I’m a big fan of Toure Roberts, pastor of One Church LA in Los Angeles, California. On Valentine’s Day he interviewed Devon Franklin and his wife Megan Goode as they promoted their book The Wait: A Powerful Practice for Finding the Love of Your Life and the Life You Love. It took me 4 times to watch the interview in its entirety and it was worth the wait (smile). Their frank and honest discussion on intimacy prompted me share this entry, which was originally for my eyes only. My crazy mess is my message, so I know this can help someone. I’ve embedded the interview here and encourage you to watch it after reading my post.
My heart raced as I read his text again. Avant and I were supposed to go to lunch Sunday afternoon, and now he flips the script and says he’s coming to my hotel room Sunday night. Friends share meals, they don’t hang out in hotel rooms – especially if they’re of the opposite sex….and there are feelings involved. Oh wow….
Have you seen the cartoons where a person has to make a decision, and there is an angel on one shoulder and a devil on the other, both giving advice? I couldn’t see them, but the conversations where there never the less.
“Fluffy, you’re a woman – you have needs. You didn’t sleep with him when you had the chance, but now you can. No one would know, and God will forgive you anyway. “
“Fluffy, you did so well last year. Remember your victory at the LaQuinta Inn.”
Yes, that victory. Despite being warned by April, I allowed Avant to come back to my room at the LaQuinta Inn after we went to dinner and a musical. We were just going to talk, as we hadn’t had much private time during our weekend together. We started out on different sides of the room, but the evening concluded with him kissing me as he rose from sitting next to me on my bed. We only kissed, but I wanted more. From the look in his eyes Avant did too. I remembered my promise to God and put those thoughts out of my mind. God knew I’d need help, so he made sure it was the third day of Mother Nature’s visit. Nothing was going to happen that evening.
“Your body is a temple, and the Holy Spirit lives there. Only in marriage can you allow another man to share that space. God will honor your obedience.”
“Obedience? Where has that gotten you? You’re 45 and I don’t see anyone else chasing you down. Didn’t you tell Dr. Y you wanted to get pregnant, that you would give up the goods to Avant? You joked with Denise how you would wear him out on your wedding night. Don’t forget you’re ovulating and the two of you did pick out children’s names. Think of how good looking your baby would be. ”
Holiness or Lust? Purity or Passion? Consecration or Fornication? If anyone ever tells you a relationship with Jesus is easy, they are not truthful. The struggle is real. I prayed for God to take the desire away from me, my heart tormented. And as I raised my head my eyes were drawn to this photo on my bookshelf.
I’ve had a similar photo of the Sacred Heart of Jesus since I was in grade school. I don’t remember how I got it, but it is a source of comfort. I don’t worship photographs or statutes, but the picture reminds me that Jesus is with me, and my heart is safe with him. And then Jesus brought this song to my memory, a song I want played at my wedding as my attendants walk down the aisle. You Are by Clint Brown featuring Martha Munizzi. I immediately got the CD and played the song, allowing it to minister to me.
As the words caressed my heart, I developed and executed a plan ensuring I would not sleep with Avant.
- I repacked my overnight bag, leaving my purple bra but replaced my matching underwear with white cotton granny panties (with a crazy floral pattern). I also replaced my night shirt with a green flannel gown that went to my ankles.
- I changed the outfit I’d planned to wear to lunch, opting for black pants and an oversized sweater, my fuzzy orange crazy socks (with colorful stripes and images of bacon) and black Skecher’s completed the look. Underwear included a simple black bra and green granny panties with confetti on them (don’t judge). I wore a body shaper/girdle for added protection.
- I removed most of the polish from my toenails, leaving enough to make my toes look jacked up.
- I always wear my amethyst cross, but I included a silver bracelet with a several crosses woven into the design.
- When I showered the next day, I’d only put on deodorant and facial moisturizer, but no lotion (except for my hands). My caramel skin was going to look like I rolled around in chalk.
There! I was all set. I went to bed with peace of mind.
I checked into the hotel around 4:00pm and having time kill I drove to the Barnes & Noble to pick up two books I had reserved. Okay I tried to drive to Barnes & Noble, but the GPS wasn’t cooperating with me. In the midst of trying to find my way, my cell phone goes off. I look at the monitor on my dashboard and Avant’s name appeared. It was 4:30pm.
“Hello, my dear! I’m on my way.”
“On your way? What about your church program?”
“Shoot, I slipped out after offering. You know long Baptist programs are. I’ll be there in about 10 minutes.”
“But Avant, I’m not there. I wasn’t expecting you until later so I’m trying to find the bookstore. I actually don’t know where I am.”
“Tell me what you see, I’ll help you.”
After describing my surroundings he determined that I’d driven nearly 15 minutes in the opposite direction. Avant helped me be getting turned around, and stayed on the phone with me until I arrived safely in the parking lot.
“Take your time in the store. I’m going to go home and change my clothes. Call me when you’re ready to leave. I can’t wait to see you.”
I didn’t take very long in the bookstore since my books were reserved. As I dialed his number, I noticed my heart rate had elevated and my hand was a bit shaky. There was no turning back now. 18 months had passed and I was about to see the man who’d captured and broken my heart. The chastity belt was locked, the key was thrown away, I was wearing the ugliest drawers and my body ashy as all get out. Janet Jackson’s Let’s Wait Awhile was my anthem and my orange bacon socks would traumatize anyone gazing at them. I could do this!
“You think you’re set, Fluffy. But can you resist coming on to him? You don’t have to take your clothes off to enjoy yourself.”
Noooooo!!!! Jesus, please help me. And then Avant answered the phone.
“Hey Fluffy. You know, it’s crazy. As soon as I changed out of my suit, I got very tired. I don’t think I should come by the hotel. Would you mind coming by my apartment?”
Yes!! The Lord will make a way of escape. Resist the Devil and he will flee! His mother lives with him, so I knew for certain nothing was going to happen this night. Thank you Jesus! I was ready to speak in tongues but caught myself.
“Sure, let me go by the hotel and then I’ll head over.”
“Okay, I’ll stay on the phone with you so you don’t get lost. I’m sorry to mess things up.”
On no. Let the Lord use you, my brother.
When I arrived at his place he was waiting for me outside. His face lit up and his dimples flashed as he hopped in my SUV and gave me a hug. We laughed and talked for an hour. Two hugs, no kisses and barely any touching. I’d passed the test.
Driving to my hotel that night, it dawned on me that Avant wasn’t wearing his signature Usher cologne. I loved the scent on him, remembering how it lingered even after he left the room. Hmmm, perhaps God gave him an escape plan, too.
Enjoy PT's interview.
Question: How have you asked God to lead you not into temptation?
Scripture: 1 Corinthians 10:13