My pastor has made headlines recently for his cohabitation challenge, encouraging couples who are living together unmarried to either break up, get married or move out. Cohabitation, or shacking as our elders would say, has unfortunately become very common. In 2017, my cohabitation lifestyle came to an end.
God had already been dealing with me in this area but I refused to obey. Having two children from a previous relationship already, I didn't want to be a single parent twice, if that makes sense. With this in mind, I fixed my life to fit the story I told myself regardless of if I had a green light from God or not. I can remember being home alone one day, laid out on the floor in tears crying to God because I knew that wasn't the life that he had called me to, but I did not want to give it up. My desires were more important to me than His, and I didn't care about His word. Pride allowed me to approve of my own lifestyle and disobedience and rebellion were my norm. Wow. It was only after a few more years went by that I decided to be obedient. At the beginning of every year, my church does a corporate fast and that particular year, I decided to join. Before then, I NEVER fasted in my life. My relationship with food is an entirely different blog post in itself. I began to acknowledge the Holy Spirit's conviction until finally I gave cohabitation the deuces. My soul, oh, my soul threw a temper tantrum! I cried myself to sleep MANY nights. I journaled, prayed, cried, and prayed again through that season. Some nights I would wake up in the middle of the night and say Jesus repeatedly until I fell asleep. Nights were the worst. Loneliness and despair seemed to hit all at once as I slept alone. But, God saw me through!! I never could have imagined being absolutely okay with being a single woman and single parent, two separate identities. Doors literally opened for me when I chose to obey Him. I was introduced to a new way of living that I didn't know existed while trapped in sin. Let me be clear, it has not been all sunshine, rainbows, butterflies and sweet potato pies, but the journey has molded me into the woman that I am by pushing me into my purpose and drawing me near to Him. Though it was difficult, I would still choose the unknown of following Him, than living contrary to His word on a known path to hell.