Grieving the Bible for Bronwyn Lea

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I read the Bible all the way through for the first time when I was thirteen. I picked it up every Sunday after the first service at our new church in San Diego, waiting for my parents to finish with choir. I’d pull the volume off the shelf in the church library, get a chunk […]

Abusers are people too

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Trigger warning: sexual abuse When I was a junior in college, my mom called. She had bad news. “Heather,” she said, “Someone made allegations about [my youth pastor’s name]. She said he molested her.” My first reaction? Complete disbelief. Our youth pastor had inspired both love and disdain in our church. His whole tenure, various […]

I am trying to forgive my grandmother. Here’s why.

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(Trigger warning–sexual abuse) My grandmother is slight, white-haired, slow to speak, and nearly lost to dementia. For a year or so now, she has been in a nursing home, unwillingly. Years ago when I would visit, she would serve me breakfast: a bowl of fresh home-grown raspberries in a white bowl, or toast with homemade freezer jam that […]

Tearing apart my Bible for SheLoves Magazine

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When I was little, I would trail my mom to the fabric store nearly every month. It was middling in my list of errands: no toys, but the pattern books did provide some pre-Pinterest craft browsing. My mom would finger washable silk or ultra-suede, and I’d flip pages, trying to be patient. Once she decided, we’d […]