I have never really talked about my purity journey in depth until now. There was no purity campaign, never made a big deal of it. My close family and friends who have spent an enormous amount of time around me knew. I stayed quiet for years about my purity journey. Not that I was ashamed or embarrassed. I had nothing to say, what can I tell anyone if I have not learned anything from my journey. I knew there would come a set time in my life when God would release me to share my journey. I am a very private person and I always struggle with how much of myself I should share. God constantly have to remind me that this is not about me, It is and always has been about his glory. It has been twenty-one years since I committed to remaining a virgin until marriage. I was an eleven year old girl, clearly at that age I had no idea of the journey ahead of me. When I made the decision it was quietly between myself and God. Nobody pressured me into making the decision. I made the choice initially because I knew it pleased God and it was in the Bible that fornication is a sin. Nobody in my family had done it. It wasn’t something that was practiced in my home environment. My decision, is not to condemn others for their decision to have sex before marriage. God chose me before I ever chose him, and I am so humbled by his amazing grace. Even when I did not want his grace, grace was yet keeping me. If I am honest with myself and you, twenty-five was the longest I gave my self to wait. I was so set on being married by twenty-five. That was seven years ago. God will give you the ability to do things in honor of his name. You do not have the right to brag about or make someone else feel less worthy because there journey is different than yours. One of my really close friends who I met while in college, recently asked me “how was I able to get through college without having the conversation of me being a virgin?” She told me she eventually figured it out. I chose to experience the college life, I lived in the dorms and I never separated myself as I was untouchable. No you can not hang with everyone and you will not build close friendships with every person you encounter, but you can show genuine love and relate in some way. The key is getting to know yourself, and who you represent. You learn your identity, find your purpose and allow God space to change you to fulfill purpose. I carried myself in a way that I was respected by my peers as well as I gave them respect. It was hard for me at times, because I desired to be in a relationship but God knew I was not prepared and ready in college. I was always trying to reason with God, this is why I say my purity journey led me to purpose, it keeps me close to God. When I made the commitment to God it was never about me trying to please people. I am not committed to my journey for the approval of the church, it was not for my mother. It has always been about my loyalty to God. Sometimes you make commitments for the approval of other’s, as life begins to happen you default on your commitments, now people are disappointed in you. Commit to God, because God will enable you to keep the commitment and if you do mess up, he is not going to be ashamed of you, he will lift you back up and set you back on the path that will lead you to fulfill your purpose. I learned to speak very slowly, and rely on God. I do not use the word “Never” as in I am never going to do this or that” Sometimes you can get so caught up in your own strength and stop relying on God, and you find yourself doing the very thing you said you would never do, because you found too much confidence in yourself. I could get arrogant and say “I am thirty-two, I got this under control” NO the wrong attitude. My prayer is still the same as it always has been “God keep me in your will, I desire to do things your way” the truth be told it is even harder now, because I am older and sometimes I feel like my time is running out. I am human and my biological clock is ticking faster than it did in my twenties. But I am convinced my waiting will not be in vain. I would not have this relationship with God if it was not for my purity journey, I would know of God but I would not know God. God desired for me to know him. I know God is real. I can feel and hear him. I never knew I could get to know God like this. I opened my heart to him and he showed me love and grace. All of my issues and struggles has led me to destiny and purpose. God does not come down to meet your standards, you have to change, come up to meet his standards. I had to give up the life I planned and live out the life God ordained for me. God can never use your life, if you do not give it to him. My life has never belonged to me, it belongs to God. You are only here on this earth to fulfill God’s will. I use to be afraid of what God would require of me, what if his will was something I did not desire. I now know that God does not require anything from you that is not already inside of you. The closer you draw to God, his desires will become your desires. I had to allow God to take me through his process. He was maturing and preparing me to trust his plans for my life. He moved me out of his way, no more trying to figure out when and how. I truly can now appreciate the last twenty-one years because it has matured me so much that I can now share with you. The growth in my spiritual life is a result of me not giving up on God during the process. God could not get the glory if there was no development and maturity spiritually during the process. I had to go through the proper stages of grooming to be fully equipped and prepared in order to help someone else and for you to see God through me. Sometimes you can be in a rush to move to the next level, and try to get around the process. I use to wonder why I had to go through so much. I use to think if I have to suffer this much to fulfill destiny. What was I really asking for? I was saying I will take on tribulations. The word “tribulation” means, severe trial or suffering. The different seasons of my life was to fully prepare me for what God has called me to do. You have no idea of what pain you will experience in life, neither do you get to choose at what point in life you will experience it. My purity journey has been all about obedience to God for me. Nothing more. Nothing less. God desires to reveal his character through you. I have been tested and tried. 1 Peter 1:7 says, “these trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold, though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. “so when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed” God test you to purify your faith. He want to know if your faith is real. There is a old cliche that says, “you can talk the talk, but can you walk the walk” Test and trials are for you to learn how to walk the talk. God will find out if you are real or not. Are you for him or are you putting on a show for people. Are you willing to surrender your all to him? A surrendered life to God can be agonizing and uncomfortable at times. I can remember during the stretching of my faith I felt irritated and restless and wanting God to conform to my plans so badly. For years I was focused on my plans and what I imagined to be the perfect life for me, and finally after years I recognized that I had to shift my focus to God plans for me. Sometimes you may think we are living a surrendered life to God because you go to church, I found that to be false, because I did not always live a surrendered life in every area of my life. I was picking and choosing what I wanted to give God control of. There was no peace or joy until I started living in total surrender to God. In order for him to use your life he needs control in every aspect of your life. I had to give up my old way of thinking and how I was processing my journey. I had to stop thinking about the difficulty of the task, and learn to appreciate the difficulty. Whenever I reflect on my life I get really emotional because I can say through everything God has hid me and kept me for his glory. I take no credit for my strength or life.