I’ve been with a lot of guys in high school, and I have a horrible reputation. I am going to college in the fall, and I’m looking forward to starting with a clean slate. Is it possible to become innocent again?
The first thing to understand is that your innocence is not determined by what others think about you. Therefore, don’t give any human being the power to determine your value. The only one who truly knows the state of your soul is God. As long as you’ve sought forgiveness from Him, you have nothing to fear.
With that having been said, I can certainly understand your desire to have a clean slate in the eyes of others. This, too is possible. I had a friend in college who looked up to a young woman I will call “Rachel.” She was a resident assistant (RA) in my friend’s dormitory and was a campus leader. My friend always admired her purity and innocence. One night this RA shared her testimony with my friend. Rachel had been sexually active throughout high school but chose to accept God’s invitation and turn her life around. My friend was astonished as Rachel opened her heart and revealed how Christ had made her a new creation. Now Rachel is married to a great man of God, and they have begun to raise a beautiful family.
This young woman is living proof of Saint Paul’s words: “Therefore, if any one is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself” (2 Cor. 5:17–18). Notice that Saint Paul says that this is from God, not from us. All we can do is come to the Lord in our woundedness and allow him to work his miracles.
Do not let yourself fall into despair, thinking, “I already gave my virginity away, so what does it matter now? Once it’s gone, it’s gone. What use am I to God, and what good guy would want me now?” One young woman said that after she lost her virginity, “I’ve never hated myself more. But it was done. My virginity was gone. Never could I get it back. It didn’t matter after that, so sex became an everyday occurrence. My only fear was losing Bobby—he was the first—and even if he treated me badly (and there were those times), I was going to do anything I could to hang on to him.”
Christ is there for you now, and he calls you to cling to him. He still has a plan for your life. Remember when Jesus fed the multitudes in the Gospel of Matthew? He asked how much food they had and they brought him five loaves and two fish—not much if you need to feed five thousand, not counting women and children. He took what little they had, multiplied it, fed the thousands, and had enough left over to fill twelve baskets (Matt. 14:13–21).
We can learn from this that it does not matter how little we have to give him. What matters is how fully we give what little we have. He will take care of the miracle in you. You just come to him to be loved by him as you are. Jesus will take your sins of scarlet and in their place paint an image of his mercy for the world to see. In the words of the prophet Isaiah, “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool” (Is. 1:18).
The question is not whether Christ can make you a new creation but whether you have faith that he will. He says to you now what he said to the blind men in the Gospel of Matthew: “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” (Matt. 9:28). Say yes, and pray as David did in the Psalms, “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me” (Ps. 51:10). And remember that Jesus said, “Whatever you ask in my name, I will do it” (John 14:13). God will give you this clean slate, a purity that you can guard and build upon.
Lastly, make sure to check out the videos at WomenMadeNew.com.
. Josh McDowell, Why Wait? (Nashville, Tenn.: Nelson Book Publishers, 1987), 159–160.