Women who guide and mentor: Reflections for Women’s History Month
For Women’s History Month, we’re pleased to feature members of our 2023 Springtide Ambassadors Program (SAP) as they reflect on women who have made an impact on their lives. Below, Amy tells how the authentic presence of one woman can make a tremendous impact.
As I contemplate who among the sea of women has left a profound impact on my life, Elizabeth Scull is one of the first to come to mind.
She redefines leadership through a posture of quietness and earnest enthusiasm. Her kindness does not shy from confrontation, and to her, loving you means more than simply being “nice” or “pleasant.” She is a woman who convicts and challenges you, compeling you to live into the person that you dream of becoming.
She is the minority — a woman serving in a pastoral role within the church. Her embodiment of this position is encouraging to witness. This particularly shows in how she humbly leads, not out of any fear or insecurity, but out of the assurance and confidence of knowing that her identity as a woman does not disqualify her from being a voice of truth and grace. Rather, it enhances her impact and influence on generations to come, blazing a trail for middle school and high school girls in the church to see and understand that their gender is not rationale for marginalization in religious spaces.
So, if I were to tell her what her impact on my life is, and how she has shaped me, this is the message I would hope to communicate:
To the woman who has taught me stillness and faithful service,
Thank you for sitting with me in sorrow, for showing me that there is peace found in silence—the unhurried space for reflection and realization. Thank you for reminding me that I am not only what I “accomplish”, but more importantly I am loved.
I am immensely grateful for the intentional questions you ask; they probe into the hidden places in my heart and show me what I am not willing to admit to myself. I admire how you encourage and uplift students who can so easily feel alienated by the church and pressured by standards of “perfection” — standards that distract from being present to God’s purposes through the pain, mistakes, and moments of mourning in the “not yet.”
Your presence gives many people permission to simply be, knowing that they are already enough. In this way, I have seen the face of God when we meet for coffee or take a walk. You show me that Jesus is not just in praise within the church, but also in the seasons of heartbreak, the aching of homesickness and the concerns and anxieties that plague us. As a woman, you have shown me that the pain of this world is not too much to bear but is an opportunity to express empathy to others.
Your mentorship and friendship teaches me how to love God and others better than I could ever imagine.
All this to say, Elizabeth Scull is a woman who has indelibly impacted my soul in powerful ways. Words cannot fully articulate the gratitude I have for who she is – both to me and many others.