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Haunted by my past

Hi! I’m a girl in her 20s and I feel that I am haunted by my past.

When I was younger, I hung around with a group of people, and hardly any of them were Christians. During that time, I went through a rough patch, and that made it hard for me to have a good relationship to God. I had a lot of good female friends around me, even though they weren’t Christians, and I had one friend who I was particularly close to. At the start we were just ‘best friends’ but over time some confusing feelings developed between us. We spent a lot of time together, and we finally ended up kissing. After that we did a few other things, although I really only ever thought of us as best friends. I have always thought that God’s framework for marriage is between a man and a woman, and after a while I managed to end this romantic relationship. We agreed to just be friends.

Today I’m in a much better place in terms of my relationship to God. I want to live my life for, and with, Him, but I notice that I struggle to accept this as part of my past. I’ve always seen myself as heterosexual and want to marry a man in the future. I’ve never been attracted to girls either before or after this event, and I really struggle to understand how it could have happened. I don’t feel any of the old feelings for her either, and find it hard to relate to.

I still have some contact with my friend, as we have lots of common friends. We’ve talked about what happened, and I tried to tell her my view on what happened. I would prefer that other people don’t find out about it, as I really don’t see my real self in it. She finds that hard to understand, and she has also asked me several challenging, critical questions in terms of my faith and my view that marriage is between a man and a woman.

It is terribly challenging for me to relate to all this. I’ve asked God to forgive me countless times and confessed it/written it down to someone I trust. But I still feel that it crops up again and again. How can I handle all these feelings? And what can I do about my relationship with my friend?

From a girl who wishes she could change her past.

Dear girl in her 20s,

Thanks for your question!

You are a bold, and wise young woman who has really experienced that things you have done previously aren’t so easy to be finished with. It must be very painful to have your past coming back again and again. It is great that you take this seriously, and that you want help to find peace with yourself in this situation which is still painful.

The way you describe how you ended up in a sexual relationship with your friend, without wanting to, impacted me. In a situation where you are vulnerable and struggle with other things, it can be easy to misinterpret care and warmth from friends of either gender, and sexual feelings are especially strong in the teenage years: they can easily be confused with other good feelings. Your friend has probably met some of your needs when you were going through tough times, and then it developed into a sexual experience that you wish you had avoided.

 You are wondering why you, who think of yourself as heterosexual, could end up in a situation like this. But it’s not so strange; the two of you had a good, close friendship, and then when you started to kiss and go further it felt good. Our bodies are created so that they react positively to nice touching. Kissing and making out can feel good regardless who it is with, and you don’t need to be homosexual or lesbian even if you find it nice to make out with someone of the same gender. But a lot of people become confused by testing out their sexuality with friends of the same gender.

You say that you want to follow God, and you believe that God’s framework for marriage is between a man and a woman. We also believe that. We believe God has given us this framework as it is best for us.

If you have asked God to forgive you, then you are forgiven! That is what the Bible says, and we want to challenge you to cling to this truth. It is so good to hear that you’ve confessed this to a person you trust. In 1John 1:9 it says that if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

It is more like you can’t forgive yourself, and that is perhaps the most difficult thing to do when we feel that we’ve really made a big blunder. We want to challenge you to write down 1 John 1:9 and read it to yourself every time you are reminded of these thoughts from your past.

If that doesn’t help you to put aside these thoughts and feelings of shame, then it could be good to go to a counsellor who will help you to forgive yourself.

Your friend sees this from a different point of view as you both have different perspectives on life. That is probably why she ask questions about your faith.

Are you afraid that she will tell others what you’ve done? It sounds a little like you can’t quite trust her to keep this a secret. It is painful to think that she could spoil things for you by telling it other people, but in this way you are giving her power over you. If you can forgive yourself for what you did, and get rid of the shame, then it might be easier not to let your friend dominate your relationship.

It is a bit sad that you still have to relate so much to her. It would be best if you could each have your own circle of friends, so that you didn’t meet so often. Then it would feel easier for you not to be reminded of it.

Your life can be a testimony of God’s forgiveness and His faithfulness instead of feeling burdened by these sexual experiences from the past. It would be much better for you and for your friend if you could stop being afraid of her talking about it to other people.

We hope you manage to forgive yourself, and that you can move on and live a life in freedom, because Jesus has forgiven you!

Best wishes, boyandgirl.info

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