New Site!

Hello everyone! I have a new blogging site. I will be posting all future blogs there. I so appreciate that you have been following me on here and would absolutely love it if you would go to my new site and follow it as well. If you would like to sign up for email alerts that would be great as well! I post no more than twice a week (and usually it’s just once a week), so I promise not to overload your email. You can get to the new site by clicking on this link: By the Grade of God I Am. Thanks a bunch, y’all!

A Glimpse into the Kingdom

**Note: When I speak of the Church with a capital “C”, I am referring to the organization as a whole, not any one, individual body of believers. **

Recently, I have been privileged enough to get a glimpse into the Kingdom of Heaven. Really, I have had short glimpses of this since January. You see, in January I began substituting at the most amazing school! It’s completely unique and wonderful. It’s a mixture of special needs and general education kids and deaf, hard of hearing, and hearing kids. The kids all take classes together. In other words, there aren’t special education classes and general education classes. So, when I first began working at this school I thought it was a cool concept, but I don’t think I fully comprehended what was happening at this school until the last 2 days.

The last day we had our Honors Assembly. I’m only a sub, but before we went to the gymnasium, I still gave my typical speech before these assemblies about being respectful to their classmates, supporting them, not teasing them, only positive comments, etc. However, I had forgotten where I worked. This is no typical school. During this assembly students of all abilities (severe special needs to advanced/gifted) were recognized for their accomplishments. They weren’t only recognized by the staff, their peers genuinely cheered for them. Some of the students bounded up on stage to receive their awards, others took some time to get up on stage due to their physical limitations, but it didn’t matter, they were cheered for the same. Some of the students were given the opportunity to speak from the stage and some of them had prepared speeches that were clear and concise, while others spoke unintelligibly, but still from their heart, and still they were all cheered for the same.

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In addition to being amazing for all the reasons I’m talking about, my school also loves Star Wars, which makes them even better!

There aren’t words to accurately describe this experience. I wanted to take pictures, but due to confidentiality issues I couldn’t. This school embraces diversity. It celebrates individuality. It encourages kids to be exactly who they are, rather than fitting into some mold. At the same time as it is doing all this, it also encourages them to work together and live as a community. These attributes – acceptance, individuality, diversity, creativity, community, love – are why I say that working there is a glimpse into the Kingdom of Heaven. You see, this is exactly what I think the Kingdom of Heaven is like. God made us as individuals, but created us for community with him and each other.

Being at this school and seeing these beliefs lived out has caused me to reflect on how the Church represents these same values. I have to say this school looks much different than most churches. When most people think of churches they think of having to dress a certain way and act in a specific manner (mostly putting on a cheerful face). That is not the way this school operates. People dress however they are comfortable. Some have gauged ears, tattoos, and multi-colored hair, some wear ties or dresses while others wear sweatpants and t-shirts. And because they are a community of people living life together, occasionally people have really bad days, but they love each other through it. They show grace and love, and they move on. People are able to express themselves the way God created them.

Do not get me wrong. I am in no way advocating the “everything is permissible” and “we all make our own truths” mentality that is so common today. However, I am saying that as the Church we have to be intentional about the culture and reputation we are creating. We have to be open to things that are different and willing to accept things that are outside of our comfort zone. There are ways to honor God and glorify His name that do not match what we’ve always done. And our community, the Church, becomes so much more beautiful when we allow people to express themselves in exactly the way God created them to do so. There is a beauty and splendor in allowing people to be who they are. That doesn’t mean that we don’t still disciple and study the Word together in an effort to grow closer to our Savior. Of course, we do that! And, yes, that will inevitably change us. But what I’m talking about is our individual personalities, our quirks, the things that make us who we are. So many times, the Church tries to dampen those qualities in us because they don’t “fit” our idea of what a Christian should look like. If someone likes to dance, let them dance to the glory of God; if someone likes tattoos, let them honor God with what they put on their body; if someone enjoys rock music, let them praise God to Skillet and Red; if someone enjoys all things nerd (sci-fi, anime, comic books, D&D, superheroes, etc.), let them relate to those people who have similar interests and share God’s love in that setting.

When we celebrate our quirks and our individuality, the Kingdom of God is expanded and taken into parts of society it may not typically be welcome. We are not called to create cookie-cutter Christians, we are called to love people. It’s hard to look at God’s creation and argue that He does not love diversity, so why would he not want that among His people? I think He rejoices in diversity. I would even go as far as to say that when we do not allow diversity and individuality in the Church, we dampen the Holy Spirit. Yes, God will still bless us, because He is good and gracious and He loves us. However, what blessings are we missing out on when we imply that His creations are only welcome when they worship like we do, act like us, look like us, and so forth.

Adam and I got a tattoo of 1 Corinthians 15:10 for our 30th birthdays. It says, “By the grace of God I am what I am and His grace towards me was not in vain”. If we are going to accept God’s grace towards us to be who we were created to be, we have to accept other people in that same love and grace. Often times that will mean that they look and act different than us, but that is the beauty of God’s Kingdom.

Finding the Familiar

Sometimes things are crystal clear and life makes perfect sense, and other times you don’t even know what you are thinking and feeling from minute to minute (or maybe I’m the only one?). During those times, it’s hard to put into words what you’re going through, but I think it’s important to try. I think that when we do this, other people are encouraged by our efforts and can find commonality…at least that is my hope. These past few months have been one of those times for me, and this is my attempt to put my thoughts and feelings into words.

Adam and I moved across the country, and we love it here! In many ways, I have never felt so at home. The culture here fits us so well. Y’all, it’s called “The Land of Manana (tomorrow)”, meaning that most everything starts late, many people are not on time for things, and everything is pretty laid back (including the speed limits, which is glorious). And if you know us at all, you know that what I just described, makes this place sound like we were made for it, and that’s true. It’s got tons of hiking and outdoors-y options, while at the same time being a bigger city, with board game cafes, theaters, cinemas, shopping, museums, and other fun things. So, the culture is fantastic and a great balance for us.

The church we are at is absolutely amazing. I already feel like I have known most of the people there for years. In the few months that we’ve been here, I’ve developed many real, genuine friendships. I love our youth and am so honored to be able to work with them and help them grow. Ever since I graduated from college, I have wanted to work with college students, and I am finally able to here! The Bible study I am doing with the college girls, I know I have to get more out of it than they do, because it just gives me so much energy and life. I’m finally starting the tutoring ministry that I have dreamed about for years. So, our church is wonderful, and I cannot imagine a church that would be better for us.

I’ve found a school that I am currently substitute teaching at that I truly cannot say enough good things about. It is my dream school. It’s a sign language school with both deaf/hard of hearing and hearing students. You guys, I didn’t think a school like this existed! This school has intentionally worked to create an environment of acceptance, love, and individuality. Students of all ability levels work together to be successful, achieve goals, and live in community together. I LOVE IT! And, totally not the most important, but an added bonus, is that many of the employees have tattoos and fun colored hair (which again, if you know me, you know is kind of made for me). So, my job is outstanding and a dream come true.

We bought a house that I love in a neighborhood that I love! It’s a very traditional, southwestern, adobe home, and it operates mainly on solar energy! We have an acre of land where there’s all sorts of wildlife, and almost every morning there are hot air balloons above our backyard. There’s a fenced in patio for our dogs, and they are so happy out there. The house, itself, is so quirky and unique. It has two stain glass windows, a gorgeous fireplace, huge windows with an amazing mountain view, and two carved, tree statues (one of various animals and one of St. Francis). So, our house is wonderful and fits us very well.

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Meet Frankie, the statue of St. Francis in our backyard.

Everything is fantastic! God lead us here, and there have been a million things to confirm that, which is exactly why this next part doesn’t make sense. I have been so homesick. I absolutely love it here, and wouldn’t want to change anything. At the same time, I really miss Kentucky. Yes, I miss my family and my friends, and I know that I always will. However, I expected that, so I feel like I was somewhat prepared for it even though it hasn’t been easy at all. It’s all the things I wasn’t prepared for that have been so difficult. I thought I was, but I wasn’t. I wasn’t prepared for how much I would miss my places. You know, those places where you walk in and everyone knows your name (essentially, I miss my Cheers). I miss walking into the Starbucks on my way to work and them greeting me by name. I miss walking into Purdy’s and seeing 5 people I know before I sit down, and I dearly miss walking into Café Meeples and them asking me if I want my regular. I miss knowing where I’m going and driving without a GPS. I miss familiarity. I worked at my last school for 7 years, so I knew that place inside and out. If the copier was jammed, I could fix it. Need to know where something was? I could tell you or at least point you in the right direction. As much as I love my new school, I am completely clueless on where anything is, and I have no idea how to work the technology.

These are the things I didn’t think about and prepare for when we moved. I know that over time we will develop our places here. There’s this fantastic little café near our house called Nate and Hannah’s that we have been to a few times, and I’m sure that before too long they will start to recognize us. And I can now get to and from church and work without GPS, so I’m making progress. AND, let the people rejoice, I made copies by myself at work the other day! So, things are getting better and, as they do, my homesickness is subsiding some. However, in the beginning I felt guilty over my homesickness, which only made it worse. What I’m realizing, though, is that being homesick doesn’t take away from how much I love it here. It just testifies to how much I also enjoyed Kentucky, and that’s not a bad thing. I can miss one place and still love another place. So for now, I’m going to work on continuing to find the familiar here, letting places here become our regular spots, people here become our “family”, and this place become our home. But I’ll also reminisce occasionally about places and people in KY, and rejoice when we go back to visit. And I’ll find joy in both.

Blessings Amidst Adversity

It’s been a while since I wrote a blog, quite a while. It’s partly been due to the fact that we’ve been busy with the move. The other factor has been that a big move like this is a lot to adjust to, and I needed to give myself some time to settle in and get some perspective before I wrote about it. So, we have now been in Albuquerque for two months, and we really do love it here. Our church is amazing and so supportive. Everyone has been so welcoming. They have not only welcomed us to the church and the city, but they have welcomed us into their homes and their families.

The church and our family has done everything they can to make this move as easy as possible, and we appreciate it more than we could ever express. However, a move twenty hours away from everything and everyone you know is just not easy, no matter how much support you have. Here is what I have learned, though, just because it’s difficult doesn’t mean it’s not good, or that you’re not in the center of God’s will. So, I’m going to tell you about some of the difficulties and the joys Adam and I have journeyed through in the past few months. I’m going to seek to be as transparent as possible for a couple of reasons. One, I’m pretty sure that Adam and I are not the only ones to ever be called away from our family and friends to minister, and a huge reason I write this blog is so that people can find a kindred-ness within these words. When people read this, I want them to know that they’re not the only ones going through whatever I’m writing about. Also, even if you’re not the one moving far away, I’m sure you know someone who has, and maybe these words will give you a better idea of what that’s like and how to minister to that person. Finally, when I first started this blog I said that, “I believe that if we were all more transparent with each other we would ease the unnecessary shame and guilt that we so often inflict on ourselves,” and I want to stay true that. Even though we are thrilled to be here and know, without a doubt, that we are in the center of God’s will here, the move was difficult, and I want to be sure I accurately depict the entirety of the journey God has taken us on.

I was so excited about moving out West. After all, we had been waiting on this and praying about it for years. So, when it came time to get rid of a significant portion of our belongings (we moved from our house into a significantly smaller apartment), I didn’t hesitate. I held tight to what a dear mentor and friend had taught me – memories are not in the stuff, memories are with the people. Stuff is just…stuff. So, I posted item after item on Facebook, and it was all rather freeing. Until I got to a set of dishes that I just loved. As I went to post them on Facebook, I broke down. I called my mom crying and she graciously offered to keep them until we got a house. I think that was the first “reality check” moment for me. Other than that, it was actually really nice to be able to give some of the things that we valued to our family and friends, sharing memories related to those items throughout the giving/selling process. Sometimes, even if we knew we were blessing others and were happy about it, the memories were shared with tears and statements like “promise me you’ll take good care of it”.  There was a curio cabinet that my grandmother had given me, and I just couldn’t decide whether to keep it or not. When I finally decided to sell it, a friend of mine was so excited about it that I began to feel happy about her buying it even though my heart broke a little at the idea of selling it. She text me a picture of it all set up and full of precious items to her, and it blessed my heart. So, for the most part, it was good, and even therapeutic, to purge ourselves of so much of our stuff.

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This is one of the dishes in the set. It’s was just too pretty to get rid of…I guess some stuff isn’t just stuff.

As far as that goes, things were going well. Then Satan started to attack. Not only did we have moments where we thought, “are we seriously doing this?, what if we fail?, what if we’re miserable?, what if we don’t fit?, this is crazy!” But, things started to pile up. We had SO MUCH work to do on our house! We had lived in it for 8 plus years, and there was just the typical wear and tear that had to be fixed before we could put it on the market. Not to mention packing and cleaning. Then, one day I was driving to work (one of my last days to drive to work), and as I slowed down on the exit ramp my car clanked to a stop, refusing to move again. So, I broke down crying and called my boss who prayed with me and told me to just get there when I could and not to worry about it. We took my car to a shop and they couldn’t find anything wrong with it. So, a few days later while Adam was visiting his family, I was out running some errands in my car. On my way back home, less than half a mile from my house, my car clanked to a stop again, only this time it also smelled like something was burning. I call my dad, sobbing, and he talked me through getting it back home. Then I called one of my dearest friends who dropped everything to come over and bubble wrap with me because I just couldn’t be alone. I later found out the transmission had gone out. So, in the midst of everything else we had to deal with getting my car worked on.

I tell this story, not to complain, but to demonstrate that even though (or maybe specifically because) we knew we were doing exactly what God wanted us to do, things didn’t just fall into place. It was stressful, there was more work than what we could do alone, people we thought would be there for us just weren’t, and there were a lot of tears shed (of course, I cry at commercials and EVERY SINGLE episode of The Voice, so I guess that’s relative). However, because of this adversity we were able to experience blessings we otherwise would not have. We have some dear friends who spent two years in China. We had lost touch with them and had reunited with them a few months prior to our decision to move. However, our friendship was solidified and strengthened through this process. They knew what it was like to pack up and leave your home. They could relate to us in a way that no one else in our lives could, and that was (and remains) such a blessing. As I said before, we had too much work and too little time, so we asked a friend from a former church to clean our house after we moved everything out. Her and her family are precious to us and we were able to reconnect with them, a connection we are still maintaining today. Our realtor was able to get a handyman to help us with some of the home repairs, so we could prioritize time with our families.

Within all this was, not only tremendous blessing, but a huge lesson for us, it’s okay, even in ministry to ask for help. You see, the term “minister” literally means to serve. So, in ministry your life centers around helping others. That’s, literally, the point of your job. So, when life became too much for us to handle on our own, and we were the ones in need of the help, it was a bit of a different situation for us. Honestly, it was quite humbling, but also really good to see how many people were willing to, and even eager, to help us as soon as we were willing to ask. There was one day where we had three different families at our house, all wanting to help. We had one family cleaning, one family helping us move stuff, and one family helping us pack stuff. At one point, I stepped back and couldn’t help but cry at the love that was being showered upon us by so many.

So, all our stuff was packed, sold, or given away. Next came the good-byes and the travel. However, this blog is already longer than I intended, so that will have to be a story for a later time. I have a feeling this will be more of a blog series anyways. After all, we’re only two months in, so I’m sure there’s more to write that we haven’t even experienced yet.

God is on the move…and we are too!

Adam and I (and our puppies, of course) are moving…to Albuquerque, NM! I know for many of you reading this, this news sounds crazy and rash and out of the blue. However, for us, this has been a long time coming. Let me explain…

A few years ago (about 3), Adam and I started to feel lead outside the Bible belt. We really wanted to share the Gospel where it is less common, so we started to prayerfully look for places that might be a good fit for us. We originally landed on Santa Fe, NM (1 hour North of Albuquerque), and honestly, it was mainly because they offered coffee and chocolate tours, which sold me on the place. So, we booked a “scouting trip” to Santa Fe to see if we liked the area and could see ourselves living out there.

Now, here is where the first “God thing”/confirmation comes in. The morning after we booked our trip, I was talking to one of our prayer warriors on the phone on my way to work, and out of nowhere, they asked me what Adam and I planned to do after he graduated from seminary in a few years. I didn’t want to tell them anything about moving outside the Bible Belt because nothing was definitive yet, so I just said, “I don’t really know”. Their response was, “I just feel like you all might do really well moving out west, maybe Colorado or New Mexico”. Ya’ll, I swear I about swerved off the road! Immediately, I was bawling, “Oh my gosh! How did you know?!”

Now, while that was weird enough, a couple of weeks later we were out eating and ran into our old campus minister. We told him we were thinking about moving out west, and without missing a beat he said, “ya’ll should look into the New Mexico area. I could really see you guys fitting in well out there.” We hadn’t even told him we had booked a trip there or that we were looking at New Mexico.

So, with that confirmation that we were at least on the right track, we went on our trip to Santa Fe. Forty-two hours round trip…fantastic road trip, I would highly recommend it. We were out there for a week, and we tried to do mainly local stuff to really get a feel for what life would be like in that area. And we loved it! We really just fell in love with the area.

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Our first night in Albuquerque on a recent trip. We were so tired, but so excited to be there too!

After that week, we returned to KY with our minds and our hearts full. We had so much to think and pray about it. So, we did…we prayed about it for a long time, two plus years to be exact.

I’m going to pause here for a second and just be real. I think this is the part that so many people in the middle of answered prayers don’t talk about. We didn’t just pray about this once or twice and then miraculously everything fell into our lap. We petitioned God for years, on a daily basis, for him to guide us to our next step, wherever that may be. We felt like it might be New Mexico, but we didn’t want to assume to know His will for our lives just because of one trip and a few conversations, so we prayed…and prayed…and prayed some more. And to be honest, there were quite a few times that our hope wavered. It started out so strong with so much confirmation, and then nothing for a LONG time. I’m not going to say we didn’t waver in our faith about this calling, because we did. We doubted if we had heard God correctly, whether we could actually move that far away from our families, and pretty much every other possible doubt entered our minds at some point during the process.. Three years is a long time to wait on an answer! However, we always came back to the confirmation we received in the beginning, not to mention the heart that God had developed in both of us, simultaneously, for the west and living outside the Bible Belt. There were little things along the way that God used to give us encouragement and remind us. For example, we went to the Catalyst conference last year and on the opening day they talked about Joseph and how God gave him a vision for his future, but it didn’t come to fruition immediately. Joseph had to wait years for God to develop the vision. That was so encouraging to me! I remember sitting in the room, fervently writing down notes and quotes from the speakers, with tears streaming down my face in awe of God’s goodness.

So, Adam’s last semester of seminary rolled around, and it came time to begin to apply for jobs. Our hearts were still out west, but again, we didn’t want to assume we knew God’s plan for us. Maybe there was a journey we needed to go on before we made it out west. We took the mindset of casting our lot and letting God place us. So, he applied to places across the United States, including places in Kentucky. He had written and phone interviews, plus two in person interviews. One with a church in VA where Adam was in the final two, but they chose the local person and one with a church in PA where we chose not to accept the job offer due to God’s leading.

In the middle of all these interviews and all the road trips, there was always this church in New Mexico that we would talk about. At one point the pastor did call Adam and talk to him to let him know he was in the running, and we were encouraged by that, but then it was a while before we heard anything else, so we weren’t sure what God was doing. And, again, we prayed, “God we really feel like this NM church could be the right fit, but we’re not sure, so please just guide us and guide them,” and we waited.

In the end, Del Norte Baptist Church in Albuquerque (took me a while to spell that correctly on a regular basis), NM went through a lengthy interview process that included phone interviews, Skype interviews, and multiple in person interviewish meet and greet sessions and extended Adam the job offer. We accepted, and we will be moving out there mid September. This blog is already getting quite lengthy, so I will end it for now, but will write another one shortly to share more about our experience because it has been fantastically wonderful. We love the church and the area, and I can’t wait to share more about it. However, this is not all sunshine and roses, we are moving very far away from our families, my work, our friends, and everything we know. We have a fantastic support system that makes this move easier and more difficult at the same time. Tears have been intermingled with the joy, and I will share about that as well. However, for now, just know that we are moving out west, God is at work, it is all a part of His plan, and we are thrilled and humbled to be a part of it.

 

Real Community

I’ve been mentoring the same young lady, Alyssa, for the past four years. This may not seem like a big deal for you, but for me it’s huge for a multitude of reasons. One, I’m really not good with commitment. This isn’t me being humble or hard on myself, it’s just the simple truth – maintaining friendships is not a strength of mine, never has been. Secondly, most days I don’t really feel qualified. Truthfully, most days I struggle to feel like an adult. Adulting is hard, and often times not fun, and I frequently take a break from it, sometimes intentionally, sometimes by accident. Either way I’m not really consistent with the whole adulting thing. So, with these thoughts in mind, you might be wondering how in the world I ever started mentoring Alyssa.

Alyssa was a part of my husband’s youth group. She was one of my kiddos, as all the youth are (if you are a part of my classroom or my husband’s youth group, you instantly become a permanent part of my heart and life. I love ya like my own, that’s just how it is). We hosted this youth group at our house, so she was frequently in our home and even claimed one of our guest bedrooms as her own during lock-ins. A couple of years into youth group, Alyssa recommitted her life to Christ at Ichthus (a Christian concert). At that time I felt lead to offer to mentor her in her walk with Christ to encourage her continued growth in her relationship with the Lord. Now, for me this was a big deal. (A.) I didn’t want her to feel like she had to say yes, and (B.) Adam was resigning as youth minister, so I wasn’t going to be seeing her regularly, and with that whole commitment thing, I wasn’t sure how this would go if she did want to. So, I met her for coffee (I firmly believe that all good things begin with Jesus and coffee) and offered to continue to meet with her for coffee every week and talk about life and Jesus. I told her to take time to pray about it, and she did. A few days later she called me and said she was in.

Now I had a mentee and no idea what to do! I had never been mentored officially like this before. There had been, at various times, older women in my life that had shared life with me and advised me when I sought it, but I had never had someone sit down with me one on one and pour into me consistently over an extended period of time. There was a church program for mentorship that I was a part of, but it was short lived and used a set curriculum, so I really had no basis for what I had just stepped into. I decided that our first meeting should be Orange Leaf (because the next best thing to coffee is ice cream) and a trip to Lifeway to find some material to help us.

Now, this seems like a good time to point out that Alyssa and I are very different people. Don’t get me wrong, we have all the important things in common – we both love Doctor Who, Mexican food, and 80’s rock. However she is a definitive introvert, and I would lean toward being an extrovert. She’s a thinker, and I’m a talker. She mulls things over for days, and I instantly react. So, while I had known her for years, and we were close, we had mainly interacted in groups. One on one conversation was new for us, and I’m not going to lie, it was a little awkward at first. However, we picked out a devotional and decided on our next meeting time.

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Alyssa and I at our favorite meeting spot, Purdy’s Coffee. Sadly, we had to take this picture specifically for this blog, because even though we’ve been meeting forever, there are almost no pictures of us. 

Since then we have been meeting almost every week. We have had some devotionals we liked better than others. We have done topical studies on things like dating, finances, being a woman of God, and adoption. We have also, per her request, started doing studies on specific books of the Bible. We’ve moved from the youth section of Lifeway to the adult Bible study section. She’s graduated high school (Valedictorian, I might add!), started college, and spent a semester studying abroad in Mexico. She’s branched out and become her own person. A person I’m extremely proud of. Every time she does something that demonstrates a lot of growth and faith (like stopping and buying food for a homeless man, or taking a huge leap of faith by going to live in a different country, or standing up for her faith and the lifestyle it requires even when she’s facing peer pressure), I have to just stop and thank God for allowing me to be a small part of her life. She has a fantastic and wonderfully, supportive family, so she didn’t need me to guide her or prevent her from some terrible path she was on. She would have been fine with or without my guidance, so quite often I’m humbled that God chose me to be involved in how He is growing her.

When I first offered to mentor Alyssa, I thought it was because God wanted to use me in her life. And that was/is true. However, what I didn’t expect was how God would use her in my life. When we first started meeting, I was very cautious about sharing things from my life unless they related to the study. After all, she wasn’t there to be a listening ear to me, I was supposed to be that for her. However, over time, we’ve developed more of a friendship. Yes, I’m still slightly (okay, a lot) older than her, and I still have more life experiences and at times spiritual insights to share, but the mentorship has turned into a friendship that we both treasure. Even if when we go out for coffee or dinner people think I’m her mother. At first, it was always me leading the meetings, doing most of the talking. However, now she speaks up much more and occasionally leads the meetings (this may or may not have initially started because I forgot to prepare once, and she had no choice but to lead). At first, it was her learning from me (or so I like to believe). However, I now realize that she has taught me things too. I’ve become better at commitment because of her consistency in meeting with me. I’ve realized that it’s okay to be quiet and think through things before you speak (still working at putting this one into practice, though).

If you think about it mentorship is used in a lot of areas of our life. We have residencies, internships, student teaching, etc. for our jobs, big sisters for sororities (and possibly big brothers for fraternities, is that a thing?), and Big Brother/Big Sister programs in our communities. So, why would we not mentor people in the faith? If we need training on how to be good at our jobs, good sorority members, and good citizens, why would we not accept and give training on how to be a good/strong Christian? Not to mention the biblical call we have to make disciples, which I believe goes so much further than evangelism and group Bible studies. It involves living life with people, discipling them through both example and studying the Word.

I think the idea of mentoring is intimidating to those that would be mentors. We don’t feel like we have our lives together, so how could we possibly help guide someone else. Or at least that’s how I feel. However, the truth is, that’s not what is required to be a mentor. Being a mentor is about bringing someone else into your mess of a life and letting them learn from the good, the bad, and the ugly. Letting them see your relationship with God for all that is, the highs and the lows. Letting them know that yeah, you messed up, but God’s grace is enough for you, and it will be enough for them when they mess up. Here’s the deal, we need each other to get through life. God created us for community – real community, and I think mentorship is a key part of that community. More than likely you’ve had someone, if not multiple someones, pour into you. So, at some point, you will have the opportunity to pour into someone else, and I highly recommend you seize that opportunity. You won’t regret it.