September 4, 2013

Do You Have a Mentor?

Mentors come in all different kinds of packaging throughout our lives. Some are spiritual mentors who guide us closer to the Lord. Some are field mentors who help us navigate our school or career paths. Some are health mentors who spur us on to greater fitness goals. Many other mentor types can exist, but for the purpose of this blog, these three will suffice.
My friend Heather comes to mind whenever I think about mentors, because she played the part of all three types described above. She was a beautiful gift to my life for a short time...shorter than I'd have liked. During my year-and-a-half stint at my hometown university, Heather mentored me in the Lord in many ways. Some of these were subtle, and some were right in my face. She taught me about way she viewed certain "hot topics" for young women, like dating/singleness/marriage, personal holiness convictions, and theological doctrines. She also mentored me in the way of ministry. I remember the day she invited me along and took me with her to co-lead a Disciple Now weekend for a youth group. While we were there, she mentored me in daily living. She arose early to dig into the Word. She then pounded the pavement, running a few miles around the neighborhood for exercise. She was really into healthy eating, and that along with the love for exercise were a part of her daily conversations with me. Heather 's passion for teaching young girls and exemplifying a life lived for Christ were a big part of clarifying my call to ministry and choosing a career path. Her zest for a balanced, healthy, holy life motivated me not just to be more like her...but to be more like Jesus. And I long to be that kind of mentor for other young women as well.
Although Heather and I no longer live in the same town, we have run into each other on occasion. Our last meeting was at a summer youth camp where we literally ran SMACK into each other during lunch one day. I was SO thrilled to see her! I mean, here in the Facebook age, we are still "friends" - although not the kind that communicate often. But she is still as beautiful a specimen of biblical womanhood today as when I first met her. And now she is a wife and mother, and she's still living her life for Christ to the best of her ability.
God is good, and His provision is perfect. Thank you, Jesus, for your gift of Heather to mentor my life at just the right time. And thank you, Heather, for honoring God by being part of my mentor heritage. The funny thing is, I doubt that Heather even knew that this was the role she was playing for me at the time. She was simply being obedient to Christ.
So...word to the wise, soul sister: people are watching! To quote the Christian band Watermark, "Who do we say that He is with our lives? Who do we say that He is in the words that we say? Who do we say that He is? For the little eyes are watching you and me..." Do you have a mentor? If not, seek one out! Are you mentoring someone else? You may be without even knowing it! Let us strive to live like Paul and be able to say to others, "Imitate me as I imitate Christ" (1 Corinthians 11:1).

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