Now i have come full circle. Two nights ago, John and i had sex.
We talked and prayed about it beforehand. We are in a committed, monogamous relationship. We both talked about our needs and fears, and we both talked about past relationships. It was only my second time ever having sex (and the first time almost didn't even count), and it was his very first time. We used protection, but we also talked about what we would do if we did get pregnant. We made sure that we were both ready, and then we decided to let it happen naturally. We fell asleep after midnight, and somehow, we both woke up around 4am and were ready to go.
It was still brief and a little awkward, as is to be expected. But i was not horrified when i got up in the morning. I am not now afraid or ashamed. I do not have vague feelings of guilt like i did with Theo. I am not worried about the consequences.
I am in a fair way to fall for this guy big time, and i don't think that sex with him was a mistake or a sin. I think that it was a good thing. Maybe i'm wrong. It certainly wouldn't be the first time i've been wrong about something.
But he took me to get Plan B (there was a mishap with the condom and we are all about better safe than sorry), and he paid for it (that shit is expensive). And he checked up on me later that evening to make sure i wasn't suffering any unpleasant side effects. He's a good guy, and we care about one another. And he takes care of me. And i let him, which is not something i do often. I am fiercely independent, to the point that i often get myself in trouble. But i let him take care of me.
I wear my purity ring with pride. It's not an obvious purity ring, like the ones that say "True Love Waits" or have hearts and crosses on them. It's a rose.
When i had sex with Theo, when i bought my new ring and started to seriously reconstruct my concept of purity, i remembered something my mom told me on that Purity Weekend Adventure so many years ago. She said that i was like a flower, with lots and lots of petals. And she said that every time i do something with a guy, it removes some petals. If i hold hands with a guy, that's a petal. If i make out with him, that's several petals. And while it is normal for teenagers to date and kiss and so forth, she wanted me to keep in mind that the petals don't grow back, and that one day, i would get married. "You want to give your husband the whole flower," she said, totally unconscious of the "deflowering" metaphor hovering at her fingertips. "It's only natural that you'll lose a few of your petals along the way, but you want to keep as many as possible."
I internalized this message far more than i had realized, and found myself depressed after Theo. I began to wonder what, if anything, i had left to offer. I had given away the flower, and i wasn't even dating the guy who had it. I would never get it back.
Then i realized that my mom was wrong. Yes, i had given some things away. But as God had reassured me, i still had plenty of sex to offer, for the rest of my life. I also had humor, warmth, intelligence, and talents. I was still a valuable person with a lot to offer, sexuality aside. And i still had plenty of sexuality. I may have bloomed a little early, but i am not worthless. I have a lot to offer to John, and if it turns out that John is not T.O.M., i'll still have plenty to offer T.O.M., whoever he turns out to be.
I am not worthless. I am a valuable, desirable, lovable person, and John knows that and appreciates it. And sex with him only reaffirms my sense of self-worth.