For the longest time, I had a simple silver band that was my purity ring. I wore it on my ring finger on my left hand, in hope that one day I would have the ability to take it off and give it to the man I married. To say, “I saved myself for you and you alone.”
But one day, the ring came off. At the end of a day a couple of months ago, I took it off in the midst of confusion and a lack of reason as to why I was wearing it. Sure, I may have bare hands at the current moment, and it may even appear that I was willing to not save that precious aspect of myself for my future husband. But just now I realized that the symbolism of saving myself has been written deep on my heart and soul. I know it sounds ridiculous but I have this question that has honestly been bugging the crud out of me.
If I am holding a piece of myself back for someone, is that piece of me remaining stagnant or is it being cultivated by the King?
It reminds me of the question that God has been asking me constantly here lately.
“What is it going to cost you to follow Jesus. What are you going to have to lay down to truly follow Jesus and not run from one Jesus high to the next”
I try to approach it with individual items that I would have to pay forth or lay down to fully follow Jesus. I say to God, “You can have all of my relationships, you can have this or that.” At times, I fight with Him fiercely. “God, I can’t give this up, I have held on to this for so long that I don’t know if I can really live without it.” But it is just a big, gaping hole deep in my heart that I have been trying to fill for so long. While it’s not everything, it is a big part of what is constantly keeping me from pursuing Him. I may spend countless amounts of times trying to think about simple things I could give up to accomplish this, but it slaps me across the face.
God doesn’t want me to give up this or that.
It’s too narrow-minded.
It is offering a piece of the puzzle even though you fully know that the piece withheld for yourself is exactly what keeps the recipient from completing the entire thing. It is a selfish desire that has permeated my vision and kept me from seeing the entire picture.
God doesn’t want this and that.
He wants everything.
He doesn’t just want my relationships, my trust, my desires… He wants ALL OF ME. He wants those moments where I am angry at someone for pointless things. (Insert the deep knife in the chest feeling I am experiencing here) He wants those moments when I am trying to push Him away with every inch of me. He wants every moment I may have a breathe. Whether it be the dark shadows that haunt me at night or the days of the unknown future that constantly scares the crap out of me. He wants to cultivate every inch of me into the beautiful creation He has designed me to become. I can’t hold back anything. It would be like I gave God the paint and canvas to create this portrait of His daughter but I never hand over the brushes so that He could actually start painting the canvas stroke by stroke.
I start to dwell on what everything really is comprised of. I feel as if I am narrowing my vision and thinking about what I can presently give up. But I soon realize that the present is one of those “this and thats”. He wants the future, he wants the past, and he wants the present. He doesn’t want a watered down timeline of what I am willing to give up. He wants the nitty gritty hell that has been buried so deeply inside that even I have forgotten it existed. He wants me to take shelter in the protection He provides. So that we can slay the giants that try and bring me down on a secondly basis.
He wants me to understand that I cannot begin to conceive what everything is to Him, It is simply stepping out into faith and let Him, who knows what everything is, take control.
So now I have a reason as to why I took off my purity ring. (Three months later…)
God wants me to grow in the environment in which He placed me. I don’t need to dwell on waiting for “the one,” or waiting X amounts of days through a relationship fast. He simply wants me to quit waiting and start running. He wants me to say “Okay, God. I don’t know what to do, but lead the way. I surrender, Lord have your way.” And on the days when I struggle with this, I can remember back to taking off my purity ring and putting it wherever it currently is. To chase after the Him with a relentless pursuit and to not let the future stay in the back of my mind like a constant distraction that it currently is for me. It has been too long that I have been entirely too future driven and not present in the situations in which I have been placed.
But now everything has changed. It’s high time that I take the first step into the unknown and trust that He complete His will. To not look back in hopes that I may be able to “bury my dead.” (Luke 9:57-62)
57 As they were going along the road, someone said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.”
58 And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.”
59 To another he said, “Follow me.” But he said, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.”
60 And Jesus[g] said to him, “Leave the dead to bury their own dead. But as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.”
61 Yet another said, “I will follow you, Lord, but let me first say farewell to those at my home.”
62 Jesus said to him, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.”
To this day, I cannot even tell you where the ring even is. And it reminds me to quit waiting and start running. To lay everything down and truly lose myself in the midst of a relentless pursuit.
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
2 I will say[a] to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”
The Rooted Wanderer.
(Image Borrowed from Pinterest)