Linda Wood Rondeau

Snark & Sensibility

NEXT GENERATION
5/13/2019 1:00:00 AM by: KATHLEEN NEELY

PLEASE WELCOME

KATHLEEN NEELY

TO

HAVING THE PRIME OF MY LIFE

 

I attended a new Bible study this week. After meeting with 200 other women to view a video, we moved into our breakout groups. As I walked in the room, I was immediately transported back thirty years. Well—okay, 30+ years, but who’s counting.

The room was filled with young mothers hungry for the word of God. One had her four-month-old infant with her. Others had toddlers and preschoolers in the nursery.

When I first attended a Bible study, I was a young mother. With great apprehension, I joined the small group, concerned about my lack of Bible knowledge. I didn’t even know my way around the old and new testaments. Yet I had a hunger for more. What I discovered in that sweet, small group was life-changing.

It was comprised of a few young mothers and two older ladies—Thelma and Sylvia. In truth, they were probably younger then than I am today. I’ve come to call them my Titus ladies (Titus 2:3-5). They taught with sensitivity, sharing their lifetime of study with the next generation.


Photo by roya ann miller on Unsplash
 

I learned many things in that small living room in the church manse. Yet here is the most significant lesson learned during those five years of meeting together. I entered the group certain that I wasn’t worthy of being there. I needed to fix that unworthiness so I could be loved by God. Using scripture to show me the error of that mindset, Thelma and Sylvia revealed the gospel to me. I didn’t have to fix what was wrong. Jesus had already accomplished that. I was to come to Him, sinful and broken, allowing Him to clothe me in righteousness. It was too profound. It drove me to my knees—literally.

Those years are among my fondest memories.

 

Thelma, Sylvia, Kathy, Debbie, Amy, Mary Kay and me. Just saying those sweet names brings a smile to my face. We’re all scattered and have mostly lost touch, and Thelma has gone on to join the saints seated at the throne of Jesus in the kingdom that awaits us.

So now I’ve come full circle. I’m one of the older ladies seated with a room filled with beautiful young moms wishing to raise their children in the love of Christ. They probably know more than I did at that juncture of my life. I hope that I can be a small blessing to them, but I’m certain that they will bless me. They already have.  They’re the next generation. 

 

ABOUT KATHLEEN NEELY

Kathleen Neely is the author of The Street Singer, Beauty for Ashes, and The Least of These (5-31-19).  She is a former elementary teacher. Following her years in the classroom, she moved into administration, serving as an elementary principal. Kathleen is an alumnus of Slippery Rock University in Pennsylvania and Regent University in Virginia. 

Among her writing accomplishments, Kathleen won second place in a short story contest through ACFW-VA for her short story “The Missing Piece” and an honorable mention for her story “The Dance”. Both were published in a Christmas anthology. Her novel, The Least of These, was awarded first place in the 2015 Fresh Voices contest through Almost an Author. She has numerous devotions published through Christian Devotions. She continues to speak to students about writing. Kathleen is a member of Association of Christian Fiction Writers.

She resides in Greenville, SC with her husband, two cats, and one dog. She enjoys time with family, visiting her two grandsons, traveling, and reading.

 

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