for I have walked in my integrity,
and I have trusted in the Lord without wavering.
2 Prove me, O Lord, and try me;
test my heart and mind.
3 For your steadfast love is before my eyes,
and I walk in faithfulness to you.*
4 I do not sit with the worthless,
nor do I consort with hypocrites;
5 I hate the company of evildoers,
and will not sit with the wicked.
6 I wash my hands in innocence,
and go around your altar, O Lord,
7 singing aloud a song of thanksgiving,
and telling all your wondrous deeds.
8 O Lord, I love the house in which you dwell,
and the place where your glory abides.
9 Do not sweep me away with sinners,
nor my life with the bloodthirsty,
10 those in whose hands are evil devices,
and whose right hands are full of bribes.
11 But as for me, I walk in my integrity;
redeem me, and be gracious to me.
12 My foot stands on level ground;
in the great congregation I will bless the Lord. Psalm 26
Dear Aunt Elizabeth,
Mama and I have been preparing for our travels to Bethlehem all day. We were interrupted by a visit from some of my school friends, most of them still single yet betrothed. They came and brought me a few gifts. They must of heard that we had married privately. At first it was a nice visit but after awhile I could tell they wanted to pump me for information about our marriage bed. They wouldn't believe my story about the angel. They started poking fun at me, and told me I was a silly fool. They said crude things about Joseph and me and called me all sorts of names. Mama came in from outside when she heard their taunting and sent them away. She was furious! I was too broken-hearted to be angry then. She held me as I wept. Girls can be so mean and so cruel! Mama told me not to listen to them and to not worry what people think or say. I wish I could, but it still hurts like a knife to the heart.
Joseph had been going to the market to gather supplies for our trip. Tomorrow he will get the burro and we will start out shortly after that. When he came here with all the supplies, Mama told him about the girls. I was napping, and he came in and woke me to find out if I was all right. I told him I was but he insisted on holding me and telling me he would protect me. He was so tender and kind. And he was furious when I told him about the things they had said about us.
Joseph paced a bit to release his anger, then he told me something I will hold close forever. He said that Lord sometimes asks impossible things of us, and that with that asking also provides for us, despite all of the challenges and the world's cruel ways. God has a great task for us but we do not have to do this alone. We will walk under the shadow of angel's wings. It made me feel so much better. And it made me sure that we can, together, make this trip to Bethlehem and back.
Please pray for us as the journey is at hand.