TWO blog posts in one weekend! Try not to die of shock please. I didn’t write this one though – my mentor wrote this for you all the other day and I’m posting it because she’s making me. Yes, it made me cry the first time I read it because there have been a few rough days lately and I don’t always feel so great about myself. Probably another reason why she wrote it. Have I ever told you to get yourself a mentor? No? Get yourself a mentor.
Hi everyone! I am Anessa’s mentor (That title is way overwhelming, so I prefer not to use it…. I would say I’m less of a mentor and more of a slightly older woman who chose to walk along side a friend in need. However – this post isn’t about semantics or titles.…) I asked Anessa if I could write something for her blog. I have been reading the things she has written here and on social media as of late. I must tell you that her outlook on her life and progress has not exactly been truthful. She hasn’t been lying to you, but rather I think she is way underestimating her successes these past few months. So…I wanted to give you a glimpse of our dear friend through my eyes….
I’ve noticed that in the last few posts Anessa has mentioned that she’s had much to celebrate in her life (success at work…directing a play…enjoying family, etc.) She’s admitted to some down moments, but that those moments haven’t been as bad as in the past. I cannot tell you how much MORE there is to this!! Anessa had some pretty dark days over the last 18 months. There were times when she just needed to vent, there were times when her depression and grief nearly suffocated the life right out of her, there were lunch hours where she just cried. I’ve made her mad, challenged her to look at things differently, rejoiced in her good days, researched some medical options with her…the list is long. ALL of that to say…Anessa isn’t just “doing ok” – she’s thriving!!! Let me explain that in “mentor-ese”.
One of the things that we often talked about in the early days is the difference between reacting and responding. Believe me, the difference is huge. (And lest you think I have this process down to an art form let me reassure that you that I work on this every day too). In the early days Anessa reacted to everything. This means that there was an element of uncontrolled actions to the circumstances around her. It was like she couldn’t fight back and in truth, she couldn’t. Her heart, mind, soul and body were bound up in untruth. When the father of lies lets loose his chains of oppression and depression, it is hard to fight. She reacted to the voices that were loudest and, in that way, there was recklessness to her. Remember, Scripture tells us that God was not in the wind or the fire, but rather the still small voice. Throughout the process of walking with Anessa, I saw my job as trying to silence the loud voice of lies so that she could hear the “still small voice” of the Truth-Speaker. In hearing the truth, the chains fell off and Anessa could respond. She could respond to God’s grace, His goodness, His love for her. That is when she began to heal!
So…these past few weeks I’ve seen a woman who is much better at responding to her circumstances via a grace filled life! Yes…she still has a few moments when life just doesn’t seem…right, but she doesn’t react! She responds by searching for the truth! Sometimes that means search for a medical truth…sometimes that means responding to a relational truth (both good and bad), sometimes it’s spiritual truth. Anessa is no longer running in recklessness, but rather stands her ground and seeks the truth! This post is probably way over-simplified and I’m not sure I can totally convey the depths of amazement and pride that I have for Anessa. She is doing wonderful! If you get a minute, be sure to give her a great big “thumbs up” or better yet, send her a message to encourage her (Yes, Anessa…you have to leave that part in!!)
A Proud Mentor