Well, believe it or not, I'm actually posting two days in a row. This is just a super honest post about something I've been thinking and praying about lately. I'm going to be totally honest. Chastity is hard.
The tough thing about living with women much older than you is that they love love stories and romances. There's nothing wrong with those beautiful hallmark movies about families and love and children and marriage and all that wholesome goodness. However, when you come from a broken family and you've sacrificed that part of your life for the Kingdom, it does start to wear on you during the Christmas love story season.
On top of that, it is difficult at times to see children come in and out of your classroom where you love them with all your heart and they don't realize it. It is increasingly difficult I think for young women entering religious life to reconcile their lived family situations, which are increasingly difficult, with the experiences of many sisters with whom they live. It is painful for me sometimes to think of the idea of family because of my own family experiences. I've been wallowing in it a little bit these days. I know that isn't the best or correct thing to do but it's just where I've been.
Anyway, tonight when I was wallowing, I got a phone call from a friend. It is amazing what friendship in religious life can really do for you. I became friends with this sister who is about 40 years older than me, when I took care of her sick sister, who was also a religious sister. I only talked to my friend for ten minutes, and not about chastity; however, I left the call feeling loved, strengthened, and ready to continue on my way in spite of the sadness I've been feeling.
Community can both be a challenge and a blessing in trying to live the vows. Sometimes we are so worried about being "holier than thou" that we shy away from challenging one another to live the Gospel more radically. Sometimes we are so concerned with keeping up appearances that we forget to share with one another our struggles and needs, especially when it comes to chastity. Sometimes we get so defensive we lose the freedom to be obedient. In short, humanity comes in and makes things confusing and hard.
God is so good though because just when I think it is too difficult He takes care of me through the sisters He has chosen for me. His ways are mysterious and as I told my kids recently, you can't find a better man than Jesus.