i-need-thee-every-hour:

Elisabeth Elliot expresses in her book, passion and purity, that when you commit to keep your passions pure, Satan will tempt you even more in your passions. I can say that I have most certainly noticed this lately in my own life. Two things that I want to remind y’all to do: guard your heart and die to self daily.


Passion and Purity 43: A New Act of Creation

"Ive already blown it," some readers will be saying. "The standard is impossible. No way can I start picking up the pieces now."

Using that logic I should keep flirting with sin and Edward and go on because we’ve blown it.

That would be right if we we’re unable to please God with our lives from this point. But God didn’t fry us in Eden because we could though. That is the beauty of God’s plan and His power.

First He forgives then He gives us an opportunity to change your lives to honour Him.  But that power only comes from God.

Now that is the last chapter in this book. But my journey isn’t over so I will still have commentary on my growth.  I’m going to spend my non-fiction reading time finishing The Art of War that Edward gave me. I have a book about the virtuous woman for after that.  I’m not digging into it now because I noticed that a lot of it has to do with being a mother.  That isn’t happening soon.


Passion & Purity: 42 Out of Love and Into Charity

Last night NCIS LA ended and I packed up my laptop and said I was going upstairs to watch Fringe.  Daddy said he didn’t care.

"Don’t you care what your daughter does?" I asked.

"I don’t care what you watch on TV as long as isn’t weird," he answered.

The case that the Fringe team investigated in that episode was a cult of people genetically altering themselves to become flying porcupines.  It’s weird, ok?

But it oddly had me pining for Edward. He cared and therefore noticed things that others didn’t, like my limp or that I hadn’t forgiving myself for my past.  I fell for him all over again there was none of my addiction behind it.  I just felt like God and Edward were the only two that cared for that moment.  I asked God to take it away.

Then God told me to tell his accountability partner not to let him buy anything of a certain sent I like.  I followed the leading then read the chapter.

In the last chapter Elisabeth and Jim get married. But Elisabeth said that passion and purity doesn’t end at the alter. She speaks of falling out of love and how you never feel fully infatuated for the whole marriage and that marriage is about pleasing the the other person regardless of weather the other person is pleasing you.

I remembered the night after I had come back from our first real life meaning.  Edward manipulated me and gave in to his addiction for the first time since I became aware of it.  But I thought he had the signs for marriage now too.  I acted normal and told him that I trusted him less then ever.  After I hung up though I rolled into a ball on grandma’s living room floor and cried.  I can’t say if that is a full falling out of love moment since I’m still longing for the guy though.

She then speaks of that blind love that happens when in infatuation love.

Try to remember the vision that “being in love” gave you of what that person was.  You found no fault in him or her.  “Behold, thou art fair, my love, there is no spot in thee,” Solomon said to his beloved.  Is it blindness to see a sinful man or woman thus?  I think it is a special gift of vision, the power to see for a little while what God meant when He made that person….

I felt bad for Edward again.  I never wanted that view of a man.  I thought that made people do stupid things.  Turns out that you don’t always need it to be stupid.  He is a great man that has as addiction and is too tall and too skinny but for some reason still want to love.  Did I take away from the emotions of an infatuated girl that he should have been on the reserving end of?

Love takes work of serving the other person.

Then I get word that Edward has something of that forbidden sent.  I get all angry at him because he could be doing anything good with it.  Now that I’m done writing this I know that his accountability partner was joking.  God used it to get me out of that season of longing though.

God, thank you for answering my prayer.  I know that my love my still be misplaced and that You should be the one to fulfill my needs when I’m lonely.  Please keep me on the right track and growing closer to You.


Passion and Purity 41: This Is Our God-We Have Waited for Him

One time I stumbled the blog of a woman that grow up in an Independent Fundamental Baptist church. She was waiting for her husband but knew that a IFB guy wouldn’t give time of day because she was “smart and independent”. I put it in quotes because that is what she said. Though I think her cursing might have been a turn off. She met the man that she later married and found out that he didn’t wait for her. She said she hated God over this then finished her post by saying that God didn’t write her love story and He doesn’t write anyone else’s. Don’t bother saving yourself.

Wow.

I analyzed the post. God was brought up only as the Person keeping her imagined husband pure because she was pure and as the Person that broke that bargain. He was never the reason for waiting.

I see so many girls waiting for a husband when God never guarantees marriage to all His followers. In fact He might ask some to remain single. I some times wonder if the marriage obsession in young Christians is a masked “safe” version of sex obsession.

So if we aren’t waiting for husbands what are we waiting for? God.

My pastor once said, “Holiness isn’t what you do but why you do it.”  Don’t do something to get a type of man.  Do it because you love God and want to do His will.

Dear Lord, help me do this for You and only You.  Let this never be about Edward or other man that comes my way.  If You’ve called me to be single I know its not a punishment for my past its just You’re will.


Passion & Purity: 40 Love Letters

Jim and Elisabeth do meet up as soon as they can about a month after Christmas.

Jim had waited nearly five years for this.  He took it slowly that evening, biding his time.  We looked at the fire, spoke briefly of our journeys from the jungle, sat in silence.  In the fullness of time, he asked me to marry him.  Then- the first kiss.  A ring on my finger.

I don’t mean to diss kissing (I love it as much as the next girl) but a part of me thinks that I’ll be too busy jumping and screaming “PUT IT ON ME. PUT IT ON ME! PUT IT ON ME!!”  like Amy did when Sheldon gave her that tiara.

They have to part again and Jim’s letters are so thoughtful and filled to the brim with love he wants to show his bride to be.


Passion & Purity: 39 Confused Rollings and Wheels

Elisabeth and Jim are in two different places in the jungle and it could take as long as six weeks for a letter to get a reply.  I read Jim’s letters and for some reason my brain still wants to “add romance” by imagining that it was a Morse code transmission.  I’ve watched and read way to many love stories with radio in it.

Jim says they are going to see each other for Christmas but he never comes.

We live in a imperfect world and while the person that loves might never mean to disappoint us but it happens.  When it does we need to focus on Christ and remember that He is perfect and doesn’t disappoint.


Passion & Purity: 38 God Granted and God Denied

 ”I believe you will get married one day,” Brian said.

"Why?" I asked my gay bestie.

"Because God has transformed your attractions," he said.  "What other reason would He have for doing that?  If He gave me attractions to woman I would think the same thing."

The many times he had said that his same sex attractions might mean that he was to stay single and celibate, echoed in my mind and I began to wonder of there was some jealousy along with his desire to see me in a God honouring marriage.  “You could be straight and not marriage material either.  Remember I can’t cook.”

We laughed and moved on to other ways to attract men other than food, like being able to write epic love letters.  Yeah, Brian is one of my wordie friends.

While I can hope that Brian’s words are true I also have to remember the lesson of this chapter.

It is easy to make a mistake here.  “If God gave it to me,” we say, “it’s mine.  I can do what I want with it.”  No.  The truth is that it is ours to thank Him for and our to offer back to Him, ours to relinquish, ours to lose our to let go of-if we want to find our true selves, if we want real Life, if our hearts are set on glory.

It could still be God’s will for me to serve Him as a single person and my new attractions could be material of sacrifice.  Or He will allow marriage for me.  There is no way to know now.  But this gift I have been given is not for my pleasure but to bring God glory by following His plan for it.

Lord, I won’t ask for the whole plan now because then I will try to rush it, but guide me through life and my relationships.  You have given me attractions to males for Your glory so I ask that you help me use it as You would have me.


Passion & Purity: 37 Hold God to His Bargain

Neither my ex-girlfriend or Edward were good with the written words to express the world or love.  Its a skill I hope I have for my husband.  That words could make love a tangible thing that you can hold in your hand.  One doesn’t need to be a silvertongue to make the words real then.

Jim’s letters have that locked magic that Cornelia Funke highlighted in Inkheart.  I just have to say that.

Now to make my writing feel like nothing next to his.  People don’t use these reviews as an excuse for not reading the book for yourself.

God doesn’t put his children though the type of love sickness that these two have endured without reward.  The reward is a victorious Christian life though not the normal material rewards promised by those preaching prosperity gospel.  I mean you can get those but a victorious Christian life is something we should want more than a big house for a new car.


Passion & Purity: 36 I Have You Now Unravished

… Glad I’m not jaded by night in bed with you, as married couples are.  They can bear to sit at opposite side of the car.  I’m glad I still can’t quite keep my hands off you, still must be warned not to “muss you up.”  I have you now unravished, and that is just how I need you now.  The schoolboy in me still wonders and is awkward-we’ve not had “experience”-which takes the edge off.  We will, I suppose, get used to each other, the feel and smell and look of one another, but I am glad it is not so now.  As I never felt before, I feel now that I must keep myself for you.  God knows it is a stay to purity, and He knows how many shaking to purity are ahead.

So in case you couldn’t tell by that they got the green light from God.  Jim writes something here that sums up this chapter nicely.

I remember Edward’s wonderment because this was the first time he was snuggling.  He had simple questions like, “what does a kiss feel like?”

He knows they answer to that question and a few others and wishes he didn’t know the answer too.  Discovering the answers is part of the fun of the honeymoon.

My wonderment I knew was lessened because of my experience.  I knew the basics of kissing and nuzzling.  Stubble was amazing because it was first time with that.

I’m sorry I robbed Edward’s wife of watching him have full wonderment.  I’ve done a disservice to my husband as well.


Passion & Purity: 35 Impatience

And readers everywhere said, “You got that right.”

I dug into this chapter because I know my impatience is an issue.  There was a key point that I took away from it; don’t belong to each other before the time God has appointed for you.

Now I’m learning the failure of those lovely signs for marriage that I wanted God to send.  So soon as Edward got the last sign I thought of myself as his even though I never told him that.  I wasn’t to date anyone else and if he married another I was to remain single.

One thing Edward kept doing was saying that he was mine.  He handed himself over to me for no good reason I could think of and it bothered me.  “What if you should marry someone else?”

"Then you’ll be hard to explain," He said.  "But you’re leaving me in better condition than you found me so she can’t complain about you.   I won’t let her."

First off, if that works as well as him forbidding me to eat fatty food it won’t work.  Second we were both out of line with our thinking.

When I asked God for changes that I should make to the signs I made at 9 I was noticing my feelings for men for the first time and knew that I might actually use them.  I adjusted the signs by God direction and made more of a legal style document.  But I never had peace about the part where my heart belonged to the man as soon as he completed the 3 fold requirements.  But I couldn’t think of a reason then for not trusting God enough that the only one to do these signs would be the one.

Dear God, I’m sorry for giving away a heart before it’s time to a man I’m unsure of.  I need answers about the signs and if they mean anything.  I know that I have lied to Edward and said that they no longer apply to him and I don’t know if that is wrong.  I am not in a rush for this clarity for I know how foolishly I acted the last time I had it.  I thank you knowing that Your timing for the answer is better than my own.  Give me strength so that for now my heart is for only for You.


Passion & Purity: 34 His Sublime Keeping

When you find me reading a novel you fine someone deeply connecting to the characters.  Like I was reading Animorphs 45 The Revelation on the train when I got to the part where Marco is watching is father’s head get shoved into a Yeerk pool.  Marco could do nothing but observe his father become a slave to an alien slug with no will of his own.

A random passenger broke the drama of the moment by asking if I was ok.  A tear had escaped my eye.  “I’m fine,” I said then switched to another book in my kindle.

Passion and Purity is written to doing that with Elisabeth so easily.  So when I realized that this chapter was about seeing Jim, then not seeing him for a year, then seeing him, all without getting a plain go ahead from God, I was driven a little crazy.

I know they are learning and growing but if just reading it drives me crazy then imagine if I had to live it.  I have rushed romance before…

Dear Lord, I’m going to do something that I’m already facepalming myself for but I know I need it.  Give me patience.  I need it to learn to endure.


Passion & Purity: 33 Four Bare Legs

One of the hard things for me read in most abstinence books is the chapter on saving as much sexual pleasure for marriage. Not because I’ve done so much outside of marriage and feel sorry, but because I find it triggering. I have a pattern of impatience in my life. I through my free teenage years away so I could be an adult professionally and sexually. Now I wanted to skip being a young adult supported by her parents to and adult supporting herself.

I’ve aged myself because of this I’m sure.

Elisabeth doesn’t write this with great sex in marriage as a reason like most authors including Joshua Harris. Since I’m not married I can’t say if it’s true.  Serving God is at the centre of this chapter. That isn’t triggering and the real reason for saving it all for God’s time

Dear Lord thank you for advice that is honoring to you. I ask that my relationships and my life glorify You.  I’ve fail at it before.  Please give me the strengthen and wisdom to do it right from here.


Passion & Purity: 32 How Do You Say No?

I answered the question before reading the content of the chapter and came up with the same answer.

You say no, and you move away.

Another thing I knew before reading the chapter was that it’s simple yet not easy.  Hey, she used those words too.

Humans were meant to rely on God when faced with temptation.  Our strength as humans will fail us.

Jim writes Elisabeth after they are apart for a week again.

Every time we have parted it has been harder.  I do not want to part with you on this basis again.  So I have prayed, quaveringly, that the Lord would not let us see one another again without giving us some assurance of His ultimate goal in relation to us.  This parting into “undefined silence” is is terrible.

Don’t I know it.

The thing is I won’t pray for assurance.  I thought a had it before.  I thought I had a sign from God Himself saying, “this one”.  I think that partly contributed to our carelessness.  Edward can have assurance if he wants it.  I’m praying for by the moment guidance.

Dear Lord, I’m sorry for carelessness I have shown.  I knew what was right an didn’t do it.  And I hurt Edward in the same time.  Dear Lord I ask that you give me what I need to withstand the “undefined silence”.  Guide me in how you would want me to go and part Edward and I if that be Your will.


Passion & Purity: 31 A Cave a Driftwood Fire

Elisabeth and Jim have been sending letters to each other about a year before she see him in person again.  This chapter is where they meet, holding out hope if friendship in the future for people like Edward and I.

I didn’t really want to hear it.  Edward left the forum where we met so we could better avoid each other better.  He didn’t have to because I was planning to do the same thing so he could have the site to himself.  So for stupid emotional reasons I don’t want to hear about being friends with him.  Though likely they that means I need it.

What struck me about the time they spent together was that Elisabeth still had feelings for Jim.

Sitting close together, watching the sun sink into the gleaming sea, the temptation to express ourselves, to do what we felt like doing, was nearly overwhelming.  Because the final choice had been made long before, by the grace of God we were not overwhelmed.

I remember when Edward and I had our first in person meeting.  There was one moment where he confessed later that he wanted to kiss me.  But because he remembered that I had said I was waiting for the altar so that I could redeem kissing with my husband.  I know the moment that he spoke of because I felt the same thing.  What happened between our first meeting and the second?

But of course these two have feelings for each other.  God means for them to marry.  So if He doesn’t mean that for Edward and I, why can’t I just get over him?

I write this for one reason.  To show that it is that it is possible for two young people, full of all the juices that youth is endowed with by the Creator, to resist temptation.

They can’t do it unless they have a motive that makes it worthwhile.

They can’t do it alone.

Yes, the main point isn’t why we have the temptation.  The main point is being strong enough to withstand temptation.

Dear Lord, I long to have my best friend back.  I long to speak of aliens but mostly work as a team to minister for you.  I ask that you once again take my emotions and drive them.  I thank you for Your promise that no temptation will ever be too much for me.  Lord, I do not know your plan for my life.  Marriage and Edward are on altars in my heart.  Do with these things as you will.


Passion & Purity: 30 A “Small” Sin

This chapter was hard to read.  Elisabeth was learning that Jim wasn’t perfect and had done so much as kiss other girls since he had stopped talking to her.  I felt like I was peering into the mind of Edward’s future wive when she hears about his relationship with me.  I’m hoping I thought of that only because the feminine tone Elisabeth gives each chapter don’t remind me of how my future husband should sound.

Jim is sorry for his actions and is thankful to God for forgiveness.  I know this feeling well.  It doesn’t mean we can indulge yourselves in sin, but if we slip up forgiveness is offered.

Dear Lord, I know my actions have hurt my future husband as well as Edward.  I have asked you to forgive me and I know that I’m forgiven and I can’t stop thanking you for that.  I ask that my future husband is prepared to news of my past.