When I was thirteen, my parents gave me a purity ring.  Because my father - a very abusive man - was involved in giving me the ring, I really hated it.  It was a reminder of my father and his hypocrisy.  Two weeks later, the ring got smashed in a bicycle accident.  I wasn’t sad to see it go.  In fact, I appreciated the irony of what happened to the ring and my accompanying promise to be pure. A year ago, I came to the Refuge, and I quickly realized how important purity is to the Refuge.  At the time, purity was not one of my values - I hated the idea of a purity ring because of my experiences with my father and the ring he had given me.  I also thought that it was absurd for a former prostitute to commit to purity.  I was on board with every other aspect of the Refuge, but I didn’t want to make a commitment to purity because I didn’t want to make a promise I wasn’t going to keep, and I didn’t want to be a hypocrite.

It’s a taken a year, but I’ve finally realized that because I am following Jesus, I am a new creation, and that applies to every area of my life.  Jesus doesn’t define me by my mistakes, so why should I keep defining myself by my past?  I’m not a prostitute anymore and I have as much right as anyone else to make a commitment to be pure.  Making that promise doesn’t make me a hypocrite; it simply means I’ve been given a second chance.

Last week I had a small, intimate dinner with four people who are like family to me, and I made a promise to be pure one day at a time.  Of all my Refuge memories, it is one of my most meaningful.  All my bad memories of my father and the ring he gave me are being redeemed, and I wear my new purity ring everyday as a beautiful reminder of everything God has done for me.

-A Pure Refuge Guest