There she stood.
Her skirt was a little too short.
Her heels were a little too high.
Her composure a little too confident.
Before the door could close behind her, she struck a match, and lit a flame to a cigarette. Inhaling deeply, she blew a gust of smoke into the cool, morning air.
She knew others were watching.
She walked down the steps, past the stained glass windows and white steeple, past the place that she just couldn’t understand.
She walked with no fear. She walked blindly.
Once in the car, she drove down the cobblestone, brick road. Her red old dingy Datsun hobbled over bumps and grooves until she came to her usual spot.
She walked in the musty building where the stench of alcohol and stale cigarettes from the night before still lingered.
They all knew her.
She felt accepted.
She felt known.
But she was deceived.
Flash forward fifteen years, and I can still see her there. Those wild, crazy, selfish days of instant gratification existed foolishly. Those years still sit and soak in the back of my mind.
I wish she would have driven down a different path.
Now, I sit and remember, trying hard to shake the past. It clings and follows like a ball and chain. Married with two boys, it’s all I wish I could do, forget.
I long to be like other women I see who are happy, having made the right decisions where I once failed. I know I am loved much, yet the flesh remembers, and sometimes the pain of past choices comes back to haunt you, there in your body.
Thoughts become laden with guilt and fear. The head lowers and the feet trudge.
Guilt robs me of the joy of the present moments. I cry out to God because purity was something I wanted, but believed I couldn’t have.
I desperately want to feel and believe in the purity offered as redemption from forgiveness.
Then I read Matthew 5:8,
“Blessed are the pure in heart for they will see God.”
Purity is found in the heart. It’s felt in the heart. A connection. An eternal relationship.
Purity is a desire to plunge into God, to draw near, so near, that His refining fire purifies me until His image is revealed.
The fleshly body is done away with and I am no longer a slave to sin or guilt. I am no longer bound by past sins that taunt and wring dry my thoughts, but instead I’m freed by saving grace.
My past sins can no longer plague me with worthlessness.
My past sins can no longer cause me shame.
My past sins can no longer overshadow my Savior.
Satan tried to tempt my mind to focus on past sins and poor choices. It’s what the slithering serpent echoes in ears to drag hearts away from a Savior who Saves. It’s what the serpent wants.
But past mistakes can bring us closer to God where the journey is an exodus from who we once were, to who He is calling us to be in Him. He armors us as we set our affections on Him. And He creates a clean heart within.
Keeping the Spirit alive is purity of heart.
I am pure. I am His.
I will not allow past choices to control the person I am today, but instead, I will allow the Savior, who saves me from my past choices, to be in control and reign over me.
Trees, whose roots have been resting still and cold, finally stretch bare branches high, and buds break free. God’s show of newness.
God renews our minds and hearts to see our true worth and value as daughters of the King and heirs to His never-ending Kingdom.
Remember, dear sisters, no matter the past, Christ carried and conquered the cross so that we could live burden free.
When we set our affections on God, He purifies our hearts, and we begin to see just how much He delights in us.
Related: Infuse your home with these beautiful gray-washed letters to denote the word that communicates forgiveness, hope, encouragement, and grace: REDEEMED ~ Inspirational Wooden Letters