Running isn’t easy. You can’t run a marathon and expect it to be smooth and easy sailing. There will be blood, sweat, and tears. Likewise, the Christian life isn’t easy. There are many obstacles in life, and we must be conditioned for the task set before us like a runner is conditioned for his task.
I remember the day when I received my purity ring. As a thirteen-year-old girl, I was mesmerized by the glittering of the garnet stone in the sunlight. My parents explained to me what it meant to be pure, and how the ring was a symbol of a commitment. I don’t think I fully got it. Even though my parents did their best to help me understand the holistic design for purity, my young mind oversimplified the concept of purity and made it solely about the physical aspect. As a brand new teenager who hardly even spoke to boys, I thought that the whole “purity deal” was easy. Of course I would be abstinent! I had been taught that sex before marriage went against God’s Word. I didn’t think that I would need a reminder of my commitment to purity.
I wasted so many hours striving after things that ultimately led to heartache. I spent so much time, effort, and energy on my desires, but thing after thing would fail. I wasn’t able to live a life full of joy. Instead, I was bogged down by seeking things that the I thought would bring happiness. And the truth is, what I wanted would bring me happiness--temporarily.
Ever since I was a young girl, I dreamed of having a prestigious career. There has always been something in me that has desired to have the status of a successful career woman, a woman who has done something with her life. Intelligence and prestige had become so important in my life. Being a wife and mother didn’t really appeal to me all that much. Honestly, it was pride in my heart that told me that being a wife and mother wasn’t good enough. Sure, eventually I wanted to have kids. But in my mind, the end-all goal was to be successful and to make a name for myself.
You know you’ve messed up. How could anyone love you anymore? No matter what you do, there is nothing that can atone for your mistakes. Yet your husband comes and pursues you, like you are priceless. What kind of love is this?
You’re not good enough. You’re ugly. You’re not thin enough. You’re not smart enough. The voices get so loud that I can’t focus on anything else. As I stare into the mirror, the feeling that I’m worthless plagues my mind and suffocates me. My joy is gone. But what if our perspective meant more than our perfection?
I'll admit, control is an area that I struggle in. I try to manipulate situations to play out the way that I want. I have a hard time letting other people lead because I want control. And ultimately, I have a hard time giving things to God. We deceive ourselves into thinking that we have the ability to control things when in the end, God is the one who is sovereign.
Jesus did not intend for us to live life in chaos. He is the Prince of Peace. His desire is for His precious children to sit at His feet, in the midst of the loud voices and distractions of the world. Despite the soft but chilling voice of anxiety. Jesus overcame fear when He died and rose from the grave. We are not to live our lives in a way that seems like Jesus’ sacrifice wasn’t enough.
People may not have been happy, but I felt freedom in knowing that my Savior was. Living a life modeled after Christ isn’t the norm. It takes strength and courage to stand up against the strong cultural current. And people aren’t going to like it.