• Ciara

Share Your Story: Bethanie Roberts

“Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you by the gazelles and by the does of the field: Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires.” Song of Songs 2:7 & 3:5

“Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you: Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires.” Song of Songs 8:4

Repetition in the Bible is significant. I am a daughter. I am listening. I am forgiven. I am saved. I am free. I was not always able to declare these things for myself.

Before I started kindergarten I was experimenting sexually with a girl a year older than me. Her mom was my babysitter. My sexual desires were awakened before I even knew what sex was. I was aware that what we were doing was wrong and, for a while, I was able to keep it a secret. Then I was flooded with guilt, shame, and condemnation and I wasn’t able to sleep. The things we had done together ran through my mind on replay and haunted me at night. Eventually, I broke our agreement for silence and confessed to my mom what I had done.

Mom hired a new babysitter who was a sold out Christian. She would talk to me about Jesus all the time and read her Bible and pray openly in front of me. I grew up in a Christian home but other than going to church and praying or singing before bed we didn’t talk about a relationship with Jesus other than you’re supposed to have one. I saw my need for a savior and asked Jesus to come live in my heart.

Giving my life to Jesus relieved me from the guilt, shame, and condemnation I felt and I started reading my Bible and praying in order to know Him more. He was everything to me. My family was close but I didn’t get close to people outside of my family. Not that I didn’t want to, I just didn’t think anyone liked me. In that way, I was self absorbed; thinking that people were thinking badly of me when really everyone is usually thinking of themselves.

During school I would notice how pretty my female classmates were, but not in an attraction sort of way. Rather, comparing myself to them thinking if I had such and such characteristics that they had then maybe a boy would notice me and have interest.

I had crushes on boys as early as preschool, but I did not have my first relationship until I was almost 20 years old and, for me, it came out of nowhere. This girl had a long term boyfriend and we were studying the word of God together. She quickly became the closest friend I had ever had and I was thrilled. I did have a mentor try to warn me of what appeared to be happening, but I was blind to it. Entering into a relationship with this girl, who I thought was my new best friend, catapulted me back to my childhood and all the guilt, shame, and condemnation I felt then. I had nowhere to turn. I was believing the lie that I must have never been saved at all if I was able to turn my back on God in this way. I was so back and forth with that girl based on my convictions that it was destructively toxic for us both.

After college I met a girl from my hometown. We had gone to different schools and our paths had never crossed before. We quickly began to plan our future together. We were both Christians and she agreed to keep the relationship a secret.

I told my parents I was moving out of state alone, but I was actually moving with her. I could go on and on about how amazing she is. She was my god for many years and I was hers. After a couple years we got married and moved to another state. We rescued three fur babies and she wanted us to have kids. We were open about our relationship while living outside of our hometown, but we remained “in the closet” for a long time to our families and friends who would not approve. Even some of my closest friends don’t know that I have been married before. After three years of marriage and five years of living life with my best friend/idol, I couldn’t take the conviction any longer. Getting divorced was the hardest decision of my life. I decided to move back to my hometown for family support, knowing she had no desire to move back. To my surprise, she decided to move back to our hometown also for family support.

I am so thankful to everyone who prayed for me at my worst, especially my mom. She never stopped loving me in light of Christ and fighting for me for eternity. Now, I can declare that I am free in Christ. I am pure, blameless, white as snow. When God sees me, He sees the blood of His son and He is pleased with me as His beloved daughter. He never left me even though I was unfaithful to Him for so long. The cross I pick up every day is choosing Him over my ex, who I still, selfishly, love dearly. Now, I choose to take the focus off of myself and her and us and shine the light on Jesus. I want to know Him more and honor who He is, what He has done, what He is doing, and what He will do. I don’t know what that will look like. Taking it one day at a time. Thank you for reading my story. I hope it points you to the only one who can set you free.

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work in you so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” James 1:2-4

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Ephesians 6:12

”...fix your thoughts on Jesus…” Hebrews 3:1