I haven’t dated that much, but with my first boyfriend, I just didn’t really hold that much of standards for myself, so I allowed myself to be verbally abused. I allowed him to talk down to me.
I never valued myself that much. I never saw God being able to unconditionally love me. We went on a youth retreat. It was a lot of fun and a very different experience for me. The speaker really delivered a message that really spoke to my heart. He was preaching about how salvation isn’t something that can be taken away from us and that when we know we are a child of God, that doesn't change. He was expressing God's love, and it really touched my heart. I started feeling really convicted about my struggle. I just started praying. I closed my eyes, and I asked God, “What more can I do? How can I be saved? How can I know?”
In that moment, there was this change that came over me. There was a warmth that seemed to flood my body. I just can't describe the feeling. It was a feeling of peace and joy. I heard God’s voice tell me, “Joanna, it's okay. It's okay.” I realized that all that time God was trying to let me know that I was His, and I couldn’t do anything to change that.
At this point, I'm still single. I consider myself worth waiting for the right person to come along and have someone who is a leader and a strong believer in Christ.