But even in my re-telling this wanting-to-be-forgotten story, it’s revealing to find the persistent theme: God gave me good roots. Grant was my ally. He reassured and loved on me. My brother, too, was a reliable friend — honest but gentle. My dad was also a rock — ever the cheerleader.
But who was there reading, listening, comforting, reminding, dragging, and even nagging me all the way through? Who remembered the deep-down-all-of-me before the seeds of that abusive ideology took root?
My dear mother.
We were talking the other day. Mom had read my church‘s newsletter from this month and had noticed their support for CEF. My church and my parents’ new church, too, sponsor Good News Clubs at nearby public elementary schools. They even send kids to C.Y.I.A — CEF’s training for summer missionaries.
I was in C.Y.I.A. back in the day with no small amount of skepticism and criticism from the fundamentalists around us. My parents ignored it and so I did too. It had been a terrific experience for me. Instead of taking it all in, I was giving back. And it was when I was 16-year-old C.Y.I.A. summer missionary while teaching a little disabled child in my 5-Day Club that Jesus loved her that I really, truly realized (again) that Jesus loved me too.
Mom has said more than once in this mutual transition which moved us out of fundamentalism: “After all this time, I finally don’t feel at constant odds with my church’s philosophy. What took us so long?”
I guess we really never were fundamentalists, were we? 😉