Recently I was given the opportunity to sign up for a mentoring program in my local school district. The Superintendant asked all the churches in the area to supply mentors for all 250+ incoming Freshman to the high school.
You see, where I live is on the edge of a very poor school district, where the graduation rate in 2014 was only 60%. The community wants to change that, in part by supplying a support group to these teens, especially in situations where they don’t have one.
When I first learned about the program, I felt a tugging on my heart and I knew I wanted to be a part of it. Not for me, certainly not, but because I know what it’s like to feel like you don’t have anyone to talk to.
Don’t get me wrong, I have a very loving and supportive family, and my husband is a rock that I can trust implicitly. But, for all of my teenage and adult years, I have prayed for a strong Christian woman to be a mentor to me. This is very hard for me to type because I’m still not sure why God hasn’t provided this when I so desperately have prayed for it. There have been countless women that I would watch and pray to the Lord, “Could this be the one?” But for some reason, it’s never come to be. For some I’ve felt that they were too busy with their own families to want to meet and pray with me once in awhile; for others, I didn’t feel like they truly cared enough for me to want to. Sometimes I blame myself for that: Am I too shy? Do I turn people off with my personality? I’ve always prayed that we would both feel that connection and that I would feel safe to share my concerns and ask someone to pray for me. It still hasn’t happened.
I can just feel my mother reading this and asking why I don’t go to her. I do, but it would be wonderful to have a woman who is not related to me and can speak impartially to my situations. Sometimes, you just need to hear things from a woman who is in the stage of life that you are moving into.
So as soon as I heard about it, I signed up. Nothing has started yet except for a few orientations and some information about passing background checks and fingerprinting, but I’m excited. I’m excited because I want to provide what I’ve felt like I haven’t had. Am I expecting that this young woman will look up to me and trust me and share everything with me? I hope that I can create a comfortable space, but really I just want to be what she needs. Does she need someone to help her with her English homework or edit her essays? Does she need someone to bring Frappuccinos and chat? Does she need someone who will sit in silence with her and be crafty? Maybe she doesn’t feel like she needs anything. Maybe she doesn’t want to be part of a mentor program this is forced upon her by her high school. That’s okay–because I know that the first and foremost thing that I can do is pray for her and her family, even if she doesn’t want to share faith in any way with me. That’s okay too, because I want to show her the respect and consideration of her feelings that she deserves.
I’ve started praying for her and keeping her in my thoughts. I pray that as the school year starts, she finds herself concentrating on the things that truly matter–schoolwork and hobbies (no boys, haha!).
Some have been lucky enough to have that woman in their life that they can turn to, others not so much. Whatever you are, I pray today that you know that you have people who love you, and that you find that one person you can look up to and talk to. I know that God’s plan is always perfect, so I am trusting His timing for every aspect of my life. And I encourage you to be on the lookout for that young woman. She is out there, and she needs someone to love her, and I pray that when the opportunity arises, you hold onto it as close as you can.