Boyfriend was more than a taboo word in our house, it was an off limits word. It was reserved specifically for those ready to enter marriage and turning 30. As an often arrogant, ignorant and stubborn sixteen-year-old, I naturally felt I knew better and so like any smart teenager I ventured into the world of dating unbeknown to my wonderful parents. I couldn’t see the harm in having a boyfriend; in fact through my eyes there were many benefits - one being social status.
So at sixteen I went on my first date, to prom. Talk about pressure! My date was a senior, tall, handsome and such a sweet talker – in my mind the whole package! Soon after we started secretly dating, in fear of what my parents might do. I couldn’t understand what they meant, dating was fun! I had someone to call, hold hands with, laugh with, and all of my friends thought I was totally awesome! As time progressed I started to isolate myself more and more from the people around me, after all I couldn’t get enough of my hot boyfriend! We became closer and closer, he talked about marrying me one day, I WAS IN LOVE! A key phrase became evident in our relationship though, “If you loved me than you would", Having never had a boyfriend before I thought nothing of it, he was right IF I loved him, which I did then why wouldn’t I do as he asked. Naturally things progressed and I would begin to feel the overwhelming sense of guilt after seeing him, not only from going behind my parents back but from how physical we were being.
The relationship became more and more manipulative to the point where I would make excuses up to not see him. Long story short, eventually we broke up, I'd love to say I ended it but it wouldn’t be the truth. This left me feeling more broken and numb. I remained numb for years, keeping people at arms length, trying to fill the void with other boys and being the one to hurt them first as to not put myself in a similar position.
On October 23, 2009 I met the man who changed it all. I met a man who promised to love me as I am, despite what I had done and what I may do. A man who put my needs first and promised to not leave. A man who chose me well before I ever knew Him. On October 23, 2009 I made a decision to give the pain, brokenness and numb to Jesus. This starting my journey of healing.
Six years later I am married to the most wonderful, kind, loving and SEXY husband on the planet. Knowing my worth in Jesus completely shaped who and when to date. Believing Jesus had the best for me didn’t allow me to settle for someone again who wasn’t.
WHAT WOULD I TELL MY 16 YEAR OLD SELF?
1. Don’t do life alone, have friends AND parents that you allow to speak into your decisions and relationships.
2. Listen to them.
3. Don’t settle even if it means waiting
4. Give your heart to a boy who will respect it
5. Most importantly know whose you are, let your security be found in Him and not in a boy.