Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Purity, Freedom and our identity.

 I will never forget the first morning. The first morning I woke up feeling shame. 
I felt like I had engaged in a series of fights. Battles I believed I couldn't win. I felt beaten up by a giant I could not defeat.  Chased by a darkness that I just couldn't ignore, I heard whispers of defeat dancing all around my shaken body. As my heart and mind had become beaten by this sudden war. I felt defeated, condemned as tears of pain ran down my red cheeks, my soul hiding it's face as I cried out "Jesus. What have I done?" 

I remember crying until their were no more tears to cry while trying to get my act together before my morning shift. This was the morning after my beliefs, my purity had been compromised. The morning after something happened I thought wouldn't be possible. I was strong enough to fight off lust. Or so I thought.

What is "lust" anyways? If you were to ask me that question a few years ago, I would have told you that "Lust" is a "sexual desire" one has for someone else outside of marriage. Something I didn't have a problem with. But if you were to ask me now. I would tell you that "Lust" is a dangerous root that comes in all kinds of  forms and disguises.

I say this with complete honesty. From what I can remember sexually desiring a man has never been a desire of mine. Sex was something I personally didn't feel the need to have. In fact I probably wouldn't have minded living the rest of my life as a virgin.. I have often heard women speak of "Sex" as just something women did for their husbands to please them or to just get them to shut up. I've thought "Sex" was for the man only. And after being sexually molested by a few family members and old friends being too afraid to say "no" and to fearful of saying anything to my parents. I had no interest in sex. So, lust, I didn't think was a problem for me.

Love.. Who would have thought that Lust could come in such a form? Of course not the "perfect love" that Jesus died to give us. But a desire to be loved. I was so lustful after love that I would have done anything to get it! And when you have such a desire to be loved without an ability to say "no" things can go very wrong.

That was me. To be loved was all that I wanted. Yes, I was a Christian my whole life.. But a religious Christian. I knew Jesus loved me but I couldn't grasp any of it. I sung the songs of "His love" but "Is it really true?" I often wondered.. I doubted many times. How could he have loved somebody like me? I to easily compared the love of God to my father's love.. I've always felt like I had to earn my fathers love. And because of that I never thought God was capable of loving me because I was not worthy. When in fact. All Jesus wanted to do was love on me but I was to desperate to feel the love of my earthly father who often rejected me that I shut Jesus out. And there was no room for His love in my heart.. Because my heart was filled with other things.. And that I didn't realize. I would go on and on in my mind of what I could do to earn the love of Christ. To be able to feel His love inside of me. And that is when I decided that I'd be pure for Jesus. And I would earn His love that way. So, all this time I'd talk about "Purity" About how I"m going to be 100% pure until marriage. I was under the impression that if I did that. I would be pleasing God and my dad for sure. And that there, was when Purity became my identity.I haven't  realized until now that I wasn't trying to remain pure for anyone but myself. So that I could get the satisfaction and so that I would get the attention I wanted and so that I could wear the halo for a while.

I didn't  find my identity in Christ at all. Honestly, I never thought I had one in Him.. I just thought the only thing I had was purity. It was my "Identity" And after I met my husband Leon. That lustful feeling of needing to be loved came back.. (Actually, I don't even think it left in the first place.)

For months, I had felt a battle, like the signal sound of warning filling my ears. Painful memories had come back, as the painful things returned and happened again for the last four years of my life. Making me feel like an object, a victim, worthless all over again. These bad memories had been surfacing my mind like dead  rotting fish in the lake as the enemy whispers in my ear just how worthless he convinced me I am.

And before I knew it, without even realizing it. I've allowed my desire to be loved take over. I had surrendered to a struggle with purity.

The next morning my feet hit the floor in shame.. I even felt too condemned to pray or even read my bible.. I've compromised purity, the identity I had.. There was nothing left of me.  My heart was broken, darkness overshadowed the light. Beating me constantly. Reminding me of what had happened the day before.. Leon and I didn't actually have sex.. But in my mind it wouldn't have made a difference at the time. I was ruined. There was no healing for me as my heart scattered across my bedroom floor into a million tiny pieces.

 I look back at that night as a new person. I no longer feel shame about those nights. But instead I thank God. I thank God for creating me  with perfection, making me new for His Glory. 

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 2 Corinthians 5:17

I thank God for working all things out from my mistakes and fixing them. Because He loves me. And making me more white and more pure today than I have ever been.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28

And I thank God for opening my eyes and reminding me each day with love. Just how much I need Him to be my identity. And nothing else. 
To this day I don't think of the past as regretful memories, or painful memories. I no longer soak in tears because of them, I no longer give myself a pitty party because of what I have done.. Who has time for that?

I now look at the past as a battle that has been defeated, a victory that has taken place, a war that has been won.

A situation the enemy had planned to ruin me, But God's love had taken over and He renewed me.

I can look back and just thank God for loving me so much and taking me out of the situation I was in. 

My dear friends, these are not empty words I promise... This is not an empty testimony, It's not an empty story from one's past. It is a story of one's mistake that God has taken and made it beautiful. As if nothing had ever happened.. So today my friends I want to encourage you!

Sister, His passion for us is deep. His love  wants to overtake our whole bodies. And His kindness, it wants to convince us  that abandonment is not who He is, despair is not His language and punishment is not how He works. And He will do whatever it takes until we know this in our very souls. Some of us run around like pain and fear has the authority, like our experiences hold the scepter, like it is our memories that are stronger than death. (And until now that was me.) He extends the invitation to us to just pause. Pause and take all that authority we have stored up in our past and pour it out on Jesus. The Cross broke the power that we think this thing has over us and He is on the throne! Claiming us to be His bride.

And even today, like a subtle breeze, Jesus is whispering into our hearts reminding us that the authority that raised Him up out of the grave is the authority that's burning  inside of us.  We can use that authority or we don’t. The choice is ours. But there is a better option, a more beautiful answer.
The more we use that authority, the easier it gets. The more we believe we are who He says we are, the simpler it becomes.
Because purity is so easy when we know who we are.
You are too worthy and too valuable and too loved and too beautiful for this to destroy you. Don’t believe the lie that freedom is a reward. Because it’s not. Free is who you are! We are His Beloved.


Sarah said...

Hi Heather. Just hopped over to your blog and needed this. I had a rough day (post from last night) yesterday and this helped me feel refreshed. "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him..." Perfect. Simply perfect. Have a great day!

Sarah Nicole said...

Love this girl! This reminds me so much of what I went through as a teenager. I remember being so strong in my purity and beliefs and then feeling like a failure when I went further than I should have once I started dating my husband. I'm so thankful that we have a redeemer who loves and forgives us unconditionally! His mercies are new every morning! Hallelujah!

Anonymous said...

Thank you so so much for posting this! It has definitely been a source of encouragement for me today and for that, I am so grateful! You are just such a wonderful woman of God and I aspire to be like that. Thank you and have such a great day:)

TH said...

What's wrong with it if the guy was someone you knew well and your future husband? It's not like it was some guy you hardly knew, then to most people that would be slutty/easy. There is a distinction I think.

Kjelse said...

Praise God for His making us new each day!!

Hailey said...

thankful for His unconditional love! thanks for sharing!

JKASMA said...
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Jen B said...

This is very well written! Thank you for sharing. I've just been reading around some and I am really encouraged by your honesty and ability to speak the truth of the gospel into the area of sexual sin. My husband is a minister and we work specifically with college students on a college campus and as I'm sure you know sexual brokeness, questions of identity and worthiness are all rampant.

Brittany said...

You write so beautifully. I love this. I struggle with wanting to feel loved and wanted and sometimes it can be so easy to forget that He loves me and that is really all that I need. Great words and a good reminder :)