The door opens.
She’s in front of me, a smile stretched across her face. She wraps her arms around mine and welcomes me in.
“Come on in,” she says. I follow behind her.
We go into the kitchen. Hot coffee is waiting. She pours it into a mug she’s set aside just for me. I grab the cream and sugar and move toward the table.
There’s a place card there. My name is lettered in swirly script, marking my place at her table. Without uttering the words she tells me I belong here.
This happens a handful of times each month, these days with Moira.
She’s known me since I was six, perhaps even younger. She’s one of my best friends’ mom. Exactly forty years span between us, but you’d never know. We just click.
Every few weeks Moira and I get together. There is always tea or coffee. We always sit around her table. I always stay hours longer than I intend to. I always leave grateful.
I did not know the importance of mentorship until last year. I’m not even sure if Moira knows she’s mentoring me; it feels more like friendship. There was never a formal agreement signed. I never asked her, “Will you be my mentor?”
But somewhere along the way we started hanging out more regularly and talking about what it looks like to be an apprentice of Jesus.
Last week we celebrated the month-long internship I accepted that will take place in England this summer. I brought scones and clotted cream; she supplied jam, and cups and cups of tea. We ate her birthday cake and chocolate-covered strawberries. (Afterward, I wondered if I should make a pit stop at the gym.)
Moira celebrates with me in the good. She’s mourned with me in the sad.
My book launched in the summer. The day after it launched, I felt empty— as if my dream were over and completed. I remember wondering what my purpose was now that my dream had been “fulfilled.” Moira looked at me and said, “You have to slow down enough to enjoy this. You’re too quick to start the next thing. Rest in this.”
Each time I go to her house for our bi-weekly catch-up, I take a deep breath and slow down. I soak in what she’s learned in her life about Jesus but also what she knows as a writer and communicator and as a wife and a mother. She teaches me a lot.
Find a mentor.
I understand finding a mentor might be hard. What do you do if you don’t know someone who sounds like Moira?
First of all, you don’t have to use the big, scary “mentor” word. Mentor is just a fancy word for someone who is a tiny bit more experienced than you. Maybe you’re a single college student and you want to chat with a woman who has been married for a few years. Or maybe you have babies and you want to talk to a mom whose kids are in high school now. Don’t get caught up in needing to establish “mentorship.” Just ask someone to coffee who happens to be a little farther down the road than you. She’ll delight in talking to you about what she knows.
Be a mentor.
So if mentor is a fancy word for someone who is a tiny more experienced than you, that means you can be a mentor to someone else. That idea can feel terrifying. How am I supposed to pour into someone else? I barely have a grasp on how to follow Jesus myself. What if I say the wrong thing?
But the truth is you have something to offer. There are a few girls in my life who are a couple years younger than me. I take them out to dinner or coffee. I listen to what is happening in their lives, and then I tell them what God is doing in my own life. If you’re actively seeking God, you will always have something to offer someone.
Find your Moira and then be one for someone else. You’ll be grateful, and so will she.Leave a Comment