The following months were hard. We wanted to start completely over and have a godly relationship, but neither of us knew what that looked like. So we remained friends.
I wish I could spare you this next part friends...but it's a vital part to our love story. I write with a heavy heart, remembering the pain and anguish I alone caused so many people.
During my second semester I made the biggest mistake of my entire life. I gave my virginity to a guy on campus that I cared nothing about. It was the same night Trevor and I had decided we were in love and were going to wait to be together till God told us it was time. Are you confused? I obviously was. I'm not going to sit here and blame my past on my choices. I made a conscious decision, fully aware of what I was doing, and I was able to make the decision to stop. I loved Trevor more than anything; we were soul mates. But in a moment of sheer selfishness and immaturity I ruined myself for my future husband.
I know there is forgiveness and Jesus makes you whole and new, and in my marriage now we were able to experience restoration and newness in the marriage bed...but you cannot undo that one single act. The memory remains forever. Thinking back on it all now, I'm still so confused as to why I went that far. I cannot tell you why. Only that it was the biggest mistake of my life.
But...In those hours afterwards, I felt for the first time why a sinner needs a savior. I had always come to God before this thinking I deserved His grace, His love, His relationship (how could I ever have been so prideful!) all because of the abuse and loss I had suffered as a child. But in those early morning hours as I lay sobbing, barely able to breathe, I turned to Him for the first time seeking salvation from death. I turned Him desiring to be washed clean, and I knew Him well enough to know that even if I didn't deserve it (oh how I didn't deserve it!) He would lovingly and tenderly draw me back into His arms and purify me clean as snow.
Thinking of telling Trevor, though, was another matter entirely. He was coming up in a week with my sister for a visit, and I knew I had to tell him face to face. I couldn't see the pain on God's face during and after my sin, couldn't hear the sadness in His voice. But Trevor would be sitting right there in front of me as I spoke the words out loud. It was like a knife turning slowly in gut every day I waited for him to show up. I was torn between joy at seeing him for the first time in 4 months, and the excruciating pain of knowing it might be the last.
Sitting on that couch finally facing him was so hard...I just cried, not knowing how to say it. I wanted to spare this man the pain coming, this man who had done nothing but love me with all his heart from the very beginning. I finally stopped crying, took a deep breath, hung my head and whispered, "I had sex with ____." I sat there, knowing he was being ripped apart, knowing his anger with me was rising, knowing he was thinking of a million harsh words to throw at me, then he would be out the door and I would be left alone. It was what I deserved.
He squeezed my hand and simply said, "I love you."
Time stood still. I couldn't breathe. I broke down sobbing as he reached out to me and actually hugged me. All he kept saying was, "It's okay, I forgive you. I love you." The forgiveness and love I had not been able to actually see and feel as I knelt before God showed itself tangibly in those moments after I confessed my worst sin. Trevor felt an unconditional love for me in that moment, he said, a love that didn't come from him. It was supernatural and from nowhere inside of his heart. But it was genuine and so, so healing. For both of us.
From that moment I was his girl. That December we were engaged to be married (he proposed!) and 9 months later were standing before everyone we loved and cared about, declaring our love and promising our faithfulness to each other. I became Mrs. Marybeth Thielke, and I was presented as a beautiful, wholly restored, pure bride to my husband on my wedding day. Praise the Lord!
To be continued....here