I am Twenty Years Old…

I am Twenty Years Old…
pureHOPE

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If you caught our last composite story, you’ll remember that, unfortunately, stories of sexual brokenness and shattered identity are the norm. This story represents far too many young people on college campuses across the country:

“I am twenty years old. I grew up in a Christian home, I love my family and my friends, I love God, I love my church, I love my university and my major, I love all the things I’m involved in.

But I hate my secret. I’m a girl and I’m not supposed to struggle with this stuff,

but I masturbate and watch porn… a lot. I haven’t told anyone. I know guys deal with that stuff and they have, like, accountability groups and things like that, but I’m pretty sure I’m like, the only girl in my friend group or my church who is dealing with this. Girls aren’t supposed to be sexual you know? But I think about sex all the time even though I haven’t had it all the way yet. I’ve done other stuff… in college there’s pretty much parties every weekend. My teachers think I’m like this star student. I’m super involved in my church—I go every week and volunteer every Sunday. I still call my mom and check in every day. But it’s like I’m living this double life. Everyone thinks I’m this solid girl, but I mess around with guys and end up shacking on weekends a lot and literally almost every night I stay up and… you know. My roommates don’t even know. Well, they know about the parties and stuff. They do it too. Everyone does it. But for whatever reason the porn stuff feels really gross and I don’t want to tell anyone. I can’t stop though! I can’t stop any of it! I feel numb. I miss the days before I ever knew any of this stuff even existed. I really wanted that story where you don’t do anything or see anything until you’re married and you and this amazing man just love each other and know each other and have a boy and a girl and these amazing careers together. That’s movie stuff though, and ruined now. None of the guys here will even give you a second glance if you aren’t willing to do something with them. I miss God. I feel like, really disconnected from Him since college started. At least I’m not that bad though. I haven’t lost my virginity or anything. And I go to the parties, but I don’t like, try to sneak into the bars or anything like that.”

Even though we miss the mark, even gravely as in stories like this one, we have hope through Christ’s perfection not our own! At pureHOPE, we hear a lot of what you read up there through our interactions with twenty-somethings across the country and through college students who come through our internship program and share about the hookup culture on their respective campuses. It can be awful and disheartening. But, after their professionally and spiritually formative internship experience, we get to send them back to those campuses or out into the workforce, and as they spread the impact of pureHOPE, we get to hear them tell stories about their friends and peers that sound more like this:

“I’m a twenty year old woman. I love my friends and family, my God and my community. I used to have this awful secret. I kind of stumbled on pornography and really started to struggle with masturbation. Freshman year of college I kinda lost myself and did some things I swore I’d never do.

But one day I was invited to college group at my church and heard this girl’s testimony and realized I wasn’t the only girl whose felt stuck there!

 I confessed everything and it’s gotten soooo much better since walking in the light! College is amazing! Hookup culture is definitely a real thing and can really take people down, but I’ve been super blessed to find a great group of friends who love Jesus. Instead of parties on Thursday night, we watch old Disney movies and try out new pizza recipes. I feel like I’m growing so much in my faith since school started! I still feel sad about some of the things I’ve seen or said or done, or that have been done to me, but I know my God is a God who restores and my past (or current struggles even) are not what define me!”

God has made a way for us through Jesus even when we feel stuck in our own sin and shame. If you are a college student interested in learning more about how you can shape a world free of sexual exploitation and brokenness by starting in your own heart and sphere of influence, click here to check out our Justice Internship program!

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