A woman should hide her heart in God, and a man must go there to find it. | Crystalina Evert
This space was previously filled with my recent revelations regarding emotional purity and the embodiment of feminine holiness. You know, all of that fancy schmancy stuff that I tend to helplessly mull over every now and again. But alas, my original post was inexplicably deleted yesterday when I logged onto Blogger via my iPhone... And wouldn't you know it, I simply cannot figure out how to restore the darn file. Don't you just hate it when technology deviously turns on you like that?

Although I haven't (yet) convinced myself to completely reconstruct the lost post, I do want to leave you with this powerful piece of wisdom by a woman I greatly admire. In only 17 words, Mrs. Evert hits the nail on the head in her definition of a holy relationship, don't you think? The quote has been a favorite of mine since high school, something that I've read, pondered, and reminded myself of time and time again. So you can imagine my surprise and utter shame when I suddenly realized a few weeks ago that, regardless of my pure intentions, I could not honestly describe myself as a woman who hides her heart in God. In fact, I'm kind of an open book when it comes to my thoughts and emotions concerning love. (Hopeless romantic, remember?) And as much as I hate to admit it, I am only just beginning to understand the message behind Evert's profound and mysterious words.  

In case you're wondering, I'm not quite ready to share the personal experiences that led up to this harsh revelation, but I will mention the indescribable peace that I've been given in the aftermath of everything. A peace of forgiveness, protection, and love. It is by the grace of God (and through the intercession of one God-fearing friend) that I finally recognize and am able to break free from the past emotional struggles that have kept me from becoming the woman He created me to be... A woman who regards every man first and foremost as her brother in Christ rather than a potential partner, who is not burdened by the restless anxiety to find her soulmate, or quick to attach herself emotionally to the men with whom she feels an instant connection. In short, a woman who does not walk through life with her heart balancing ever so carelessly on her sleeve, for all the world to see.  

Instead, a lady of virtue knows that she is a daughter of the Divine King, worthy of being sought out and pursued by a man that will recognize her beauty and give glory to her Creator. She is the one who buries her heart in Jesus, her heavenly Bridegroom, and patiently rests in Him while the Lord perfects her unique love story. She is far too precious to be swept off of her feet by just anyone, and she prudently resists the urge to fall slave to her fleeting desires and passions. A woman of God is free, fearless, firm and faithful. Her heart is as pure as gold, and—knowing this—she does not make haste to give it away.

Beautiful image, no? And real, too. Regardless of who we are or what we've done, the demons we've faced or the battles we've lost, that indestructible spirit is at the core of our feminine beings, constantly guiding us towards holiness and ultimate fulfillment. That said, I do not pretend to believe that emotional chastity is an easy concept to embrace, especially in a world where everything is founded on momentary feelings and romantic whims. If it were simple, I wouldn't feel the undeniable need to dwell on the subject for so long in an attempt to fully grasp what it means to be pure. But I do, because it's not simple. Nor is it irrelevant, outdated, or trivial. Every single one of us is called to guard our delicate hearts, out of respect for our future spouses and for the sake of our own happiness. And why shouldn't we? They are valued far above rubies, after all.    

Update (7/30/13): After a year and a half of pondering what it truly means to "guard my heart" as a Christian woman, a few key things have become clearer to me. For one, I've realized that being emotionally chaste does NOT have anything to do with ignoring or hiding my true feelings about someone or something. The Evangelista makes a pretty good argument—one that I happen to agree with—about the importance of being realistic, not robotic, in matters of the heart. Check it out!

Photo by Ben White.