When I lived in Costa Rica, the mantra of the people was “Pura vida”…”Pure Life”. This wasn’t just a cool thing to say. It was not uncommon to hear it followed by loud cheers and see big smiles on the faces of the people. You said it. You lived it…life…to the fullest.
Yesterday, my daughter turned 13. From the time she was born, I pretty much knew what we would be doing on her 13th birthday. Of course, we would be having lots of fun celebrating her, but for her Dad and me, it would also be a time to give one of the most special and significant gifts we could imagine…the gift of Covenant. While the details of our time with McKenna will always be private and personal to us, the message for all of us is the same…God wants covenant relationship with us.
A covenant is a solemn agreement to engage in or refrain from a specified action
For Jeff and me, we entered into covenant when we stood before God and man, committing our lives to Him and to only one another “for as long as we both shall live.” I am his, and he is mine. We entered into covenant with our daughter on her 13th birthday that she would live a pure life…a life for an audience of One. And, we gave her a very special symbol of our pure love for her…a symbol to remind her to save that pure love for her future husband. A symbol that she will always have to remind her Whose girl she is…a Jesus girl. A symbol that says, “You were made for more.”
Prom is this weekend here in my community. Let me share a little secret with you. I never went to prom. I lived in Venezuela and we didn’t have prom, but what we did have were the same pressures, expectations, and hormones every girl faces. A very long time ago, you see, I made a covenant with God. I chose, for myself, to believe that I, too, was made for more…that there was a young man out there that God had chosen for me, and only me, to love. I chose a “Pura Vida,” a pure life. Nope, it wasn’t popular. Sure, I was made fun of, and you better believe I was an insecure teenager. I sought approval of others. I was desperate for a boy to love me, to find me beautiful. I walked on the very edge of making very dangerous decisions, but very, very deep in the quiet of my heart, I heard God say, “You were made for more.” You know, He’s still telling me that. I still face challenges…challenges that would be so much more complicated had I given myself to someone that really didn’t love me back, or given myself because that’s “what every teenage girl does.” How much more complicated they would have been if I believed that giving myself to another was some sort of “rite of passage.” It was hard to keep my covenant. It stunk, at times, but I believed something much stronger than myself. “He loves me. I am beautiful. I am much more than a one night stand. I’m a Jesus girl.”
And don’t let anyone put you down because you’re young. Teach believers with your life: by word, by demeanor, by love, by faith, by integrity. 1Timothy 4:12 MSG
Do you know who you are? Better yet, do you know Whose you are? I do. Your face is as clear as a bell to me. You are BEAUTIFUL. You are His. You were made for so much more than all of this.