**In our church we call each other brother and sister. So, my primary kids call me "Sister Erickson" although most "peers" just call me Hilary. Every now and then (mostly from men) I get a "sister Erickson" Sadly, I still think that's Drew's mom... I'm rare to respond unless it's a 4 year old. But I digress....
I am a firm believer that kids need adults outside their parents to build a relationship with. I had a lot of good adults at school but I must admit I felt like at church I felt REALLY judged. I thought most of my leaders thought I was a crazy girl who wasn't interested in being pretty, or painting things, or learning how to best gift wrap. I felt out of place in church. I didn't want to get married and have babies. In fact, I wasn't a huge fan of babies. I wanted to be a free spirit who had a lot of fun.
Turns out that's not really what the Young Women's motto is guiding us to.
Then came Sister B, and our other Laurel's teacher who I'd known since I was born who's name was Sister A. And suddenly they just found me to be a fun girl who they enjoyed being around. And suddenly I didn't feel different. I felt like I could be who I was and still feel at home at church. They didn't pressure me to cry a lot, they encouraged us to find a major and make plans for our lives.
In Young Women's defense I think my age was the beginning of a transition where they realized that girls really did need to go to college and have a life plan instead of just turning magically into a wife and mother to Mr Wonderful who would just be waiting for us.
I think that my life in the church may have been different if I hadn't had them in my life. It was a good lesson that a lot of what our spirit wants is acceptance for who we are. And who we are right then, not for who we plan or hope to be.
Because we all start where we are.
And I'm glad they let me do that, it makes me feel loved just thinking about it.