I told her it was the ring I wore in honor of my ministry.
"You mean you're a priest?"
"Yes, honey, I'm a priest."
"I want to be a priest."
"You can be someday."
Rearing my children in a house church presents special challenges, but there are challenges I know my daughter will never face as long as she continues to learn from me: she won't grow up believing she can't be a minister. She won't grow up learning that being a priest is something reserved for a special elite. She'll grow up learning that her own bright faith is all that she needs to minister to others, whether it's as a priest or a companion or a friend or a sister--and that no one has the right to rob her of that. Her vocation will manifest itself as long as she listens to the deepest yearnings of her heart, and she'll only jump through hoops if she chooses to. Her vocation will be on her terms, not on anyone else's.
I used to believe that I needed outside affirmation if something were to be true of me. Now I see things differently. I believe that Thea, the source of all goodness, creates the desire within each person to be extraordinary--and one only has to listen to herself to discover and take up what sets her apart. No outside affirmation needed.