Faith Worked Out: Carrie Lloyd
I had the privilege of meeting and interviewing this funny, warm, and generous lady this summer in California. Her passion for her faith, as well as encouraging girls to realise their identity in Christ cannot be underestimated. So grab a hot chocolate and enjoy Carrie's advice on dating, purity, sex, and relationships. Enjoy! Nadia x
Current book on bedside table?
The Practice of the Presence of God – Brother Lawrence
Favourite holiday destination?
Rome, or beach resorts somewhere like Santorini, even though I’ve never been.
Song that you’d listen to on repeat?
I have such an eclectic music taste it really depends on my day, I’d probably say music by Bonobo. Or the Avalanches’ New Album.
Most underrated virtue?
tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do?
Well I used to be a TV advertiser producer but I always felt like someone else could do that job. I always used to write but never thought about it for a career, never something I’d do to earn money. One of my girlfriends who I was living with at the time, she’s a TV broadcaster and a great writer, said, “Your thoughts on stuff are quite unusual. You seem to be cool, but you still believe in Jesus, which is odd.” So she introduced me to a couple of writers, but I didn’t trust that my skill was good enough. My blog, Her Glass Slipper started gaining momentum, and someone contacted me after reading it saying “I found your belief that there are no strong men challenging, as I like to think that I’m a strong man, a Christian - and I’m a publisher. Have you ever thought about writing a book?”
I said “Give me 24 hours". That night I had a dream about The Virgin Monologues, put the synopsis together, and a month later I had a book deal.
How can we explain the "waiting until marriage" principle to our friends and non-Christian friends?
The Bible tells me that sex is honoured by covenant and commitment; and commitment only really comes down to marriage. I get why it’s a crazy thing to do. I get why people look at you and think “Why is it such a big problem?" I think the world today tries to pretend that sex isn’t a big deal. That we don’t get tied to someone; that it’s just sex. But actually, if that’s how we do sex, we are missing a great depth of it.
It’s supposed to be an emotional connection. It’s supposed to be pretty powerful. So with my friends who aren’t Christian, I say that I want to be that vulnerable, that intimate with one person. I did it before, and it actually left me a lot of heartbreak, a lot of shame, and a lot of confusion.
The Bible says in Matthew 5:8 “Blessed are the pure in heart for they will see God,” – there is something to be said about a deeper facet of the Lord that I don’t get to see if I’m still living impurely. We negate purity; we use random words such as “purity plans”, thinking it’s going to shame Christians and non-Christians. But purity is not what I do or don’t do, it’s the posture of my heart.
Advice for girls trying to stick to this “purity principle”, for waiting until marriage?
Messing up sexually is often a side effect of something else. It’s just another way of trying to get our needs met. If we cultivate such a religious, performance mind-set about sex, it’s becomes a cycle; "Religion, performance, can’t keep up performance, don’t have any motivation with my performance, don’t have any intentions with my performance."
Then we go back to deciding that we’ll just do something one time because the Lord is kind and gracious, and we forget that grace is actually the standard. So I believe that if we don’t start talking about this more honestly and openly, it’s going to become more of a religious mindset.
how do we overcome and look beyond the pressure to find a boyfriend, and be contentedly single?
Often we think, “Once I’m married, I’m going to be fine”. We think we’re going to be relieved, to feel released once we find our guy. I would say though, that knowing the Lord and His presence is as freeing and much more fulfilling than what any other person can feed me. Does that mean we should all therefore be single? No, though some of us are definitely called to that gifting, we are all wired with our hearts to desire intimacy.
If you’re wanting to find a boyfriend, that’s a common and normal reality; but there is a huge difference between a husband and boyfriend. Something I was told when I was younger is that the season you’re in right now is exactly where you are meant to be. If a guy comes along who respects you, is growing you in your relationship with God, and honours you, then he is supposed to be in your season with the Lord. But if he’s not doing any of those three things, then this might not be the season for you to have a boyfriend!
advice for girls who are under confident, who don’t think they are beautiful?
I long to see women and girls know who they are. Who you are is not based on anyone else’s thoughts. I don't think I fully realised who I was until my second year of Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry, for which I'm now a Pastor. You don’t gain knowledge of who you are from other people’s wisdom. You only gain this knowledge from your relationship with the Lord. He designed us all uniquely.
So I’m not going to be told by magazines, or anyone else what beauty looks like, because your beauty is very much in God's eyes. I could either cripple myself by thinking that I should be something different, or I actually could start to really embrace who I am before the Lord. Once you do, that removes the fear of man, enables you to manage yourself on a day-to-day basis, and to not look at a guy and wonder “Would he like me?”
How can we cultivate good, healthy relationships with guys?
Well, there is no formula! I think if you feel that connection as soon as you’ve met someone for the first time, just know how to manage it; talk about it to your girlfriends but keep it limited to a few people. Let it process. Be accountable; are you surrounded by good, healthy relationships? Or beautifully biased friends?
You need to have people in your life that you can be accountable to, so that it keeps you humble. I do think that pace is a wonderful thing; perhaps be purposeful about pushing back the pace.
THANK YOU CARRIE FOR SHARING YOUR WISDOM. WE HOPE YOU ALL FOUND IT HELPFUL, WHATEVER STAGE YOU ARE AT. MP X
Carrie Lloyd lives in Redding, California and works as a Pastor for Bethel Church. She is the author of 'The Virgin Monologues' and has just released a new book continuing on the same theme called 'Prude: Misconceptions of a Neo-Virgin'. She has written for Grazia, Company, Huffington Post, Foxnews.com, The Debrief, City Magazine, Christianity Magazine, Magnify, Alpha Life, and Daily Mail.