I leaned my weight against the bathroom sink trying not to throw up. My heart was thumping so loud that my scarf was thumping up and down. I was doing all I could to keep from crying.
My heart kept pounding. It felt like someone had stuck a wooden spoon inside my stomach and was stirring my insides around.
I took a deep breath. Looking in the mirror, I told myself I didn’t want to do this.
I had been on this mission trip for a month.
I had heard each of my teammates admit to sin in their pasts when they gave their personal testimonies.
But it was different for me to do it.
I was a pastor’s kid. The girl that knew the answer to every Bible question. The girl that always volunteered to pray when they needed it. The girl that seemed to have everything together.
I stepped out of the bathroom walking on my socked feet across the room. My leader saw me and gave me a big grin
“We’re about to start Emma,” he said.
I felt so sick. So terrified. Every bit of me wanted to leave the sinful parts of my testimony out of my little talk. Instead I was about to tell them all.
Even though I grew up in a Christian home and knew all the right answers, I had messed up. I had made some big mistakes.
I had let sexual sin into my life. And I was scared.
We all have stories. Some good. Some bad. Some that produce shame. Our personal stories can be a difficult thing for us. Mine was extremely difficult to share that night.
As Christian girls, we can let our Christian pride get under our skin, and then get scared to confess our dirt. I know this all too well. But here’s the problem when we don’t confess and share our stories. We miss huge opportunities to show how God is working in our lives.
I have dirt in my past. I spent a lot of time reading sexual things online. I didn’t guard my thoughts. I delved into many sins involving self-gratification. I got into habitual sexual sin.
I’m not proud of it. I deeply regret it.
But the shame doesn’t control me anymore.
For several years I would have a full on panic attack just thinking about my past my sin. I was terrified that somebody would find out. Even though I knew I was forgiven by God, I was afraid of what other people would think of me.
That night on my missions trip was the first time I ever really shared my full story openly. I had only told two people about my sexual sin before that terrifying night.
That little testimony time on my mission trip was the beginning of God working in me towards a whole new idea for my past sin.
After sharing my story to that group of twenty people, I branched out. I got better at telling what God had done in my life. I started to tell some friends. And slowly, the fear and shame started to lose its power over me.
It was a slow process, but I was changing.
I wasn’t a frightened girl anymore. I wasn’t terrified of people learning about my past mistakes. I began to see the ministry I could have through my past mistakes and forgiveness from God.
I started to reach out further than just the people I personally knew.
Starting my Emmie Lou YouTube Channel was one way to reach more people. One of the main themes of my channel is to offer hope and help for girls struggling with sexual sin. Right now, I am in the process of writing a book about lust, written specifically for young single girls.
As God-defined girls, we need to capture our stories, and be willing to share them.
God wants us to share our testimonies about how He has worked in our lives! That means getting dirty, and serving up more than the pretty stuff.
The only way we can do this is through the strength of God. 2 Corinthians 12:9 says, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
When we share about God’s work in us, it changes us, and it glorifies our Savior. Instead of letting shame, fear, and Satan’s lies rule in our hearts, let’s choose to be girls with bold testimonies of God’s powerful work in our lives.
Luke 8:39 says, “‘Return to your home, and declare how much God has done for you.’ And he went away, proclaiming throughout the whole city how much Jesus had done for him.”
I’d love to hear from you in the comment section below!
What’s your story? Who could you share it with?
Who could you help by letting God work through your mistakes?