When I think of mentorship I think immediately of one person. My mother-in-law, Tricia Duke. A woman who has walked through life with me since I was a teenager when I first started dating her son. From the moment we met, it was clear she was in my corner, she was always available, and she was someone worth looking up to. These things remain true today, 18 years later. Even more, mentorship is a unique blessing that goes both ways
1 John 4:7 “Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.”
Some characteristics that have made her such an amazing mentor are:
1. I never felt like she was my mentor. There was no specific hierarchy, she just had genuine care and interest in me.
2. She would have intentional conversations with me during normal life, while we all spent time as a family, or went for a walk, or ate dinner – it was natural.
3. She would always listen, and chose to believe the best about me – she is an incredible encourager! She would see something of value and speak life into it!
4. She shared with me. She didn’t just ask me to be open and vulnerable, she was open and vulnerable with me too.
5. She prayed for me, ALOT!
6. She spoke truth into my life, from her experience, her wisdom, and her faith.
7. She lived an example that I wanted to learn from. I listened because I respected who she was and how she lived.
8. We may not have lived near each other throughout the years, but phone calls and texts were just as effective.
9. She never seemed to wonder if she should invest in my life – she just did it because I was there with her, and she has never stopped.
10. She loved me. Because this was so true, her mentorship really was just a natural outcome of her love.
What I have learned from such an incredible example is that this can be true in all of our lives. There are people who are naturally around us, who are younger than us, who we can Love, believe the best about, encourage, share life with, and pray for. It is really an accident the mentorship part – the intentional part, is the choice to love the one who is in front of you. The beauty of it is we don’t have to have it all figured out, that is part of the vulnerability that mentorship flourishes on! Even more, mentorship is a unique blessing that goes both ways, the love flows in both directions! So, who is in front of you? Love that one.