Every year I focus on a word or phrase.   I start looking for the word around October and by December it is clear to me what my focus will be for the coming year.  I start trying to find a word of my choosing but over the years it has been chosen for me. There will be a word that keeps showing up in my reading, prayers, meditations, and conversations.  Some years I am quite happy with the word that is chosen for me and I look forward to learning and growing with pleasant anticipation.  Some years like this past year, 2013, my anticipation is a bit anxious.  My word for this past year was PURITY.

Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Psalm 51:10

Believe me purity is not a word I would have willingly chosen for myself.   I know I am far from pure of heart and I knew in January the year 2013 was going to be one of hard work and tears and frustration.  I tried to find a different word but the Spirit was adamant and kept the word front and center for weeks; so purity it was.

I learned a lot about myself this year.  I knew before and have had it confirmed; I do not have a pure heart.  But I did not know just how impure it is until I began this year-long journey and found out just how lacking I am in this virtue.  This year I learned that my heart harbors anger, rebellion, bitterness, unkindness, selfishness…the list goes on…it is a long list.

But God is good and He has given me His Spirit as a Helper.  He has shown me not only the bad and ugly but has shown me the good, too.  I have learned that my negativity is aggressive and my positive traits are passive.  In reality the  negative is not stronger but does often overshadow the positive because it is so ingrained.  I have accepted the negative for so long that it has been comfortable for me to live in its nasty shadow.

The past year has been one of many battles and I admit that there were times I was tired of always being on alert and sensitive to what I was thinking and believing.  There were times when the negative thoughts and habits would pour through and out of me and all I could think of was the hideous and ugly sin that was my life for so long.  Thoughts of my past would flood my being and I would feel worthless and hopeless.  I just wanted to give up.

Then the Spirit would remind me that I have been forgiven by my Lord and the ugliness has been washed away and forgotten. He would show me how to sweep away the negative and let the positives of life fill the newly empty places in my heart.  He would remind me that Satan cannot be in the same place as the Holy Spirit.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: 
The old has gone, the new is here!
2 Corinthians 5:17

Is my heart pure and clean today?  No.  But some serious housekeeping has been done and continues on.  There are still nooks and crannies that need attention.  The task does not seem overwhelming anymore because I know it is not just me and my mop and bucket.  I have a Helper who supplies the extra strength disinfectant cleaner.

And there are the regular appointments with my Wonderful Counselor who tells me,

Forget the former things;
do not dwell on the past.
See, I am doing a new thing!
Isaiah 43:18-19a

He is an amazing God!  He renews a steadfast spirit within me.  To Him all the glory!

I will praise you, O Lord my God, with all my heart;
I will glorify your name forever.
Psalm 86:12

Blessings this day of grace,

patricia

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9 thoughts on “Reflections on My Word for 2013: Purity

  1. Patricia, recently as I have worked through a hurt in my life, God brought Jesus’ words from the Sermon on the Mount to my mind, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” It struck me that if I want to be open to receive from God and His Word, I must guard my heart to keep it pure. Thus, I have made purity a focus for me this year. Thank you for your challenging email around this very subject.

    1. Delaine, this was the hardest word for me! I struggled all year and just recently have come to see the struggle as a blessing. Soon I will write about my word for 2014. It came out of my year with purity. I will pray with you as you learn what you need to protect your heart and keep it pure.

  2. Patricia, I could have written (not so elegantly) this post. Your reflections are honest and full of understanding and hope. The fact that you have stayed true to the call to purity (learning about it and self) is a wonderful testament of His love and power to redeem all that we fear lost. I sometimes feel that I am so far from where I should be in my walk with Christ that I lose hope, but then He speaks one way or another and leads me on. I often fear I will never have a pure heart forgetting that He in me is purity, if only I’d let Him reign.

    I love that you get a special word for the upcoming year and that you are diligent to follow the lessons of that chosen word. What a blessing! Thanks for sharing your heart with us. I’ve learned from it today.

    1. Elizabeth, Thank you for your kind words. Purity was the hardest of all the words I have had over the years. It is such a blessing that we have the Spirit to encourage and protect our fragile hearts…and that He doesn’t let us slide.
      I think 2014 is going to be difficult but maybe not like last year. I will be writing about it soon.
      Blessings to you.

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