What is Jesus inviting you into? Steve imagined a life of striving and trying harder to “do” right, never quite being sure he would measure up. Selina imagined it would be sad, hard, and lonely, hoping eternity would finally bring some goodness. What do you expect from walking this journey of transformation? Specifically when it comes to sexual wholeness, what do you imagine it will look like?
Steve and Selina do understand a kernel of truth. The journey of transformation does include effort, and Jesus never promised we would not have trouble. But what can you rightfully expect? Will your soul ever feel healed? Will your empty places ever be satisfied?
When Jesus was here on earth He demonstrated some of what things are like when things are as God wants them to be – bodies, minds, and souls fully integrated, functioning at their best, deeply connected to other humans and to God Himself. That’s the Hebrew concept of shalom; nothing missing, nothing broken.
Do we ever get there in this life?
Perhaps not. In fact, certainly not. But because of Jesus there is an ocean of goodness available here and now that very few of us take full advantage of. The fact that some followers of Jesus reach amazing degrees of wholeness now should make all of us hungry for more. We should be encouraged by stories of men and women, young and old, married and unmarried, who have discovered real sexual wholeness through the process of transformation Jesus offers.
You may feel you’re too far gone to hope for that. Refuse to believe that lie! If God’s done it for others, why not for you? If others have experienced it, why not you?
Say Yes to the Process
Saying Yes to sexual wholeness rarely means a moment where God zaps you from here to there. When God does something in a moment it’s wonderful! But most of the time He doesn’t “beam you up.” Almost always He works through an ongoing process of transformation.
That process is what you’re saying Yes to.
Sexual wholeness may look a bit different for each person. That’s why addressing your individual story and inviting Jesus into your story is so important. For me, pursuing wholeness in this way meant I became capable of enjoying a sexually intimate and satisfying relationship with my husband during our marriage, and also that my experience of singleness as a widow today is rich and full and beautiful.
What will sexual wholeness mean for you? God knows. But here are a few things it will certainly mean:
- Your past loses its sting. You won’t forget the facts of what happened to you or what you’ve done. But like Paul in dealing with his history of persecuting Christians (Galatians 1:13, Philippians 3:13-14), you will no longer need to exert energy trying to hide your past. Any trauma becomes “finished” in your brain so that it doesn’t feel like it’s still happening. You’ve given and received forgiveness where needed.
- Your sexuality becomes integrated. Your trauma, sins, or whatever brand(s) of sexual brokenness you’ve accumulated become integrated into your whole person as scars, not as open wounds. No hidden corners in your soul or life are walled off from yourself, God, or others, even while maintaining necessary appropriate boundaries. Sexuality is right-sized in your being and experience.
- Sexual behaviors don’t control you. Whatever addictions you had do not rule your daily life any longer. This may not mean you won’t have to keep walking the journey of transformation every day, but you aren’t a slave to any behavior.
- You become capable of intimacy. The walls around your heart come down in appropriate contexts. If married, that includes taking the clothes off your body in ways that bring goodness and connection to both of you. And regardless of relationship status you are nurturing deep healthy heart-to-heart intimacy with a few other humans.
How do your feel after reading that list? It’s an incomplete list, but I believe those elements are available to anyone. Let your heart dream a little. Notice where you feel internal resistance. What feels most impossible? Where does your heart scream NO? Or perhaps your heart cries, as the woman did to Jesus, “Give me this water!” (John 4:15)
What Will Your Miracle Be?
If you’re reading this you likely feel the pull of the Holy Spirit working in you. The desire you feel for wholeness is His doing. Remember, He is a God of miracles. We’ve been taught to think of miracles as momentary, and we too often overlook the true transformation God works in those who continue to give Him opportunity over time.
My ability to enjoy a truly intimate marriage in every way after my messed-up past was a miracle. Garry and Melissa Ingraham, who have enjoyed a sexually intimate marriage for over 15 years after they had each previously lived a homosexual lifestyle, are a miracle. Nick Stumbo, pastor previously hooked on porn who used his own journey in transforming his church and now leads a ministry helping organizations bring such healing to others, is a miracle. And there are many others.
Your miracle will be unique, but why not you? Imagine having the sting of your past gone, no more addictions controlling you, sexuality is right-sized in your brain, and being truly present and able to experience intimacy (that may or may not mean sex).
Check in with God and allow Him to stir a picture in your soul about what sexual wholeness might look like for you. It will be an incomplete picture; God doesn’t tell you everything all at once. Be open to it looking different than you might have imagined at first. And it certainly will have more to do with matters of the heart than simply a list of behaviors to do or not do.
And then say Yes. Yes to the next step in your transformation process.
Your Turn: What have you imagined sexual wholeness to look like? What do you sense God’s miracle for you might be? Leave a comment below.
Want more? In our podcast episode this week, Zach Wagner talks about his journey toward sexual wholeness and what that should look like for men in today’s culture.
Tweetables: why not share this post?
- Your miracle of sexual wholeness is not likely to be a “zap” from here to there. And it’s not trying harder, or being stuck in pain or struggle. Here are some things sexual wholeness does mean. Tweet that.
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