Have you seen the video of the singing nun doing a remake of Like a Virgin? No? Ok, well go watch it and then come back. I’ll wait…..
I get that a lot of people are going to think that is creepy and I would say that if you don’t like it, then keep moving and don’t ever listen to it again. Not everything is made to speak to each one of us. But for me, it spoke to me in a loud way. It’s ok if you don’t like it or don’t get it. Really, it is ok. It’s a nun singing a song, there is no need to die on this hill.
After my life living in slutville, most of which was also lived with the mind of a fundamental protestant voice telling me how impure I was, it was very hard to me to understand that I was still good. Not in my actions, but in my being. God created me good. Not just to be good. There was no way that I could ever earn or work for His forgiveness. It is a Grace. Confession is about healing, not about earning anything. It is about taking personal responsibility for the things that I am responsible for, hearing about the things that I am not responsible for and so that the words of forgiveness can enter my ears and heal my heart.
I had given up on the dream of having a church wedding with a white dress and a veil. I had just assumed that we would have a quiet little wedding in the chapel and that would be that. I had messed up. I was damaged goods. When we sat down to talk to Father about our wedding plans I told him that I had found a wedding dress at Goodwill for $50, but it was white. I had found it way before Stacey had proposed, but it fit perfect, was beautiful and it was FIFTY BUCKS so I bought it. I hid it from Stacey for a long time because I was crazy to even buy it in the first place. Father told me that I could in fact wear it because the white was a symbol of purity and that God in His Mercy had made me pure Himself. I was pretty shocked. I also didn’t believe him at all, but YEY! I would get to wear my dress.
I had made so mistakes in my 33 years of life. I had lost my virginity at 5 technically and then at 14 I had chosen to give my body to a man who should have been put in jail for even thinking of having sex with a 14-year-old child. I was the furthest from being a virgin on my wedding day. I knew it. I felt it.
When I first looked in the mirror on my wedding day after getting dressed I didn’t see a beautiful bride. I saw a fake. A poser. I was trying to be Catholic but I knew where I had been and what I had done. There was no way that I should be standing there thinking that I was anything other than the same person who had let countless (seriously, I do not know how many) men use me. Maybe they were all assholes, but it still had been my choice, out of stupidity, to give myself to them.
As I stood in the Narthex of my parish to wait for someone to come get me to walk to the chapel I wondered what my life would have been like if I had a dad. It was so quiet in there and I could feel God, but I still wanted a dad to look at me and tell me that I was good in words. I turned around with my veil swinging to one side and there was Noe. He said “you look beautiful Mija” and had tears in his eyes. He gave me a hug and walked off. It was in that moment that I finally felt like a virgin. Not because of anything sexual at all, but because I felt like I finally understood that it was because of Jesus that I was a new person. A person who could walk down that aisle and put all of those things behind me and give myself fully to my husband.
“Behold, I make all things new” ~ Jesus
Everything that I had done in the past was over. I was here now, and I was getting married. My uncle and my son walked me down the aisle and gave me away to my husband and Father was there waiting to celebrate our wedding Mass. I was the fatherless girl and here I stood with 3 fathers at my wedding; my uncle, Noe, and Fr. J. God the Father had heard me and had made it a point to let me know that I am good, not because of anything that I have done, but because He made me that way. When I messed up, He was waiting there to help clean me up again by washing me in His Mercy.
So when I saw this video I didn’t have to do mental gymnastics at all. I know exactly what Sister is trying to do. It worked for me. I know how it feels to think that you are too damaged, that all your sins are too much for God to take away and what it feels like to feel cleansed once you realize that there are no sins that are too much for God to forgive.
I also know what it’s like to hear love songs and think of Jesus. Marriage is an icon of the Trinity and sex is an expression of that Love. Not that God is sexual, we know that, but it is one way that we express with our bodies that icon. That is why sex is sacred. If you think that virginity is only talked about in a sexual way, then what do you say about Jesus telling the parable of the virgins and their lamps?
I don’t get why anyone thinks this is creepy, but my guess is that maybe they haven’t made the mistakes that I have or something. But I love it. It makes me cry because I am so grateful that God gave me the Grace to find Him. I don’t know why , why I have the support system that I do and not everyone else does. I’m not any better than them, but I am so so grateful for it.
When I was young I loved this song and longed to be a virgin instead of the slut that I was. I don’t really know why I “get it”. But I do know that it’s beautiful to me. I also tend to have more moments of intense Love for God while listening to secular songs than I do listening to Christian music.
I made it through the wilderness
Somehow I made it through
Didn’t know how lost I was
Until I found you
This to the millionth power.