Onto the necklaces portion of my #ObjectsTellTales series within #JustStartWriting.
Every Christian girl or boy who has been to youth group, gone to a purity retreat or conference, and was super convicted about staying pure until marriage wanted a purity ring. I was one of those people. So, I asked my parents for a purity ring in high school.
I didn’t expect it to be anything fancy. I told my parents about a couple of places they could probably get it, one of them being Walmart. I just wanted to have a token, a reminder that my purity was precious and valuable to me. And, although the main point was to uphold saving sex until marriage, being pure as a Christian is more than that. It’s being pure in your words as well, and other actions, not just ones about love relationships.
Well, my fifteenth birthday rolled around, and I can still remember that night. There were basketball games I had to cheer for, but beforehand, my parents took me to Olive Garden to celebrate my birthday. I sat at that table with my family, in my cheer uniform, eagerly awaiting to open my presents and see what kind of dessert the Olive Garden staff would bring out for me. I’m pretty sure it was cheesecake, since that is my favorite.
I expected to get a purity ring. I mean, what parent wouldn’t get their teen something that represented purity? I was pretty confident that it was among the presents.
What I didn’t expect was a necklace. Or that that necklace would come in a Tiffany’s blue box, inside a Tiffany’s blue pouch.
The necklace was a key heart, the heart made from the Tiffany’s turquoise blue. Inside the box was a typed card from Mom and Pa, telling me how proud they were of me for wanting to stay pure, and keep myself for the person I’d eventually get married to.
I think I remember asking about a ring, though. Not that I wasn’t grateful for the necklace, I was just curious as to what made Mom and Pa buy an expensive necklace over a ring that probably wouldn’t have cost half of what my necklace cost. And Pa explained to me that they wanted to get me something that was extremely valuable if it was to represent my purity, because my purity is extremely valuable. And a cheap ring from Walmart would definitely not reflect that.
Unfortunately, I no longer wear that necklace. I actually don’t think I have it anymore. And it’s not because I no longer want to stay pure. The necklace broke a couple of times; once the chain snapped, I think. I specifically remember the turquoise falling off the heart one day as I was working facilities in college. And the ultimate break would happen during a dodgeball game my sophomore or junior year. Ironic too, because I was not treating my teammates (who were also my hallmates) right during that game. I was frustrated, and I even cussed, and right after that, my purity necklace broke. I actually wrote a blog post on that night, how it affected me to hear me say something unclean, something I never would have said before, and then have my necklace break. It just didn’t seem like a coincidence to me.
I know that not wearing my purity necklace anymore doesn’t mean I’m not pure. I do miss it sometimes, but I know that my purity history doesn’t need to be caught up in an object. It also doesn’t mean that while I wore it, I was perfect at being completely pure. There were definitely plenty of times I wore that necklace, and my actions weren’t reflecting what it represented, like in that dodgeball game. Part of me wishes I could get it fixed, if I could only find it. But I’m okay with not having it. Like I said, it’s just an object; it tells a tale, and represents something, but it doesn’t have to bear the weight of life on it. Things come and go, break and wear away.
I still take a stand for purity, necklace or not. It doesn’t mean I’m perfect at it, but I still believe that it is a beautiful, wonderful thing.