Thursday, July 28, 2011

Young Women's Values—Integrity

Integrity: moral uprightness, the state of being whole and undivided

I have been putting off this particular value because it has always been my favorite, and because until fairly recently, I've been feeling anything but whole and undivided. Or morally upright, to be honest.

I have learned something now about integrity. For reasons obvious to those of you who have read my blog, the past two and a half years have been full of pain and grief for me. I experienced a marriage which completely shattered who I was. Things that I thought were a part of me were lost, and I had to do something I swore to myself I would never do: end my marriage which had been started in the temple of my God. For this reason, I found myself with a lack of words to express what I feel about living a life of integrity.

I know that many interpret integrity to mean, at least in part, chastity. But when I think of integrity, I think of a white knight, a woman who stands tall, sword and spear in hand, ready to protect and defend what she believes in. Integrity is about moral fiber, about the strength to try to stand while buffeted about by the winds of evil. Integrity is being and becoming what you believe in, no matter the price. Virtue (which will be the final installment of this series) is finding the right things to believe in.

Long ago, and many times since, I have come to certain choices in my life which were clear. I could either choose to hold on to what I knew about God, or I could give up. It frightens me to think how close I have been to giving up. But, blessed be the Lord, I have been able to hold on long enough for support to come, usually from family and friends.

The essence of integrity is found in the words of three valiant men who, surrounded by those who oppose them, nonetheless accepted the consequences of their integrity. Faced with painful death, they answered the king who demanded their capitulation, "We are not careful to answer thee in this matter. If it be so [that you kill us], our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up." (emphasis added)

When I faced the loss of everything I love, I sank down into despair. I knew that by doing what I felt was right, I could lose it all. I feared that the Lord would not deliver me. But in combing through the pieces of my heart, I found a diamond of truth which would not be destroyed. I knew that even if the Lord did not deliver me, He is a just and loving God. I knew that I would trust Him no matter the consequences. Like the three men in Daniel, the Lord delivered me from some of what I faced. And, after months of agony, I felt myself healed almost overnight.

And though I was wounded, I am no longer broken.


  1. Sometimes our tests are severe. It's great to hear you're healing SR.

  2. There are so many people in the world who have gone through, or are going through, severe difficulties in life, that you just want to give them a hug and rest for a time. Its one of the reasons I wish gender relations haven't gotten so screwed up its hard to give a hug to anyone anymore.


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