“I know I can’t find a Godly guy, but maybe I can find a good guy.”
This was the lie that I told myself for five years. At a very young age, I made so many compromises with my purity. I was desperately looking for love in all the wrong places, and those choices showed in the people who I dated and the continuous bad choices I made. Little by little, I gave pieces of myself away. I gave my mind, I gave my heart, and eventually I gave myself away physically. I felt as if I had nobody to turn to, nowhere to get direction, and my life was out of control.
The church didn’t help much in this department. I had heard countless sermons regarding “purity,” many of which didn’t give biblical messages. There was one sermon I remember so specifically, and it was probably the message that left me the most broken. I was in high school, and a guy on stage held two toothbrushes in the air. One toothbrush was white and clean. He took the other toothbrush and scrubbed the dirty floor, dipped it in murky water, and he left the toothbrush stained. He looked to all of us in the crowd and yelled, “WHAT TOOTHBRUSH DO YOU WANT TO BE? NOBODY WANTS THE DIRTY TOOTHBRUSH.” I’m assuming this was a “scare tactic.” His underlining message was, “Sex before marriage makes you filthy, and nobody wants a used up, dirty person (toothbrush).
I WAS THE DIRTY TOOTHBRUSH.
After his sermon, I decided that to ask God for a man who was pursuing Christ with passion was too much to ask. I would settle for “good,” and that’s exactly what I did. I serial dated “good people,” and it left me void, empty, and feeling as if there had to be something more to relationships. My sophomore of college year was a huge turning point in my spiritual life. I began passionately pursuing the Lord, walking with him, and leaving my past and brokenness behind. I began to be okay with being single, and I decided that “singleness” was better than “setting.” I was getting ready to leave for Kanakuk Christian Kamp in the hills of Missouri when I wrote in my journal, “I would rather walk alone with you Lord than walk with a man and without you.” Three days later, I met a guy named Wheeler Dupree.
That summer, Wheeler and I began writing letters. We were both camp counselors, and while we were leading the kids, the Lord was also working on our own hearts. We got to know each other in such a unique way, but the entire summer, I kept my past hidden from him. I loved that he was getting to know the girl I had become, and I loved that he was clueless about the girl who I used to be. However, in ministry, God was using my past in a huge way. I was able to reach girls who had never been able to open up about their lives or their purity, and God was using the ashes of my past to help cultivate healing, redemption, and new life. I felt God quietly whispering, “You have to tell him. I am going to use this part of your life in others’ lives forever. He has to know.”
It was the end of the summer, and Wheeler and I were on a date on one of our “24 hour breaks.” Something came up in conversation, and the Lord prompted me to be open and honest. I was hesitant as tears rolled down my face, and I told Wheeler about the life I lived before I truly started walking with the Lord. I know now that my fear in wanting a Godly man and my fear in telling Wheeler the truth was because I feared rejection. I feared that a good Godly man would never want the “dirty toothbrush.” I realized my fear covered up God’s truth.
Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that in all things, God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
My past did not mean that God’s plans were no longer for me. While he doesn’t desire sin in our lives and he GRIEVES when we fall astray, he doesn’t withhold good from us when we return to him. He doesn’t withhold his plans, because we are flawed.
After I finished telling Wheeler my past, he looked at me and said, “That’s who you were, but it’s not who you are.” Through our dating relationship, Wheeler constantly reminded me of 2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, a new creation has come! The old has gone, and the new is here!” I married a man who had waited for me, who remained pure. He treated me as Jesus treats all of us, looking at me with eyes of a new creation rather than the sin of our past. THAT is what God calls all of us to in relationships. We are ALL sinners, and we are ALL flawed in our own ways. We are all burdened with brokenness, weaknesses, and shame, but God’s plan and desire for relationships cover it all!
Today, my heart is thankful and rests assured in his word. 1 Peter 4:8 says, “Above all else, LOVE one another deeply, because LOVE covers a multitude of sins.” My sin didn’t define my life, God’s plans for me, or and it didn’t hinder my husband’s love for me. God’s desire for relationships is for our lives to mirror the gospel, the ultimate forgiveness. He calls us to love with complete GRACE!
Written by: Logan Dupree