Tuesday, April 28, 2009

When You Dis' Obedience - Part 1

Recently God has really put it on my heart to really forgive my wife (well, unfortunately soon to be ex-wife). Not to just say it and be nice to her, but really forgive her. I'm talking real forgiveness, the kind that includes being able to wish them well.

I won't lie, I'm totally not ready for that and I've really been trying to interpret what God is telling me in a different way that doesn't involve asking him to bless her. I'm still angry and I still feel like she doesn't deserve it. With that said, I have been routinely telling God that I not ready and that I needed to postpone that for a bit, until I am. Like I can actually pick and choose what and when I listen to our Almighty God.

Now to back up a little, I'm in the middle of the book of Numbers for my devotional time. Not only is it a super boring read, nothing super significant has stuck out to me (except Numbers 11, blog HERE ). I mentioned before the last time I read it I really didn't understand how the number of Israelites was significant to me, but reading it this time around has changed my perspective on it completely. It isn't just a book of "numbers", it's completely about obedience. God tells the Israelites to do all sorts of stuff, sometimes weird stuff if you ask me. When they obey...instant blessings heaped on them (mind you, this doesn't happen often. Most of the time they're whining). When they don't obey, people die (and I mean a LOT).

So God has been after my heart to really start forgiving her and praying blessings on her. Needless to say I DON'T want her blessed, so I decided not to pray it. Then on Sunday night, I was writing in my journal about this being my biggest struggle and was just about to write something about understanding that God wouldn't ask me to pray blessings on her if it wasn't important. I continued writing, "I don't know why He wants me to wish her well, but really knowing why isn't important. I know he just needs me to...obey."

There it was, I got it. I hesitated writing the word obey at first and all I could hear was God saying, "Go ahead Bruce, write it, write - Obey". So I wrote it. Then I knelt beside my bed and prayed for Dana. I ended my prayer by asking God to help her know He is still there for her and to bless her.

What it comes down to is this, God can't fully bless us if we're not obedient. He may bless us, but in order to receive the fullness of His blessings, we have to be willing to not question and be obedient to what He asks of us.

As long as we hold on to any unwillingness to be obedient, whether it's giving forgiveness or whatever it might be, we are only robbing ourselves of God's goodness and blessings. God will always be there to help through whatever He asks us to do, but WE still need to make the choice to be obedient. It is easy to obey the things we like, but the real test of our faith in and love for our Lord is our obedience to the hard stuff He asks us to do.

We often expect unquestioned obedience from our kids, but when our Father asks us for the same obedience, we offer the same excuses our children offer us. Then we get mad when they don't obey. Our God is way more understanding then that. I want to offer my Father the same obedience I expect from my boys.

Being Obedient,

Monday, April 20, 2009

I Just Gotta Say...

This may actually be my shortest post, so hold on to your socks.

I just gotta say that it is amazing what God can do in your life if you let him. To think that throughout my life I have gone through so much and never really trusted in God to make me or the situation better. I really can't say if it was where I was at in life, how bad things got, the environment I was in, the group of people I was around (I could go on), that changed my perspective on God. Maybe it was all of it. The point is, something happened in the way I trusted God. It wasn't all at once, it was slow for sure, but I think I just got tired of trying to do it myself. Maybe it was more than that. Maybe God had been working on me this last 20 years and had me just where I needed to be.

I don't believe that it was part of God's master plan for Dana to leave, but I think whether I acknowledged him at the time or not, every time something happened, God was doing something in my heart. At the end He had finally gotten me to where he needed me to be on Jan 14, 2009 to accept His will for my life. Pastor Steven Furtick (Lead Pastor of Elevation Church in Charlotte, North Carolina) posted a blog that really got me thinking about the growing through trials thing (can read it HERE). Basically, his thought for the day was: "Deep crap=Green grass" or put another way "The more crap we go through, the more we grow". Very eloquently put and probably couldn't be explained any other way.

I have definitely grown over the past 7 months. In that I have gained a new found love in my Lord Jesus Christ, a new and revitalized relationship with my sons, a new purpose for my life and a group of friends and family that I couldn't imagine being without. I am truly humbled and awed by the goodness, grace, greatness and love of our God.

Humbled by His grace,

Friday, April 17, 2009

Varsity Fusion – My First Sermon (April 14, 2009)

On April 14, 2009 I was blessed to be able to deliver my first sermon to the youth of Element Church Varsity Fusion (website located on the right panel of this page). Andy Hazlet, Element Youth Pastor (blog HERE) and his wife attended a retreat this last week and he asked if I would talk on Tuesday. I was just as excited as I was nervous.

So, Tuesday night was phenomenal. I felt like there were a lot more kids there than normal (although there may not have been, but it sure looked like it). I also felt like I was able to connect with the students more than I have in the past, which was super cool in its self. As far as the sermon goes, like I said I was super nervous, but I did a lot of praying and although I am a bit critical of how I did, I think I spoke the words that God needed me to.

I shared my testimony about how God called me to ministry in the midst of all the tragedy that my boys and I faced in the last 7 months (can be read HERE and HERE). However it wasn’t just story time. I connected it to the guidance God has given us to move on from our failed plans and get on the road to accomplishing his plan for our lives. I centered the sermon around Philippians 3:13 & 14, which says,

13 No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.

In case you’re interested click on the below main point and you can view the three steps I spoke on:

Main Point: God wants us to move on!

Here's how I put it into perspective at the end:

I truly believe, if I had not gone through all that crap I had in the months leading up to January 14, 2009, I would not have developed the heart, faith, and character God needed me to have on that day. If I didn’t have that heart and faith, I may have missed his calling, his plan on that day. I might have heard it, but most likely I would have continued to dismiss it like I had previously, because it didn’t make sense. Four years ago, if I tried to answer his call, I might have accepted it in my head, but I wouldn’t have been capable of accepting it in my heart. Still doesn’t make complete sense sometimes, but because God has changed my heart, I KNOW its right.
God has something planned for every one of us. No matter what that looks like for you, if you focus on becoming the person Christ is leading you to be, next to the relationship you build with Him, whatever God has for you will be the greatest thing you’ll ever do, no matter what that is.
So plans will fail, but when they do, if you Forget the Past (really let go of it), Look to the future (have faith that God has something better for you) and Press on to the End (persevere through those trials and let God use them to develop your character and heart), then God will change you into the person you never thought you could be, but he always knew you would be.

The sermon wasn't anything huge. It definitely was not a new idea, but I tried to get the point across that nothing is ever completely lost. There is a way to move on and God wants us to. Is it easy? No. Everyone has to go through that grieving process. Sadness, confusion, anger, asking why, all of it. The point is, when you start wondering “Now what?” more than you’re wondering “Why did this happen?” God has the answer to the “Now what?” If you don’t go to God for the answer, you may be able to squash the hurt down. You may be able to move on and pretend it never happened, but you’ll never be whole again. You have to be able to acknowledge it happened, grieve over it and let God heal that wound. He wants to give you something better. All you have to do is accept it.

Forgetting, Looking and Pressing,

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Perspective – You Could Call it a Comeback!

NOTE: For the record, I really tried to keep it short. REALLY!

Recently I have been trying to put the finishing touches on my first sermon (4 months ago I never thought I’d be saying anything close to that…love how God works). Element Church’s Youth Pastor, Andy Hazlet (Blog Love HERE) has given me my first opportunity to preach on April 14th to the high school youth. The sermon, based largely on the events of the past 7 months, is very close to my heart.

Writing this sermon has been pretty therapeutic for me. It’s really opened the door to a lot of stuff that I needed to think about and not only give to God, but give thanks to God for. It’s allowed me to look at all the events of the past 7 months in a different light, with a different perspective if you will. Kutless has a song called “Perspectives”. In that song they ask, “Why can't you see that freedom is sometimes simply another perspective away? Who could you be if your lens was changed for a moment, would you still be the same?” I’ve been able to see through the lens a little differently. I’ve seen the person I’m meant to be and who God is leading me to be, and I’ll tell you this, he is not the same guy I was.

When all this started, all I wanted to do was blame God, I’d been looking for a reason to run from him (really I don’t know why though), and I finally had one. I could have very easily run and wallowed in my self-pity. I could have run from God, slowly let my hurt and anger turn to hate and let it destroy me. But, because of my kids asking if we could still go to church (they really are my heroes, they rescued me before I even realized I needed it), I kept going. Just going to church allowed God to refine and readjust the lens that I was looking at life through. Slowly, but surely, God tweaked that lens just enough to let me see things differently, more focused…better.
Before Dana left, I was not the person God desired for me to be. God changed my lens, just a little and it completely changed the person I am and I am becoming. I don’t think I’m exactly where God wants me, yet. But I am leaps and bounds closer to becoming the person He has always intended me to be. Don’t misunderstand, I still wish that it didn’t take Dana leaving for me to get where I’m at, to share this journey with her would have been wonderful. However, I do believe that her leaving was the catalyst God used to walk me down the road He had for me. Without all the trials and sorrow over the last several months, I think it may have been a long time (if ever) for me to hear and actually answer Him.

On Friday, theSHIFT (Blog HERE) talked about luggage. Not like suitcases, but the baggage or wounds that each of us carry around. My boys and I have a lot of wounds; we have enough baggage that we could probably be considered the equivalent to an airplane cargo hold. I have told myself, and Dana, that I forgive her for what she has already done and continues to do; I have even put that forgiveness into action, definitely more than she deserves. But Friday night, it was said that forgiveness really isn’t fully given until you can wish that person well. Uh, I’m not there yet. I have tried, I’ve even slipped while praying for her and actually corrected myself, I took it back (I figure me slipping and wishing her blessed was God’s way of telling me that I needed to do it). I know it’s not about me being ready to forgive her completely, because if I wait until I am, I’ll probably never be ready. I know when I do start praying that for her, God will do the rest. Even if it’s not for her (which I’ve blogged about this before HERE), I can NOT have that hate or hurt or anger or any of it control my life. I need one controlling force in my life and that’s Christ. He can NOT do His job, if I cloud the rest of my spirit with the fog of anger.

So, God has changed my lens. I am seeing things clearer and more vibrant than ever before. I am a different person. And soon I’ll be different than I am now. But here is what God has shown me the most through working on this sermon. All the trash that I have had to sift through, all the muck I’ve had to trudge through and all the pain I’ve had to experience is absolutely NOTHING compared to the blessings he has heaped on my boys and I.

I have a stronger and deeper relationship with my Lord, my God Jesus, more so than ever in my life (it’s a love like nothing I’ve ever experienced). I have a church family that I love and I know without a doubt loves me. I have friends (both new and old) that have impacted EVERY area of my life, all in a positive way. I have a new calling from God; I finally know what I’m supposed to do. I don’t know exactly how I will fit into God’s ministry, but I know that next to my relationship with Him and helping my boys grow to be men after God’s heart, it is the best and most important thing I’ll ever do. Who could orchestrate a comeback like that, but God

I don’t know what my life lived for Christ will end up looking like. In 3 to 5 years I could be happily married again, have a happy family, serving Christ here in Cheyenne or I could be happily single (making the point that God provides that happiness, not someone else), living with my boys and doing missionary work in Uganda. I don’t know, but the point is, whatever my life looks like in the future, one thing is certain, it will be fully grounded in and consumed by Christ.

I'm pressed but not crushed persecuted not abandoned
Struck down but not destroyed
I'm blessed beyond the curse for his promise will endure
And his joy's gonna be my strength
Though the sorrow may last for the night
His joy comes with the morning!

It’s a new morning, folks. I’m finally awake and His joy really has come!!!

Looking through a new lens,

Monday, April 6, 2009

My Testimony – "The Snake Bite"

I fully intend this to be my last super long post. But the way this one played out and with everything that has happened, this one could've been WAY longer.

So in part one titled “My Testimony – The Shipwreck” (can be read HERE), I talked about all the stuff that had happened in my life and marriage up to September 9, 2008. That was the date that my entire world changed. Just to recap on the person I was…I had been a “Christian” for 20ish years. Probably more accurate to just say I knew who Jesus was and what I had to do to spend eternity with him, but I chose not to live that way. I presented the public image of Christianity very well (I thought), but didn’t live it that way in my family or private life.

Now, understanding that from 2000 to 2005, I had been continually trying to “make up” for my earlier betrayal (2000). I knew that I had to prove that I deserved to have Dana and her love back, so my focus (at least I had convinced myself) was making sure I gave her the life she asked for. At the time I equated that to being the same as giving her the love and attention she deserved (I know now, that is NEVER the same thing). When I realized, in 2005, how severely I had and continued to betray my family (mainly my wife), I set out to change that. I turned ALL my focus on pleasing Dana. I gave her what she asked for, I told her I loved her all the time (and I really did mean it deeply), I made sure to tell her how beautiful she was, I tried to be romantic, all of it. But my focus was still wrong; it wasn’t on God. I know now, had I focused on my relationship with Christ, put God first in my marriage and been the spiritual leader I was meant to be in my home things probably would have turned out very different. That is not to say Dana would have never left (she has free will and had to be willing to accept Christ in our marriage too), but I truly believe the likelihood would have been far less. Had I done that, God would have made sure I was the husband and father my family and He needed me to be and He would have covered the rest. Hindsight, right? These are the character building moments you can never plan (maybe never want to plan).

So, September 10, 2008, SHIPWRECKED! With everything Dana told me that night, I just knew the probability of us coming back from it was slim. Although slim, at that point all was not lost. I tried to convince Dana we could survive. No dice, that night Dana did some stuff that landed her in the Behavioral Health Hospital. That was the catalyst for the most difficult, hurtful, emotional, life changing, enlightening, oddly wonderful and exciting (I know it sounds weird, but you’ll understand shortly) time of my life. That hospital admission was the beginning of my snake bite.

Up to this point, I had only visited Element Church once. We got here in July ‘08, but I avoided going. I tried three other churches and was actually kind of scared at a couple. So, I finally decided to check Element out and I loved it instantly. After my first and only visit to Element, all that crap with Dana happened. I was so angry at God. I had busted my butt making sure that my wife had everything she wanted and at being a “good” husband, how could he take that away from me? We had a plan, we had it all figured out and we were happy…I thought. I was so confused, angry, hurt, you name it. Because I was angry I decided I didn’t need to go to church anymore (that’s genius right – running farther from God would absolutely fix it, right?)

Then my kids asked if we were going back to church. Out of the mouths of babes. I couldn’t set that example for my boys, so I told them we would. When all this heartache began, I truly thought it would take FOREVER, to get past it. I knew I had to “deal” with it and be strong for my boys, but I didn’t understand why this happened and I definitely did not trust that God had a plan that would make any of this ok. I continued to go to church and prayed for months for God to bring her home, to make it better. Then in the middle of his “Heart – It’s What We Bleed” series, our Lead Pastor, Jeff (Blog love
HERE) called an audible and delivered a sermon on “A World of Uncertainty”. With that sermon I realized that I had been praying for the wrong thing. I realized that I was praying and going to church, but I was simply trying to convince God I was a “Good” Christian in hopes that he would make it all better. I didn’t really believe that he would fix it or that he could pull anything good out of it. That day I stopped praying for him to fix it and bring her home and started praying for him to take control and gave him my marriage. I also began praying for strength and healing for Dana. I wish I could say that I began reading my bible and praying every day, but I didn’t. But he was just getting started… Soon after that I joined a Life/Small Group and that became a source of great strength. I found myself hungering for this relationship with Jesus that I saw everyone else had. I had been a “Christian” for twenty years and I never remember having “that” relationship. So I started praying and reading his word a little more, still not consistently, but more. That’s when I realized the whole thing about not putting God first in my marriage.

Then came the sermon series Jeff called “Dirty Santa”. One of the installments of that series dealt with forgiveness when a family member hurts you. That broke my heart. It was like Jeff was talking right to me – all of it. I wanted to forgive Dana (I didn’t want that hate in my heart), I even wanted to tell her. But then Jeff said treat her undeservedly. All I could think was, “How dare you”. I kept telling myself that he had no idea what I was going through. Before the end of the message, I realized that it wasn’t Jeff Maness’ message, it was God’s and He knew exactly what I was going through. I got up, wrote “Dana, My Wife” on the paper and put it in the bowl. That day I walked out of Element and decided I was going to forgive her. Since then I have done everything I can to treat her undeservedly. I have gone out of my way to be kind to her. I’ll tell you that you can say you forgive, but without the action associated with it, you can’t even convince yourself you have. Since then I have an unimaginable amount of peace (that’s not to say I’m not hurt, I still hurt and there’s still some anger there), but I’ve started feeling that calm I longed for. It’s amazing how God puts thing in order, it seems like all the sermons I needed to hear were delivered in a very specific order (weird, right? That God, so organized.). The next step was Jeff’s “21” sermon series, specifically the Devotion sermon. After Dirty Santa, I continued to pray for healing and protection for Dana and my boys, but my prayers for me turned to asking God’s direction for me. I was pretty much past the “Why did this happen?” part and had gotten to the “Now what?”

In that sermon, Jeff had talked about making time for intentional, consistent (and the right) connection with God every day. He said through that devotional time God will reveal his direction. That was exactly what I’d been asking for so I figured I’d give it a shot. I started that Sunday afternoon. I sat in a Burger King, while Dana visited with the boys, and began to read. The results were immediate. That Sunday afternoon, I opened to Philippians (my book mark was there because the last thing I read was Ephesians). Imagine my surprise when I read 3:13-14, “Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”

I had been praying for direction and I heard loud and clear where God wanted me to go…FORWARD! Seemed like a good direction to go, so I kept on. I read Monday and Tuesday morning. Then it happened, after devotional time on Tuesday, I was in the shower shaving and I felt completely over whelmed. I actually had to sit down and actually started crying. Then I heard a voice in my head and this feeling in my heart that I never had before. The voice asked, “When are you going into ministry?” I actually sat there and had an out loud argument about why I couldn’t and why it was nonsense. I argued in my head all day Tuesday. I had felt like God was calling me for the last 5 or 6 years, but I constantly had an excuse why I couldn’t. “Dana doesn’t even like church, she can’t be a pastor’s wife”; “I don’t live good enough to minister”, etc. (there were hundreds). But that Tuesday, I had literally run out of every excuse, I had NONE. So I asked God to confirm it to me, if that is what he wanted me to do.

Wednesday morning I got up, put on a pot of coffee, prayed and began to read 1 Thessalonians. Four verses in I read, “For we know, brothers loved by God, that he has chosen you, because our gospel came to you not simply with words, but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and with deep conviction.” That was it! God gave me EXACTLY what I asked for because I made intentional, consistent and the right connection with him. I could have just read my bible and not really ever connected with God. It’s not about how long you’ve been reading your bible, or doing devotionals. It’s 100% about REALLY, TRULY and DEEPLY seeking God’s face. I have NEVER had a relationship with Jesus like I do today. That day in the shower, I got my WOW moment and the Holy Spirit finally got ALL of me. I cannot imagine EVER going back to a place where I do not have this kind of relationship with Jesus. When God told me ministry was his plan for me, it didn’t make sense. Me? Why? I never gave it any consideration, because it was not what I wanted to do, but now I can’t imagine doing ANYTHING else.

It took all of that for me to realize some very important truths. My number one relationship is and has to be with Christ. As long as I have that, all my other relationships will be right. I am a COMPLETELY different person than I was 7 months ago; emotionally, spiritually and physically (all the stress caused me to drop nearly 45 lbs in 5 months - unhealthy I know!). We really do serve an AWESOME and WONDERFUL God. He really does shine a light of hope and blessing into the darkest pit of despair and sadness. God took my shipwreck and snakebite and set up the divine appointments in the exact order and with the exact people He needed to orchestrate the incredible change He had in store for my life.

Never Going Back,

Sunday, April 5, 2009

I Doubt It!

Recently, I have been reading Numbers and Ecclesiastes as part of my devotion time. I’ve tried reading numbers in the past and was never successful. Numbers is possibly THE most boring book in the Bible. In the past I always failed to see how the number of Israelites or where they were supposed to camp had anything to do with my life or today’s world. Since my “transformation” or “maturation” (is that a word? Probably not), I have tried to make it a point to really understand what I’m reading and actually get something out of everything I read. So, at first I thought that the point of Numbers was to show that God was in the process of fulfilling his promise to Abraham to make him a “father of many nations.” But I really think the book of Numbers is more than that, I think the real point to Numbers is actually the importance of obedience. I’m sure that’s not a new idea, but it is for me. Up to the book of Numbers God has continued to do amazing things for the Israelites. Throughout the entire book, God gives them instructions (some of which make no sense to me), when the Israelites obey, God blesses them. When they don’t obey or they whine and cry, God may still give them what they ask for, but he also punishes them, sometimes pretty severely.

So, I was reading Numbers 11 yesterday and that chapter in particular really challenged and convicted me. In the beginning of that chapter, the Israelites are really whining about having to eat manna. I mean rightfully so, sweet bread delivered miraculously and directly from heaven, they shouldn’t of had to put up with eating that (Is this blatantly sarcastic enough?). So they are complaining that they didn’t have meat to eat. Not only did they complain they actually longed for the food they had in Egypt as slaves. In verses 4 - 6 they said:
"4 The rabble with them began to crave other food, and again the Israelites started wailing and said, "If only we had meat to eat! 5 We remember the fish we ate in Egypt at no cost—also the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions and garlic. 6 But now we have lost our appetite; we never see anything but this manna!"

They are actually complaining about God taking care of them! Aren’t we all guilty of that? Doesn’t it happen like this for us too? God rescues us from something, takes complete, miraculous and undeserved care of us and at first we rejoice and praise him. We can’t believe how much our God cares for and loves us. Then time goes on, we get comfortable and start to take for granted what He has done for us. Then we start to complain that it’s not enough and expect more. This isn’t even what challenged and convicted me, although now that I’m typing it, I think I need to think more on this. I’ll be praying after I’m done typing. Is that weird when God uses you to convict yourself?

So the thing that convicted me the most was Numbers 11:23. Right before this verse God tells Moses that he is going to provide the Israelites with enough quail that they will be able to eat it every day for a month until they “gag and are sick of it.” Careful what you ask for: Prayer answered and Punishment Issued – in the same instance, Yikes! So God tells Moses that and Moses answers, 21 There are 600,000 foot soldiers here with me, and yet you say, ‘I will give them meat for a whole month!’ 22 Even if we butchered all our flocks and herds, would that satisfy them? Even if we caught all the fish in the sea, would that be enough?” (Numbers 11:21-22) All of the wonderful miracles God performed through and in front of Moses and he actually asks God how he can do what he said he would.

Then God answers, in all his wisdom, glory and splendor, “Has my arm lost its power? Now you will see whether or not my word comes true!” (Numbers 11:23) I mean unbelievable, I love the sarcasm that God uses. God essentially asks Moses, “Are you serious? How can I provide meat for 600,000 people for a month? Didn’t you see me split the stinking Red Sea? Haven’t I given you heavenly miracle bread everyday for 2 years? Didn’t you get water from a rock? A ROCK!”

All of that and Moses still doubted; still questioned if God was capable. I’m guilty of that; more than I want to admit. I have seen God work in mine and others lives SO many times, yet I still pray for God’s grace and help and sometimes don’t believe that He can do what I need or ask him to. Sometimes, He tells me He is going to move or do something and just like Moses, I ask, “Can you do that God?” Of course He can do it, He created the entire world in 7 DAYS, He can do anything.

And that’s the beauty part…God not only can do all those things He promises and that we ask, He WANTS to do it all for us because He loves us that much. Even after we doubt, God still takes care of us. We may have to suffer the consequences of our actions, but God still meets our needs and pours out his love. That’s love that NONE of us deserve. And that’s what makes that love so unexplainably wonderful; even after we doubt, question, turn away, forsake, whine, run away, and prove we don’t deserve it, God still offers it; always and unconditionally.

When we question God's ability, we put Him in a box. We bring Him down to our level and place Him in the same capability index that we live in. How is it even possible to think for one second that a God that has done everything He has, is not capable of anything He says. I couldn't imagine living in a world with a god that limited. My God can and does do anything and everything. My God is ALMIGHTY!

Friday, April 3, 2009


I had coffee with my Lead Pastor Jeff Maness yesterday. Jeff has been coaching me through my calling into ministry. He's also one of a couple of mentors I have right now, all of which are great guys by the way.

So one of the things we talked about was some of the doubt that I've been struggling with. To clarify, I have NO doubt about what God has called me to do or what He currently expects from me. But sometimes I do doubt my qualifications, I doubt that I'm where I'm supposed to be in my walk with God, or that I'm doing enough to serve Him. Sometimes it can make you feel very alone in that struggle.

But that is where a good mentor and a great mentor differ. I think a good mentor will listen to your concerns and promise to help get you through those rough spots. I think a great mentor (in anything) is able to relate to those moments of doubt and tell you honestly that they have and still do share some of those same doubts. Society tends to hold leaders at a higher level of standards and rightfully so in many occasions. But I think that changes a little when you begin to look at a leader as a mentor. Typically we select our mentors for the expertise they have in that given field. When you begin viewing someone as a mentor, it becomes much easier to assume they have it all figured out. You can automatically associate the mentorship title you gave them with a lack of struggle. A good mentor may not address that issue, a great mentor will assure you they struggle with it too and walk with you through that struggle.

It's important to remember that we choose our mentors because we know they have dealt with whatever we're trying to do or figure out. If you think your mentor doesn't understand what you're going through, maybe you don't have a real mentor. Or maybe you're placing unreal expectations on your mentor.

Still Learning More All the Time,