I find advent as a gentle reminder of where to put my hope: in a small baby who would one day cover all of my sins to save me from them. A simple season of anticipation of what’s to come - in my own life and for the world. A time to reflect on what God has done in my life and hope and pray for what He will do. Advent may be my new favorite season of the Christian calendar.
Praying for a relationship, or not praying for a relationship - I don’t believe that’s necessarily what moves the heart of God. I think what moves the heart of God is pursuit of Him.
Living in the Midwest, I’ve seen how lukewarm faith comes from an attitude of self-reliance, meaning we do not allow our need for Jesus and what He has done for us change the way we live. We don’t take our faith seriously.
I cannot expect to become the woman God wants me to be by being a lady in waiting in the way the fairytales paint the picture. God made me for so much more than that, and He wants me to become a woman after His own heart. God’s top priority is not giving me what I want, it is making me into who He wants.
"Are you really going to stick to your whole purity ring thing? Like, you know, wait until you’re married to have sex?" I was shocked. I couldn’t believe my friends would even consider asking me such a question. They knew my conviction on this subject. I was pretty open about it. I thought it would be normal in my circle of influence to wait until marriage to have sex with my husband. I thought that was a common conviction of women in the church. I thought all girls were being taught the same message about sex that I was taught at an Across My Heart retreat almost eight years ago. So why was it such a surprise to my friends that I was going to wait?
The devil has taken the message of purity and warped it - to make us believe that our virginity makes us worthy in God’s eyes. It has caused the church to turn sexual purity into an idol. Sexual purity is a gift from God, and it is just that - a gift. It reveals God’s heart to us. The gift of sexual purity should never take precedence over the Gift-Giver.
Take time to remind other women in your life how beautiful and loved they are. It is so important for us women to stick together and to point each other to the Biblical truth about who we are, who God says we are. Share this with a friend or tag someone in the comments as a loving reminder that they are a beautiful creation of God’s - they might really need that this week.
A friend of mine recently reminded me that we can’t base what we know on what we feel. Our feelings are inconsistent and dependent on our surroundings - and God knows that. God’s love and presence are independent of our feelings. Faith is what we have in spite of our feelings.
I have realized recently that the gift of hospitality looks different than I have imagined in my head. My gift of hospitality can’t wait to be used until I live in a house. Or on my own. Or until I’m married or have kids or have the time or money. God has given me the spiritual gifts I have now to be used right now. I need to learn how to use all my gifts in my current season, location, and state of being.
Although one of our missions at Across My Heart is to encourage girls to save sex for their marriages, we realize that there are young (and older) women in the church who did not wait until marriage to have sex. This blog is for you. If you’re scared, I beg you to keep reading.