If you don’t want to truly see what I’ve been struggling with for the past month or so, if you really don’t want to see what a sinful life truly looks like, and if you don’t want to see how miraculous and powerful God truly is, you should stop reading right here. The month of May was hell. Not because God was punishing me or because something terrible was happening to me. It was hell because I built my own little bubble of hell on Earth and called it “having fun”. God started calling me to a new level of obedience and surrender at the beginning of February/March of this year, and I was WITH IT for a while. I knew that it was necessary to move me to the next level of my life, but it was like the more He required of me to go deeper, the more disinterested I became in Christianity and being the perfect model of what purity and holiness looks like. The truth is I was prideful. I THOUGHT I had it all together, so how could God be asking me to do all of this? To really surrender my will? To trust Him? To leave a relationship? To surrender my plan for my life? Challenging me to really reflect on my issues? I really felt like God was trying to ruin my life. In a sense, He was. He was trying to get rid up of my version of what a fulfilling life was supposed to look like.
I came to a point at the beginning of May of this year that I didn’t want to be the “good girl”, the God girl. It was like having things in my life not turn out the way I believed they should’ve translated into rejection. Rejection translated into unworthiness. I felt so worthless to the point where I just did not care about my life anymore. So, I tried to fit every sin I could think of into one month. I was going to try to last the whole summer but if you keep reading, you’ll see why I didn’t make it.
If I’m going be honest and tell the truth, I have to start with the actual truth. The actual moment I decided that I didn’t want to live a pure life. The moment that I decided I wanted everything the world had to offer and not God. The truth is me and J broke up and that was a lot. After we broke up, we allowed ourselves to fall into a pattern that we shouldn’t have fallen into – SSiiiiiIIINNnnnn. That moment sparked something inside of me that I’ve never felt. I felt like I wanted to be bad. It was almost like the cartoon shows when the good person turns evil. That’s corny but like…. that’s what happened! LOL! I felt like I traded my body to J for a false sense of intimacy and security that I know I would never be able to find again in him. I figured if I could trade my body for intimacy and security, what else could I trade it for? The same week this happened, I went out on the town with the intention to get drunk for the first time in a long time. I went, I had fun, but not enough fun to forget that God told me to stop drinking. Not enough fun to not feel bad for my actions. I woke up the next morning to get ready for church, and a heaviness was on me that I hadn’t experienced in a while. I was convicted, and I really had no intentions of doing that again. But that next weekend, I found myself in the same position doing the SAME thing. Only this time, I was trading my body not for intimacy but anything I thought would bring me pleasure. Luckily a good friend of mine kept me from being as stupid as I could’ve been that particular weekend. I’ll be very candid and say this night, I did something that I had never done. I drunkenly sent very scandalous pictures of myself to a guy. A guy who had done nothing to deserve to see my body in that way. A guy that I had no intentions of being with other than for my own personal entertainment. This is how I knew things were already getting out of hand.
The drinking was okay. I was managing it. I started to do it casually at this point. I went to bars to hang out, I bought beer for the house so I wouldn’t always have to leave to drink, and I kept going out. Not just out. But OUT OUT. Even that started to not be enough. One night, I went to a bar just to chill, so I thought. And the devil had planned the perfect set up for me. A MAN WHO WAS JUST MY TYPE! Looking right and with seemingly decent intentions. I referred to this man as tall, dark, and handsome during the month of May. I was familiar with this guy but not that well. I knew he was cute, I knew that he wasn’t anything that I needed, and I knew I should’ve turned around and walked the other way. I should’ve called him danger, red flags, and not good for me. To make a long story short, I engaged in illegal substance abuse and a sexual encounter with this man that very same night. I saw him the next day and engaged again. And after that consistently through out the month. One night during this same week, the sting of rejection hit me REALLY hard in an area in my life. So, I willingly put myself in a very dangerous situation with this same man. BUT Y’ALL, even in our foolishness, God is so faithful. I got in my car around 10PM to go meet this man. There was a check in my Spirit telling me that if I left the house that night, I would get pulled over by the police. The headlights in my car were not working properly and I knew that I would be up to NO good if I went to see this man. What did I do? I got my stupid little self in my car with my cute little outfit on, and I drove to his house. I got there and he said “let’s go.” I had another check in my Spirit. I said “where are we going?” And he told me he wanted to drive me around on the highway while he got high. ALL I COULD SEE WAS RED. Red as in danger. Red as in do not play with this man. He gave me the option to stay or to go, and the need to be validated by men, my new found enjoyment of dangerousness, and my false sense of confidence said, “I’m going”. The entire time we were in the car, I was praying and literally hoping I wouldn’t die. This had to be the most STUPID thing I have ever done in my life. Anything could’ve happened. He could’ve lost control. We could’ve been stopped by the police. He could’ve killed me and nobody would’ve known. But at this point, I was interested in the danger. Instead of running away from it, I engaged. HARD. I got back into my car after hanging out with this man, and I smelled LOUD (if ya know what I mean). I got the same funny feeling in my spirit that I was going to get pulled over. I got within 3 minutes of my apartment when I saw the cop. He turned around to follow me, and I was almost hysterical because I KNEW he was coming for me. But God is so faithful even in our mess. I didn’t say “Lord, forgive me. I was wrong. Please help”. I said, “Lord, I’m begging you not to let this cop pull me over. I’m begging you”. There was no regret, no repentance, and no desire to be forgiven. I was just a girl in need of my Savior. The cop IMMEDIATELY turns around and goes the other way. That was the first time I had experienced the MERCY of God like that. He literally does NOT give us what we deserve. That should’ve been enough for me to stop what I was doing right? It wasn’t. I got to the point where just messing around with this particular man was not enough for me. The drinking was not enough. The weed was not enough. I convinced myself that the next step was for me to have sex. My sin went from literally 0 to 100 SO FAST.
Now get this. My friends were trying HELLA HARD to get me to STOP. They told me over and over again that I didn’t want to get to the other side of this phase and not have my virginity, but I was convinced that I didn’t want to be pure in ANY regard. I had already started giving pieces of my body away whether in pictures or in person, I was already defiling my body with alcohol and drugs, so like what’s a penis right? I was literally slowly killing myself, and at this point, I didn’t care what happened.
One Friday night, a friend from out of town went out with me and some other friends. I really wanted to just hang out with my friends and enjoy the night before we went to the beach for the weekend. Eh wrong. That night, we went to the place of employment of tall, dark, and handsome. After two shots of whatever I was drinking, I knew I wasn’t going home with my friends. We go to our final destination of the night, and I kept telling my friend that I was leaving with him. She told me no over and over again but as soon as she turned her head good enough, I was out of the door. I got into this man’s car, went to his house, and we hooked up once again. Just getting closer and closer to giving something I had saved for so long away. Sin is so progressive y’all. He told me several times that we should just go ahead and have sex, and for some reason, I just couldn’t do it. It’s like all of a sudden, half of my morals came back. I knew that I shouldn’t. I was drunk, already knee deep into the sin, but I still couldn’t make myself do it. It’s like even in all my mess, I was still very aware that having sex would change my life forever.
After I got back from the beach, I could tell that I was beginning to get tired of what I was doing but I kept going anyway. I was probably going out four times a week, driving under the influence, spending all my money doing crazy stuff, and convincing myself and the people around me that it was “all in fun”. But it was all INSANE. Don’t get me wrong, I WAS having fun. But I knew that this woman I had become was not a long term identity I wanted in my life. I knew that eventually I would have to stop, but I was not done just yet.
The guy I was hanging out with and what not kind of started blowing me off. So on memorial day, I texted him to see what was up. Needless to say, I went to his house that night to lose my virginity. I didn’t choose him. I didn’t think he was deserving. I didn’t think we were going to start dating or anything. I just didn’t have any intentions of leaving my summer shenanigans, the same cookie cutter girl that I was in college. I simply did not care. I decided that I was going to have sex just because.
If you do not care to know the details of this encounter, I urge you to skip this part. But I have to be honest about what I allowed to happen to myself if you’re really going to be able to see how grace and mercy reigned in my life. Now this guy had already shown himself to be inconsistent, unreliable, noncommittal, self serving, and borderline dangerous. But here I am willing to give the most intimate part of my body to him. This man had already shown me he was aggressive so it’s no surprise that this experience was solely about him, it was aggressive, and it didn’t prove itself to be fun. I wasn’t comfortable, and I knew this experience was not about me for him. He wanted what he wanted, and it mattered not to him what I could get from the experience. I know what God says about sex and what He created it for, and I knew that what was happening was NOT that even before it started. There was penetration maybe about three or four times but me never having sex before – I could not be still. He kept complaining that I was moving too much, and that I was ruining this for him, and he was being very aggressive about it all. I suppose my reaction caused him to stop and ask me was I a virgin. The insane part was that we had talked about that already and unbeknownst to me, my roommate had already told him that I was a virgin and that he shouldn’t sleep me. I told him yes, and he basically got all pissy about it. He said some horrible things to me. I saw aggression, selfishness, and just downright evil come out of him in a while new way. At this point, I felt very afraid and I began to fully understand the danger I was putting myself in. I left. I was skeptical if I had really lost my virginity because there wasn’t FULL penetration. The engagement was probably about at 50 percent. I went to the bathroom and my hymen was broken. I was devastated. So what did I do? Not hand my life back over to God. I didn’t repent or ask for forgiveness. I GOT DRUNK. DRUNK DRUNK. I then proceeded to cry in my friends car for HOURS. I got drunk that same Thursday night, that Friday night, AND that Saturday night of that week.
That Sunday, I woke up and I knew all of it had to come to an end. I had nothing else to try but hard drugs and to keep trying to have sex with different men. I didn’t really want that extra hurt for myself. I literally had given every part of me to sin. I woke up that morning, and I knew I was ready to stop. I sobbed throughout the entire church service but I still didn’t repent. We had a second service this day at my church and during the worship, God begin to show me all the times He saved my life during the month of May. He showed me all of the times I could’ve died or killed someone else. He showed me all of the times I was in more danger than I knew. He showed me what could’ve happened if I had continued to engage sexually with that guy. I saw the mercy and grace of the Father in a way that I had never seen before. He literally spared my life when I cared nothing about it. I saw all the times He was sitting with me in my drama. All the times I broke His heart, He was still there. He never left me. Not once had I repented or turned away, but He was still there. Not once had I turned away or even tried to stop sinning, but God didn’t leave. Every dangerous situation I put myself in, He scooped me up and carried me to the next day. He put people in place to help me. Somebody was PRAYING for me. Because I was not covering myself with the word, in prayer, or anything. All I was putting into my spirit was the City Girls LOLOLOL!
During that moment of reflection and revelation, I looked up and I said, “God, I am so sorry. Please forgive me. I’m coming home”. The peace that washed over me was beautiful. I feel like the angels were crying and worshipping and God was so proud to have me back in the fold. It was honestly one of the best moments of my life. I felt like the prodigal son coming back home to my Father. It was a surreal experience, and I could do nothing but weep and thank God that He was letting me come back to Him after all I had done.
I’m not sharing any of this to encourage my behavior. I’m not sharing all of this because I want people in my business. I’m shedding my pride and allowing others to see the detriment that can come from allowing yourself to feel rejection so hard. I’m sharing so that I can tell you what NOT to do. I am letting you into my mess, so you can see the full extent of grace. This is the result of searching for things in the wrong places. This is the result of not covering myself in the word and in prayer. This is the result of not trusting God. This part of my story will probably always hold some regret and some shame for me, but if I don’t share it, and tell you how God really showed out for me, then what was it all for?
This is what happens when you start to not care about your life. I walked into situations knowing I could die and still went. I walked into encounters knowing only evil would be present, and I went. I drove under the influence so many times, and its a miracle that I’m alive or that i didnt kill someone. I woke up in my bed so many times and could not remember how I got home. Like I did not care about my body, or my life, or my spirit. I felt that unworthy and that low. I felt that unlike myself that I was willing to create a new, UGLY version of who I thought I wanted to be in order to feel better. I had convinced myself that I was a party girl. I had convinced myself that sex and purity meant nothing to me. I had convinced myself that my body was not a temple. All the while, God was beckoning me to come to him. He was calling out to me. He was showing me who I really was. Even though I refused to talk to Him, He never stopped trying to redeem me. God fought for me so fiercely. He chased me down. When people say God cares more for the ONE who is astray than the 99 who are with Him, He really does. He is relentless in His pursuit of us, and I KNOW that now. I have felt that now. In the thick of my mess, God was there. I could still feel them. When I called out to Him, He answered. When I cried, He held me. There was a hedge of protection over me like never before. My life meant nothing to me but it meant EVERYTHING to God. He reminded me constantly that there was still so much purpose in me. He reminded me so many times that He still had work for me to do. He showed me that despite the persona I had built, He knew me. And He STILL wanted me.
What do I want you to take from this crazy, sin FULL part of my life that almost destroyed me:
- God wants you no matter what you’ve done. Stop running sista girl. I ran for just a month. Imagine if I had kept running? Imagine if I didn’t come to terms with the fact that God loved me unconditionally? Imagine if I would’ve never started to believe that I wasn’t the woman I had pretended to be for that long? Imagine if I never had people praying for me and telling me that God wanted me still? I’m telling YOU this now. Run TO Him. Not away. He wants you no matter what kind of drama you’ve caused in your life or somebody’s else’s. CHOOSE HIM like He chooses you every single day.
- This had NOTHING to do with anyone else but Imani. I was pissed at God, so I rebelled. HARD. I was hurting, and instead of turning to God, I chose to try everything but Him. I thought I could fill the emptiness I had created with everything the world could give me. I did all of this on purpose and in a very calculated way. I put my brokenness on display for the world to see. It wasn’t to hurt anyone else or to spite anyone else. I thought that I could take back the control over my life that God had asked me to give Him. But I now see what truly happens when I’m in charge and not lead by God. All HELL breaks loose. I did these things to spite God and ended up spiting myself.
- I need you to know that I was still posting about God during this time. Nobody really would’ve been able to tell that I was living the ugliest, most sinful life unless I told them. My unfaithfulness didn’t change the fact that God was faithful. I still knew who He was and what He could do. I just didn’t want it. I posted sermons, worship songs, I had conversations about Christ, I prayed for people even when I thought God couldn’t hear it. I say this to say that you NEVER know what could be happening in somebody else’s life. You never know what the strongest, most grounded in Christ people could really be experiencing behind closed doors. PRAY FOR THEM. Check on the strong friend. Check on the “Christian” friend everybody runs to. THEY NEED YOU!
- Healing is such an interesting experience. Don’t get so comfortable in your healing process. Since February, God had been dealing with me about healing and allowing Him to mend some pain I had experienced. I really was doing well, but I got comfortable. I got too settled in my healing experience. It got to the point that I couldn’t decipher between if I was healing or if I was distracting myself. You always have to ask yourself that. Are you truly healing or are you using men, alcohol, even godly things to distract from really dealing with your crap? Always choose true healing. Never settle. Keep growing through what you’re going through.
- Know that there are always consequences to your actions. I know that there will still have to be consequences for this. I’ll have to tell my future husband how I tried to give my body away. I’ll have to explain to people who follow my ministry how I got to this place. I know my healing process will take a little bit longer because I hindered it. Even though God forgave me, I will still have to deal with the aftermath of this. You cannot just sin and not deal with the consequences of that sin.
- If you didn’t learn anything from this, know that you HAVE to have a support system. YOU HAVE TO. My friends probably didn’t like to watch what I was doing to myself. They advocated for me to stop. Almost begged me at times. But after I made stupid decision after stupid decision, they picked me up. They wiped my tears. They gave me money for new earrings (thanks Kahdijah LOL). They made me go to church even when I didn’t feel like it. They watched me SOB after I tried to give my body away time and time again. (Thanks Chloe ??). They let me know what the consequences of my actions would be. (Law school shawty Maya). There were so many people helping me in this. I can’t call them all out by name, but I have the BEST friends even when I’m trying to literally fight them (Kahdijah HAHAHA). You need to build a tribe. You need people who can love you in your mess. You need people who will call you out, let you make your own choices, but be there for you during the aftermath. Find your people.
- I could talk about this ALL DAY AND ALL NIGHT but I’ll close with this. If you didn’t learn anything from story, know that people are always watching you. Know that God is literally a protector. I’m not saying try Him, I’m just telling you what I know. Your body IS INDEED A TEMPLE. It doesn’t belong to you. It’s God’s. The Holy Spirit is literally on the inside of you if you’re saved, so everything you do, He is right there having to endure it. Get you a mentor/discipler who will call you out on your crap (Thanks Pepp). All in all, DON’T DO THIS! Don’t lose yourself. Don’t turn away from God. Don’t give your body away. Don’t blatantly go against what you know because of what you feel. Choose Christ always.
I’d like to think that I can flush all of the alcohol away, I can detox all of the drugs away, and I can delete all of the men I encountered out of my life. But I can’t get those pieces of my body back. I cannot get the money I wasted back. I cannot get my time back. I cannot get that half of my virginity back (LOL). Do not waste your life on sin girl. Not even for a moment. It is NOT worth it. Take it from a girl who’s been there.
As always love God, love people, and never try to have a hot girl summer. You will only end up with regrets.