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Posts Tagged ‘mentoring’

This is kind of a strange topic to write about, but… well, it has been on my mind all day.

Today is my friend Shaunti’s 41st birthday.  Not really a milestone, but another marker of another year lived for Christ.  That’s how my friend lives, and it’s how I want to live.  We hit big numbers – for her, it was her 40th last year.  For me, my 30th in the coming year.  But every year on this earth is a gift, despite the troubles and heartaches.  And the older you get, the more you realize what a gift everyone else’s years are to your own life.

I met my friend when I was 23.  I was still sort of a newlywed, but my marriage was crumbling.  I had just lost my job.  I was mercifully “employed” by my brother as a nanny to my then-2-year-old nephew.  I was very ill with Bipolar Disorder, but not yet diagnosed.  I read one of Shaunti’s novels during my nephew’s naps, and fell in love with it, so I e-mailed her to let her know.  This was before “For Women Only” and that whole series came out.  Somehow, over e-mail, we developed a deep friendship, and became as close as two people can get to being sisters without sharing a mom.  She took me under her wing in a million ways.  Never gave up on me.  Encouraged me, and loved me.

People change over the years, and I know I have changed for the better.  I’m medicated, for one thing.  🙂  But I have a real relationship with God now, and even though I still struggle and still need the hand of big sister to hang onto sometimes, I’m a million miles from where I once was, and I know it’s because God used Shaunti in my life.

I went on to know her better, and eventually work for her, and Shaunti has NOT changed.  She is sill a sweet, funny friend with a deep longing to know more and more of Christ.  Her kindness and generosity has only increased.  Well, maybe she has changed.  She seems to just get better.  We all have our faults, but my friend strives to be like Him, and she is incredibly successful at it.

Everybody needs a mentor, I am sure of it.;  I cringe to think about where I’d be without one.  I have mentored people, as well, and see how mentoring is a cyclical thing.  I learn from my mentor, I mentor others, and the circle goes around and around.  Does anyone walk this life with you?  If not, find someone.  I’ve had a few mentors in my life, all beautiful and special, but Shaunti has been a constant in my world for five years now.  She holds me to a high standard and fully expects and believes that I will meet it.  Everyone needs that, and I’m convinced that God has someone like that in existence for each and every one of us.

So this was going to be a happy birthday post to my friend, but I feel like I’m the one getting the really cool gift.  Well, happy birthday, Shaunti.  Thanks for pouring yourself out for people, for me.  I love you a ton.

But you knew that, didn’t you?  🙂

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