Tag Archives: desire

The church hates free sex. I want sex. The church and I are enemies.

I am 20 years old. I have never had sex. I have never had a boyfriend. I have never even “touched myself” (sorry for TMI), and I don’t talk about sex, never ever ever. For the last big chunk of my life, I have craved sex. Why, then, am I so strictly chaste? Because that’s what good girls do. And I am a good girl.

My religion taught me from a young age that sex is bad and that I am bad for wanting it. Sex has been one of my most enjoyed thoughts and one of my deepest, tabooed and stigma-rich secrets. Since I was about 12 I have had sexual fantasies weekly if not daily. (I also have other, violent fantasies, probably from repression of these, but that’s another story.)

I do want sex. I do want a boyfriend. I want to be loved. I want my body to matter. Every day that goes by when I am alone puts another nail in the coffin of my desires. If I had not been forced to be religious when I was growing up, I really doubt that I would be like this. My best friend from elementary school got into BDSM. I’ve no doubt I would have been more like that, or at least romantically involved, without church to constantly yell at me and condemn me for having any physical desire for another person.

I can’t even touch people without my inner “good girl” critic yelling at me. My ingrained church rules effectively stunted my sexual development, and I am yet a virgin (their goal fulfilled!), but it’s a success carried out by shaming and guilt. This is partly why I hate myself now. No matter how well I hide it, I have always been attracted to sex (who hasn’t?), making me question myself and the “demons inside me” at every turn when my church leaders said over and over “sex is bad.” Then, if I want sex, I’m bad. I’m female, so it’s not even possible for me to want sex. I should stand up for my brothers in Christ who are taken over by their own desires and protect them from themselves, and that ends my involvement with sex. I am to be a brick wall until I flip a switch on my wedding night.

I can’t believe that the god who designed sex would give me these feelings and not have a safe place for me to vent, feel them, or even talk about them. My church was not a home for me growing up, and has never felt safe for me to express all of me, because of its condemnation of sexual desire, and its refusal to accept that I am both a woman made in the image of God and a body filled at times with lust and sexual desire.

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Maud Muller, by John Greenleaf Whittier

God pity them both! and pity us all,
Who vainly the dreams of youth recall.
For of all sad words of tongue or pen,

The saddest are these: “It might have been!”

MAUD MULLER, on a summer’s day,
Raked the meadow sweet with hay.

Beneath her torn hat glowed the wealth
Of simple beauty and rustic health.

Singing, she wrought, and her merry glee
The mock-bird echoed from his tree.

But when she glanced to the far-off town,
White from its hill-slope looking down,

The sweet song died, and a vague unrest
And a nameless longing filled her breast,

A wish, that she hardly dared to own,
For something better than she had known.

The Judge rode slowly down the lane,
Smoothing his horse’s chestnut mane.

He drew his bridle in the shade
Of the apple-trees, to greet the maid,

And ask a draught from the spring that flowed
Through the meadow across the road.

She stooped where the cool spring bubbled up,
And filled for him her small tin cup,

And blushed as she gave it, looking down
On her feet so bare, and her tattered gown.

“Thanks!” said the Judge; “a sweeter draught
From a fairer hand was never quaffed.”

He spoke of the grass and flowers and trees,
Of the singing birds and the humming bees;

Then talked of the haying, and wondered whether
The cloud in the west would bring foul weather.

And Maud forgot her brier-torn gown,
And her graceful ankles bare and brown;

And listened, while a pleased surprise
Looked from her long-lashed hazel eyes.

At last, like one who for delay
Seeks a vain excuse, he rode away.

Maud Muller looked and sighed: “Ah me!
That I the Judge’s bride might be!

“He would dress me up in silks so fine,
And praise and toast me at his wine.

“My father should wear a broadcloth coat;
My brother should sail a painted boat.

“I’d dress my mother so grand and gay,
And the baby should have a new toy each day.

“And I’d feed the hungry and clothe the poor
And all should bless me who left our door.”

The Judge looked back as he climbed the hill,
And saw Maud Muller standing still.

“A form more fair, a face more sweet
Ne’er hath it been my lot to meet.

“And her modest answer and graceful air
Show her wise and good as she is fair.

“Would she were mine, and I to-day,
Like her, a harvester of hay

“No doubtful balance of rights and wrongs,
Nor weary lawyers with endless tongues,

“But low of cattle and song of birds,
And health and quiet and loving words.”

But he thought of his sisters, proud and cold,
And his mother, vain of her rank and gold.

So, closing his heart, the Judge rode on,
And Maud was left in the field alone.

But the lawyers smiled that afternoon,
When he hummed in court an old love-tune;

And the young girl mused beside the well,
Till the rain on the unraked clover,

He wedded a wife of richest dower,
Who lived for fashion, as he for power.

Yet oft, in his marble hearth’s bright glow,
He watched a picture come and go;

And sweet Maud Muller’s hazel eyes
Looked out in their innocent surprise.

Oft, when the wine in his glass was red,
He longed for the wayside well instead;

And closed his eyes on his garnished rooms
To dream of meadows and clover-blooms.

And the proud man sighed, with a secret pain,
“Ah, that I were free again!

“Free as when I rode that day,
Where the barefoot maiden raked her hay.”

She wedded a man unlearned and poor,
And many children played round her door.

But care and sorrow, and childbirth pain,
Left their traces on heart and brain.

And oft, when the summer sun shone hot
On the new-mown hay in the meadow lot,

And she heard the little spring brook fall
Over the roadside, through the wall;

In the shade of the apple-tree again
She saw a rider draw his rein.

And gazing down with timid grace
She felt his pleased eyes read her face.

Sometimes her narrow kitchen walls
Stretched away into stately halls;

The weary wheel to a spinnet turned,
The tallow candle an astral burned,

And for him who sat by the chimney lug,
Dozing and grumbling o’er pipe and mug,

A manly form at her side she saw,
And joy was duty and love was law.

Then she took up her burden of life again,
Saying only, “it might have been.”

Alas for maiden, alas for Judge,
For rich repiner and household drudge!

God pity them both! and pity us all,
Who vainly the dreams of youth recall.

For of all sad words of tongue or pen,
The saddest are these: “It might have been!”

Ah, well! for us all some sweet hope lies
Deeply buried from human eyes;

And, in the hereafter, angels may
Roll the stone from its grave away!

My most wicked sin comes from how God designed me, and he plans to use my worst for his best.

Come on now, be rational. How can God use my shameful secrets and wicked sin for his glory? His glory can surely only come when I get rid of what’s wrong with me. I’m cleaned and the stains are washed away. The log is taken out of my eye. The sinful hand or foot is cut off and left behind.

And then I remember that God created me. He designed me specifically to be me. He had a purpose in mind for every part of me. How I use myself may be bad or sinful, but what I am is his design, and I must either confess that his design is very good, or reject him as God.

Moses is remembered for bringing the Israelites out of Egypt. In his youth, he had a passionate anger and a love for his people that led him to kill an Egyptian man who was beating an Israelite slave. So his adoptive father, the Pharaoh, sought to kill him, and Moses had to flee. He made a new life with shepherds in another country, Midian, instead of among his people or in the palace in which he was raised. Murder is bad. It’s even one of the Ten Commandments! Moses surely was mad with himself. He had killed a man, he was apart from his people, and his people did not love him. One Israelite had condemned him before he left:

“Who appointed you to be our prince and judge? Are you going to kill me as you killed that Egyptian yesterday?” (Exodus 2:14)

If I were Moses, I would want to distance myself from the anger that had ruined my life and hopes and dreams. But God wasn’t finished with Moses. And God didn’t plan to make Moses better by removing his anger. What caused Moses much grief early on was shaped by God over Moses’ 40 years of hiding into an essential tool for Moses to lead. As he grew in relationship with God, his maturing spirit developed patience and self-control, turning Moses into the great person we remember him to be (and who God made him to be), driven by his deep passion for his people and his relationship with God, to save God’s people.

Now, the Israelites were a sad bunch. They couldn’t remember freedom, and they were weak. They had little trust in God, and even after they were set free they noisily whined and complained about everything. Having to wander the desert for 40 years didn’t help. Moses needed that consuming love and emotion for Israel, that once drove him to murder for their sake, to be able to lead them tirelessly. What Moses used on his own caused disaster for him, but when God joined his life, it became an essential tool for building God’s kingdom.

This gives me hope.

One of my shameful secrets is that I enjoy rape-themed sexual fantasies. This is something I have struggled to rid myself of, and hidden – it’s never something I would want to admit. I hate it! I hate what it turns me into, like an animal, filthy and repulsive. It has always scared me that I would somehow want to have someone rape me, even in my imagination. Something about that loss of power appeals to a part of me that cannot be denied. I am confused when I hear everyone decrying rape, and then I look inside myself and scold, “How could you want that? What are you? Surely not normal, not human.”

So, three or four times in the last two years, I have started shaking when I was worshipping God for an extended time – either through song (3x) or through listening to someone speak the gospel again in truth (1x). Last night was the third time with song. So I did a Google search to try to find explanations. I have to bring this experience to God in prayer before I can actually read the sites I’ve pulled up, and let him teach me first. Still, I happened to read the line that someone “shakes when the spirit falls on them” and a shiver went through me. This gives me a very small shift in perspective – a partial explanation, and as yet incompletely satisfying. But it’s something.

Maybe, just maybe, this much-hated desire of mine can be transformed. Where it is directed into the world, to have my person overcome is to have a person, a man, rape me. But to direct it into the spiritual realm is to desire for God to overtake me, for his Holy Spirit to fall on me. That makes me a little bit uncomfortable, nervous, because I know God can actually overtake me like that, and if I ask him, he will. It is so strange to think that what I had always wanted, and could only hate that I wanted, I can now have, and have it fully, deeper than it could have been if my greatest fantasies were fulfilled by men. A glass of water has been traded for the sea. Is this part of the meaning of God as my “lover”? I am so excited that what I want (to be consumed) and what God wants (to consume me) can be the same.

I can let this part of myself emerge now. It’s not a weed, but a flower that was growing upside-down. I wonder what it will be like as God continues to transform me into what he has made me to finally become. But the journey is going to be incredible.

I stand in wonder of how God made me. He planned it out this way. He is not replacing me with himself, like I thought for so long. I thought he would go through me and take out what is sinful, and replace it with what he is. I was so mad with him that I needed to be changed so much, that I would lose who I am and become a stereotypical Christian, a Jesus-copy. But instead of switching out my parts that don’t work with his parts, he is just moving pieces around and giving parts new direction. I am still all me, but in a better way. Can I say I’m more me than I was before? And I’m closer to God (more satisfied in him), bless his name.

What can be used for the most good can also be used for the most evil. So the parts of me that I most hate may be one and the same with God’s favorite parts of me, because when they are used wrongly, they cause me the most pain and shame, but when I use them the right way they bring us both the most joy.

I pray that you would be encouraged to seek God’s will for what you feel you have to hide about yourself. I pray that he will guide you on the wild, weird, incredible journey of salvation. And I pray that you will be able to find satisfaction in knowing that every last bit of you was created by God and will be wonderful when used in line with his will. Amen.

Found and lost.

Dark thoughts today. Here’s a rough draft, inspired by Plato’s Allegory of the Cave. I’m struggling with unbelief right now, and I’m expressing some of what I feel when God is distant, when I cry for help and He doesn’t seem to realize that I’m where I am because of him. I do need to stop blaming my God for how he changes my life, because of course He’s working for my good. I should be always grateful and loving, but yet… My poems usually turn happy or peaceful at the end. This one scares me for how morose I come across. I spent almost no time on rhymes or meter, and repeated a few words. In a few weeks I’ll rework this (shorten it), and see if I can’t make it golden. Suggestions welcome! ~Cheers!

Found and lost.

I sat as stone, trapped and cold,
thinking dreams of being known.
I sat alone.
To save my life, so hid my soul,
safe in what I’d always known.
I sat alone.

The dark, dank feel of ice and stone
beneath my form, within my bone.
My heart silent and alone.
I sat alone. I was unknown.

‘Til the day I heard a song.
Into my cave, a bird had flown.
Ice like a knife speared my heart;
it knew I was alone.
I tasted once of life and light
and sought to go back home outside.
Sweet songs of birds I heard outside
and with a moan I wished for more.
I wanted life. To live!

This body moving once again,
I lifted up, weak and thin.
To chase the light, the bird took flight,
and led me up a towering height
of stones and rubble, cold and tight,
until I soon would see the light.
I longed for warmth, for friends and might.
Lazy days beneath the sun,
dancing, hope, and pure delight.
Onto earth, above the stone,
to have what I had never known.
I chased the light.

My heart woke and urged me on.
Quickly up now flew the bird.
It fluttered eager far and fast
to find its nest above the ground.
Its heartbeat gave me strength.
My rocky corpse soared on until
it froze me one last time.
Shadows played upon the stone.
Almost home, and not alone.

Hope which I had never known
warmed me up and filled my chest.
Freedom from my now-past chains,
oh my life is surely blessed!
I beat my hand upon my breast,
my thudding blood timed my moan.
Almost there and almost home.
I signed and cheered and flung my all
with untold might into what I
would become in the light,
in my home, in dance and song.
I walked out of the stone,
into light, exposed and cold.

And crumpled, blind and burning hot.
Thus Hell has come today.
It sits as fire in my bones,
wanting, eating, never done.
The birds have left, my heart is closed.
My dreams have flown, weak and worn.
To dust I shall return today,
if I can’t return to stone,
to my sacred, loyal stone.

Long time I mired in the fire
til blessed nightfall killed the sun.
If I’d had strength, so I’d have done.
Helpless, I sank back to stone.
Away from light, the life I’d chased
closed me into stone, my tomb,
awoke my heart to send it home,
to seek its want and follow hope.
Never stopping, still it’s beating.
The cold cuts me; I’m so alone.
I am not stone, I have a heart.
But now I have no home.

Still its beating. Send me on!
I don’t belong.
Too cold for life, too hot for stone.
Haunted now by asking why.
Can the light belong to me?
Can this evil, boiling fire be harnessed in my stone,
to make this world a home and free me from my own?
Well-reasoned logic? eternal sin?
rejecting the light for the ice within.
How do I know why life hates me so?
I’m chained in fear of the light, now,
instead of by my stone.

Hell welcomed me today.
Was that my home? I’ll never know.
I’m dead today, in fire and ice.
Must be nice to have a home.
I’m a new hearth upon my stone.
This is my home, where I’m known and owned.
My body rests at last,
and my heart again is stone.

Past, Present, Future

Who I am now would be foreign to who I used to be. There is some continuity between who I am and who I was when I was 10. Yet, if I could predict the future when I was little, I would not have had words to describe what is going on with me now. My motivations, thoughts, dreams, and perspective are different in nature. Every once in a while I get a feeling of deja-vu, where it is as if the present moment is a memory that I am reliving. These are usually very brief, on the order of a second or two, though they may go on for ten seconds or longer, especially if I’m in conversation with someone. I’d like to believe I’m psychic, so whatever I say will be biased towards that. I experience deja vu more often when I’m relaxed and not worried about my future. From that association, I use their frequency as a measure of how happy or at peace I am. I’ve recently had a wave of them, which makes me very happy about my state of mind. In my electronics / circuits class I had one little moment that felt like deja-vu, but it was suppressed, and I felt some confusion with it, as if I were experiencing that moment of the lecture for the first time without having had all of the other classes building up to it. When it passed, I of course understood what was going on as well as I ever do, but I maintained the perspective of how strange it all was. I could live my whole life never understanding circuits and miss nothing. But that moment also showed me how strange I am now. Past me would not know present me if we met. I would not be able to convince her that we are the same.

I desire love more than most anything. It used to be that I was actually planning for and expecting to become a political leader or dictator, and dreamed about having control over people to the point of having the right to choose who lives and who dies, and to bring people pain with a thought, by torture or rape or what have you. While that doesn’t repulse me (should it?), I have become much more peaceful and would rather take on someone else’s pain than add to it. And I feel like this is a choice I have. Is it behavior modification associated with being Christian? It might be. If I so desired, I could become who I used to be and find myself consumed by thoughts of greatness and power. But I am choosing today to give that up so that I can take up my cross and give my heart to God.

Over the past week, and especially two days ago, I got a strong dose of what I’ve always wanted. My reputation, how I am perceived, is very important to me. I was noticed, understood, accepted, and validated on my own terms. One friend called me insightful. Another said that I am always in a good mood. Several people respected how hard I work. I made a new friend. One of my professors spent an excessive time with me to help me understand course material, as if my success were worth something to him. And when I became frustrated (and started crying!), he gave me space to breathe, and let me know he was still there if I had more questions. I’ve been invalidated so much for being emotional and quiet. This past week has been amazing. I’m more stressed and getting less sleep then I ever have, and plenty still goes wrong. Now God has challenged me to lay down my pursuit of these things I want (very good things!), and follow him only. I plan to try. I don’t know where this desire for God has come from. It feels strange and new inside of me, but like something permeating my being where I will let it go, and it is not fragile. I’m hopeful that it will grow and blossom into something beautiful for the people around me. I rest assured that if God had not been working in my life, I might be more successful than I am now, but I would not be who I am. With God, I am in the right place, living the life I was born to live.