“Therefore, put on the full ARMOR of GOD
so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil.
Then after the BATTLE you will still be standing firm.
Stand your ground,
By putting on the belt of TRUTH and
the body ARMOR of God’s righteousness.
Lord of Hosts
Erin ended up riding the bus alone a couple more times that year before summer vacation. And even though she’d learned her lesson to not spend time anywhere else but at the bus stop, the fear of being alone still gripped and frightened her.
Then, at God’s appointed time Erin became His Princess, never to be alone again, something life-changing that happened at the beginning of the following year.
Erin’s favorite nun was who God sent to prepare her and her classmates for their First Holy Communion. Even more important was preparing Erin for her first confession. The nun who God chose was raised a Baptist and Erin didn't know that she was about to meet her Prince! The Prince of Peace. The Best Friend she wanted and needed Who would be with her always. The Son of God who Erin fell in love with.
All her life, Erin would have Someone who would guide her “He leads me” and protect her and make her feel safe no matter where in the world—all around the world is where He planned to take her someday. The truth is, God causes everything to happen for good. The first and most important good that came from this, was to meet that Someone who would never forsake, abandon, or desert Erin. Someone who understood. A Mighty Warrior who would fight her battles—the Lord of Hosts— the Lord of Armies who led all the warring angels.
It happened when the nun explained that even though there was a priest in the confessional, to imagine that they were speaking to God Himself, confessing everything to Him. Confess everything they'd ever done wrong right there in the church pew. So while kneeling quietly in the dark church, Erin confessed everything to God beginning with how she wanted her brother punished for making her go home alone. Erin confessed to stealing the trophy in the Party Shop and Erin confessed for each time she talked in class when it was forbidden.
After Erin finished she immediately felt wonderfully different!! Tears of joy began running down her cheeks. The nun saw her and gave her a hug. But the hug she felt was inside and she knew it was from Him. Erin was happier than she ever felt in her life. Erin felt lighter, happier, safer, and peaceful.
Erin’s name actually means peace, but she never felt peaceful. Not like this peace. It was like it surpassed, exceeded, all her understanding.
After a few minutes, while everyone visited the priest (the part Erin didn’t like and learned later was unnecessary), the nun passed around “unconsecrated” hosts said to be the body of Christ. Then in a very quiet voice, she said, "Now it's time to ask the Lord into your heart because your hearts are now clean." She said, "Ask Him to come in and live there, in your heart, giving your life and your future to Him." Bowing her head again, Erin asked Him to live in her heart and at that moment she changed instantly and radically.
Erin didn’t need any more religion, nor do you. We want and need a relationship with our Creator. Religion isn’t bad or wrong as long as it doesn’t get in the way of a relationship that isn’t earned but given freely.
The change in Erin was so profound that her parents believed it was the Catholic school she went to. They said this to everyone who asked, “What’s gotten into Erin? She’s not that rambunctious, naughty little girl that used to give you so much trouble.” Everyone believed it was the strict Catholic school and the nuns who had changed her. In a way they were right, it was a nun who introduced Erin to find forgiveness and ask the Lord to live in her heart. But what changed Erin was something you can also have.
From that day on, Erin was never the same. That year the Lord became Erin’s FBF Forever Best Friend. Due to the way God orchestrated Erin’s life, just like many people in the Bible, and maybe just like YOUR life too—Erin’s life was separated and she was set apart—separate and set apart from just about everyone.