The blog world is such a blessing to us Catholics! What a wonderful way to collaborate with and initiate friendships with other faithful Catholics. I am honored to welcome my new bloggy friend, Amanda from Worthy of Agape as this week’s guest blogger!
Amanda is a Youth Minister and is in the trenches doing battle for young souls. In a recent interview, she said, “My heart has been so set on fire for women’s ministry that I wrote a book about the lies that Satan tells women, how Jesus triumphs over those lies, and how to live out His powerful love in our lives.”
Good Girls Only?
To some, my blog and the concept of The Veil can appear to be a club just for “good” girls. It definitely is not! My blog is for all girls who have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). So that would include all of us! We have all taken our own path to this place.
Some have been able to maintain the virtue of Chastity (yay, keep going!). Some have not maintained Chastity but are now more committed than ever (yay for redemption!). And, some are thinking about giving up on their commitment to Chastity (nooo, keep reading!!).
Amanda’s story and the concept of The Veil are for all of us because we all need to be reminded of our frailty in this area. We all need Truth. We also need to be encouraged to seek first our holy God for He is the source of all strength.
God chases all of us. As Matt Maher says, all you’ve got to do is….turn around.
The Peace Of Certainty
Sometimes, I think the reality of The Veil and the beauty and power of Chastity are more easily seen by those who have struggled with unchaste behavior. The proverbial scales fall off and eyesight is restored. The certainty, peace and clarity that result are powerful. The witness of God’s love and mercy is very moving. Amanda’s story is both powerful and moving.
You can follow Amanda on Twitter @worthyofAgape and “like” her Facebook page to stay encouraged in your walk with our Lord and to stay informed on the progress of her book, Worthy. I can’t wait to read it!
Thank you, Amanda for sharing your beautiful story of redemption and for this gorgeous note of encouragement for all of us!
I’ll be perfectly honest, when Cindy asked me to write a guest post about the concept of the veil, chastity and living life as a young, yet unmarried Catholic, I had a pretty strong feeling where God was calling me…and I wanted to run in the opposite direction. I’ve slowly felt the Lord working on my heart and preparing me to share more of my story with the world and every time I feel Him working on my heart I want to throw up the walls and crawl into a hole. But that just won’t work, nor will it make Him very happy, so here goes nothing.
The truth is that I haven’t been 100% chaste in my life so far. I’ve made mistakes, and a lot of them. At one point I told people that my new address was the confessional at my local parish. I had a semester in college, which I refer to as my “stupid decisions” semester. I drank a lot (despite the fact that I was not of age) and hung out with the entirely wrong crowd. I got myself into a lot of sticky situations, and looking back now it is so obvious to me that the Lord and my lovely guardian angel kept me out of any real harm. After college I started dating a guy very seriously, though our relationship wasn’t very pure. We pushed the limits on a lot of physical boundaries. In the end it only led to a lot of heartache when, after nearly a year of dating, he told me that he wasn’t in love with me and never had been, despite the fact that we’d been telling each other “I love you” for nearly nine months. He said that just because he wasn’t in love with me didn’t mean the relationship needed to end. I disagreed and walked away confused, hurt, and even angry.
The next serious relationship I entered started out as hands-down the holiest, most beautiful relationship I had ever been in. We went to Mass together, we prayed the Rosary together daily (even if we were across town, we prayed it at the same time). A number of our friends said that we were the picture perfect couple. Eventually, we got lazy. We stopped going to daily Mass together as frequently, we stopped praying the Rosary together or at all. As our prayer lives suffered our physical temptations increased and once again I found myself in a relationship that pushed more physical boundaries than I care to admit. A few months after we’d given up our prayer life together we made a committed effort to get back to it, in part because we wanted to kick the physical temptations, but also because we knew we had erred in losing our ultimate focus: God. Sad to say that perhaps it was too little too late, but eventually that relationship ended too, leaving me more broken-hearted than the first. In truth, I hadn’t guarded my heart. I was so emotionally invested in the relationship and our future together that I had stopped asking God if this was really where He wanted me, so when the relationship ended I was crushed.
I have, for quite some time, loved learning about the Holy of Holies and the concepts of the Ark of the Covenant as well as the curtain or veil that guards the Holy of Holies. When I first read Cindy’s concept of the veil I felt my heart leap for joy! YES! This is spot on! I’ve lived it, but not in the way I would recommend others to live it. I’ve tried (clearly) to lift my veil before it was time and before God wanted me to. I fought with all of my might to lift that veil and let someone enter the Holy of Holies (a.k.a. my heart), regardless of the fact that God wasn’t the one lifting that veil. I can promise you, based on my own experiences, that it only leads to hurt and heartache – things I wouldn’t wish for anyone. Because I tried to lift that veil before it’s appointed time (see Ecclesiastes 3:1-8), I was left feeling insecure and unsure of myself, my worth as a woman and child of God, and of the relationships I was in. Instead of clinging to God, I clung to the relationships with all that I had because they became all I knew.
When those relationships ended I was left alone with a God who had been patiently waiting for me to be washed in His love. He washed me clean. He restored me, reminded me (and continues to remind me) of my worthiness and His unconditional love for me. He’s lowered the portions of the veil I foolishly tried to raise and granted me the patience to wait for His time. I know now that His time is better than mine. Saint Catherine of Siena said that “everything short of God must and will disappoint you.” Her words are exactly true because in my attempt to raise the veil before its appointed time I tried to make myself and those other relationships my God, so they naturally had to disappoint me. Those relationships had to end, and now I see that those guys ending those relationships was actually the most loving thing they could have done for me because it thrust me back into the loving arms of God. No matter which side of the veil you find yourself on, there is a God who is waiting for you and inviting you into the Holy of Holies, into His glorious and loving heart. The invitation is always there and He is patiently and lovingly waiting for you to accept. Will you?
Next Week: Myth #2 Busted: God Has Forgotten About Me
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Thank you and God Bless!
Amanda, your vulnerability here is so incredibly beautiful! I can identify so well with having the picture-perfect image of a holy relationship, which can sometimes mask important issues the two of you should talk about or can make you feel like temptations won’t be a big deal, because you’re making all these efforts to be spiritual together. Edward Sri talks a lot about this in “Men, Women, and the Mystery of Love,” his book on “Love and Responsibility,” and the first time I read it, I saw myself and my boyfriend at the time so clearly. The Lord’s healing is so amazing!
Thanks so much! I’ve heard about Dr. Sri’s book a lot, I really need to pick that one up!
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