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Mentoring: Brothersons pt 2

Another deep ache in my resounds in my being. My own wants, my own needs, my own issues swirling around my mind, and I'm faced with yet another choice.

Mentoring is very vulnerable for me. I am an all-access kind of person to someone I care about who is truly close to my heart. I allow myself to be a resource for those people who I know might call right before bed, and I like to keep that list of people small.

Not only am I all-access, but I'm very open. I've noticed those who are uncomfortable with being open tell me I share too much, however, I've learned to not shrink myself to make others feel bigger. I'm not a person who hides my struggles and talks about them when they're over. I allow my mentees especially to watch my process, to watch my healing, to see my choices, and to see my transformation before THEIR eyes. Having that be the model for them, I've witnessed their transformation before MY eyes happen a lot faster than I would have ever expected.

On top of this, I am a person who is heavily introverted. I don't enjoy large crowds at all. I would have to drink a looot of espresso to rally myself to be at a Canada Day celebration, or a concert, or anything like that. I have a hard time on the weekly going to our church of a couple-hundred people. Adding another person to the list of people I'm vulnerable with, adding another person to the list of people I allow to fully see me, adding another person to pour into was daunting.

While it was my prayer that I would have 4 mentees, since I was Arthurs age, I was resistant still. I wanted to be more "ready."

After a short and intense inner wrestle (that felt like an eternity), I ask Arthur, "Would it be okay with you to ask Barlow if we can set up a group call between us? I really feel like I need to connect with him."

The call we set up was life-changing for both of us. At the end of the call, I asked him if I could mentor him, and if he wanted me to be a permanent fixture in his life or a temporary one. "Yes. Permanent."

The transition of one to two mentees wasn't as hard as I expected. This was when I was I started to see God being made strong in my weaknesses. I've found in my own life that when God asks me to do something, He often gives me the resources (in this case, time and energy) to make something happen. If I don't have the resources when an "opportunity" arises, I've noticed that Yahweh is asking for me to yield something that's old in order to make room for the new.

Getting to know Barlow was one of my greatest honors (and I truly mean that). Having a random person from the other end of a province accept my offer for mentoring, being trusted to speak life and pray for them, and THEN being placed in that big brother/spiritual father/mentor position allowed me to fulfill that desire and that craving for connection that I've always wanted. Just not in the way I expected it to be.

It was another example of "in my weakness, He is made strong." It was the example of Yahweh readying those He calls (vs calling the already "ready"), it was 2 Corinthians 1:3-7 sitting on the other side of my screen during a video call.

It's been coming up on 2 years of knowing Barlow soon. And seeing the change in his life has been, personally, incredibly encouraging. With Covid, health restrictions, mandates, floodings, work schedules, and more, we haven't been able to meet face-to-face yet. Yet we still have the intentional connection.

Barlow is now at the place of being filled, that he's wanting to pour out into someone younger than himself as well. To be a model of the gospel, and to be mirror of Jesus to other people in need of a caring big brother/mentor figure... to see Barlow want to take the role makes my heart swell with a level of holy pride. He's praying at his age is exactly what I prayed when I was his age. To mentor, to take on someone and provide for them, to be a big brother/spiritual father/mentor. One of the things I cherish most about Barlow is when we are on our group calls, he is the person who shares without hesitation what's going on in his heart. He's eager for connection not just with us, but with Yahweh. Without sharing any stories that aren't mine to share, Barlow has gone from boyz-2-men(of God) before my eyes.

Shortly after Barlow entered my life, along came Cyrus. He was another person who was almost 9 years younger than me at our church. Much like Arthur, he wasn't someone on my radar in terms of connection. And, incredibly similarly to Arthur, he also likes sports, rap, and cars, along with another long list of things that do not interest me. But during some services at our church, I would always feel the whisper of Yeshua (the Hebrew name that is modernized as Jesus) to give him a pat on the back, a hello, or some basic and lighthearted form of connection, until yet another day at church I hear a resounding God Though (T.M.!) saying,

"You need to confirm in Cyrus that has the spiritual gift of discernment."


Hello everyone!

There are some things that are so special about Barlow I cherish: his head & his heart.

Some people have the clear attributes of creativity, organization, quick wits, high levels of intelligence, extreme joy, or an amazing sense of humor. Barlow has the balance of head & heart that I haven't seen and do not see in many people.

In an imaginary scenario of a medieval kingdom, where I'm a Prophetic Wizard, where Arthur is a Paladin Knight, Barlow would be the King's Head Councilor, the War Strategist, and the Court Advisor all wrapped in one. Barlow has such immense leadership skills, not just with his tremendous analysis skills, but by the power of his heart as well.

If there's anything you take away from this blog, I hope it is this: Sometimes we hype up things and make them way bigger than they actually are or need to be. This coming from someone with ADHD, where if I'm given another SMALL task on my to do list, I can get overwhelmed immensely. There's often a wrestle that comes with every I take, but the important thing that I've learned is that our feelings are often wrong.

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