Hey, sis. I’m Titania. Around here I help the Christian woman live from joy & peace as she surrenders her soul & sexuality to God. On this blog, I write Bible studies & practical articles on living a lifestyle of faith, just like this one. So if you’re new here, please consider downloading my free 5-day Bible plan. And if you’re returning here for more, welcome back!
The Purpose in Purity ministry has grown so much over the years and I thought that now would be a great time to dive deeper into my story with you. I want you to know why I’m so passionate about helping women (and men!) experience the forgiveness, healing, and freedom that comes from surrendering everything to Christ. So without further ado, let’s get into it.
Looking for Love
Looking back at the younger me, I can see that I had a real hunger for love. My mother was loving, but often broken-hearted when she raised us. My father wasn’t in the picture and as a family unit, we lacked intimacy. It felt like we all lived on different planets. I think I was searching for acceptance, love, and my identity, but I felt so alone.
One day I remember saying to myself, “If I don’t want to end up alone, I’m going to have to work hard and become an excellent person so that I can have the family and life I want for myself.” So I did just that. Art and academics came pretty naturally to me, so I didn’t have to work that hard. But even so, it seemed to make my peers reject me rather than draw near to me.
After my awkward season of middle-school came to an end, I entered high school. For some reason, I became very popular in the ninth grade. When it came to relationships, I was like a kid in the candy store. Having absolutely no clue what it really meant to date or what I liked, so I just tried a little of everything. In my senior year, I finally met someone I was crazy about. It was a relationship I treasured with everything that I had.
By this time I became a little overconfident in myself academically. I thought for sure that I’d be offered a scholarship because of all of my achievements at that time.
But I wasn’t.
My flob actually landed me in the same college as my senior boyfriend. So, in some sense, it was a lose-win in my favor. I was so excited about college, continuing my relationship with my boyfriend, and the endless possibilities that lay ahead.
After I settled into college, I wanted to find a campus ministry to attend. Going to church had always been important to me, but that was just it. Going to church was important to me. Being the church…well, I hadn’t gotten there yet. A mentor had introduced me to a church called “The River,” so I began attending their college ministry, “The Gathering.” Little did I know, God would use this ministry to change my life.
Jesus Calling. (But Tell Him, “I’m Not Home.”)
What impressed me about the students at “The Gathering” was that they were legitimately trying to live for Jesus. It was the first time I sensed authenticity from Christians and it made me think more deeply about the role Jesus played in my life. It made me question my hypocrisy –telling others I was a Christian but living like I didn’t know Christ from Monday to Saturday. I remember the day I felt God’s spirit confront me on this.
It was some event-planning meeting in the empty community center’s auditorium at Tennessee Tech. I joined my friends sitting on the cold, white-tiled floor. As we plotted and made preparations for the Gathering’s next ministry-event, a disgruntled janitor approached us. For no reason at all, he started yelling and shouting at us to leave, saying we didn’t belong there.
I can’t tell you what I said in response, but my friends ended up scolding me for retaliating.
One friend chastised, “Nia, we don’t do that.” “He started it.” I retorted. But I got her point. She was right. It wasn’t very Christian of me to fight hate with hate. And I sensed that God wanted me to see myself where I really was spiritually. I thought long and hard about it, and it became crystal clear to me that I wasn’t a Christian. I was a fan of Jesus, but not a follower.
This discovery excited me because, for the first time I thought, I could really, genuinely decide to know him. I rushed home to tell my boyfriend the good news. Maybe this could be an opportunity for the both of us to move forward in a better direction in life? I told him with great excitement that I’d like to follow Jesus and invited him to do so with me, but things didn’t work out as I hoped.
I wasn’t ready to begin a relationship with Jesus at the expense of my relationship with my boyfriend. But that was my dilemma. I wish I could say that I chose Christ despite that, but I didn’t. I felt like Jesus was calling me into life with Him –into the love I was seeking all my life. But I couldn’t imagine letting go of that relationship or the tangible assurance that I felt with my boyfriend –not for something so foreign as doing life with Jesus.
My Breaking Point
A couple of months passed while I tried to ignore Jesus’ invitation to a relationship with Him. But something strange happened. The best way I could describe it is that if my boyfriends’ love for me was a well, it suddenly went dry. Bone-dry. I thought breaking up with him would scare the love back into him, but it ended our relationship for good.
What followed was some of the hardest months of my life. The pain was so deep, I couldn’t concentrate at all, so I quit in the second semester of my third year of college. I even went as far as to sleep with someone else to numb the pain. My apartment was a HOT mess. (I slept on piles of dirty clothes.) I felt like I was losing myself to depression.
At that time, my mentor from the Gathering connected me with two girls from the Gathering who were experiencing the same thing. For months, we cried with each other, couch surfed at each other’s houses and pushed each other to heal. Through their love and the teaching from that ministry, I came to REALLY know who God is and why knowing Jesus’ love was enough.
I rejected Christ, but God’s love is shameless, but He kept on pursuing me.
I remember being at my breaking point after my ex started asking me if I wanted to hang out again. Then suddenly dropped this bomb on me: We were never, ever, ever, getting back together. It was a cold, rainy afternoon walk home as that finally sank in. But it was at that point that God spoke tenderly to my heart:
“Nia, why are you so broken over this? If you would trust me, I will show you love like you’ve never seen it before.”
For me, it was just incredible to have this incredible, undeniable experience of Jesus speaking to me. “It’s kind of hard to say, ‘No’ when you put it like that, Lord.” I thought. From that moment, I supernaturally knew that I would surrender myself to God completely. God’s Spirit totally changed my heart at that moment, and I KNEW that this new life was gonna be a huge adjustment, but I was going to be good. God was gonna sustain me through it all.
Life With Christ
Man, there has been so much goodness that I’ve seen in my life since deciding to surrender my soul and sexuality to God. But there’s only so much I can tell you in this post, right? Let me skip right to the REALLY good parts.
First, God took me through some rough times. I mean…He let me get drugged through the dirt, y’all. Most of that was the natural consequences of my sin and the rest was the growing pains that come with spiritual maturity. But I can tell you this, I had never experienced God’s nearness so strongly until those times. There’s a sweetness of God’s nearness that He gives to the broken-hearted. It hurts, but He heals. And I never have to doubt if I’m saved or if I know God ever again.
God set me free from enslaving and paralyzing shame. I used to struggle so much when it came to sexual strongholds, but now I share my story freely because God has changed my heart so much. Knowing Christ has redeemed me and my story. Rather than a source of shame, my story is now a testimony of how God cleanses our hearts and makes us new!
God’s plan for me ended up including marriage and being a mom. And man, can I tell you I’m so glad that He orchestrated it all. His gifts of my husband and my daughter have far exceeded anything I allowed myself to fantasize about as a single woman. And I’m loving how every day with them reveals something new for me. Don’t get me wrong, this life can be a challenge, but I’m still so grateful.
Now that you know my story, I hope you’ve come to understand just why sharing this message is so important to me. If you’re struggling to surrender to God because you’re afraid of missing out, please know that what you’re experiencing right now doesn’t compare to the joy and peace that comes from intimacy with Christ. Stick with me, friend. Come taste & see that the Lord is good.
Leave A Comment
What did you think of this episode of the Purpose in Purity Podcast? Are there any questions you want us to answer? Any topics you want to hear discussed? Leave a comment below or email me at hey@TitaniaPaige.com. See you in the next episode!