Growing up, I read books like The King’s Daughter, Dear Princess, Beautiful Girlhood, Waiting for Her Isaac, and The Courtship of Sarah MacLean over and over. I would plan out having twenty six children, so I could use every letter of the alphabet when I named them. I would try to devise my own homeschool curriculum based on the ones I had used, and what I liked and didn’t like about them. On top of all that, I was writing my own Proverbs 31 devotional.
And yet, somewhere in all of this, I was still punching things into a “computer” on a tree, and yelling for everyone to get out and climb the Jeffries Tubes because of a warp core breach. Rather than make a hoop skirt, I made a Confederate general’s uniform for the end of unit celebration. I was almost fifteen, the homeschool convention was happening over my birthday, and I wanted two things: a Vision Forum pop gun, and a purity ring from Generations of Virtue.
I got both.
They probably assumed the pop-gun would do little harm, after all, I had seven brothers and probably wanted to use it on them, until I tired of it and returned to my books and daydreams. The people at the Vision Forum booth looked a little more wary when they saw my dad hand the pop-gun over to me, but I didn’t care. After all, I’d grown up fashioning blasters out of Legos with my brothers, so we could play at Star Wars or Star Trek. Now I just had a gun that actually made noise when you shot it!
I spent hours trying to decide on a purity ring. I wanted one with meaning, and I wanted it to be pretty. Besides, the more time I spent there, the more likely I was to convince my parents that I really wanted the newest Ludy book. After we picked up the purity ring, my dad and I had a talk about what it meant. I told him what I wanted, and I promised to remain pure until marriage.
Looking back, I wonder why I was promising things at 14 that were so far in the future. I was blissfully ignorant of the concept of ideas and people changing, and in my naivete, I assumed that what I thought on that day would still hold true in 5 years. Even if it didn’t, I had the guilt of breaking promises hanging over my head.
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NLQ Recommended Reading …
‘Breaking Their Will: Shedding Light on Religious Child Maltreatment‘ by Janet Heimlich
‘Quivering Daughters‘ by Hillary McFarland
‘Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement‘ by Kathryn Joyce