I woke up my heart racing from another vivid dream. In this dream, I was distraught, crying out and repenting for not keeping the marriage bed clean. I wore shame like my personal scarlet letter, dragging it around with me wherever I went. The closer the day came to walking down the aisle the more I felt unworthy to wed Ashiram. I tried to shake the shame away, fumbled to the bathroom and repeated Romans 8:1, “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”
No matter how many times I said it, I still felt the weight of the woman I used to be.
I eventually gave up, looked in the mirror and pleaded in prayer, “God help me to see myself as you see me.”
As I began to tell Ashiram, my soon-to-be-husband, about my dream he sent me a song that came to mind as he prayed for me. Simply reading the title of the song brought tears to my eyes. As I listened to the lyrics, my tears quietly flowed down my cheeks. Through these words, he shined a light on the shame that was strangling me.
“Baby you can still wear white, no matter where you’ve been. No looking back we’re starting all over again. I want you by my side, I gotta be your man. You’re perfect in my eyes. You can still wear white.”
Ashiram then gently spoke life and encouragement into me. “I love you, Tiffany. My love for you is not dependent on anything you’ve done or will ever do. No matter where you’ve been or where you may be beyond today. I have loved you with an everlasting love. Those dreams you are having is the enemy trying to pile guilt on you and trying to show you a ‘please consider your past’ card, whereas Christ and I, your future husband, are not seeing it anymore. I will never look at you through those eyes. You will always be my pure, beautiful bride.”
That’s the word I continued to get choked up on. I wasn’t pure. I deserved to wear an off-white dress that, in American culture, represents a bride that isn’t a virgin. I remembered a conversation I had with Ashiram earlier in our relationship. I told him how it’s easy for him because he had been saving himself for his wife, but it was hard for me because I’d done nothing but give myself away. Not only was it hard for me to accept his love. It was nearly impossible to reciprocate it in the manner I knew he deserved to be loved. Instead of looking forward to our wedding night, I harbored fear and nervousness because of my past.
I tried to talk him out of being with me. Surely I could convince him he had made the wrong decision by pursuing me. I even suggested “better” Christian women for him. But no matter what I did to try to push him away he would remind me, “You’re a jar of clay with this beauty on the inside waiting to be revealed. But if not handled well, it can break.” And he did handle me gently. Every time I would question my value or worth, he would remind me why he would always choose me. My fragile heart learned to trust again because of his tender care. God has a way of expressing His love for me through Ashiram.
Maybe you are stuck somewhere in the low self-worth season of life. You can’t quite see yourself as the masterpiece God says you are. Even if the process seems agonizingly slow, I promise you Jesus wants to reveal you to your identity in Him. He calls you chosen, beloved, and a precious treasure.
Jesus wants you to exchange your burial clothes for a bridal gown.
A broken past doesn’t keep you from a beautiful future. To this day, Ashiram has never once used my past against me. Trust me when I say there’s a lot he could choose from too. But he always reminds me to pick up my mat and walk. The same message I want to pass along to you today. Many are frozen on their mats when they have the ability to stand up and walk away from what has held them back for years.