As Told to Me by Lauren Swain
I love reading articles that explain different processes one must encounter to have a sort of supernatural relationship with God, and people. My story is just that, a story. This isn’t a “how to become celibate” type of story. It involves an evolving relationship with myself and The Holy Trinity.
Part I: Total Body Cleanse
I never thought I would be sharing my story about celibacy, and being celibate. I realize the way I think is small and meaningless compared to the way God thinks and operates. I’ve been friends with women who vow to save themselves for marriage. They say “I’m waiting until God blesses me with who He has designed, just for me.” Back then, when these conversations took place, my virginity was miles behind me. Honestly, I had no intention of trying to retrieve it or to pretend that I was one of those types of women. . I wasn’t a woman who desired to start over, to give my temple back to its rightful owner. In my mind, I was tainted. After years of being sexually active, I didn’t see a real need to change.
Part of me thought God was finished with me, He had already cleaned me out. He removed me from a toxic lifestyle of abusing my temple with drugs and alcohol. I was relieved! I felt, nothing else had to change. This was my story, this experience is what I was created for. I am called to share THIS story of deliverance. This is it. I was to go on living the way I was living, standing in the shallow end when it comes to my relationship with God. I have to testify about being delivered from drugs and alcohol because this is how amazing God is. In reality, I was a broken woman, with only pieces of Christ, not all of Christ. For a long while, I was comfortable in this position, then at some point I wasn’t.
Part II: Transitional Truths
I decided to stop having sex. I can’t say I stopped having sex because I didn’t like sex. I can’t say I stopped having sex because I no longer desired to feel sexually liberated. I began to realize when I had sex, I felt part of who I was destined to be was slowly slipping out of my hand.
At first I was apprehensive about starting my celibacy journey, all because of a four letter word. This word is used among women who vow to save themselves for marriage. This word is what a woman is supposed to be, p-u-r-e. For a while I detested the word pure. I felt as if I lost my chance at being pure a long time ago. I thought only virgins could be pure. In my eyes I still viewed myself as a scorned woman. A woman branded with emotional scars of unwed passion etched across my forehead. I thought no matter how obedient I was by deciding to stop having sex, I would never be a pure woman. I hated that. I hated my own thinking. So I began to ask God to cleanse my thoughts. He told me he could make me new again. I wanted to release my way, and embrace His way– the only way. . Was I prepared for this journey? No, but being obedient to God requires two things: embracing the journey and trusting in him. What is discomfort? Discomfort feels as though your normal is being altered. .
Part III: Enlightenment
Then, a shift. Enlightenment. A different feeling, one I had not experienced before. Once I began to desire a closer relationship with God and negate a sexual relationship with man, I felt enlightened. I began to understand this discomfort was not an interruption, it was the Holy Spirit uprooting me out of my comfort zone. This presence drew me closer to God. I understood his love for me. I understood He sent His Son, His only son, to die for my sins. That is undeniable love, real love. I had to internalize the type of love that He has for me. Most of all, I had to understand his forgiveness. I had to understand that upon the cross where Jesus died, God gave me permission to lay my shame, guilt, fear, and doubts at his feet. He gave me permission to place these things upon Him. God shared a word that unveiled my purpose. It taught me how to be obedient and to allow God to order my steps going forward.
I could not do this alone. I relied on The Holy Trinity and being with like-minded individuals who shared a sincere desire to have a real relationship with God. After years of walking on a path that wasn’t designed for me, my spirit had enough. I was starving for a new life through Christ. I began to smell Him. I could taste His glory. I could feel his presence on my skin, and I wanted more. I grew an appetite for Christ and a deep relationship with God. The further away I was from God, the harder it was for me to surrender. So I grew closer to him by staying in His word, prayer, and worshipping.
Part IV: Like A Butterfly
During my transformation, I felt like a butterfly. I trusted God’s work in my life would birth a beautiful new beginning. How beautiful is a butterfly after being a caterpillar in a cocoon, not the outer beauty, but for what is inside.
What happens in the cocoon is the greatest transformation. Inside the cocoon, the caterpillar turns into mush, with a texture of goo. All that remains in their regular form are it’s limbs. The inside is what is broken. The old elements of the caterpillar necessary for its existence turn into something unrecognizable. This process happens in the shelter of protection offered by the cocoon.
As I transformed, as my core was breaking down, when my insides looked and felt like goo— I relied on protection given to me from God. I had to trust God to be my shield of protection, He was my cocoon. I honestly can’t remember the day or the hour when the Holy Spirit spoke to me, but I remember the feeling. God is faithful, gracious, and merciful. His work is not complete, and know this makes me at peace with my imperfections.
Today, I am currently in a relationship with God that I never imagined before, and it’s the greatest love story.