I have a lots of thoughts swirling in my head this morning... but I think they all revolve around the theme of victory.
Victories in life can be large or small. Often, it's the small ones that may not look like much to the outside world, but they mean everything to us on the inside. Two of these recent victories that are developing in my life have to do with purity and convictions.
I have never really lived a life of purity. I gave away my virginity, went through a phase of promiscuity, and did not seek purity in what I wore or how I spoke.
Lately, God's started doing a 180 in me. I am filled with an overwhelming desire to live a life of purity and even filled with a burgeoning passion for it. In fact, I'm praying about and tentatively stepping forward to start a ministry encouraging teens to pursue it. I've been feeling a vision for a ministry rising up in me within the past couple months or so (although the desires to be an entrepreneur and work to serve youth have been in my heart for years), and I knew it had to do with youth and music... but I didn't know anything more than that. Now I am thinking, "What is the one subject I would like to speak on to make a difference in these teenagers' lives? PURITY." I finally feel like, "Yes, THAT is what I want to create a ministry about."
I am 26 years old. I've been promiscuous, I've been married, and sooner than later I'll be divorced. But at the age of 26, for the first time, I am seeking to be more modest in my clothing choices. I want to start wearing a purity ring. I'm going to set myself apart for my husband and stop compromising in relationships. I'm going to make careful choices about how I interact with guys, whether I'm dating them or not. I'm censoring the music I listen to and changing the station when something crude or sexual comes on. Same thing with movies and television shows, except that I don't watch enough to really have to do that often.
My point in saying all of that? is that if I can do that at 26, considering my past and versus being 13, 16, or 18 - anybody can. It's never too late to start living a life of purity, and there's no amount of impurity of which God can't save you and bring you out.
The second area of victory is with convictions. For most of my life, I've never lived by convictions. Which isn't necessarily to say that I didn't have any... I knew what was right and wrong for me, but I went against those things to fulfill other needs of mine, needs that I guess I thought were more prominent. Needs that I trusted myself and others to fulfill instead of God. Subsequently, I've learned the hard way, and one too many times, that God is the only one who can fulfill those needs - especially the ones I was trying to meet, like loneliness, a sense of worth, comfort, acceptance, support, and love. Now, we can find those things in human relationships, but they will always be imperfect. And those can be blessings He gives us through those relationships when those relationships are within God's will. The places I was trying to find those things were not God's will.
My victory is in finally reaching a place where I am living by my convictions, and though faced with the option to forego them and compromise, I am not. Though the option to do so keeps reappearing, each time I come back to saying that there's nothing for which I will sacrifice my convictions and the holy things I want this time, or for which I am willing to step outside of the Lord's will.
PRAISE JESUS for the victory! Praise Jesus, because He has really used this whole nightmare marriage experience to produce real and lasting changes in me, the kind I have craved for and prayed for but for which I never had the strength. I used to try with all of my might, and even though I prayed, I always fell to my weaknesses again. Sometimes it really does take a nightmare experience for a lesson to really take hold in our lives. I don't wish them on anyone, but I sure am thankful for them.
Praise Jesus for the victories.