For this I was born
“I do not fear the soldiers, for my road is made open to me; and if the soldiers come, I have God, my Lord, who will know how to clear the route that leads to the Dauphin. It was for this that I was born!” — Joan of Arc
“If Joan of Arc could turn the tide of an entire war before her 18th birthday, you can get out of bed.” — E. Jean Carroll
Whether you see Joan of Arc as a leader sent from God, or a delusional country girl whose power lay entirely in the imagination of her people, her story is remarkable and bears close scrutiny. When I was a young girl, I was captivated by her role in history — a fascination that remains to this day — and the more I read about her, the more interesting she becomes. Even crusty skeptics such as Mark Twain have become ardent admirers.
Through writing a novel, I have experienced the magic of creating a world entirely in my own mind, and then spending time there among characters who became quite real to me. I can easily understand how Joan’s trance-like visits with the saints may have been entirely a product of a self-constructed fantasy world. What is harder to explain is how she went on, against all odds, to change the course of a seemingly endless conflict.
Regardless of what other forces were at work, Joan’s absolute faith in God and the purpose she believed to be her calling led her through perils, injuries and ultimately, a ghastly death at the stake. Among many other lessons to be drawn from her life, her resolve is an inspiration to me as I negotiate daily difficulties that seem laughably minute in comparison.
That second quote grabbed me because, frankly, I’ve been struggling quite a lot lately, and there are many days when it’s an effort just to get out of bed and face another day. Still, when I look at my life, despite numerous disappointments, heartaches and failures, I honestly believe that I am doing what I was born to do.
Chances are, if you examine the many roles you play and the people who depend on your faithful diligence, you will be able to say the same. Most of us were not born to be remembered in the history books, but that makes our calling no less important. We can rest assured that when we answer a divine summons to a life we may or may not have chosen for ourselves, our road will be made open.