I failed to grasp the significance and value of purity during my youth. I indulged each lustful curiosity and freely gave of myself both physically and emotionally. In hindsight, I recognize the magnitude of those choices which now encourages me to pursue purity and reserve physical intimacy until marriage.
While I recognized that, “anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun.-2 Corinthians 5:17,” I still experienced shame, regret, and feelings of unworthiness. I knew God had forgiven me, but I had not yet formally sought forgiveness and cleansing from each sexual sin nor had I truly forgiven myself.
I asked God to forgive each sexual sin that I engaged in outside of His will. I asked to be released from the memories that have kept me from developing into the woman He called me to be. I asked God to help me to release all people and situations from my past. I sought forgiveness and freedom from the memories and shame of my past. I asked God for an ability to forgive myself and walk in the newness of my life.
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9 (NIV)
I can say, today, that I have been cleansed. Virgin status has been restored to my body and my heart. I am forgiven.
So, today if you find yourself overwhelmed with feelings of shame, regret, or a sense of unworthiness…repent and seek forgiveness. God loves you. He doesn't love you for who you will be, but for who you are right now. He loves you unconditionally. He will free you from the pain, regret, shame, and embarrassment of your past, but you must submit those areas to Him. You are a new creature in Christ. God has taken all the old and clothed you in righteousness. Ask God to help you to live each day controlled and guided by His spirit. You are audacious, accepted, secure, courageous, cherished, pursued, forgiven, and most of all loved.
Ashley Ivery is a single mother of two brilliant children, Aiden and Devyn, with an overwhelming desire to empower women and help them to realize the importance of a relationship with God. Through her writing she hopes to encourage women to claim their strength and value in Christ. Ashley serves as the Residential Listing Partner for Team Harris Real Estate. She graduated from Fayetteville State University in 2012 with a BS in Psychology. Her motto is: "Be Authentic. Live Honestly. Dispel Light."