My Grandmother’s Life…

I remember a specific moment, watching my grandmother hang the clothes on the line, and her saying to me, ‘you are going to have to learn to do this,’ and me being in that space of awareness and knowing that my life would not be the same as my grandmother’s life. Oprah Winfrey

Meditation: My grandmother was the oldest girl of several siblings, just like my mother and I. When her mother (a pastor’s wife) died when she was a teenager, she raised her four younger siblings. All her brothers got an education and became pastors. She did not get an education. Much later in life she became a social worker, but never enjoyed her work. My mother at 19 enrolled in her first semester to become a medical doctor. When my Dad who was a pastor asked her shortly afterwards to marry her, the church institution made her give up her professional dreams. She became a pastor’s wife and raised four children. Later on she became a librarian, which she enjoyed, but never was able to have her own income. I was born into this traditional German culture where gender inequality plus traditional images of what a woman is supposed to be and do (or not be and not do) were all around me. I am deeply grateful for having been born in the 60s. Even though I discovered feminist thinking much later in life, my spiritual belief in “being free to choose” gave me courage along the way to break certain patterns. Thanks to my parents supporting my long and good education, I am here today. I am working two dream jobs as a female leader in professions that I am passionate about, and I am able to model gender equality to my daughters. I am grateful for the women before me. Without their stories I would not have known so clearly what I wanted to do, wanted to become and choose. Thank you “Grossmama”. Thank you “Mama”.

Prayer: God, for all the moments when I was pulled back into traditional roles yet chose to move out of them, I want to thank You. For all the moments I was able to value and celebrate my grandmother’s and mother’s lives for what they were/are, I am grateful. For the next generation of women who don’t feel like they have to choose or sacrifice education over or against family, I am grateful. For Your Spirit who sees us all, male and female, traditional and postmodern, as one in Christ, I am grateful. Amen

There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus. Galatians 3:28

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