This past week my social media was inundated with engagement and wedding posts. It seemed as though everyone was either getting married or engaged during the month of November. And as I scrolled through the many pictures I began to think of those who are filled with guilt or shame over their past and who every time they see an engagement announcement or wedding picture think within themselves "that will never be me."
You have convinced yourself that because you had sex outside of marriage, or because you were in an unequally yoked relationship or because you are a single parent, or because before you were a Christian you had an abortion, or because even though you didn't have sex you didn't maintain sexual purity, (the list can go on) that you don't deserve or never will get that "happily ever after."
Your sin may have been exposed to all due to a pregnancy or maybe yours is hidden in shame and secrecy and you are afraid to even admit what you have done because of fear of judgement. Either way you have allowed shame and guilt over something that may have happened weeks, months or years ago convince you that God will never bring someone into your life. You have heard so many messages about sexual purity over the years and have convinced yourself that because of your mistakes you will have to settle because you don't think anyone within the church will love you.
You see engagement posts and wedding pictures and read about how individuals waited until marriage before having sex and you have so much fear that once a person finds out about your past, they won't want to be in a relationship with you. You think that this is the only sin that God doesn't forgive or forget.You think that because you went outside of the will of God you messed everything up. You are wracked with thoughts of "I should never have..." And when you hear messages from the pulpit about the promises of marriage you think they don't apply to you.
You look at engagement pictures and wedding posts and think "That will never be me." You think those pictures are only for those who maintained sexual purity. You look at posts of couples and see the romantic things each person does for the other and you think God only gives that to those who didn't cross lines. You think they aren't for those who broke boundaries. You think "happily ever after" only applies to those who adhered to the Word of God and who didn't make the mistakes like you did. You think love like that doesn't exist for those like you.
Can I tell you something? Those are all lies from Satan. Your sin has been forgiven by God. Your past is just that...your past. Your mistake hasn't disqualified you from a great marriage. "Happily Ever After" doesn't just exist for perfect people (because there are no perfect people.) Amazing love stories aren't just for those who maintained sexual purity before marriage. You don't need to be afraid that someone won't love you due to what you've done. You don't need to be ashamed. You don't need to hold your head down. There is someone that God has for you.