Last year was my first foray into attempting to participate in Lent. I ‘gave up’ Facebook (which if you know me, is something I need a break from anyway…I spend lots of lots of time there). I moved to Twitter, and though I was still involved with social media, it was a different platform of interaction all together. The conversations I was able to have, the people I was able to begin to attempt to know, it was a glorious time set apart.
I was intrigued by anything that would lead to a better understanding of Lent, and a link was shared to Kris Camealy’s book ‘ Holey, Wholly, Holy: A Lenten Journey of Refinement’. I downloaded it and began to read about a season of the liturgical calendar that I really had no previous knowledge of. I have to be honest and say, I didn’t finish the book. It wasn’t because it wasn’t good…it was amazing. It was just that I became preoccupied with other things and forgot it was downloaded. This connection with Kris’ writing led me to her blog, to commenting on her blog, to interactions with her on other people’s blogs…and to the beginning of a blossoming friendship as I re-entered Facebook at the end of Lent.
In the final months of 2013, we were engaged in a conversation on Facebook. She is involved in planning a retreat for this year called ‘Refine’ and it totally spoke to my heart. I was blessed to be given the opportunity to attend both a retreat (Jumping Tandem) and a conference (CCEF’s yearly gathering, this past year in Dallas) this past year, both of which I had prayed about, and which were in line with what I felt God was calling me to last year : Brave(ry). Many opportunities presented themselves, which I would have loved to be a part of, but I knew that I couldn’t afford to attend everything I wanted to, and I didn’t think I could leave work for that long of a time period!
I knew however that God had provided this calling in Kris’ life, that there were those out there whose hearts would be touched and changed by this ministry and that I was behind her all the way in this dream. I contacted her several times to see how I could best pray for her. Through our conversation, we discovered we had a mutual dear friend in Shelly Miller and got onto the topic of how God had provided a mentor in Shelly for Kris. I could think of no two people better suited to lift one another up in life together. What a beautiful blessing.
When I first started attended Harvest Bible Chapel London, the first weekend women’s conference that my church sponsored was a speaker named Donna Otto. A women with a passion for the Lord and for the heart’s of women. She spoke on mentoring and it was something really touched deep into my heart. I knew that I had longed for older women who had gone before in life and in love with God to speak into my life…and there have been provisions of these as I’ve gone through life, but not one person who I had asked to become specifically involved. I had asked one dear friend, but with every thing that was on her plate in the past year, she felt that God was telling her to take a step back. We are great friends and I continue to learn and grow from the interactions and heart talks we have together. But my heart still longed for someone to speak truth and to challenge my heart to seek more of him.
Through a God-ordained conversation, Kris spoke such beauty into my life by saying that she would pray that God provides someone for my life. Moments later she suggested that we pray about whether that might be something he had called us too. We committed to pray about it and seek Him about whether this friendship could be called of him into a mentoring relationship.
My first reaction when she suggested it was utter disbelief. Not that she was genuine (I knew she way), but that she would even consider connecting with ME in this way. Something I struggled with when I went to Jumping Tandem, was the feeling of being ‘not enough’. No one told me this was the case, but the enemy did a good job of whispering into my ear that I had nothing to offer at this gathering, that there were people who were far more prominent in blogging circles who were present and who was I to think I had anything to offer. My friend Amber spoke truth into my life about that…and I strove to move forward into the truth that I knew he was calling me to this, and that He would speak to me, if nothing else.
So I have to admit that while I know that the bloggers that I enjoy reading and who have large followings and books’s published are just normal people like me, it is hard for me not to have a complex about not being enough or even being of importance for them to interact with. I know, the lies are speaking louder than the truth in this situation, but its the truth of how I am and have felt.
The fact that Kris would even consider a mentoring relationship blew me away. I wanted to tell her to not bother praying about it, because she didn’t know what she was getting into. All the while I tried to remember what I had learned when I admitted I felt less then at Jumping Tandem; that He’s called us ALL for a reason, and just because some are published writers who people know, doesn’t make anyone else less of a person. So I prayed about it, still incredibly beside myself that she’d even consider it.
We chatted again after Christmas, and she shared that she was willing to step forward into this leading, if I was. And so it began, our mentoring relationship courtesy of this online world and Skype. I am so thankful for the truth that Kris has brought into my life, even in the short time we’ve been engaging in this way. I am so thankful that God saw fit to bless me in this way, something that I could never have imagined for myself in a million years. His ways are definitely not my ways…He seeks to build, grow and stretch me to be more like Him, and some times I’m so content listening to the lies and sitting on the fence in the middle of decisions, not realizing that following my ways is just an exhausting pursuit.
So here’s to a year ahead of new things. Of learning from a dear sister in Christ who I have been blessed to connect with. and for listening less to the lies, and seeing the truth of who He has made me, and How I can better shine and reflect His glory.