Since my first unhelpful mentoring experience, I shied away from anything resembling a formal mentoring relationship. But now, I realized mentors have been all around me. My beloved college professors had helped me figure out who I was as a writer. My (then new) pastor and I walked together and talked about faith while her son played on the swings.
I’d joined a philanthropic women’s group with members ranging in age from their early 40s to early 100s. These women would pull me aside, tell me they were praying for me and share what had worked (and what hadn’t) in their lives. But I wasn’t the only one benefiting from these relationships. I wasn’t an obligation, but a fellow traveler.
One of my dearest friends is about two decades older than I am, but she never makes me feel inferior. She is unafraid of my questions and of disagreeing with me. We frequently discuss what a gift it is to be companions for each other as we walk through this life.
All those years ago, I didn’t realize that the best relationships are about give as well as take or that we could walk side by side, regardless of our ages.
This message is excerpted from a Women of the ELCA blog by Cara Strickland. You can read it here.
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