To my Huguenot 9th-Great Grandmother
Dear unnamed lady: You must have been a strong and amazing woman. First of all, you were a French Protestant of the seventeenth century, which was in itself a feat of bravery. Second of all, you were married to a Protestant, and intended to raise a child in your faith. It would have been easy for you to abjure the faith at any time, to take a stab at a “normal” life with all the rights and privileges your nation allowed those of the Catholic religion.
Whether or not you were personally touched by the king’s dragoons billeting in your home or the violence that often accompanied such bullying, you certainly knew those who were. You must have looked upon the complete lack of personal rights as a grief and fear too heavy to bear. You were considered a traitor to your king simply for adhering to the faith that was so near and dear to your heart. And of course, your little son, so very young, was in danger of being snatched away from your arms and raised in a monastery, brought up to abhor the same doctrines you have so lovingly taught.
I do not know your name, your background, your station in life, or if you had any other children. I assume not, or at least they have never been mentioned. You must have been sick with dread when, after escaping to Switzerland, your husband and the father of your child was detained and you were forced to go on ahead. But you never gave up . . . if you had, if you had lain down and died, if you had fallen plague to fear and gone back to France in the hopes of conversion, everything might have changed --- for the worse.
Instead, you pushed forward, and eventually felt the joy of seeing your husband again. Unnamed grandmother, I would love to have known you, for it is obvious you shared the same beloved principles of Scripture, faith, and truth as I do, that you revered Christ, admired the Reformation, and were strong and brave enough to even leave your homeland so you might believe freely.
Readers, if you have Huguenot ancestors, stop and think about them. They were courageous and intrepid folk, risking everything to emigrate, facing not only physical dangers but the mental stresses of learning a new language, a new culture, and a new way of life. They could have succumbed and given into the norm just to have a “regular” life, but their faith, their interpretation of God and His commands, meant more to them than life itself.
What a proud heritage we claim!
(c) 2012 Joyously Saved