By Karina Valle
Purity + Peace participant at City Wide Church and Cornerstone Christian Center
When I first heard about Purity + Peace, I wasn’t even sure I would fit in.
After that first class though, I left realizing that I wasn’t alone. I wasn’t the only one struggling. I needed to get on track with my walk with God and do some serious digging.
Why was I always feeling like I was missing out on something?
What is holding me back?
I didn’t have the best view of myself.
I was struggling with low self-esteem and self-worth. I had a marriage that I was desperately trying to make work.
My marriage was taking all my time and energy and it wasn’t leading me any closer to God. I was constantly reminded of a past I wasn’t too proud of. I worried more than I prayed and it seemed like I just couldn’t get life right. I flat-out was not
trusting God. I cut Him out without a second thought.
During Purity + Peace I started taking life more serious.
From my parenting...
to my marriage... to my friendships...
to the way I presented myself.
It wasn’t easy.
This walk is not easy.
In John 16:33 it says “In this world we will have trouble. But take heart, I have overcome the world.”
I had to confront a lot of things in order to change and become the woman that God was calling me to be. I had to be obedient, and that’s a scary thing. I had to undo all the lies the enemy filled my head with. I had to break down walls I built. Soon, my eyes were open to patterns and baggage I was carrying around and week after week I learned how to unpack it; I learned to carry my cross and follow Him whole heartedly (Matthew 16:24).
I took these amazing six-week sessions more than once.
Each time, it was a different group of women and I got something different out of it. But one thing came so very clear; my victories and even my heartaches helped the other women I saw every week. Every session I was at a different point in my life, battling something new and I was blown away that my testimony could help someone else. He showed us that He had plans for each and every one of us (Jeremiah 29:11). To see these beautiful women break free from bondage and walk by faith was truly
amazing to witness.
I am in no way shape or form perfect, and that was made obvious recently.
When things get hard, I have the tendency to spiral, and spiral I did. The self-worth problems were back.
I knew satan was in my ear whispering lies, but I just couldn’t shake the thoughts.
I had invested all my hope, time and faith into a marriage that ended in divorce. I felt as if my world came crashing down, because it did.
“Why didn’t I listen to the red flags?
"God I was obedient!"
"WHY am I dealing with this heartache?”
“God, I can’t even breathe with all this anxiety.”
“God, why wasn’t I enough?”
“Will I ever be able to go to sleep or wake up and not be sobbing?”
“What was so wrong with me?”
Day after day, lie after lie, the enemy was right there, tearing me down.
Divorce in the church is rarely talked about, and no one talks about the temptations that are
thrown at you once you're divorced. I had no idea, and it hit me so hard.
Deep down though, I knew that I couldn’t stay in this pain for long. I knew that this pain would
drive me toward temptation, and it would make it so easy to lose myself.
I heard God loud and clear: My PAIN has a PURPOSE! I've been holding on to Romans 8:28 because I know that God will use this for His glory!
Purity and peace changed my life.
So I signed up for Purity + Peace again because in this season of my life I know I have to rely on God more than ever. I am always excited for a new session because I get to come together with other women, just like me. Women who need freedom and healing. Women who need to be reminded that we aren’t alone. This is a new season that will require so much healing and faith. I know I will be able to take it on full force with God and my sisters at my side!
I encourage taking these sessions more than once because no session is the same.
It’s been 8 months since my divorce and God met me where I was and used a room filled with strong, virtuous women to show me that my past is nothing to be ashamed of.
God reminded me, yet again, that:
NOTHING will EVER separate me from His love (Romans 8:38).
I am a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:7).
I am His masterpiece (Ephesians 2:10).
I am set apart (Deuteronomy 14:2).
So whenever the enemy thinks he is getting the best of me, my Father NEVER fails to remind me that I am HIS and no matter what I have gone through or what I will go through, it is nothing compared to the future He has promised me.
And it’s a promise He intends to keep.