|(Picture belongs to my sister, Diana)|
Deep breath. Wipe sweat off of hands. Start typing. Here I go.
First thought: Please don't think I am nuts.
I've been wanting to write to you about a topic very close to my heart. I normally don't talk about this, mostly out of fear. It's...embarrasing? Now that our wedding is so close, I wanted to share with you my testimony and maybe, just maybe, encourage each other in our walk.
OK, let's get real.
This story goes back to when I was a little girl, maybe 7 or 8 years old, when I was introduced to child-appropriate sexual education by my parents. At that time, my parents bought this set of books and videos that explained children about reproductive organs, about how humans were formed, etc. We still have them at home! My mother would sit with my sister and I and explained all of it to us. Poor mother, the questions she had to answer! That is the only time we were allowed to read/see these. One time, my sister and I showed these to our cousin, Anna, and my parents were furious (I now understand why, though!).
A little too early? Maybe, but I understood.
Then came 5th grade, I was about 10 or 11 years old. I remember my teacher talking to my mom outside of the classroom when she went to pick me up, telling her that we would be starting a lesson on our organs, all of our organs, and for her to talk to me about it first. Late 5th grade was also the time for a girl's reproductive organs to start working (you know, menstruation). My mom, my sister and I started having more "grown-up" conversations. She carefully and truthfully explained and answered our questions. However, I was an avid reader. I started re-reading those books, with permission, now by myself, and my brain started doing its own work. Developing its own ideas.
This time was also the time I began to be involved more and more within the Catholic church. My parents never "pushed" Catholicism on us girls. Sure, we were in a Christian (Pentecostal) school and they introduced Sunday school (which was held on Saturdays at 9:00 A.M.) and the Sacraments to us, but they made it up to us to decide on Catholicism and be responsible enough to get up and go to class (some days, they did drag us out of bed). We, however, were the ones dragging them to children's Mass (HELLO! The priest dressed up as a movie character!).
Back to 5th grade. On my standards, I wasn't a little, Sunday school girl anymore. I had received my Confirmation and Communion already at the end of 4th grade. It was this year (5th) that most children leave. I mean, what other Sacrament can you receive after those? Annointing of the Sick? Reconciliation? You don't need school for that!
Anyway, I was the only one in my class that decided to stay.
I started helping the catechists (becoming a catechist when I was in 7th grade) and deciding I wanted to become a nun (really, I told my parents) or a writer (I had a notebook full of poems I wrote), digging more and more into the Bible and reading about science a lot more (I love science). I discovered I had newfound, normal desires and feelings and of course, I started noticing that those boys didn't have the cooties after all.
My physical, mental and spiritual self was developing.
In the middle of it all, God, was patiently and slowly working on my pre-teen heart.
. . .
What are your thoughts?
Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you by the gazelles and by the does of the field: Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires. Song of Solomon 2:7