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Mentor in My Path
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Do you remember a mentor in your life that was instrumental in giving helpful advice, support, or friendship? I remember my boss at the college cafeteria that did all of the above, but the greatest gift he gave me was setting an example of how a Christian life should be lived. John started and ended everyday with prayer, and during our morning devotions, always had a big smile as he directed his gaze upwards toward God.
I started college late at age 26, and did not have the support of my family, who thought I should stick with the secure county job I had, and get these foolish notions of leaving home and going to college out of my head. It was difficult to go against their wishes, and they were determined that if I was going to take this step, they wouldn’t sign the financial papers that would enable me to get scholarships. I would have to work and take out loans, and I had a rough road ahead of me.
I remember being dropped off at the college by two close friends, and how tears were running down my face before their car was even out of sight. Part of me wanted to turn back, but God had led me this far, and I wasn’t about to back down now.
The cutoff age for the dorm was 22, and I had to get a special waiver to live in the dorm. I had always been a loner, and it was a big adjustment living with a roommate and 50 other women in residence. Later, I would get my own room, since my snoring drove most roommates to the dean’s office to complain.
It seemed a no-brainer since I had always been interested in food, to apply for a job in the school cafeteria. One of my favorite tasks was bagging the monster cookies, and somehow a few always broke in half, with a little help, and had to be eaten to conceal the evidence. I worked the serving line and helped prepare lunch. All in all, I was working 30 hours and carrying a full class load.
It was easy to get discouraged between work and classes, and it seemed like I was on the go constantly. I kept to myself, and with no supportive family to confide in, was very lonely. There was little time to participate in social activities, so I didn’t’ meet many new students.
John was a Christian friend I could confide in, and took my feelings seriously. He spoke about trusting God, and how God has a plan for our lives, and even though the way was hard, I was going to graduate. He invited me to his church and to dinner afterwards at his house, and I even ate with them at holiday time. I adopted he and his wife as my away from home family and it felt good to get away from the hustle and bustle of the campus. He prayed for me and with me, and always rejoiced with me when something good happened.
I found out later that John had been praying for someone to help, and God had used him as a mentor in my path at just the right time. We kept in touch for several years after I left college, and I will never forget how he shared the love of God with me. It’s a memory I will always cherish.
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