Tuesday, October 27, 2015

The Importance of Mentoring

There's something that's been on my heart and mind lately... Mentors. All throughout school - in my undergrad and grad school, mentors were very common.

I had 2 different mentors when I was a freshman at Purdue, who were older seniors that had successfully navigated the college environment. They gave me tremendous help in adjusting and knowing what I was supposed to do at the right time. When I was a senior, I helped mentor some freshmen as well.

Last year in my graduate school, the college again set up a mentor program and I was paired with a woman who had been a successful dietitian for many years. Not only did she give me invaluable advice, but she encouraged me to keep going and pursue my dreams, even when I was feeling a little discouraged and overwhelmed. She'd been where I was, and she understood what I was going through. But the biggest thing was that she had made it through, and that helped me to keep going.

The Bible talks a lot about mentors. Titus 2:3-5 is perhaps my favorite Scripture on this topic.

The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.

God values mentoring. It can be such an encouragement and help, in an area that perhaps a lot of younger women are struggling. I mean, honestly, navigating college was nothing compared to navigating my spiritual well-being and Christianity, and yet, I've never once had a spiritual mentor.

Why don't you ask someone, you say? Maybe I'm too scared, maybe I don't know who to ask. Maybe it seems like a lot of the older women are distant - involved in their own worries and I don't want to bother them to help a struggling young girl overcome her own problems.

But I can tell you, I've prayed so hard that God would provide a mentor. Someone with wisdom, who has successfully navigated their spiritual walk to this point. Someone that can model how I should act and what I should do.

Some people might say that's what your mother is for. And maybe in a sense, she is. But I think there should be more than that. Titus 2 doesn't say "The mothers likewise....that they teach their daughters to be sober..." I also think it's somewhat akin to the reason that colleges don't make your professors your mentor. The professor has their own role. Yes, they need to teach you, but they are not your mentor.

So here it is: a challenge to myself and to anyone else who may happen to read this. Who can you reach out to and mentor in your life? It may seem scary to reach out and offer to be a mentor. Maybe you don't feel like you have it all together enough, but I think there is probably always someone that we can reach out to and encourage. Someone who is in the same place we were a few years back, and we made it through....

Will you be a teacher of good things?

Sunday, October 25, 2015

This Moment

The sun streaming in through the slats of my window.
Trees dressed in their evening gowns of splendor,
           gracefully whispering praises to their Maker.
The glistening soil, quietly resting after a long and fruitful year.
The feeling of overflowing in my heart, after all that He's blessed me with.

Feeling so lonely and alone that He becomes my everything.
Wondering what heaven will be like, and missing those that have already went.
Desperately trying to find my purpose in life,
            because it feels like I've lived so long and accomplished so little.
Missing just hanging out with friends, and not having to worry about small talk and impressions.
Wishing I could quit hating myself so much, and feeling like such a constant failure.

So grateful for His love, that it makes me cry.
How could He love a wretch like me?
How can He love me,
           when I desperately deserve to be hated?

You're the only hope that I'm clinging to,
And I hope You know, that I can't live without You...

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Less Like Me

she cries in the dark
and wonders hopelessly
why can't i just be
a little less like me?

a little less quiet
a little less awkward
a little more likable
a little more fun

is that really too much to ask?

can't i have more friends, God?
i'm tired of being the loner
i'm tired of feeling like a failure
tired of beating myself up
tired of it all...

don't give up, He whispers
I'm here by your side
you're my broken vessel
but I am the Potter
     who can put all the pieces back together.
and I love you, my precious daughter,
and I love you more than you know.

I see your heart
I know your struggles
they may think they do
but they see only your
     outward appearance
I made you this way
for a reason
     so trust me a little more, my daughter,
because I promise I'll never fail you.

          //    but they that wait upon the Lord 
          shall renew their strength; 
          they shall mount up 
          with wings as eagles; 
          they shall run, and not be weary; 
          and they shall walk, and not faint.