The Woman and The Wait: 3 Years of Abstinence and Counting
One thing that I enjoy about being a blogger is having the opportunity to share stories about real women and their very real experiences. This week on the blog, I had the chance to chat with my long-time friend and sister Nikita! She has a beautiful story about her journey of abstinence and some important life lessons that she has learned along the way. Here's what she had to say...
JasmineSymone: How long have you been practicing abstinence?
Nikita: 3 years on November 12th.
JasmineSymone: Why did you decide to do it? What was the defining moment?
Nikita: Obedience to God. It sounds cliché, but it's the truth. November 12th, 2014, I was in my bathroom crying and broken from a failed relationship, and being completely transparent, it wasn’t a relationship it was a “situation-ship.” Nonetheless, things between us crashed and burned due to me finding out things about this person that I could not ignore. Simply put, he belonged to someone else, and by someone else, I mean his wife. They were separated at the time and all of this information was unbeknownst to me at the time of my involvement with him. Readers, before you gasp, I know you're thinking " how could I have not known that?". Well people are good at what they do and the devil knows how to disguise himself to entice you.
I am not ashamed and I am happy that this situation happened to me because it was (1) The best way for God to fully get my attention and (2) The importance of me finally learning and knowing my self worth. My best friend would tell me God whispers to some people, but yells at others and this was God yelling at me. It literally felt like my soul had been ripped from my chest. I pride myself on being super positive but this situation took a toll on my self-esteem and confidence. I should have known better and been smarter, but when you operate in your flesh you do stupid things. This same night, November 12th, God gave me a vision of my life. He told me "how do you want a husband but you are giving away what is only meant for him." If I continued to operate in my flesh and not close my legs to men that were not my husband this area of my life would hinder me from receiving all that He has for me. "You say you love me but you attach yourself to men that you don’t even ask me about. "You do whatever you what and with whomever you want to do it with".
In the vision I was beautiful on the outside but internally I was dying spiritually. God asked me flat out, "do you want my will or your own?". Talk about being shook to the core and Jesus getting your whole life together. I never heard God talking to me as clearly as I did that night. In that moment I surrendered to God. This choice has impacted my life in a way at times I cannot begin to fully put into words. The best way I can put it is that this decision saved my life. Jesus saved me from myself.
JasmineSymone: Are you waiting until marriage? Or until you find the right one?
Nikita: I'm waiting until I get married. Just because you decide to not have sex doesn’t mean God will automatically bless you with a spouse. Intimacy is more than being physical and intimacy starts with Jesus. I'm not waiting for someone to change my mind because although my decision stemmed from a hurtful situation, it’s about me keeping my commitment to God and being whole in Him.
JasmineSymone: What are your thoughts on “you have to test drive a car before you buy it”?
Nikita: I think it's a way for people to justify having sex. When we meet someone we're interested in we don't say: "I need to test out your bank account before I date you", so why would we would test out our bodies.
JasmineSymone: While living in a society where sex is literally everywhere (on TV, in music, social media, etc.), how have you been able to maintain your lifestyle of abstinence?
Nikita: Accountability, prayer and boundaries. Accountability is important because you need people in your life that won't tell you what you want to hear, and will also call you out and remind you of what you are trying to achieve. I prayed for God to send someone who can help me do that and He answered. My accountability partner has been practicing abstinence for 5 years. God has used her to help renew my mind and perspective on sex. In moments where I wanted to give up or needed insight she would offer encouragement, advice, and prayer. I didn't think I would make it past the first six months so I would pray for strength, endurance, and most importantly the ability to resist temptation. It seemed liked the moment I made this decision people from my past were resurfacing left and right. I had tried many times before to abstain and would always fall short (the flesh is weak y'all), but I realized it was because I was doing the same thing and expecting different results. So this time I was determined and set boundaries for myself. Oftentimes, we think we can do things apart from Jesus but actually, He wants us to bring everything to Him. Where we are weak, He is strong. 2 Corinthians 12:9 says, But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, my power is made perfect in weakness."
JasmineSymone: So since you’ve been abstaining for 3 Years now, I’m sure you’ve shared your journey with different people... What has it been like sharing your journey with your friends? Your family? With Men that you have dated?
Nikita: The responses have been mixed across the board. I've endured comments such as: "No one is waiting to have sex", "No man is going to want you", "You should become a nun", "Don't talk about sex in front of Nikita" and the list goes on. There is a misconception that if you stop having sex you automatically become boring. The devil is a liar. I have a full and abundant life and I am definitely fun to be around. (Ask those who are close to me). I've had men stop showing interest because of it. I literally had a guy say to my face: "I would date you but you're too God fearing." Imagine being out with someone you really like, the mood is right, the conversation is going good and all of a sudden they blurt that out to you. Can you imagine someone saying something like that to you? Neither can I but when this man said this to me it was moment of truth. Did him saying that hurt? Yes. Did it make me think dating would be hard? Yes. Did I regret my decision? Absolutely not. The old me would have tried to convince myself that I could make this person like me, but the new me recognized even if we were to date it wouldn’t work because I would have to compromise. And that is something I’m not willing to compromise. That was something I would do in past relationships, compromise my worth in order to keep someone. The truth of the matter is, if you have to compromise yourself for the sake of keeping someone, it’s not worth it. A lot of these responses and reactions initially stung but I came to a place of peace with this kind of criticism and feedback. Most importantly I have to remind myself that I didn’t make this decision in order to please other people, I made this decision to please God.
I had a friend recently tell me he was proud of my decision and that I am an inspiration to him, so much so, that he has made the decision to abstain as well. Another friend told me he would be disappointed if I compromised my abstinence to keep a man. I've had girlfriends reach out to me for advice on practicing abstinence. Dating is still a little hard to navigate, but I'm transparent about who I am, particularly if I really like the individual and could see it progressing. Do I wonder if I'll be alone forever? Yes. Does that make me want to give up and stop? No. Are all of these thoughts normal? Absolutely. I'm human; however, it's my truth. And the truth is, I love God and myself way more than someone that would cause me to renig on my commitment. I have faith that God knows what I need and who I need. I've been there and gotten the mug, t shirt and whatever paraphernalia that comes with the soul ties I never should have had in the first place. Some may not understand it still but the most important people in my life respect it and accept that it's apart of my journey.
JasmineSymone: Because you’re human, I’m sure there are times when you desire to have sex. What do you do in those moments?
Nikita: Find something counter productive to do and/or pray. Did I mention pray lol. Seriously though, I typically just go workout or do something else I enjoy doing. The desire for sex doesn't go away and that's where self control comes into play. It's about taking that energy and re-directing it. Also, let me add that sex isn't bad. It's a gift. Having sexual desires is normal and is something that God knows we will have. The issue comes in when we use sex outside of the context in which God intended it for... marriage. Regardless of what society has taught us about sex, the Bible is real clear on it. I didn't want to accept that either, but I thank God for a renewed mind.
JasmineSymone: What has been a source of support and inspiration for you on this journey?
Nikita: Having other people in my life who are on the same path. Particularly couples I know that have practiced waiting together and they initially didn't start out abstaining. Once I made the decision to abstain it seemed like God brought others into my life who were on the same journey to encourage me.
JasmineSymone: If you could give advice to someone wanting to start a journey of abstinence, what would you say?
Nikita: First and foremost, the journey is not easy. if it was, everyone would do it. Temptation is real. Write down your reasons for wanting to abstain. Have a fervent determination about what it means to you. Know that it's not something others will understand and people will make you feel weird about it; however, you owe no one an explanation for your decision. Set boundaries for yourself and confide in people who can hold you accountable. It is a road less traveled but the reward is worth it. God is always worth it.
JasmineSymone: What about someone who is already on their journey of abstinence? What would you say to them?
Nikita: Your desire for sex will not go away; however, you can persist in your journey. Sex is beautiful and it's a gift from God for your future spouse. Don't let what you see or hear detour you from what you have chosen to do. Stay encouraged no matter what. You are an inspiration to someone whether you are aware of that or not. You're worth the wait and if somebody can't get with that, they are not who God has for you. Point blank period. When you honor God, He honors you.