By Cyndi Garcia
Before Purity + Peace, I didn’t know my identity and I was controlled by the pain of betrayal.
THIS ISN’T FOR ME
After attending one session of Purity + Peace I was ready to run for the hills. I was surrounded by women, who just like me, were broken and looking to God for healing. While I was one that might have needed it most, I wasn’t ready to face it. Fear and doubt immediately took over.
I wasn’t ready to trust a room full of women I barely knew when I had been taught most of my life that women were deceitful and untrustworthy.
Everything inside me was saying:" QUIT!" And, I almost did. I had convinced myself that I had nothing in common with these women and I believed they couldn’t understand what I had been through. I was not going back.
AFRAID TO SHOW MY 'UGLY'
Week two had come and there I was, sitting in the parking lot of Cornerstone, keys still in the ignition. I couldn’t move and for a second it felt as if I couldn’t even breathe. I wanted to leave. I wept silently and prayed. I knew this was where I was supposed to be because the lies of fear and doubt made it evident that I was close to finding breakthrough.
But I was afraid to show my ugly.
The ugly I call being a divorced, broken woman who fought to appear as if she had it all together.
I hadn’t been attending church long and I found it almost impossible to become a woman of God when I had been so consumed with worldly things:
I struggled with self image issues and was battling anorexia.
I was consumed with vanity and I forced closed wounds that were screaming for healing.
Like Martha and Mary after they suffered the loss of their brother, it was hard for me to see the plan God had for me in the midst of the pain. I questioned the goodness of God and that week in Purity + Peace I listened to many testimonies that showcased the same vulnerability and pain in these women. We prayed together. How could they trust me with their truths when I did not trust them?
I wanted to speak, but instead I just listened and nodded my head.
Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. James 5:6
With each week that passed, I developed a sense of belonging and strength being surrounded by these women. I was honored to be with them and though I struggled with speaking out, I felt empowered to know that I was divinely placed to learn about the biblical principles of dating and how women are created to lift each other up. I learned how to trust women and I built friendships that I never thought I would have; that I initially didn’t even want to build.
It became more and more clear that I wasn’t alone on this walk and Purity + Peace played a major role in how I discovered the woman I was created to be, in spite of my imperfections and shortcomings. I learned to embrace the pain and brokenness and allowed God to use it for purpose.
I am no longer afraid of my ugly.
Purity + Peace helped me to see how I can use my hardship as a way to develop a deeper sense of trust in Jesus.
“Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’S purpose the prevails.” Proverbs 19:21
It was an honor and a privilege to be a part of Purity + Peace. I am humbled at the thought that even though I didn’t trust God, let alone a group of women I didn’t know with my pain, He trusted me with theirs and allowed me to be a part of their story. Each session is a pure testimony to the unconditional love of Christ and an opportunity for more women to stand up and tear down the lies of fear and doubt that would otherwise be a hindrance to their walk.
“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present or the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39
Sign up for a Purity + Peace session here.