It began September 4, 1944. A little girl was born to an unwed mother. This little girl would go on to experience pain, shame, and rejection throughout her early years. She was socially awkward and always felt left out. You see, during this period of her life, it was a disgrace to have a child out of wedlock. Her mother hid her for over 14 years before anyone got a chance to meet her. Not sure of her place or purpose in life, she began dreaming of being important — or rather, being noticed.
She was raised in a very accomplished foster family. The mother was the typical homemaker and the father was an extremely hard worker. However, the mother's family was upper class, which made the young girl feel even more isolated.
Years went by, until at the age of around 35, this young lady met a group of young Mennonites who invited her to Bible studies, shopping trips, and other wonderful activities. The young woman began to flourish and feel welcomed and included. Her faith grew strong and her love of Christ even stronger. Her self-destructive behaviors disappeared and were replaced with newer and more life-giving ones in place.
The young lady would still feel somewhat inferior from time to time, being among people who were not very familiar with the inner struggles of a young woman born out of wedlock. You see, she could not trace her family tree, nor could she converse on subjects such as quilting, baking pies, and farm jokes. She was, after all, a city girl. Her day began around 8 a.m., while their first shift on the farm was already over by 8 a.m.
However, as time passed, the young woman pursued her academic aspirations and obtained a B.S. in education. She was employed in many different job situations, none of which lasted long. She was terminated from several positions because she didn't know how to solve problems in a godly manner. But strangely enough, for each job lost, God always elevated her to a better position.
Why were you doing this, God? You knew that she loved you with all her heart, mind, and soul. She had to realize that just because you love God does not mean you are exempt from trials and tribulations. Aha! No test, no testimony.
Eventually she joined the Mennonite Church and continued to mature in Christlike behavior. She became a Sunday school teacher, a praise and worship leader, and above all, a respected woman of God by many. She became the director of a neighborhood Mennonite Learning Center, while at the same serving as a science and math teacher for the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C.
During this time, she was able to travel all over the world. She toured Europe three times. She traveled to Africa, South Asia, South America, and more. She was selected to join the EMM Board in 2012. She traveled to Guatemala on a mission trip in 2014. There, it was her job to assist the instructor in English translations and pronunciations. This was one of the highlights of her existence.
She resigned from the board on December 31, 2016 due to health issues. This was one of the lowest points in her life. However, God gave her exactly what she wanted and needed: not to be important, but to be a part of the family of Christ. She was grateful to have served for four years with the Board, her other family. The family of God has served her extremely well. There is no family like the family of Christ.
That little girl is me, Mary Minor. Now retired and 73 years young, I am still enjoying the presence of Christ. Can anything good come out of D.C.? I am a living witness that the answer is YES!
Mary Minor served as a math/science teacher for the Archdiocese of D.C., where she was also the vice principal for over 10 years. She received numerous grants which allowed her students to excel in the world of science and math. At age 63, Mary earned a master's degree in middle school science. She enjoys playing Words with Friends, making applesauce, and hosting small gatherings. Mary is in dialysis treatment three times a week for four hours each session, but even with this thorn in the flesh, she still has so much to praise God for. Spending time at the dialysis center has given her more opportunity to share her faith!