I exhale. I exhale the years of oppression, the years of fear, the years of "no, you can't."
And I inhale once again a sweet fragrance which expands my imagination and frees my spirit. Grace has never smelled sweeter.
Each step of this journey from being a little girl in a cage to ordination has had this lingering aroma of grace. At first it was a small scent which drew me out of my cage. Yesterday it was as if I dove into a field of lilies. And life blooms around me and in me.
God's grace was strong enough not just to save me from sin and from eternity apart from God. God's grace is enough to save me fully to serve God not as a second hand citizen but as a full child. I am not inferior. Nor am I superior.
For so many years I was second class because I was a woman. I was saved by God's grace. But somehow to those who taught me, I could not hear God as well as a man. I could not teach men because I was a woman. God's grace was not strong enough to restore me to equality with men--one created in the image of God, created to be a partner with men in the work of God. And so I had a lesser place.
But this journey to ordination has offered me the opportunity to experience the grace of God in a new way. God chooses whom he will to use and work through.
So I exhale all the years of being told no and all the years of fear and inferiority. I inhale the Grace of God.