Lyn Brakeman was among the first women to enter the ordination process in the Episcopal Church just after the General Convention voted in 1976 that women could be priests. The bishop of her diocese had voted against ordaining women priests, and hospitality toward female aspirants was guarded at best.
So why would a 40-year-old institutional naïf, suburban housewife, and mother of four enter such unfriendly territory to seek priestly ordination at a time when her personal life was in chaos? Things would have been easier had she been a man and had she not read Betty Friedan, not been headed for divorce, and not engaged in sins beginning with "a". How did she manage to stay this course?
Brakeman offers no easy answers but tackles difficult issues - addiction, death and grief, divorce, the nature of priesthood, church politics, Christian feminism, and Jesus the Christ - with candor. Her story is held together by her spiritual connection to the voice of God from within and her growing conviction that the nature of divinity is gender-free; hence, theological language in sanctuary and classroom must reflect this truth in a balanced way.
“Lyn’s memoir is a contemporary Journal of a Soul...only more so. It is the journey of a woman fully alive in body, mind, and spirit, a journey into self, history, vocation, community, adulthood. Fiercely honest, even shocking at times - at least to this monk - and often howlingly funny, it speaks of faith, betrayal, forgiveness, resistance, and homecoming. Daughter, wife, mother, feminist, counselor, priest - Lyn’s is a life offered in all its wonderful messiness and raw integrity, touched over and over by grace. It is a mirror of our own messy journey into Christ.” (Robert Sevensky, OHC, superior, Order of the Holy Cross)