Monday, September 15, 2008

Purity Tested/At the Well

Tracy at Thirsty for Him is the hostess of Joyfully Living's "At the Well" meme this week, and her topic is Purity--being set apart from the world.

I feel led to share a story with the young ladies at the well today...
"Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young,
but set an example for the believers
in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity."
1 Timothy 4:12

Tamela hoped she was doing just that: setting an example of her Christian faith through her speech, her life, her faith and her purity. While other seniors were running around drinking alcohol, fooling around with their boyfriends or fighting and gossiping with their friends, she was on the up and up. It had taken her several years, but she finally had a grasp on how to be "in the world" but not "of it" at school.

Blessed are the pure in heart," she thought several times a day, "for they will see God." She'd been taught that the way to living a holy life was to keep her heart pure. Her mother had taught her. Her youth leader had taught her. People had come to know this about her.

The evening of the senior prom had arrived, and Tamela knew that it was going to be the night of her life. Eric and she had been dating for six months, and she was crazy about him. He was a perfect gentlemen when he arrived to pick her up, corsage in hand. As he opened the car door for her, he told her how beautiful she looked.

"Thank you, Eric, you're so sweet," she said, cheeks flushed.

After the most romantic and incredible evening she had ever had, and it was much more so than she even could've dreamed, she thanked God in her mind for blessing her with it. "Eric, I'm so thankful God gave you to me. The evening was perfect. Thank you."

"Only the perfect evening for the perfect girl." His eyes melted her heart.

She scooted a little closer to him in the car, grabbed his arm over hers and nestled her head in his shoulder. She dreamed of the fairy tale end at the front door of her house and shut her eyes, completely secure and relaxed. She felt the car turn and then come to a stop.

"What?" Tamela was horrified. "What are you doing here?" She noticed the words "Super 8 Motel" as she looked up in front of her.

"You'll see..." he said and shut the car door.

Her heart was beating out of her chest, and her eyes were burning with fear. "How can a young woman keep her way pure? By living according to Your Word," she recited, gasping for air. "I seek You with all my heart; do not let me stray from Your commands. I have hidden Your Word in my heart, that I might not sin against You."

Peace overcame her. And strength too. Courage turned to action. Tamela opened the car door, walked inside the small, grungy door to the check-in window and said, "May I use your phone please?"

"Wait, Tamela, no, what are you doing?" Eric punched.

"I'm calling my dad to come and get me, that's what."

"Wait, why?" He sighed, handing the key back to the cashier. "Forget it, Tamela, I'll take you home."

"No, I don't trust you now. I told you that I would never be with a guy before I got married. And I've never done anything to lead you to believe otherwise."

The cashier handed her the phone, and then, "Dad? Hi, I'm okay, but um, I need you to come and get me..."

Later that evening, she wrote in her journal through foggy eyes.
"So I guess what it all boils down to in this life is that if you keep your heart pure, then you'll know what to do when that sinful moment comes along. I didn't ask for it, I didn't even hope for it, but the moment came. The secret for being holy starts in my heart, so I always want to keep a clean heart. God help me keep a pure heart."

Then she wrote,
"Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. 2 Timothy 2:22" and "Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Psalm 51:10"

She ended the shoulda-coulda-been perfect night as perfectly as she knew how--on her knees by her bed.

For incredible advice, insight and wisdom on this necessary topic, please visit Tracy's blog. She'll have so much there and more...

In the Key of HE,

11 friends shared a comment:

Laurie Ann said...

Excellent example. Great post, too.

LAURIE said...

That was incredible and exactly what we are talking about AT THE WELL today. Praise God for whoever taught that young lady the truth and the way of remaining pure in Gods sight.

Sunny Shell said...

Okay LauraLee, I LOVE, LOVE how you write! It just GRABS me!

And yes, purity is in the heart, not merely what we "think" we're doing externally. As Jesus said, what's in our hearts is what comes out, not the other way around.

Bless you sweet sister!

Debra Kaye said...

Beyond beautiful. My son just told me that there is a girl at school that wants to go to homecoming with him. I tried not to let him see my heart skipping all over the place as he was telling me about it. When I asked him what he knew about her he said this ... "What I don't know is if she is a believer and that is what I need to find out first"...whew!

Blessings to you today, Laura Lee

Rebecca said...

The reoccuring theme seems to be that purity is a matter of the heart. I loved reading this, "The secret for being holy starts in my heart, so I always want to keep a clean heart. God help me keep a pure heart." Always enjoy reading your posts.

Anonymous said...

What a great and God given talent you have for writing! Have you ever considered writing books for teens like this one? There is a serious shortage of good teenage Christian fiction out there (as a Mom I am always looking for good books for my girl, although she isn't a teen yet) and you would be great at it! I bet you are great at anything you write though :) Thanks for sharing this story!

Joyfull said...

Wow. Powerful story and example of purity.

Sheila said...

LauraLee, oh that I would have had that courage to stand. I'm so thankful for His blood that cleanses me from all that. Now I find myself jealous for others to know their worth in Christ and be so confident in His ways that like the young lady in your story they stand even when it hurts.

I had a painful and amazing conversation with my sister over this very subject today. It's hard to convince the heart of a person who "feels" like there have been no consequences to their impurity in regards to their hearts, that there has been damage done. And it's hard to take that stand when you yourself (me) have been just as guilty of sin in that area.

God is definantly speaking to me about purity and what it means and how to inspire others to desire it. I'm listening!

I love your gift of writing!

LauraLee Shaw said...

Thanks for these comments.

I had a VERY busy weekend, as friends of ours from down south (actually an online writing friend that I had never met in person before, along with her family) came to stay with us during Hurricane Ike. And then homeschool work to catch up on, etc. I almost didn't write something, but for some reason, this story kept coming to my mind, so I wrote it. I truly hope it inspires someone, even though it is not your traditional post. My brain was so fried, anything I would've tried to write in teaching form would've been disorganized, or even rambling, and I don't like to handle the Word recklessly, so...this is what came.

Thanks so much for the encouragement, because I felt a little insecure about it...

Joanne Sher said...

Absolutely EXCELLENT example - I love the way she rehearsed scripture throughout, and followed what she needed to do. Very good.

bp said...

What a beautiful story. Thank you for that. We talked a lot in class Sunday about what comes out of the heart. This girl obviously had the right things in her heart.