So rewind about 18 years... insert Jamie into my young and oh so 'I-think-I'm-wise-and-so-ocool' life... oh little did I know. :)
So Jamie and I grew up at the same church, she was a sponsor for my youth group and the Lord placed my on her heart. (I'm not sure if that's exactly true... but I'm going with it) Somehow, the Lord grew our relationship. Jamie became so much more to me than a youth sponsor. She became my mentor, and my friend!
I actually remember the first time I realized just how blessed I was to have Jamie in my life and as my mentor growing up... we were at a fall retreat down at Windemere and we were in a hotel-ish type of lodge instead of the typical 6 person cabins. ...I remember so vividly this moment.. we were having our nightly room devotionals with your room leader (Jamie was of course my room leader)... and she had us each close our eyes and she began to paint a word picture in our minds. It was so beautiful. It was Zepheniah 3:17 "The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing." IT was one of the defining moments in my relationship with the Lord because it started to change my view of God from just a father who is strong/tough/just/mighty/powerful... into a father that is relational and desires intimacy with His children.
It is amazing because Jamie has been in my life for over 18 years and she continues to be a mentor and a dear friend. She and I can share things and thoughts we've had with one another knowing that our love for one another is unconditional. There is no judgement, just love, honesty, encouragement... transparency at its finest. It is beyond beautiful... it is God-glorifying!
We have cried together, laughed together, spoke truth to one another, encouraged one another, laughed some more, had spouts of distance between us.... and in all of it - the Lord was glorified.
That mentor-type of relationship is so important. I know I've talked about it before, but I believe the Lord set up the church to be full of these relationships. He tells us in Titus 2 to have these relationships... why do we drag our feet? Are we afraid of letting someone that close? Are we scared of judgement from the other party? Will they use the trusted information against me one day? Will they really be as honest to me as I am to them? It will take too long to get to that point, Raylene! Oh I have that kind of relationship with a brother or sister or other family member.. I don't need anyone else?
what is it? What is it that keeps us from letting others in? We need to protect our heart, I realize that.... wisdom must be present when finding/pursuing these relationships. Lets attempt to remove the excuses and crutches and let ourselves be vulnerable, transparent, honest with another lady (gentleman if you're a guy).
I know that this relationship is what gave me the passion and desire to serve the youth ministry when I grew up... I'm so blessed to be a part of the SWBC grounded ministry. #swbclove
I could go on for hours about this one, ya'll... so we'll bring this one back up... don't you worry :)