Dear Women of My Childhood Church,
About a year ago I wrote you a letter that I never finished, never sent. I had begun my writing in anger, but dwindled off in sadness. It was a letter that was not material to send.
Reflecting upon my years as a child and young teen in our church, I was angry that I had never been taught theology, had not been taught how to study the Bible, or how to practically apply the Word of God to my life. I felt cheated and unloved, because I had begun to discover just how rich and full the Scriptures were, and how little I had been equipped to grow in spiritual truth.
The hurt and anger were inside of me because I felt as if the good, wholesome meat had been withheld from me, and I had been given only milk. I had tasted of something more, something deep and satisfying, but did not know how to find it in full, so the frustration grew in my heart.
As I wrote, my mind began to see each of your faces and recall the sounds of your voices telling me the stories of your past. Almost all of you, the mothers of my childhood, were the first generation of Christians in your family. No one came before you to teach and disciple–You had to learn of biblical things for yourself. You were searching for the good feast as much as I was.
The tools and knowledge to teach what I was looking for had not yet been introduced to you, and the books with which the Christian bookstore had fed you left so, so much goodness and truth untouched. We were all fed the pink-letter Bible of lesser truth, so that is what we carried around with us, not knowing any better.
The truth is that we had all been cheated. We had all been left to try to learn what was good and true by ourselves, without the guidance and council of women more mature in the faith. You cannot pass on what you do not know, so we were all left in some sort of spiritual immaturity and longing.
How can I be angry with you when you taught me all the knowledge that you had, and probably longed for substance and growth as much as I did?
While you may not have taught me knowledge, you taught me heart.
You taught me how to drop everything and take a homemade meal to a family, how to take a child onto your lap and love them as your own, and how to roll up your sleeves to work hard at any task as unto Christ. I learned how to share genuine prayer requests, write encouraging notes, and be quick to laugh at myself. You taught me how to be generous with my money, talents, and time. I watched you open the Scriptures everyday to read and partake. You braided my hair and taught me how to ask and answer questions. I watched you love Jesus Christ deeply and how that love spilled over onto others. On Sunday mornings I would look and observe you singing praises with gusto, and other times I would see you weep together in lament. You gave the Lord all that you had, and in doing so, gave yourselves over for Christ’s sake and mine. You taught me how to have a heart for the Lord, how to be hungry for His presence.
With your lives you taught me the things that I didn’t know that I was learning.
You are the mothers of my childhood, and I would not trade you away.
Happy Mother’s Day to you all!