You were twelve, and you were very serious.
Over the years, I realized the reason for your decision was more unction of the Holy Spirit than you understood at the time.
Your passion for purity wasn’t a passing fad or a piece of jewelry. Others took those vows alongside of you, but so many left you standing. Alone. I know their compromise hurt you. They said they had your back—then laid down their swords and gave up, surrendering their fight.
Is there anything more frightening, than standing on a battlefield alone?
And, loneliness amplifies the chorus of discouragement and despair. It is tempting to forget why you entered this battle in the first place. The faith that got you this far has grown stale, and that doesn’t help. Looking over your shoulder, you see the others going on with life. They don’t look so bad off, do they? They survived, didn’t they? Is it really so wrong to decide to give up the fight? Resistance begins to seem futile.
Now, I don’t want to put upon you the burden of saving France. You don’t have to be Joan of Arc—being you is quite enough. I just want to remind you that, like Joan, you are fighting a holy war. You are a warrior. God is not testing you; He is asking you to trust Him. You’ve taken a stand—a very public stand—and it’s not easy. You just have to decide if it’s still worth it.
(I first published this on 8/4/13, dedicated to my daughter.
I am thankful she kept fighting.)