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Sunday, August 19, 2012

"your heart is my heart"

     When I first began this blog, I knew I wanted to write about sexual purity. It's something very close to my heart and I felt compelled to share my passion for purity on this platform called the Internet. Yet, I wouldn't be honest if I told you I wasn't a little scared. I remember the night I wrote my first post on purity - Wait For Me. I pressed "publish", turned out my bedside lamp, and laid my head down on the pillow...but I couldn't sleep. I kept thinking about what I wrote... you bloggers know what I mean - sharing your heart honestly for the whole world to see is not easy, but when you feel convicted, compelled and at peace about sharing your life and heart with others - then you just jump in and do it. I remember lying in my bed that night thinking. I would be lying if I told you I didn't get up at one point, turn on the light, open my computer and almost pressed "delete" on the purity post. But I didn't....I couldn't. I knew the Lord wanted me to share my story and heart... and I knew He wanted me to do it bravely as I trusted in Him. I knew He wanted me to be willing to stand alone. To be faithful to the commitment I made and to fearlessly stand up and speak what I believed...because maybe...maybe someone else would be encouraged by it, and maybe I wouldn't be alone after all.
       But I was a little scared. Sure, some close friends of mine have made the same commitment, I'd read several books on the topic, and been mentored by multiple Christian leaders who had modeled the fight for purity. Yet, I wondered - what if no one agrees with me here on the Internet? What if I'm really one of the only ones? But I did it anyway. Because, at the end of the day - I don't care what people think - I only care what God thinks. Yet, I still wondered. Wondered if I'd be standing completely alone.

       As a 13 year old girl I made a life-changing choice to save sex for marriage and to live a set-apart life. To wait and pray for my future husband (whoever he may be) and to strive to live a life of purity. I knew at the time I was choosing a path less-traveled, a narrow path: a path I may walk almost-alone. Even though I was a young girl with little life experience, I understood that choosing purity meant saying "no" to the things people my age indulged in, I knew it meant doing hard things instead of taking the easy way out, I knew it meant a possibly long wait for God's perfect timing, and I knew it wouldn't always be fun. I knew I may feel alone in my choice at times. But I also knew - the Lord would be with me and in the end, it would be best. "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God." - Matthew 5:8


       When someone makes a choice - to stand alone and go against the flow, it requires bravery and fearlessness. It's been 12 years since I chose this narrow path - it's not the easiest way, the most famous way, or the most fun. But it is best and it is worth it. And though there have certainly been times through this journey when I felt alone - those times are far outweighed by knowing I am not alone. 
      I pressed "publish" on the purity post that night standing strong in Christ and linking arms with just a few close friends who shared my beliefs. But since that day I began writing openly on this blog about purity, I have been absolutely overwhelmed with the sheer volume of people who share my same convictions. I cannot even tell you the number of times I've sat by the light of my laptop screen as I wipe tears from my eyes - moved by story upon story - "Amen's" shouted, God-written love stories shared, young brides telling me: "Girl, it's SO WORTH THE WAIT", couples who have waited or did not wait and wish they did - who encourage me to keep on keeping on. Mothers who teach these truths to their children, teenage girls who are thankful to know they are not alone, guys who are faithfully waiting for their future wives in a culture that tears true manhood down. It's been about 9 months since I began this blog and wrote candidly about purity, and I've been blown away and encouraged by the many people who came alongside me, took my hand, and told me - "you are not alone."

And friend - I want you to know this too: you are not alone.
    Hundreds of e-mails, comments, messages, tweets, and conversations later - I am nothing short of encouraged. And grateful for the incredible people who have gone before me, share the same heart, and are incredible examples of those who fight in the "trenches" for a pure life. And though on a much smaller scale, I believe this is a tiny piece of what Heaven will someday feel like. When the weight of traveling singularly falls off our shoulders and we are surrounded by millions of souls who refused to deny Jesus Christ - people of every race, tongue, country, generation, and from every decade - joining hands and standing together, basking in the joy of promises fulfilled and waiting culminated in beautiful peace.


   Earlier this week, a precious woman I'd never before met who blogs at Simply Beautiful shared this comment on my "Purity and Waiting" post and it simply took my breath away. I asked her permission to share it with you today - her words and testimony encouraged me, inspired me, and made me smile. Thank you, Leanne, for shining so brightly and sharing your amazing story - you reminded me that I am not alone. May her story encourage you too - 





 Friend, my message to you today is this: 

if you are striving to pursue a pure life, you are not alone.


 // if you're a single person who is saving sex for marriage 
//if you are praying and waiting for your future spouse, wondering if it's all for nothing.
// if you are married and fighting to maintain faithfulness to your spouse.
//if you're a parent trying to teach your children the value of sexual purity.
// if you've made lots of mistakes and given away your virginity - it's not too late.
// if you struggle with keeping your heart and mind pure in a dirty world.

YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

   This world will tell you that you are most definitely alone. But be careful who you listen to, dear one. The media will scream at you, "you are alone and crazy for choosing purity!" and it's message is shouted through songs, TV shows, magazine covers, and movie scenes. People around you may whisper words that tear you down. But do not listen to them - our Enemy desires to destroy our purity, to keep us from being close to God, to distract us from seeing Him, from being like Him, and from living the beautiful, pure life He gives. Stay strong, my love - don't believe those who tear you down, don't buy into the lies that say you must go with the flow and sell yourself short, treating sex like it's meaningless. Sex is precious - and should be treated with respect, because purity is a priceless gift.

      May you be encouraged and inspired today  - to keep running toward a lifestyle of purity, to keep waiting and saving sex for the beautiful joy it is in marriage, to protect purity in marriage and to trust Jesus with your purity. No one is perfect and we all fail often. But in His grace, we can safely rest and trust - knowing His timing is perfect and that if we do not have something we want, it is because it is not good for us - for He withholds no good thing from those who walk in integrity (Psalm 84:11.) 


You are not alone.
Not only is God on your side,
 but thousands of other young people are standing right here with you.
I know... I've met lots of 'em. 
And man, are they amazing.
May you be inspired and your hope in the beauty of purity freshly renewed today.
And may you hold fast to Jesus - 
who lifts sinners when we fall, redeems our failings, 
and 
gives us everything we need at the perfect time.

Trust Him.
He won't let you down... or me... or any of the many, many precious souls who stand with us.


I am thankful today. 
Because I asked God for the strength to be fearless and press "publish."
Because He graciously gave it to me.
And because I am NOT alone.

 As beloved Anne of Green Gables used to say,
 "Kindred spirits are not as rare as one may think." 
I'm thankful tonight for you many, many kindred spirits. 

Love to you - 
and strength, grace, and fearlessness.

XO

Erin

45 comments:

  1. Thank you for this today Erin, you're words mean so much ♥

    Sarah

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  2. I stumbled upon your blog when that post was the very top one and I remember being completely overwhelmed that someone else would have such a heart for purity. I didn't know it was your first ever post on purity, I just knew that every word was true. I started following your blog that day, knowing how important it was to find a community of people who all strive after purity. You are doing amazing things and God is using you in such an awesome way ♥

    Say x

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  3. cue in water works...wow, the tears just kept coming as i read this beautiful and truthful post! simply amazing. thanks for sharing your heart with us :)

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  4. Beautiful. I love reading your posts, they're so honest and encouraging. :) I'm thankful that God is using you to share your story, and His word.

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  5. This is so amazing and so admirable!! Thanks for posting this!!

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  6. I love this post so much! When I was 13, I decided to wait until I got married to do anything with a guy. Well, my "friends" made fun of me and tried to convince me that my belief was stupid and that I should join them if I wanted to fit in.

    Despite all of the peer pressure I felt, (not just from them but from how highly sexually charged our culture is) I remained strong in my conviction. I watched as my friends went through numerous boyfriends and then had to defend themselves when the guy would tell his friends what they had done the night before.

    Slowly, my friends who had pressured me years before came to me and said how they regretted giving into peer pressure. They encouraged me to remain pure and defended my decision to other people who thought it was ridiculous.

    I'm so happy I waited. I joined the Army when I was 18 and 8 months later, I married an awesome guy who respected my decision to remain pure until we said "I do". Never once did he pressure me. He accepted me and I love him for it.

    Remaining pure is a wonderful thing. And it's something I'm going to teach my children. Society today is so sexually charged that something has to be done. But what can be done when the current is so strong?

    By offering people a safe, non-judgmental community like you are doing now is giving people a paddle to swim upstream.

    Thank you for writing this post!

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  7. When I was about 13 as well I decided that I wanted to wait until marriage.. I was not so lucky to have accomplished this goal though. There was a series of horrible things that happened in my life and the pressures took over me. I was truly living in the devil's shadows..

    I wish I could have waited but in the end if I would have I would be without my son and on a different path to who knows where.

    I have to say that I am so happy that my 'first' was with my now husband though.

    Stay strong. You are very inspiring! ♥

    Katlyn

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  8. Beautifully said, and I totally agree. :)

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  9. Great post as always, Erin. Love your honesty, integrity and encouragement. Keep fighting the good fight. In the future there is laid up for you crowns of glory. (2 Tim. 4)

    xo,
    Jennifer :)

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  10. You're right, we're not alone! There's quite a few standing for purity, but the media doesn't like to portray that, at least not positively, for the most part.

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  11. Amen Sista! I'm right there with you, same age,same commitment to Christ and still waiting. I love your heart and how you have shared this because it is true and hard especially in this world. I even know some Christians who think I'm crazy because it's the 21st century they say. PS- I found you via the Influence Conference Twitter..can't wait for that conference hope to meet you while we're there!

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  12. This is so beautiful. I am so glad I found this blog.

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  13. great post. things i need to hear and be reminded of. thank you!

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  14. Love this! I love this online community you have here. It is so encouraging to read through the comments and know that "I am not alone". I'm not alone in this journey. Even though some people might think its a little crazy, I have to believe purity will be worth it some day!

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  15. I am so glad that you share this piece of your heart. I will be honest, I did not wait. And through not waiting, I have come to understand why God wants us to wait until marriage. I have seen what sex can do to a relationship, and have experienced first hand the heart ache that can come from using it in a way that it was not intended. I have made the decision to remain abstinent from now until I marry my future husband, and although I might not have been walking the same path as you for the past 23 years, I feel like I'm back on that narrow path now. And I am so, SO happy to be here.

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  16. I applaud you! You will avoid so much pain & heartache in life by the path you've chosen. I, for one, am tired of society treating women like they are objects to be used.

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  17. beautiful blog girlie girl! let's follow each other! xx

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  18. what a neat story for you and for the friend who commented. It really is such a big choice that will be truly blessed in your future marriage!!

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  19. Pressing publish was more than just an act of doing something you wanted - you were being obedient to the Lord...you'll be rewarded for that!

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  20. You are a truly amazing and beautiful girl. I like how open and honest you are, and true to yourself! How refreshing.

    I waited until marriage, and I will definitely say it was worth it. Truly something special that was amazing to share with The One.

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  21. I absolutely love this. As a girl waiting for the husband to show up, I am so encouraged to know that there are so many other people out there in the same boat making the same hard choices. I am so glad that you hit 'publish.' Sometimes God calls us to do things, like write blogs so that we can encourage others. You've done that for me, so thank you!

    ~Tiffany
    http://tiffanyd22.blogspot.com

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  22. I think you are very strong!
    This is so pure! You are right,
    it's your body and no one
    has the right to tell you what
    to do with it!
    You did the right thing with
    hitting it 'publish' c:

    xx

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  23. Good for you for taking a stand! You are an inspiration to so many girls who are not as strong as you... I hope they see your beauty and strength and know they can do the same!

    XO
    www.pearlsandpaws.blogspot.com

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  24. awesome post, erin. keep shining for Him :) x, melanie

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  25. Thanks for another encouraging and challenging post Erin. The community you've fostered here is absolutely incredible :)

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  26. What an amazing post! I applaud you for your strength to stand by what you believe in. It is amazing to have people who support your convictions and you are so strong!

    I am glad I found your blog!
    Thanks for passing through mine.
    I look forward to continue reading.
    Now following :)

    xo
    Christina
    Livinglaughinglovingx3.blogspot.com

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  27. What a wonderful nd admirable commitment!

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  28. although i do not agree completely with your beliefs, i think it is wonderful that you know who you are and are standing up for your beliefs and empowering other people to do the same :D

    -Jessica
    http://www.jumpintopuddles.com

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  29. You are an AMAZING light my friend!!! I PRAY my Julia has your conviction and strength as she grows up!!!

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  30. thanks for the follow. I am now following your blog.

    Tiffany @ Dreams Do Come True
    http://happilyeverafter-tiffany.blogspot.com/

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  31. that is so amazing! i am so glad that other girls have this same view!!

    www.trendinginfashion.blogspot.com

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  32. I can not get over your passion drive and love for the Lord, it is contagious and He is so working in you and has an incredible plan for your life Erin!! This is absolutely beautiful and I'm printing it out for my daughter to read.
    Have you ever heard of Misty Edwards?

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  33. Your heart for purity is so strong, and I love it! I feel the exact same way, waiting for marriage and struggling with purity. Luckily we are not alone though! It is the road less traveled for sure, and many to almost all of my friends are not waiting. I wish they could see the wonder and beautiful sacredness of being pure, and I pray they see that in me as I wait for my future husband.

    As usual, thank you for sharing your encouraging words and showing Jesus to us readers!

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  34. Thank you for having the strength to post, I have a times thought of pressing delete on some of my posts. Your strength for what you believe in is inspiring.

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  35. This looks awesome!! You totally rock, following you now! please follow back :)

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  36. This is such a great post! It certainly takes courage to post on your purity, but clearly God had His hand in it completely!!

    It's clear you're definitely an encouragement and uplifter (that's a word right? ;) to girls younger and older than you who struggle with purity in this day and age of sex!
    Emily at Amazing Grapes

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  37. Great post, your hair so pretty!!!
    Come see my blog :)

    xo Emma

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  38. I didn't wait. And I so wish I had. After several years of grossly misusing the gift that is sex, I have recommitted myself to waiting for marriage to have sex again. But it does make me sad that the gift I will give my husband on our wedding night isn't in the original packaging. Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future, and I know that the man I marry will love me enough to accept my that I have stumbled, but the guilt I have about it is a daily struggle.

    I want to encourage anyone who has fallen short to not be afraid to start over. In Christ, there are always second chances. He knows our hearts and can restore them. And I want to encourage everyone else to keep running blindly toward Christ! Whatever society says or throws at you, just duck and keep moving forward. I admire your strength and resolve, Erin, and will continue to pray for your success and my own :)

    In Christ,
    Rachel
    1 Thessalonians 5:11

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  39. You are an inspiration!

    Jayme & Mendi @ Her Late Night Cravings

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  40. Fabulous. Waiting makes it special and thanks for taking out your time doing this, inspiring all of us!

    xx
    The Young Bridget Jones

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  41. I’m impressed, I must say. Really rarely do I encounter a blog that’s both educative and entertaining, and let me tell you, http://trafficpulse.biz/ have hit the nail on the head. Your idea is outstanding; the issue is something that not enough people are speaking intelligently about. I am very happy that I stumbled across this in my search for something relating to this.

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  42. I think that for any woman loving the inside to make them stronger serves as a reminder that what they have to give and what they waited for is all worth the reward in the end.

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  43. Oh, what a beautiful person you are hun. I'm so glad you found and posted on my blog yesterday so I was able to find and post on your blog in return. I'm following now too. Thank you for such a blessing today.

    www.heartreflected.com

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sweet friends, share your heart.

"kind words are like honey...sweet..and healing.." -proverbs 16:24.

xo.

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