Reading

This Will Not Last Forever

In: Faith, Motherhood
Woman looking at sunset

“This will not last forever,” I wrote those words on the unfinished walls above my daughter’s changing table. For some reason, it got very tiring to change her diapers. Nearly three years later, the words are still there though the changing table no longer is under them. While my house is still unfinished so I occasionally see those words, that stage of changing diapers for her has moved on. She did grow up, and I got a break. Now I do it for her baby brother. I have been reminding myself of the seasons of life again. Everything comes and...

Keep Reading

God Calls Me Flawless

In: Faith, Living
Note hanging on door, color photo

When I look in the mirror, I don’t always like what I see. I tend to focus on every imperfection, every flaw. As I age, more wrinkles naturally appear. And I’ve never been high maintenance, so the gray hairs are becoming more frequent, too. Growing up a lot of negative words were spoken about me: my body, my weight, my hair, my build. Words I’ve somehow carried my whole life. The people who proclaimed them as my truth don’t even remember what they said, I’m sure. But that’s the power of negative words. Sticks and stones may break our bones,...

Keep Reading

Your Husband Needs Friendship Too

In: Faith, Friendship, Marriage
3 men smiling outside

As the clock inches closer to 7:00 on a Monday evening, I pull out whatever dessert I had prepared that week and set it out on the kitchen counter. This particular week it’s a trifle, but other weeks it may be brownies, pound cake, or cookies of some kind. My eyes do one last sweep to make sure there isn’t a tripping hazard disguised as a dog toy on the floor and that the leftover dinner is put away. Then, my kids and I make ourselves scarce. Sometimes that involves library runs or gym visits, but it mostly looks like...

Keep Reading

This Is Why Moms Ask for Experience Gifts

In: Faith, Living, Motherhood
Mother and young daughter under Christmas lights wearing red sweaters

When a mama asks for experience gifts for her kids for Christmas, please don’t take it as she’s ungrateful or a Scrooge. She appreciates the love her children get, she really does. But she’s tired. She’s tired of the endless number of toys that sit in the bottom of a toy bin and never see the light of day. She’s tired of tripping over the hundreds of LEGOs and reminding her son to pick them up so the baby doesn’t find them and choke. She’s tired of having four Elsa dolls (we have baby Elsa, Barbie Elsa, a mini Elsa,...

Keep Reading

When You Just Don’t Feel Like Christmas

In: Faith, Living
Woman sad looking out a winter window

It’s hard to admit, but some years I have to force myself to decorate for Christmas. Some years the lights look a little dimmer. The garlands feel a bit heavier. And the circumstances of life just aren’t wrapped in a big red bow like I so wish they were. Then comparison creeps in like a fake Facebook friend and I just feel like hiding under the covers and skipping it all. Because I know there’s no way to measure up to the perfect life “out there.” And it all just feels heavier than it used to. Though I feel alone,...

Keep Reading

When Your Kids Ask, “Where Is God?”

In: Faith, Kids
Child looking at sunset

How do I know if the voice I’m hearing is God’s voice? When I was in high school, I found myself asking this question. My dad was a pastor, and I was feeling called to ministry. I didn’t know if I was just hearing my dad’s wish or the call of God. I was worried I was confusing the two. It turns out, I did know. I knew because I was raised to recognize the presence of God all around me. Once I knew what God’s presence felt like, I also knew what God’s voice sounded like. There is a...

Keep Reading

To the Woman Longing to Become a Mother

In: Faith, Grief, Motherhood
Woman looking at pregnancy test with hand on her head and sad expression

To the woman who is struggling with infertility. To the woman who is staring at another pregnancy test with your flashlight or holding it up in the light, praying so hard that there will be even the faintest line. To the woman whose period showed up right on time. To the woman who is just ready to quit. I don’t know the details of your story. I don’t know what doctors have told you. I don’t know how long you have been trying. I don’t know how many tears you have shed. I don’t know if you have lost a...

Keep Reading

God Sent Me to You

In: Faith, Motherhood
Newborn gazing at mother with father smiling down

I was a little unsure As I left God’s warm embrace: What will it be like? What challenges will I face? There were so many questions Running through my mind. I asked around for the answers I was hoping to find. Who will hold me And cuddle me tight? Who will rock me To sleep at night? RELATED: The Newborn Nights Feel As Endless As My Love For You Who will comfort me When I’ve had a rough day? Who will be there To take my worries away? Who will nourish me And make sure I grow? Who will read...

Keep Reading

I Was There to Walk My Mother to Heaven

In: Faith, Grief, Loss
Hand holding older woman's hand

I prayed to see my momma die. Please don’t click away yet or judge me harshly after five seconds. I prayed to see, to experience, to be in the room, to be a part of every last millisecond of my momma’s final days, final hours, and final moments here on Earth. You see, as a wife of a military man, I have always lived away from my family. I have missed many birthdays, celebrations, dinners, and important things. But my heart couldn’t miss this important moment. I live 12 hours away from the room in the house where my momma...

Keep Reading