There are certain people in my life who I don’t know where I would be without them.
I have been lucky to be surrounded by loving parents, great friends, and mentors who care.
They have spoken truth to me when I lacked it,
Affirmed me when I needed it,
Challenged me when I needed to be stretched,
And extended grace when I least deserved it.
Earlier this year I was in the middle of a dry stretch of ministry, overwhelmed with school and work, and quickly reaching my breaking point. I had a busy schedule that was draining and leaving me discouraged.
(This is when being surrounded by great people is important)
One day I got lunch with someone who was filling a mentor role in my life and had been for a few years.
We started the conversation just like every other conversation we have: planning a trip to see the Thunder and Bulls play.
As the conversation went on he asked several questions about how I was doing with ministry, school, and work. I did my best to answer without showing that I was about to collapse.
I thought I was holding myself together pretty well…
I was wrong.
He looked at me as if to say “Why are you lying to me?”
Then he said, “You look like a beaten puppy”
This is what I tried to look like…
This is what he saw…
- I don’t have it all together
- I need to be encouraged and affirmed
- Things aren’t going as planned
- I feel like I am failing
- I want to give up
This conversation ended with him speaking incredible truth about difficult moments in ministry and times of feeling overwhelmed. He encouraged me to keep persevering and affirmed my abilities, talents, and hard work.
He also cared enough to tell me that I was not the answer, shared how I could switch my focus, and offered me a fresh perspectives on the situations.
I left this lunch with exactly what I needed: a full belly, encouragement, affirmation, and feeling rejuvenated.
- Are there people in your life who fill this role for you?
- Are you willing to be vulnerable enough to let them?
- Are there people in your community who need you to fill this role for them?