Melissa Tenholder

The Journey Tower Grove

My first acts of learning out loud look like confession and repentance. Very, very, very vulnerable here. BUT, true leadership is born out of vulnerability.

Lord, forgive me for thinking that black lives matter is not my fight and subsequently not getting involved.

Lord, forgive me for the ways I have not used my voice when I knew you wanted me to.

Lord, forgive me for the times I have looked away from pain and hardship because it felt too hard for me.

Lord, forgive me for using others' words when I didn't want to put in the effort to say something of my own.

Lord, forgive me for feeling proud of myself for offering token and surface level support to my brothers and sisters of color.

Lord, forgive me for using the excuses, "I don't know what to say,” “I don't know what to do," to do and say nothing.

Lord, forgive me for thinking that saying, "I cannot believe what is happening," showed any kind of true empathy.

Lord, forgive me for choosing to read other books, listen to other podcasts, or consume other media that felt easier to digest rather than ones that challenged my white privilege or educated me about black history.

Lord, forgive me for not having hard conversations with my white children about racism in an ignorant excuse to 'protect' them from the realities of the world.