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Growing up I was always taught that I was worth the wait. I have to thank my father for that. He would always say that to me before I knew what it meant. I was told I could not have a boyfriend or date until I was 16,17,18,21 years old. :-) I also had my 3 older brothers that would tell me I was worth the wait; and how valuable I was. They would tell me about guys and how they operate, and how their main motive is to have sex. I was very fortunate to have a father and brothers who were there to help me along the way. But like most teenage girls I was also curious about boys. Most of my friends had boyfriends, so I wanted one too.

I remember sneaking and talking to this guy, I guess I wanted to be cool, fit in, and see what it was like. Instantly, I had a flash back of what my big brothers would say, all they want is sex, and that I'm worth the wait. I quickly realized I didn't want to sneak and have a boyfriend anymore. My brothers words rang true, I didn't want to fall down that path. Most guys are just looking for sex. The fear of getting pregnant would keep me in line as well, I knew I would have to keep the baby and there was no way I was prepared for that. When I got to high school I remember all of my friends having boyfriends and having sex. The peer pressure was strong. They would tell me about all the guys that liked me, and how I should talk to someone, they would even tell me how good sex was. But, Because of my stance to not talk to guys or indulge in sexual activities people started questioning if I was gay. Guys even went as far as lying about having sex with me. I could remember my brothers telling me stories about boys and how they would lie about having sex with a girl just to look cool. All of their lessons stuck with me. So hearing those things didn't bother me that much. Thanks to my Father and brothers I knew my value, I knew what I was worth.

I did eventually start dating. I was in the 11th grade. I dated this guy for years, but with no sex. The peer pressure was even stronger with him. My friends would wonder how I could be with someone for so long without doing anything; he faced the same pressures as me from his peers as well. You know guys have a certain image to maintain amongst their friends. So the pressure to have sex from him was heavy at times. I would hear that sex is what keeps a man and that's the proper way to express your love, and he would know you really loved him. I would also hear that if I didn't give it to him someone else would. I wouldn't give in though, my fathers words were always in my head. "KNOW YOUR VALUE; AND YOUR WORTH THE WAIT." He told me I was worth someone marrying before being intimate. My stance on no sex would lead to me being cheated on multiple times. I stuck around just for the look of a relationship. I thought, this is just the way guys are. I was not happy in my relationship, but was happy I did not give in. I was wise enough to look at my friends who loved their boyfriends, had sex, but still got cheated on and mistreated. In my eyes I knew I couldn't stop a guy from doing what he wanted to do, with, or without sex. I knew I had everything to lose. I finally worked up the strength to walk away the day I Made a vow to God that I would not have sex until marriage. I didn't care to fit in anymore, or what anybody had to say.

I spent many years alone, but I kept myself busy with my woman's ministry,working out and shopping 😄I would always tell myself that God would send me a husband that would appreciate the stance I took and would cherish the fact the I was with no other man. I eventually began dating someone again, I thought, this is it, but it didn't work out. I was so discouraged. I cried and thought to myself, what man would want to be with a 22 year old Virgin? What man will be willing to wait on me? I struggled with the thought of that, but I knew God was a rewarder of obedience. I still refused to settle,I didn't even go on dates because I knew what I needed and that was a man that was in love with God like me. My mom would say, " It's ok to not know everything you want in a man,but know what you don't want." Not too long after my prayers would be answered. God sent me a man who would become my husband. I met a man who enjoyed being my friend without being intimate. We were able to become friends outside of the bedroom first. We didn't need to connect through a sexual relationship we fell in love with each other without it. I am so thankful for my soulmate. He fell in love with me for who I was. After eight months of dating he proposed to me and three months later we were married.. (8-7-10) I always like to say, "when God blesses he doesn't take all day." I learned that it's ok to be different. It's ok to be yourself even if it's not the coolest thing in the world. It may seem like the popular thing to do because your friends are doing it, but I'm a witness! If you hold out blessings will come! I was worth the wait And you are too.#IAMBELLA

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