Sunday, January 4, 2015

This is the Conclusion

After two years, I have finally come to the conclusion of this four year adventure. The answer was given to me today through a simple text message from a friend, asking one of the difficult questions that no one has ever been able to answer. It sparked something hungry in me and I could not ignore it.

Do you think that those who don't believe in God (as the one and only) can still go to heaven? If they don't believe in the existence of other worlds, etc...

This is a very big question and it will take a while for me to answer, but bear with me.

First off, there are still millions of people who haven't heard about God (from a Christian tradition). There are also over 1 billion people who believe in the same God (Muslim and Judaism) but with different beliefs and religious culture. There are also Hindus and Buddhists who believe in Jesus and are inclusive in their religion. There are also people who believe in smaller religions, like indigenous and Jainism and Sikh and so on.

Some Christians, and probably most, insist that one must be an affirmed Christian to go to heaven. The Bible says this. Now, I am not in the business of denying the Bible. However, I am in the right to discern and interpret the Bible. The Bible calls this "the priesthood of all believers". And since I identify as a Christian, I am speaking from a Christian tradition. I do not have the right to speak for Christians as a whole, but I do have the right to explain to what God has shown me in my life. I do believe that the All (he's technically not a He, but okay) has shown me.

This sounds like your typical answer, but it is not.

My first affirmation is that I believe that God loves everyone. I believe God showed this, in my tradition, through the death of Jesus Christ, who is God (all of John 10). I believe in the Holy Spirit, who drives people to love each other. I believe that God is love (1 John 4:8). I believe that the teachings of Jesus were that of kindness, truth, honesty, meekness, and Grace (Matthew 5). I believe that Jesus died for my sins, and that trusting Him has saved me in turn (Romans 5:8). I believe that fear is not from God. "Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced His perfect love" (1 John 4:18). I believe that there is no male of female or race in Christ. I believe that all people were made in God's image (Galatians 5:8). I believe in the teachings that Jesus stated in Matthew 5. I believe that the whole of Christianity can be summed up like this, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and soul and mind, and love your neighbor as yourself" (Luke 10: 25-28). This is the whole of Christianity. It is the Gospel. To rely on the Old Testament is redundant. Jesus has fulfilled that (Matthew 5:17-20).  He commanded us not to confuse it with his teachings (Matthew 9:1-17). In fact, the only people Jesus criticized were those who judged others in their self-righteousness and pride, many of which were religious leaders at that time. God gave us free will and knows that people are imperfect. Largely, I believe that God is love. To me, this is what it means to be a Christian. I am imperfect, but God loves me, and there is nothing that can snatch me out of his hand. No Christian can condemn me. No religious leader, no man, no atheist. There is no one who can keep me between God. God is perfect, people are not. I do not have to be affirmed by Christians to be one. All of this is stated in the Bible. 

On that note, I will continue. I am sorry that this is so much, but this question demands a lot of attention.

As I said in the beginning, there are people who do not know my tradition. However, it is evident that all religions, at the core, share characteristics. Thousands of beliefs talk of the great flood. Many talk about a God, or a beginning. Even the philosophy of Confucius and Lao Tzu have similarities. In fact, there are parts of the Dao De Ching which are in direct correlation to EXACT verses in the Bible, and Lao Tzu never heard of Jesus. Similarly, Muslims believe in the teachings of Christ, just not the divination of Christ. Hinduism, similarly, insists that a final reincarnation of Krishna is yet to come, and when he does he will a "savior" of the world and appear on a white horse. (Wow. That sure sounds familiar!)

I am thoroughly convinced that perhaps this is all a test. All people, even those who do not believe in any God, know in their hearts right from wrong. All people, unless they are bitterly evil, understand the values of love and peace. People remember. There is something ingrained in all humans, all of creation, that life is beautiful. We KNOW somehow. We are somehow in love and romanced by this earth, by stars, by people, by mystery. I believe that this is a part of God.

You see, the Bible only has about a thousand pages. What Christians get wrong is that they believe that God can be reduced to these pages. Many deny the value of science, but how hypocritical is that? You believe God created everything, yet you don't believe in the workings behind His creation? Similarly, along the ever-present "LGBT issue", can you really believe, as a Christian, that people would willingly put themselves through this torture? Do you really believe that they can't go to heaven? Can you really believe, as a Christian, who is commanded to follow love, that people who accept Christ cannot go to heaven because they are gay? Jesus even said, "Believe in me and you shall be saved." To say that some people are the exception to this is utterly hypocritical and disgusting. To say that there are exceptions to the Gospel is to insist that the death of Christ was useless. This is a bold claim, yet it is the only logical explanation.

God created everything. If there are other worlds, then God will reveal Himself to that world in whatever way He chooses. This is why I call God "the All" in my heart. I believe that God is so big, that He cannot be contained in the Bible, in the GOP, in the church. If God is the All, then He exists everywhere. He is the reason Love exists. He radiates through all of the cosmos, in every leaf, every cell, every piece of dirt, every bird and animal. He exists on planets, on stars, in the single electron of hydrogen. To believe in God, to me, is being radically in love with the entire cosmos. How anyone, in any tradition, can believe that God exists and reveals Himself to SOME people, is crazy. One only needs to look, and listen, and feel the world to understand this.

I do believe that there are false teachings. I do believe that people preach that which is not from God. This is a problem in all traditions. This is to be expected, because people are imperfect. So far, everything that I have written points that I believe in the Inclusive Church. This is not personally true for me. I have chosen to believe in the whole of the Gospel of Christ. However, my faith is not contained in any denomination. God is not contained in Christianity. Nor is the All contained in Protestantism, Calvinism, Catholicism, Coptic, or Orthodoxy. Neither is he contained in secular belief, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, etc. God cannot be contained. The All is limitless. It will break every box you put Him in. I believe in Jesus and the All. The All revealed Himself to me through Jesus, and became Jesus. This is very simple to me.

However, I do not agree the notion that all other religions are false. We have many similarities. There is wisdom everywhere. I have found wisdom in the Islamic hadith, which contains wisdom from my tradition, but in different words. The Qur'an, in some areas, is almost a replica of the Bible. It is this reason why I feel so close to my Muslim brothers and sisters. I find wisdom in understanding the hugeness of God through Daoism. If there is anything that explains the hugeness and beauty of the cosmos, it is Daoism. Chapter 25 of the Dao De Ching explains this in a way I have never imagined.

That being said, I will answer your question. I do not have any authority to claim who goes to heaven. Every religion understands this. Every religion agrees that reincarnation, life after death, heaven, etc. are determined by something else. Whether it be determined by God or good deeds or science is unknown. I do not know. I don't have the answers. In the Christian tradition, I cannot explain Leviticus and Numbers and ancient ritual. I cannot explain why the terrible stuff happened in the Old Testament. I cannot explain the Spirit of God, and I cannot explain the Love that exists in humanity and in nature. I can only insist that this Love, this wonder, this need for life and heaven and scientific answers and spirituality, is given to us by God, by the cosmos, etc. I wonder, ultimately, whether this is all a test. I think one day everyone will see the All, and we will understand. Our minds are too small. Too naive. We are made of blood and earth. We cannot explain how all of this exists, planets and stardust and iron. Yet its here. We only know part of the story, through science and discovery and faith, but we are made of earth. We understand the earth. When we die we will be free of this earth, and we will meet the All and see for ourselves. This, I believe, is the test: can humans obey the nature that is most basic to us? Compassion and love? Can we obey that? Or will we forever fight and kill one another? God is merciful and compassionate. If we are made in His image then we are imbedded with those characteristics. It would be blasphemy to say that we are God, but we are blessed with that nature. I think the whole of the All is that we follow what is natural and Good to us, which is ultimately the greatest Love. Love is patient and kind, it isn't boastful, it is not exclusive, it is not selfish, it serves others, it does not exist in fear, it does not exist in judgement or harming other people. This, I believe, is the teaching of the All. This, I believe, is why we are here. To experience it. But we have stumbled along the way, and it is okay.

Everything will be okay.

I cannot say if everyone goes to heaven. I think the belief of hell is solely for those who are wicked and evil, those who have forsaken the Great Love. In fact, the existence of hell is vague in my tradition, but the description of heaven is a thousandfold. When the Bible talks of unbelievers, I think it is those who have forsaken our humanity, the part of us that makes us Good. Some of those people exist, those who insist on genocide, and condemnation, and abuse. I believe that everyone is made by the same God. People follow the Goodness that is revealed to them. Some follow evil instead, but I believe that people KNOW. To specifically state what the KNOW is is a big question, but everyone KNOWS. All the animals and trees know. Water and iron and stardust know. Everything KNOWS.

I choose to believe in Christianity because Jesus is how He revealed Himself to me. I believe God reveals Himself to people in different ways, but He chose to reveal Himself to me through the death and resurrection. He revealed Himself through me in ways I cannot explain. I cannot even fathom how BIG the All is and how overwhelming it is at times. Sometimes it comes to me as a cool, blue feeling within my chest. Then it grows and consumes me and I am just overthrown with joy and love for everything, and I know everything will be okay. He loves me so much. So so so so much. And He loves everyone so so so much. And I pray to God every day. I say, "Don't let the bitterness of other people make me forget you." And I haven't forgotten. And even when I get angry and don't understand things, He is still there. Jesus is still there. No matter how much I yell and curse at Him when I am angry, He is still there. This man that God became, this middle-eastern, homeless, Jewish man is always going to be there with open arms, ready to embrace me. Its so beautiful to me. The All will always be there, and it will always find me. Always. This is a promise I am sure of.

This is the end of that question. This is what it means to believe, to love, and to exist.
I cannot claim anything other than this simplicity. I cannot speak for others. I cannot speak for those who abide by the old law or fundamentalism. I cannot speak for those who believe that the All was revealed through other traditions. That is their own experience, and I do not have the ability to inspect other people's hearts, nor have I felt that calling. However, I do know how God reveals Himself to us. God declares Himself through everything, and God is Love.

This is the End.
I finally understand The Complicated Process of Understanding Love.
It's not complicated.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

"So why aren't you a missionary in India anymore?" The Answers Edition

A couple people have asked me lately, "What happened to the whole India thing? I thought you wanted to be a missionary and be in ministry? Why aren't you pursuing any of those things anymore? What changed? Are you just going to be a missionary in Korea instead?"

The questions weren't menacing or pushy, but it was easy to feel that they were. To be honest, I face the answers to those questions with a lot of guilt and uncertainty. They are big questions to ask, and the answers aren't what most people want to hear.

Often, I wonder what caused me to change my vision. Over the last three years, I have radically evolved into another person, some changes being incredibly good and others being terribly bad. In response to these questions, I will try to answer as honestly as possible, both for the sake of those who asked, and for myself, because I am still quite unsure.

1) I became very skeptical when I came back from India, and for several reasons. Some of these reasons are extremely personal, and I choose not to utter them. However, it was after India that I realized how industrialized the church has become, and frankly, I'm not interested in being part of the system any longer. The manufactured church is not a safe place, even for a solid Christian, and I've learned and relearned that many times. Its something I have always struggled with. I don't like the illusion of a church that preaches grace, but heavily enforces Pharisee-ism. I can't exist in a hypocritical paradox.

And yes, church, I am calling you out. What happened to us? What happened to Jesus? What are we doing? Why are you so keen on being so politically involved? Since when did Christian become synonymous with Republican? With Homophobic? With misogynistic? When did you become so controlling? So factory-like? So cookie-cutter perfect?

Tell me! I am dying to know. I've spent the last three years wondering where I stand, and whether the convictions and the pain I feel is wrong. I wonder, as I sit in the shower with hot water running over my head, whether I have become a heretic.

Dear church,

I am sorry I never molded into the person you wanted me to be, but I could never be her in the first place. I never could. Because the person God called me to be and the person you taught me to be are two different people. I promise.

2) A lot of doors closed after India. When I came back, I spent the next year obsessing about how to get back, but nothing worked. That year was one of the worst of my entire life. At this point, I felt obligated to go back. After all, this was what I was called to do, right? Every day that passed was another 24 hours spent doing something other than what I thought I should be doing, and I felt terrible for it. I felt that I had failed God somehow.

But it quickly became apparent that God didn't have that in mind. He had something else planned. Instead of continuing to dwell on it, I shrugged my shoulders with a broken heart and decided to finish my AA. It was one of the hardest decisions I have ever made.

Looking back now, I did what I had to do. I felt called to India, whether by God or by a deep, mysterious pull of the heart, and I went. I obeyed that gut feeling. I don't know why I needed to go then, and I don't know why I wasn't able to return, but I have to trust that everything worked out for the best. I have to, because I can't go back and change it and I am not going to waste time feeling ashamed for something I can't change.

3) I failed the church. Similar to what I have already stated, I have drastically failed the church. There was a time in my life where I wanted nothing more than to be in ministry. I was convinced, before the skepticism, that I could genuinely show the love of Jesus through the power of evangelism and ministry. But the further that I dove into the heart of ministry, the more I realized I didn't belong there. My age and my gender brought questioning and criticism. I had pastors look down on me, stare into my eyes, and tell me I could never do the things I felt called to do, because I was a "baby" and had no real experience. I had mission leaders tell masses of girls that they were never called to teach because they weren't born with the right body parts. I was told to become small.

I had mission leaders tell me what to say people and how to say it. I was told how to act and what I was allowed and not allowed to do. I was trained to be a solider. I was pushed and shoved through the military line of modern day evangelism, and I rang the bell and quit. 

I cannot carry my Bible like a gun and use it against people. I cannot use force as a means of converting people and call it love.

I rang the bell. I gave up. I quit, and I'm sorry....

4) For clarification, South Korea wasn't planned. South Korea came out of no where, and I didn't plan my trip before I left. I literally woke up one morning and told my parents, "I'm going to Korea. I hope that's okay." Their reactions were surprisingly calm, and a month and a half later I was on a plane to a country I had never been to, with a book, an ipod, and handful of Korean phrases I had learned from watching television.

I didn't go to Korea with a mission from God. I went to Korea to breathe. For once in my life, I let myself be free, be wild. I did something crazy, something reckless, something beautiful. I let myself trust strangers, make friends, and find family. I woke up early, and stayed up late. I ate too little, and drank too much. I didn't sleep enough, and walked too far. I tried new things, and opened my heart to people I had just met. I took risks without knowing how things would turn out. I ran away with strangers, not knowing where they would take me, and found good friends at the end of the road. I found laughs and common dreams, and even kisses. I fell radically in love with the city of Seoul. It was inevitable. I couldn't stop that. 

I found a part of myself in Korea. I don't know what part of me that is, but I am going to cling to it until I figure out.

5) Other doors have been opened, and I am going to follow them. I am going to continue exploring this weird thing called life, and I doing my best to trust that God will lead me in the right direction. I'm learning not to be so scared anymore. I'm learning not to take myself so seriously. Very slowly, I am learning that being anxious about the little things in life only causes you pain. That final exam, that comment your manager made, that stupid thing you said to that person...its so minuscule in the big scheme of things. I'm just one person, and that makes me both incredibly important and vastly insignificant at the same time. I have to learn to live at peace with both those realities.

I don't know where I am going, exactly, and I don't really know "what happened." It just happened. That's the best answer I have. 

Sunday, August 18, 2013

10 Things My Father Taught Me

As of August 14th, my father has officially been on this planet for 45 years. In those 45 years, he has accomplished a lot, probably more than he realizes. He has graduated college, been on world wide adventures, fallen in love, eloped with a beautiful woman, became a teacher, had four insane girls, become a pastor, changed lives, and so much more.

But not all of it has been easy. In those 45 years my father has also gone through hardships, lived in poverty, worked to sustain a family through financial troubles, been jobless, been sick, been rejected by people close to him, worked two jobs simultaneously, and managed to keep going and have faith in spite of the chaos that continues to get thrown at us.

My dad, to me, is the epitome of all things strong. And as an amazing dad, he has taught me a lot about life. Whether or not he realizes it, these are some of the lessons he has shown me, in both his words and actions.

1) Its okay to be a quiet person.
While most people know my father as a dorky middle school teacher or funny children's pastor, he isn't always being silly and bouncing off the walls. In fact, sometimes he is very still, calm, and silent. And while some see it as a symptom of being an introvert, being quiet is actually very useful. When you're not talking, you are able to think, to ponder, and to plan. Being quiet gives you power over your tongue, keeps you from saying things you shouldn't, and is often the greatest weapon a person can use. It also gives you serious ninja powers, which is an added perk.

2) Its okay to be a girl. 
Until I entered high school, I had never even stopped to think about how being a girl might have been a bad thing. Whether it had been my sudden initiation into Southern Baptist theology, or just entering society in general, I became aware, at fourteen, that some people expect girls to be different than everyone else. Suddenly, I was being told that girls have to look a certain way, act a certain way, be quiet, be needy, be weaker, be motherly, be feminine, be subordinate, be sexy, be graceful, be pretty, wear makeup, get married, etc. I was especially shocked to find that this expectation was considered normal.

Because my dad never taught me that.

No matter what it was my sisters and I strived to be, he supported us no matter what. There was no boundaries or limits to what we could do. Our appearance, our heritage, our age, our height, our weight or our gender could not stop us . Whether we were princesses, rockstars, models, time-travelers, hobbits, astronauts, soldiers, artists, pastors, missionaries, interpreters, teachers or best-selling novelists, he was convinced we could do it all. His opinion still hasn't changed.

Some call that being a feminist. I call it just being a good dad.

3) The earth is a good place, so take care of it. 
Not every girl gets to be raised by liberal, hippy, Christian parents, but the ones that do are exposed to the earth in an entirely different way. During our little hikes around Washington Park as a kid, or just working in the backyard garden, my dad showed me that plants are beautiful, alive, and important. He taught me that flowers have names, that trees like to be hugged (literally), that coyotes are not nearly as scary as you think they are, and that sometimes bugs deserve to live. He showed me that I am a caretaker and a steward of the planet, and that I can help it grow if I want to. For those reasons, always remember to recycle whatever you can, take short showers (which I continually fail at), pick up trash when you see it, help creatures and beings less fortunate than you, and ALWAYS TURN OFF THE LIGHTS WHEN YOU DON'T NEED THEM. By following these simple rules, "You may just save the pandas."

4) Being wimpy is unattractive. 
My dad never raised wimpy girls. If I fell down, of course he would rush up to us, wipe my blood away, and wait till I stopped crying. But as he put that band-aid on, he would never forget to remind me that these were battle-scars, that I was "burly," and that I was just like my Mexican/Celtic/Viking ancestors. In the tenderest way possible, I was told to get back on the horse and try it again. Even if I fail over and over, I must keep swinging my battleaxe. Which brings me to lesson #5.

5) I am a Mexican/Irish/Celtic/Viking warrior princess.
My dad has always loved warrior princesses. He also loves our heritage and therefore is not hesitant to string the two together. "You are Mexican. You are Irish. You are a distant descendant of the Celts who sent their women to war against the Roman Empire! You have the blood of vikings, terror of the seas! YOU ARE IRISH/MEXICAN. THE GREATEST MIX OF HERITAGE ON THE EARTH! HUZZAH!""

It comes up more often in conversation that you think.

To put it short, be proud of where you come from....and know your history.

6) Your brain is your super power. Use it.
My dad always let me know how smart I was, and I love that. When I was 11, I handed over the rough draft to my very first book (DragonLena) and he read the entire thing. He told me what was good about it, and he told me what needed to be changed. It was little things like this that pushed me to be who I am today. It was my dad's criticism and encouragement that led me to write books, to ace tests, to skip grades, to enter college, to learn a second, third, or fourth language, and to do things most people wouldn't deem possible.

All my academic and worldly accomplishments are largely due to the fact that my dad took time to take pride in my brain: in my mind, in my ideas, and in my opinions. He listened to me, and he showed me ways to put my thoughts into actions.

I could have been a beauty queen, but I became a nerd instead, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

7)  Work hard for what you want.
Watching my dad provide for my family has become an example of what it means to have a good work ethic. Rain or shine, sick or energetic, he never fails to get up and go to work in the morning. He taught me that you must work for what you want, and that laziness or helplessness is not an option. Always keep going, and always strive to become better. Keep your chin up and push through it. Maintain your pride. Hard work pays off in the end.

8) Boys will eventually become men, but it takes a darn long time, so don't pay attention to them.
My dad is a five year old at heart, so I am guessing he is speaking from experience. And while he never tried to scare me away from boys, he definitely taught me that they are not all the hype the world has led them to be. I must become my own form of awesome first, and I must ignore useless flattery and attention. Only then will I might find someone as awesome as me.

But no matter what:
I must never settle, and I must never compromise.
He must never disrespect me.
He must never harm me.
He must never treat me as his lesser.
And he must never make me feel like I am unimportant, unbeautiful, or unintelligent.

And if he does, I have every right to kick his ass.

9) Jesus is the most important person you will ever know. 
Much like my "its okay to be a girl" lesson, my dad painted a very different picture of Jesus than most people. My dad never showed me a God of condemnation, of judgement, or of spitefulness. The God my dad showed me took form of a dirty, homeless man who practiced peace, fed the poor, turned the other cheek, forgave the unforgivable, and died to save the lives of anyone and everyone, no matter who they were or what they've done. No one is an exception to God's love and grace. And if anyone preaches condemnation, homophobia, misogyny, zenophobia or elitism from the pulpit, close your ears and run away, because they're wrong.

My dad taught me that Jesus is a hippy, and I totally believe him.

10) Being yourself is powerful.

I am smart. I am brave. I am beautiful. I am capable. I am worthy. I am lovable. I am good. I am magnificent. I am a world changer. I am a warrior. I am important. I am independent. I am powerful. I am strong. I am precious. I am tremendous. I am irreplaceable. I am anything and everything I want to be. I am mighty.

I am Echo, and my name means all of these things. 

But I would never realize or believe any of it, if it weren't for my dad.

Dad, I owe you the Moon and Middle Earth three times over.
Anything and everything I achieve will be due to you.
You are the coolest dad, the smartest man, my wisest mentor, and Captain America.
Thank you.
Happy Birthday. 

Friday, June 14, 2013

Sometimes, in the middle of the night, I will go outside and look at the sky. Amidst millions of stars, the moon, and an endless universe, I wonder:
"How can I possibly be BRAVE?"

And even when my mind is quivering with worry, I hear a little whisper in my heart. Faint, almost impossible to decipher:

"How can you think that you are NOT brave?


Saturday, May 4, 2013

A Reblog

A lot of people have ask me about my plans for the future, and I am always eager to tell them. At first they smile and seem pleased: "Oh you want to go to university and learn languages? How nice!" But as my dream progresses, they slowly start looking uncomfortable, as if something is off-kilter inside me, as if I press forward for too much. I don't understand it. Its like the world expects young women to just get married, get a job, have kids...

But isn't there something MORE than that? What if I don't want that?! Are my desires so disproportionate to what is obtainable that I come off as crazy?!

I have come to the honest conclusion that my dreams are either psychotically eclectic, or that my generation has lost their heart for adventure...

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Feminism and the Church

RANDOM RANTS WITH ECHO #1456: Feminism and the Church

I will start out by saying that I hate the word: "Feminazi."
"Yes...because women being treated equal to men is EXACTLY like invading Poland and killing the Jews."

But lets be honest: people have misconceptions of what this word means. 

Feminism is social, economic and political equality of women, that's it. Ruling over men and burning bras is not part of the deal nor is it required. And to NOT be a feminist to hate women. Can someone really say, "I believe women are unequal to men, but I don't hate women."? That is exactly like saying, "I believe black people should be segregated from white people, but I don't hate blacks." It just doesn't work. You are either a feminist or a misogynist. PERIOD. End of topic.

And to be honest, I didn't realize how much of a feminist I was until I took a Women and Society class. And while I find the economic and political imbalances interesting, the section I most enjoyed reading about was, of course, religion.

Its no new notion that the church still doesn't accept women as equal to their men, which is ridiculous considering 70% of church workers worldwide are women. Women run the church, yet it is continually preaches the message of subordination. And crazily, it still manages to grumble about the mistreatment of women due to sex trafficking and other circumstances.

If you don't think women should be treated equally, why do you care that they are being treated unfairly at all? If you believe women are to be ruled by their husbands, why even allow women to vote? Its not like their voices have any authority. (The church actually led the anti-suffrage fight!) Why not forbid your daughter from going to college? Why not force your daughters into marriage? Why not make her wear a freaking burqua?

If we don't have the right to say that we are equal to men before God, then do we have any rights at all?


And contrary to your twisted worldview, I am NOT subordinate. My words and convictions are not degraded or blurred because I was born lacking male genitals, and if there is one thing I know about God, it is that He will use whoever He wants according to His will. And I will absolutely not let up or shut up until I have expressed everything I feel led to say.

So I "apologize" to all the male pastors who dared shake their heads at fourteen year old girl for wanting  to be a pastor!

I'm done.