To my precious & valuable daughter,
When I was 15, I had my first kiss. I can tell you honestly that it was disgusting. A few weeks before it happened I was sitting around a bonfire at the end of yet another party – the girls I was “friends” with always wanted to party. The stars were glorious, we were out in a part of the world where the city lights don’t interfere & they seemed real enough, close enough to touch. It was a beautiful night.
Then a conversation topic sparked up between the other girls around said fire as though someone had thrown a sparkler right in the middle of it. “So who in our group hasn’t kissed a boy?! Oh my goodness … blahblahblah.” I sat quietly, pretending I didn’t catch onto to the segue of interest. Yes, I’d thought about it, but I just didn’t think it was worth my time.
“COURTNEY! YOU HAVEN’T KISSED A BOY!” Cover, blown.
“So why wait? What do you think it’s going to be like? Some beautiful moment where everything is just perfectly aligned and there’s some Taylor Swift song playing in the background and it’s all like a fairytale?” Yes, actually, I had grown up imagining it to be special & beautiful … Like all of the romantic scenes in pure-hearted movies where the boy desperately loves & cherishes the girl and she realises his true feelings and he kisses her beneath fireworks, or glitter or something. “Cause it’s not. It’s not even that nice. It’s not really special at all. Just get it over with, the first time is always gross.” Then they went on to recount their terrible stories of “first-times”, mostly all drunk, mostly all at parties, and definitely all disgusting, whether dating the guy or not.
Cue “the night”. I wasn’t drinking. He was. I wasn’t really dancing/grinding like everyone else. He was trying. I wasn’t even flirting. But I think that he was attempting to. And then a near-by “friend” caught wind of the situation at-hand. “OMG, you should kiss!” A few seconds later and multiple people saying “just do it”. All I could think of in the moment were the earlier comments of my “friends”. Next thing I knew, he stuck his tongue down my throat and even accidentally bit my lip. It was only a few seconds and I hated it all. After that moment I believed everything those girls had ever said. It wasn’t special. “So why wait?”
It wasn’t long till I moved high schools to escape the years of bullying from those so-called “friends”. I found myself in my own little sanctuary for the beginning of Year 11 with actual friends AND now also a relationship with God. I pushed the memory of that “first time” out of my brain and convinced myself it had never happened. And I was happier that way. But forgetting isn’t the same as forgiving and letting go. Remember that darling daughter. Pain demands to be felt and it’s much better to be upfront about our choices and mistakes than to bury them. The Lord can & will grant us forgiveness and freedom. Just ask.
When I was 16, I had my first boyfriend. At my old school, I was merely a shadow of my true self. Quiet, self-contained, shy, hardened & bitter. But here, in this new & safe place, I became who I was always created to be. Loud. Exciting. Charming. Joyful. Fun. I was the “new girl” and boys knew it.
I received an awkward Facebook message from a sweet but nerdy guy I’d never even heard of, welcoming me to the school and wanting to get to know me. I told a friend, she knew him well, they were best-friends in fact. And so she helped to “set us up”. I vowed to myself and God that I wouldn’t kiss another boy until I was dating them. But the girls were excited for me, “So why wait? Date him! He likes you, you like him, he’s a great guy!”
And well that happened. He was kind, but we were young, inexperienced in our faith and moral standings and made choices that we wish never happened. Together, we’ve given those things to God and I can proudly and happily say that we are friends now and both following the path Jesus has for us as dearly loved children of God.
You might think that was the end, and oh I wish it was, but in reality it was the beginning of a long line of emotional hurt and pain. Spiritual bondage and despair. Sneaking off with boys, and giving away way more than my heart. Physical intimacy wasn’t designed to be used for self-gratification. God has given us loving limits for a reason.
After all that, I thought I was living grand as a good Christian. I was at least, “still waiting till I was married”. Well let me tell you my darling, there is no such thing as a “good Christian”. You either love Jesus & let Him be the Lord of your life, or you don’t. There aren’t levels within Christianity. And reality was, I didn’t love Him first, or more, than myself and my own “right” to live my life. And so I based my actions on trying not to “break the rules” instead of living a life of choices made out of understanding & love.
And so when I was 17 or 18 I think I had sex. I honestly don’t remember the first time that I did. One time, however, my boyfriend and I almost did. We were super drunk, no protection (that’s beside the point), but he wanted to. “So why wait?” He said in few words than none. We’d only been dating a few months, we both knew Jesus & we knew better .. and I’m still so sad to tell you that we did “other stuff” instead. Not that it was new to me, but I really didn’t want to fall back into my old patterns.
But one day, it did eventually happen. I don’t believe it was traumatic so much as just not special. Maybe it was just like my first kiss … I didn’t want to remember because it didn’t live up to what I’d dreamed of and hoped it would be my whole life up until that point – Beautiful, special, romantic, about love & intimacy and not really about sex at all. The comments from those girls all that time ago haunted my decisions.
I’d wanted to wait and I didn’t. I believed the lie that I wasn’t a gift anymore. I feared Jesus wouldn’t want me; broken, used, dirty, unreachable.
If anything, I can remember the conversations and “justification” leading up to that time … “So why wait? We love each other, we’re going to get married anyway, it’s okay.” And so I gave in to the comfort of “being wanted”. I battled the fear of pregnancy multiple times, prayed to God that if I ever was He’d take it away, make me lose it, because I couldn’t bear to ever abort, nor could I bear bringing a beautiful daughter like you into a world of my own, falling apart from the inside out. You didn’t deserve a future that was marred before you were even a blimp on my motherly radar. I wanted to do things the way I knew to be right & loving.
But I never did, and he didn’t marry me like he said he would. I’ve forgiven him for those things, because we were young then too, and Jesus has forgiven us. But breaking up was one of the best things that ever happened.
After it all, my world changed.
My eyes were open to a future I forgot could even exist.
I really met Jesus then. In my brokenness He lifted me up, cleaned my wounds, nursed me back to health slowly & above all loved me. Unconditonaly.
He called me to a new life in Him, and I made a new decision, a vow if you will, that had the power to change everything for me, but more importantly … You.
I am waiting till my wedding day again, but this time even for my first kiss.
One day, before you are created by your Heavenly Father, I will glide down the aisle, clothed in brilliantly beautiful, flowing white to meet your Daddy at the end. We will worship and pray and praise our Lord, together with a room full of cherished friends & family. And maybe the person marrying us will conclude with utter, blissful redemption “Let no man separate what God has joined together. He has blessed you both. So why wait? You may now kiss your Bride.” I believe with everything that I am, that it will be beautiful and special and romantic, because it’s supposed to be. Because Jesus says so. And He has never let me down, nor will He ever.
So you’re probably wondering, my dearest daughter, how this has anything to do with you? Well the thing is, many people in this world will tell you to be pure, to wait, to save yourself, to be a gift for your future husband, and while those things are 100% true and good, they may not understand just how many people will also likely tell you “So why wait?” in its many hurtful, damaging and soul-destroying ways – words or not. You’ll be confused at times, you’ll grow up surrounded by mixed opinions and messages & you’ll deeply desire to know the truth.
But when people say either of those opinions to you, truth or lies, you can firmly and confidently say back to them “My Mummy waited”, and show them the fruit of our lives together because of our choice to follow Jesus.
When waiting feels hard, I think more of you and Jesus than I ever do of Daddy (but don’t tell him that). Of how His love is unconditional and life-giving, and that young girls need strong, active, spiritual warrior examples -not just words – of how to live a pure-hearted life in a morally decaying world.
I want to clear the generational path through the wilderness for your inheritance before you are even born, so that you don’t have to one-day swim upstream to retrieve what was once lost.
I want you to be born into a family with a Mummy and a Daddy deeply & purely in love with Jesus, each other, and you. To prove those girls & everyone else wrong and to prove Jesus right to the rest of the broken and hurting world. To shine his pure and compassionate heart into the darkest of places – together. Because without you, this testimony doesn’t continue.
I am praying for you my sweet girl, even now as I write this at the age of 20, on Valentine’s Day, a year after being baptised by water and the Spirit, very single and learning to be content and completely in love with Jesus first – as my friend, fighter, fiancé & forever. You are worth far more than rubies, dear Princess. A beloved daughter of the King. And He has a special call over your life.
We can and will write your story together, but I want to write some chapters for you first, because you deserve my vows now before I ever speak them on my wedding day.
I love you – now & forever,