Monday, August 13, 2012

virtue, integrity.

I want to be a person of integrity.  
Whatever the outcome of this season is, whether joy or sorrow, I want to look back at these moments and know that I was a woman of virtue; that my words spoken were out of the heart of God, that my refrain was the wisdom of silence.
I want to know that I handled every situation rightfully, that there has never been a reason to be secretive, or with vice, or with bitterness.
I want to look back at these times and know that I held His character, and grew in maturity.

So help me God!
So help me to live!

Those are the things I desire, the things I long for in my life right now.  I face these testings, these trials, these situations. I face people who are like chisels to my cold, offended heart; I face people who are like spring water to my soul.  And I remind myself to be that woman of virtue, to hold my cool, to hold back my words, to exercise wisdom.  then my self argues and my weakness sets in...

See, for every high hope that I set, I have at least once felt hopeless,
Every period of waiting that I endured, I have at least twice lost patience.
Every sincere attempt to be fully trusting, I have at least thrice panicked in fear.
At least.
I don't particularly want to remember these things.

But I recall the words of the Apostle Paul:

And now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there.
I only know that in every city, the Holy Spirit warns me that prisons and hardships are facing me.  However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and compete the task the Lord Jesus has given me - the task of testifying to the gospel of God's grace.
 - Acts 20.22-24

More than knowing that I was one of virtue and integrity,
I want to be known as one to whom the great grace of God has been bestowed.
I want to be known as one who cannot, who is not, who could not,
apart from the divine hand of mercy and Love.

Ah, that I could claim virtue and integrity only because 
His heart is a furnace that burns and provokes me, and 
His presence is a weight that pushes and steadies me, and
His eyes see me and they know me and I am never out of His grasp, and He has loved me and pursued me and wrecked me and destroyed me and built me again.

Essentially, it has been His kindness that has led me to repentance, and in repentance and grace, I grow in character.
So help me, God.
So help me to live.
So help me to consider my life nothing,
to always testify to grace.


currently reading: Jane Austen, Persuasion
currently listening to: Sufjan Stevens, Seven Swans, "Size Too Small" (For some reason, it's brought me to tears lately), 

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