Love of my Life – I am His Song – Guest post by Gail

Miss Gail from Gail loves God was kind – and courageous – enough to share a part of her story and it’s an honor for Song of Virginity to have her onboard. Read and marvel as Gail chose to trust the words of her Savior, rather than words of man… And when you’re done reading here, jump over to her blog and indulge in her poetry, singing from the depths of her heart to her Jesus.

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Song of Virginity… that sounds so beautiful… in its purest and godliest form. It easily makes me wish I had a song of virginity. A song that says I have always belonged to the Lord and the Lord only. That nothing has ever come between me and my Lord.
Unfortunately, I was without a song of virginity from the age of 3. I was 12 before I heard the word, and in my late teens before I understood what it meant, though I was already an unwed teen mom.
Gailbaby.jpgYears of molestation and promiscuity had taken my right to make a choice. Yet there is no guarantee that if my life had been different, I would have made the right choice. And THAT is what Christ taught me virginity really meant to Him.

In 1994, I was baptized for the 2nd time (the 1st being when I was 8) because I thought my sins had washed away His blood, love, and forgiveness.
God would begin to whisper that His Son’s blood was shed to wash away my sins… of the past, present, and future. Christ did not need to die again. In that cleansing, He had made me white as snow.
To Him I was as clean as a virgin.
I would doubt this because man told me there was no use trying to make a testimony for God, because I had already been intimate, and especially since I already had a child.

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God clearly asked me, “Do you want to believe in what man tells you, or in what I tell you? If I say that I love you, that I forgive you, and have made you white as snow, do you want to believe me or the world?

Do you want to see yourself through the eyes of the world… trashed and tossed aside… worthless and hopeless?
Or do you want to see yourself through my eyes as the beautiful virgin that I have restored you to be for me… pure and Holy… righteous and blameless?

 “For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chastevirgin to Christ.” – 2 Corinthians 11:2 KJV
I chose to believe in Christ. I was even empowered by a song sung by Jonathan Pierce called I Believe in Christ, and it sang,
“I believe in Christ. No other before Him. And though I may fail, I’ll never leave Him.
For me, He laid down His life. Oh I believe in Christ.”

Gailcar.jpgI have raised my son to remember to “keep God first, above everyone and everything, including me, including you.”

I have been blessed with singleness for several years now. By His grace and His great love I have been set aside… whether it be for a future husband or for Him… I am His song.

“The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing.” – Zephaniah 3:17 KJV 

In 2012, when my son was marrying his bride the Lord gave me this song to write.
Jesus, The Love of My Life written by Gail Brookshire

I love Him so cause He loves me. /Says He always has, and that we were meant to be.
I’m already a part of His family. /I love Him because He first loved me.

Chorus: Jesus, Jesus, the Love of my life /wants to save me from my daily strife.
He wants to give me His peace for all eternity. /The Love of my life loves me.

A wedding invitation was sent to our friends. /They’ll join us when the engagement ends.
They’ll witness the union of a groom and His bride,/ and faithfully He’ll stay by my side.

Chorus: Jesus, Jesus, the Love of my life /wants to save me from my daily strife.
He wants to give me His peace for all eternity. /The Love of my life loves me.

He’s so open hearted, He’s opened His home /and invited my friends to a room of their own.
They’re already a part of our family, /and we’re living ever happily.

Chorus: Jesus, Jesus, the Love of my life /wants to save me from my daily strife.
He wants to give me His peace for all eternity. /The Love of my life loves me.

Jesus, Jesus, the Love of YOUR life /wants to save YOU from YOUR daily strife. He wants to give YOU His peace for all eternity. /The Love of YOUR life loves YOU.

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Photos are private and posted with permission from Sue Thompson of Set Photography, Leslie Ludy and Gail herself. Do not copy without permission. 

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Guest post – Beauty and the Actual Beast

A big thank you to Brandon, from the blog Brandon J Adams – For millennials seeking the abundant life of Jesus graciously wrote a post for Song of Virginity – and without further ado:

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Tale as old as time1105256_1345576304932_full
Song as old as rhyme
Beauty and the beast

There’s a tale old as time, all right, but not the Disney version. It’s a heartwrenching remake.

I’m watching it, again, at my workplace right now.

Guy and Girl get together. Girl becomes Mother Girl. Guy tries to stick around at first. Guy finds himself overwhelmed by Mother Girl’s and Baby’s needs. Guy gets noticed by Other Girl. Other Girl sidles up to Guy with sweet words that Mother Girl hasn’t had the energy to muster up for a while. Guy lets Other Girl linger just a bit. Mother Girl gets upset. Guy grins hunky grin, thinks Mother Girl is overreacting. Other Girl brazenly presses. Backtrack four sentences and repeat until Guy decides Mother Girl is “crazy” and leaves.

Baby grows up to be Guy, Mother Girl, or Other Girl.

9b9b32271bbad627d3ac8dd610ed06f4.jpgI watched this film as a teacher, playing in hallways: I had a baby crawling along the floor of my rural classroom, shredding his mother’s algebra homework with an evil grin. His father walked out that spring.

You’re assuming that Guy is the beast.

But both Guy and Girl were meant for beauty in their own ways, created in God’s image. So was their union – “the way of a man with a maiden” (Proverbs 30:19) – protection by a jewel case called marriage. Yet they are marred, grounded, twisted like veal by something in their nature.Seven-Deadly-Sins-620x320.jpg

The beast is sin.

I know guys. We have puppet strings labeled “affirmation” tied to our hearts. When Other Girl so expertly pulls the strings, guys want to dance. That’s no condescending judgment; even twenty-somethings have little sense of what’s driving them. Rare indeed is the person of any age with the honesty and self-awareness to question their own inner workings. Few of us even think of asking.

That is the risk a woman takes by giving herself to a man who isn’t committed. It’s like taking a hot air balloon ride during a tornado warning.

This isn’t to portray men as victims or shame Mother Girl for not offering enough. It’s not her fault. Guy has been given a Bible to show him right action and a will to help him defy his feelings. He’s responsible.

But a girl can do this: find a man who will stack the deck against himself…by marrying her.

God stacked the deck against himself by having Elijah drench the altar with water, so that only fire from heaven could incinerate it. He stacked the deck by having Gideon decommission all but 300 troops, so Midian would know Who really beat them. He stacked the deck by publicly crucifying Jesus, rolling a massive stone across his sealed and guarded tomb, so that only a risen deity could emerge. In each case, the men obeyed, placing themselves in a position where only God could come through for them.

In the same way, a man of God will seal himself into a covenant, renounce all others, commit before a cloud of witnesses to honor your heart before he ever asks for your body. Marriage requires a man to play the man, cuts off escape routes, makes leaving far more costly.

God’s man will come through, for he is of God and has his strength.

The best bet in an imperfect world, ladies, is to obey. There, you’ll receive the fullest benefit of God’s power.

Young men – you can be heroes.

The Beast in the movie sacrificed himself for his Belle; he lost his life protecting her.

That is the Gospel.

I doubt the creators of the movie had the Cross in mind, but even if by accident, the parallels to the Gospel are astonishing. The beast didn’t expect to survive, nor did he care. That is your path. That is the discipline that defines the warrior. When you offer and offer and it seems pointless and thankless and ominously endless, but it’s bringing her life, you’ve learned to love. You’ve become like Christ.

We’re getting nowhere with the alternative. Ravi Zacharias once heard from the president of Albania:

“We are the most atheistic country in the world, and we have made one mess of this country. Maybe it’s time for us to stop doing it our way and start thinking of doing it God’s way.”

And what happened to the Beast after his sacrifice?

Whoever tries to keep their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life will preserve it.” (Luke 17:33)

transformation-beauty-and-the-beast-27580601-491-241.gifOur generation is scared and contemptuous of marriage. Walk straight into that fear, men! Put a ring on it. Keep your fingers off her until then.

It’s sacrifice, and sacrifice brings life, just as Christ’s did.

“The difference between false and true pleasure is this: for true pleasure, the price is paid before you enjoy it. For false pleasure, the price is paid after you enjoy it. … You walk into the path of an illicit relationship, it may be easy to do, but the price you will pay is after that. If you say no from the beginning, it’s painful, but you enjoy the legitimate pleasures of what God gives to you.” – Ravi Zacharias

No more Guy, Mother Girl, and Other Girl.

Our world needs Husbands and Wives.

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Eternal love – guest post by Vince

Vince from You, me and this world stopped by Song of Virginity to jot down a few words about a love given and received.

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Life without love is really unbearable. I have been blessed to travel on every continent and to many countries, and one thing I’ve seen no matter what language, color or creed, everyone or at least almost everyone, wants to love and be loved.
Therefore this is God.
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While living as a single in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, I met Suva.

She was a wonderful young woman that I fell totally in love with. We spent most of our days glowing in the gift of love we found in each other and in God, and we found that this love was so bright that others saw it too. We were together for 8 months. anima001.jpgWhen we went to file for a marriage license, I was asked to show my immigration papers and for a financial status. Since I was a missionary my papers were in order but I had very little money. I was given three days to leave the country.

My heart was breaking, Suva tried to get a visa and she too didn’t have enough money to get the papers she needed. I went to Bolivia and we wrote for five months. We never got back together. I thought that I would die.

Now many many years later I have a wonderful wife and wonderful life.ab6f90e664b94c80c68761e9ee8e9fe2.jpg


The love for Suva will always be in my heart as love never fails or leaves us. It’s eternal.

 

Teacher love – guest post by anonymous

He touched her chin and lifted it towards his face while he gently leaned over and kissed her… And then she woke up from her daydream and realized that she was staring stupidly into the whiteboard during class,with romantic dreamy eyes. She looked rather franticly around her classmates, hoping nobody had seen her daydream.It would seem they hadn’t. Phew!

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She was taking a supporting class to complete her degree.
The class was taught by the handsome, well spoken, nicely dressed, cool but kind and tempting beyond her loudest sigh, teacher!
A month or two of dreaming about him led to her asking questions about the material. Questions she possibly didn’t need to ask.
She tried to get closer and he didn’t exactly shut her out. He didn’t invite her in either.It was beginning to feel like she had befriended him and yet he kept her at a distance.

She obviously had a gigantic crush… on her teacher! He was so irresistible. She was panting for the “one and only” she watched in the movies, tv and even read about in romantic novels. But all her past boyfriends had miserably failed.
Her longing was strong and as she watched her teacher, being of the same age as her, she imagined his character in a home, his gentleness with kids, his pride in her as his girlfriend. Oh, to be loved by him! 5362819996e3337e10c0d1f0cef82786.jpg

Yet, she sorely wished she didn’t have the crush! Because he clearly wasn’t interested. Either because he wasn’t interested in her or because she was his student.

One evening after a rather uncomfortable bump-in with an ex-boyfriend, she took a walk to clear her head. It was winter, cold and dark. She saw her warm breath every time she exhaled. She found herself outside his home. Despite just wandering around she knew exactly where he lived and most likely it wasn’t a coincidence she was there. She could see light in his windows. She just stood still staring at his window, hoping she would catch a glimpse of him… hoping he would see her – see her pain – see her love and rush out to take her in and into his arms
But unlike her fantasy, that didn’t happen.
He saw her staring and though she didn’t know if he knew it was her or not, he closed the curtain and shut her out.
woman-love-sick-vert_vg5jlz.jpgShe walked home hearing only the lingering voice in her head “now you’ve done it! Now you’re a stalker!”. She was ashamed, but not enough. She began to take up evening walks as a hobby and ever so coincidentally walk past his home.

The academic year came to an end and unfortunately she ended up failing the class. Not because she didn’t know the stuff, but because she felt so ashamed to have been a stalker of her teacher. During the final test she simply couldn’t concentrate. Afterwards, she was so ashamed of her actions that she decided to avoid any contact with the teacher, no more evening walks past his home and she chose a different school and supporting class and a year later completed her degree.

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The above is a true story, written by someone who wish to remain anonymous. Here on Song of Virginity, that is okay too. 

We often apply characteristics of “perfection” to those we fall in love with as we try to fill the void in our hearts with someone who can never fully fill it or in this story, fill it with emptiness: To love but not be loved again.

12825999_257258291272474_986563694_nWhen we choose to love Jesus something happens in our hearts.

We can ask Him anything! He can fill the void with love and in trust He will guide us to the one who is right for us.

And… He loves it when you stalk Him!

 

Harmless fun? – Guest post by Daniel

It’s a privilege to introduce to you Song of Virginity’s next guest blogger, Daniel. Throughout the process of this guest post I have come to know Daniel a bit and his open and honest attempt to share his own shortcomings as well as his desire to protect the innocent, quite frankly overwhelms me. Daniel struggles with sexual sin and this is his urge to parents and young girls out there, to be careful when using the internet. You can support Daniel by prayers and encouragement on his blog Minus the Cynic.

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When I was a young kid my parents freaked out when they saw I was looking at pictures of scantily clad supermodels on the internet.
They installed technology to only show sites with certain content, but got rid of it when I was unable to access an innocent site, because of the software’s programmed response to block sites based on key words.
giphy.gifYou would have thought my parents shock, horror and disappointment would have prevented me from finding my way back to those supermodels, or the thought of grieving my God – But it wasn’t
When I was 12 the doctor noticed my penis was red and sore and asked if I had been involved in any sexual activity. I loudly and vehemently said no!
That was before I knew that masturbation qualifies as sexual activity…
I can’t explain what caused me to gravitate towards that kind of filth in the first place.
It used to be more of an effort to sin on the internet because I had to sneak downstairs to do it. Today, it’s easy. Too easy.
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A daily view on the streets of Tokyo

At first I was apalled and disgusted by infantilization.

Having a fully grown woman appear to be a little girl in the way she dressed, never appealed to me. But, seeing those images was an influence… I sunk low enough to see a little girl as a source of sexual excitement.
My downfall was gradual.
It happened over several re-negotiations inside my mind… What was I prepared to accept in my behavior?
It took a concerned mother threatening me with personal harm and police intervention to cause me to wake up to myself and see how I need Jesus in every moment! 
I praise the Lord for that mom!
Obviously it’s dangerous for little girls to give their numbers and addresses to anyone online, but what many do not seem to know or acknowledge is how showing a video of yourself swimming or in the bathtub might cause a guy to commit a sin against God and the law of his land. 
Before a parent allows their child to use the internet without their supervision, I would suggest they familiarize themselves with blocking technology, in order to avoid (prolonged) exposure to unwanted advances from an unsuitable contact for their age group.
I think the responsibility falls on parents to make sure their child is visiting age appropriate sites, especially as they run the risk of not only exposing themselves to danger but also their entire family and circle of friends.
Some parents falsely assume their children will only add people they know as friends in their social network and not perfect strangers.7b45eadd6516efc2671eef6ac3212764.jpg.gif
This is the key to avoid causing harm to yourself. 
If you are friends with someone outside the internet, generally you know you can trust them. But when you are not looking at the face of the person you are communicating with and you may not know them personally, it prevents you from doing that usual “double take” in your spirit and it stops your conscience from kicking in immediately, as the virtual nature of your interaction makes it appear to be one step removed from reality, as you use the same screen for playing games as you do for displaying your physical attributes.
Perhaps it is advisable for girls under eighteen to concentrate on posting pictures of anything other than themselves – as there are guys who go specifically looking for young girls in this age group to satisfy their perpetually unfulfilled sexual desires.
Even if a young girl feels flattered by the attention given to her, she may be unwittingly exposing herself to physical harm. Even the most well intentioned gentleman may still have friends and somehow be connected to those in low places.
Please watch out!  hqdefault.jpg

Something to think about – guest post by Heather Davis

I’m so very proud and happy to welcome to the Song of Virginity blog the first female guest blogger; Heather Davis from Running the race. Personally I couldn’t resist her “about” words, so I’ll let those speak for themselves:

Disciple of Christ, adorer of God, often wayward or distracted student of the Holy Spirit, dedicated wife, homeschool mom of three, and sometime freelance writer and photographer, inquisitive nature lover, hiker, dog owner, and word nerd all bundled into about 5″1′ of physical space

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dc-Cover-m14v01gc2qsoajolanbjej8ol4-20160211155224.Medi.jpegMy wedding was one of the most thrilling days of my life, but it was nothing compared to the wedding night. All through the ceremony, my new husband and I had eyes only for each other as we looked forward to the night ahead. Both of us were intoxicated with the anticipation of coming together as man and wife and exploring the as-yet unknown territory of physical love. That night, we would consummate our commitment to one another, and for the rest of our lives we would have one another’s bodies to explore and enjoy without shame or fear of disease. Cuba Photos 008.jpg
On our wedding night, I gave my husband a gift that was precious and priceless because it could be only given once; I gave him my virginity. All the months of self-control, of delayed gratification and increasing sexual attraction were finally unleashed in a physical expression of our love. We were now united in a concrete way, giving us a beautiful glimpse of what God meant when He said a man and his wife shall become one flesh.

At least, that’s how I wish my story went.

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Instead, I did not treasure virginity as a young woman, and so at the age of 19 I gave it away for a poorly sung song. Pathetically, that ‘song’ was nothing more thrilling than insincere flattery from an older, somewhat disturbed man – and not even a particularly attractive one.

I wish I could say I gave it up for love.
I even wish I could say it was for lust, but the truth is nothing so noble as either of these. I discarded my virginity away out of shame.

In my teens, I struggled with body image issues. Despite a 24-inch waistline and other evidence to the contrary, I was convinced that I was fat, unattractive, and entirely undesirable. Somehow, in some twisted way, I thought having sex would bolster my confidence, perhaps make me feel more sophisticated or some such thing.
However, because I naively believed the hook-up culture lie that sex was an act as casual and easily forgotten as a handshake, I was wholly unprepared for the emotional onslaught that followed.
And you could say that emotional onslaughts were not exactly my forte at the time. 21647039.jpg

Worst of all, once the deed was done, instead of feeling the security of being wanted and loved that I craved, I only felt more shame. This cycle continued for years: shame fueling poor choices which increased my shame… and so on, and so on. Sometimes there were brief interludes of fun, but mostly it was horrid. The aftermath was always horrid.

Fortunately for me, there is a God who saw me, who saw past my terrible choices to my broken heart. He knew the reason for my recklessness, knew the poor self-image I carried and the weight of guilt that dragged me further into the muck with each step.

In His compassion, He allowed me to reap the consequences of my careless sexual behavior – consequences that culminated in pregnancy. That got my attention.
Now that I was finally listening, He revealed the Savior who carried my shame to the cross and there paid the price of my sin with His own life, lending me His garment of righteousness to cover my shame.
gods-hands.jpgBlessed be His name, He forgave me and set me free from the destructive cycle of guilt. And what’s more, by His grace, the father of the child did not flee (as so many do) but became my husband and has loved and supported our family ever since.

However, although now forgiven and free, I still have deep regret that I was unable to come to my marriage bed in purity. For my husband and me, our wedding night was just a night like so many others; there was nothing sacred or special or even particularly noteworthy about it. Something that could have been beautiful and memorable was merely commonplace.

Wishing it were not so changes nothing, but perhaps telling you my story will.de699bb7c71821400dad451ca49ad012.jpg

Perhaps this tale will give you something to think about, particularly in those moments where temptation or even shame erode your resolve. Hang in there!
And if you have already caved in and hanging in there is not an option, there’s still hope in Christ. He makes all things new, even our soiled and broken hearts.

 

 

The Ghost Pepper effect – guest post by Dan

I’m honored to have Dan writing a guest post here on Song of Virginity. Dan is a pastor, author and a speaker. An easy going guy which you can tell if you go visit his blog Learning to be Full of Grace and Truth – He is also a dad and a husband!

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bowl_of_ice_cream-2232.jpgMy oldest daughter Maggie likes this YouTube show called Good Mythical Morning. The show stars two friends, Rhett and Link, who does crazy fun things. One of the stunts they pulled was taking what is called “the ghost pepper challenge.” The video showed both of them eating and swallowing a ghost pepper, and then seeing who could go the longest before reaching for some milk or ice cream for relief.

unnamed.pngThis bit of bravery buried itself like an evil seed in Maggie’s psyche, and grew into a desire to do her own YouTube video of a ghost pepper challenge. She talked her youngest sister Rachel and her friend Liam into doing it with her. So great was her desire to go through with this, that she spent her own money on 3 ghost peppers, 3 half gallons of milk, and a gallon of ice cream and some sherbet. Perhaps the best thing was her desire to try and stand out by wearing a blue full-body suit while she did it. She made me film the event:

Maggie’s ghost pepper challenge

To Maggie’s credit, she was the only one of the three who actually ate and swallowed the pepper. And she kept it down!

But it was not long before Maggie realized that what looked so fun and entertaining on TV was much more difficult in real life. It was about thirty minutes of burping, burning, crying, jumping, sweating, and exclamations of “fire!” amidst eating frantic handfuls of ice cream. When it was all over, she had a new respect for Rhett and Link, and vowed never to do it again.

What does this have to do with sex and virginity? Nothing really.kg-black-white-Love-sexy-couples-1.jpg But it makes the great point;

What we see on TV and in the movies is not the whole story.
Hollywood makes casual sex look enticing, desirable, and (most importantly) doable without any real unforeseen consequences or relational fallout.
4-6942.jpgBut, just as Maggie found out that actually taking the ghost pepper challenge cost her a lot more pain than she had expected, casual sex outside of marriage brings its own brand of “ghost pepper effects” that are left out of the theatrical presentations of it.
And just as Maggie was still feeling it this morning, the effect of sleeping with someone don’t just fade away — it lingers.
In fact, it can haunt you like a ghost; even if it is with the person you end up marrying. I know, I am speaking from my own experience.

The “ghost pepper effects” of extramarital sex are not because sex is bad, but because God designed it to take place in the marriage relationship.

If there is anything I have been learning about sex, it is that sex is not a good thing; It is a great thing!
After all, it was God’s idea, and He doesn’t do lame ideas! I can tell you from experience (and I have 25 years of experience with my wife) that it is freakishly awesome!

… If you are tasting those hot “ghost pepper effects” and feeling guilt or shame from going there, all that heat can be wiped out by God’s grace.
jesus-and-sinner.jpgThere is no mistake, sin, or choice that can stand up to the omnipotent force of Jesus’ grace. If you are a Christian, confess your sin to Jesus, He forgave you long ago for it. Let that grace wash into your heart and cool and soothe your soul.
If you are not a Christian, go to Jesus and ask for His help. You will find that He is ready and willing to do so. He will always answer “Yes” to that prayer.