Friends in Christ,
I'm new to this forum. I am fairly new as a believer as well. As a child, I always had a sense that God was speaking, but did not commit to my salvation nor knew anything of the Bible. As an adolescent of the Internet era, raised by a cosmopolitan liberal family, I fashionably rejected theism; I didn't know at the time that I was sinning, although I would soon discover how wrong I was. God touched me, though, and marked me as His own. I believe now. "I" am not an "I"; I am a mere vessel created by God. I seek salvation, and hope to find support in Christ here.
I am a 19 year old woman in her first year of college at a large state university in the United States, albeit one with a large Christian campus presence. I made my utmost to take advantage of moving to a new city as a student to establish new habits in faith, and disavow some of the older habits I acquired as a secular young person. The first trimester of school went swimmingly: I had great respect for the professors I would be working with for the next several years; due to my relative social isolation on account of being new, socializing and many other such temptations did not distract me. It is easy not to sin, to maintain purity and communion when God gives us these times.
A large stumbling block appeared before me second trimester. About 3 months ago now. I met a young man, 24, a recent university graduate and a much greater Christian than I. We were great friends for the time that we were: We work in the same field of research (about which we're both very passionate), have so many mutual interests, and enjoyed spending time together thoroughly. Unfortunately, I realized only three weeks, maybe one month, into our friendship that I was romantically attracted to him. I put a bit of effort into changing this perspective of him—I asked God that I would respect him as a friend, as an individual, as a professional indeed in our careers, but without that degree of intimacy. But asking God for the things that we want is not the same as putting one's faith in God. I did not release our friendship to God. I kept it for myself, and allowed Satan to touch it.
My friend was, it turns, attracted to me as well. About 6 weeks into our friendship, he met with me to discuss the inappropriateness of our attraction, and said that since I was not interested in marriage or settling down, that we should not date. I knew that this was God's will. For weeks further, I prayed that we would choose do what was truly good, but only sometimes—I still allowed slivers of hope for a romantic relationship to remain. All this pattern persisted: We set boundaries to reflect what was right, and then denied them. We tried for a good time to maintain a purely platonic and non-physical relationship, which doesn't sound that hard. It should not be. I chose otherwise. Humans are vessels that choose their contents.
My friend and I had sexual intercourse yesterday. Last night, after I was finished with classes and work for the day, we met to talk. He, being older and a greater believer than I—also, in some ways, unfortunately, with a greater history of sexual sin in his past—told me that we would never see each other again in this life, on Earth. He wished me a good life, offered me forgiveness, asked for mine. He said that he believed that I was a saved individual, and that I would be in Heaven someday. Then he left.
I am still reeling from my sin and from the loss I have caused through my own failing. My friend was a beautiful gift in my life, and there was much potential for good: not for me, for my pleasure of observation, but in him. We were able to appreciate each other as creations of God; I saw Christ act through him on many, many occasions in the short 3 months that we knew each other. I know, however, that I must not regret my sin because of what it has cost me, but because it is a sin against the Lord. I offer this monologue as a prayer for my friend's journey back to Christ, for my own, and for all people, especially the young and new believers, who defile what is holy with these same sins. Please keep me in your prayers during this difficult time for me. I will do the same for anyone struggling with these same issues!