Bishop Rachel has written a letter to her 20 year old self as part of Gloucestershire’s Live’s – Letters to my younger self series – http://bit.ly/2xyMYy8
You are 20 and studying hard to fulfil your life plan: To become a speech and language therapist and enable people to flourish even in places of struggle, and your faith in Jesus Christ is integral to all of this. You have a boyfriend and you are hoping for marriage and children.
I want you to know that life is an adventure with God, live each present moment and expect the unexpected. One day you will fight God’s call to ordination, but I want you to embrace it as a gift, trust me you will be embarking on the most exciting journey of your life.
You are curious about human connectedness and I’d be telling you that it will lead to further training around both family therapy and conflict.
Also, your awareness of injustice will increase, particularly when you visit South Africa in 1994. I know you dislike T-shirts with slogans, but I’d like to give you one with the words Relationship, Transformation and Hope. These concepts will go on shaping your life and your understanding of God.
You need to know that when your boyfriend walks away it won’t be the last time of painful yearning and a crushed spirit, but your commitment to follow Christ and your experience of God’s love will only deepen.
And in your 40s you will be overjoyed to meet the right man, and your amazing husband will be a priceless treasure. You will be sad to never have children, but stay open to all the opportunities God will give you for creativity and the nurturing of life and hope.
And finally I want you to know that although women can’t yet be priests or bishops, one day you will be part of the story.
You will be humbled and bemused at becoming the Church of England’s first female diocesan bishop and then you will enter The House of Lords. What you will learn over the years is that nothing anyone says or does can increase or diminish your value or that of anyone else.”