Iron in Nice Packages

“What are we going to do when we have to leave each other next spring?” questioned one person.

“Well, what did we do before we ever met each other?” was the reply.

And then the reflection: “Was there life before we met each other?”

This was part of a recent conversation among the girls in my mentoring group.  Though these words were spoken in a rather joking manner, it’s true—we find it difficult to imagine life without each other.  As I think of Thanksgiving and the things that I am thankful for, this group of amazing, talented ladies that I have learned to know in the past year is high on the list.

“But what is mentoring?” you ask.  Yes—an excellent question.  Mentoring is a large part of life here at Faith Builders.  All of us students are divided into groups of four or five people, plus two mentors who lead the group.  Each week we are expected to hand in two journal entries, and our mentors read and respond to our writings.  Once a week we have a mentoring group meeting, in which we talk about life and pray for each other.  Often one or two people in the group are assigned to talk about a particular subject during the meeting time, and the rest of us listen and offer feedback and insight.  Last year we all wrote our life stories and shared them with each other.

But there—that paragraph sounds a little cold and clinical.  I find the subject hard to put into words.  I can only say that the delightful ladies that I call my mentoring group have blessed me beyond measure in these fifteen months that I have known them.  We laugh together.  We cry together.  Have I mentioned that we laugh?  A few weeks ago we girls pulled off a hilarious prank on one of our mentors.  I don’t know when I have ever laughed so hard.

Listening to each other and hearing each other’s stories is powerful and life-giving.  Satan loves if we believe his lies: “You are alone.  You are weird and different and messed up.  No one else struggles with the same things you do.  You have nothing to offer.”  Honest, trustful, real-life sharing in a small group swiftly debunks all those myths.  No one “has it all together.”  Everyone has issues to deal with.  Comparing ourselves with other people is one of the most idiotic things we can do.

Life is far richer when it is lived in fellowship.  “As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend” (Prov. 27:17).

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