Monday, January 16, 2012

Everyone Needs Someone

When I turned 30, I invited 30 women who have been influencers in my life to join me for a weekend in Whistler, BC. Some were women I’ve known my whole life, like my mother or aunt and others were new friends; some were 50+ years my senior, like Anne Waterton (I wrote about her here) and others were younger than me. As I prepared the invitation list, I counted my blessings because each woman was/is a blessing and an influencer to me. I’ve always put a strong value in having women in my life and I give them opportunity to speak into my life. Many are older and I value their experience and wisdom, and even if my choices are different, I listen and consider their counsel.

This week on Kingdom Bloggers, we are giving honour to someone who has influenced us. Come along with us as we give honour to people who have been special for us and join the conversation and let us know who has influenced you.


Remember when Sunday School was before church and everyone in the family had a class to go to? The journey with Ena started in grade 8; she was my Sunday School teacher. I was drawn to her by her easy laugh (I still hear it in my head, as I write this) and her smile like a mischievous fairy. She was a co-conspirator, I sensed it from the beginning and I was glad she moved up with us in grade 9 and continued to teach Sunday School.

In grade 10, I was no longer attending church and I didn’t like youth group but I was committed to the discipleship program for high school students. It was a mid-week Bible study with two high school student and one leader; typically leaders would commit for 3 years. As you probably guessed, my discipleship leader was Ena.

I can’t remember one thing we learned but I didn’t need to study the Bible, I could see it in action in Ena. Ena was the pastor’s wife, and although I thought it was an unfortunate thing to be a pastor’s wife, she seemed to defy my preconceived ideas that a pastor’s wife’s life was unfulfilling (this was when I was totally career minded – a husband and children were not going to hold me back). She lived her faith on Sunday and every other day of the week. In those three years, a lot of life happened for her – her youngest daughter was pregnant at 18, her oldest daughter was raped, and her only son divorced.

I’m certain we were of no assistance to her in those difficult times. Even worse, at 16 I was sure the world revolved around me but despite my self-absorption, I watched her walk through each devastating circumstance clinging to faith and believe God is always good. She was the first woman I knew to have a relationship with God. (My mother did as well, but I was a teenager and too self absorbed to notice until I was in my 20s.)

I left the 1-traffic light town I grew up as soon as I was able but when I return to the place I grew up (usually about once a year), I make it a priority to connect with Ena. We gather at our favourite restaurant to have a cup of tea and share testimony of the goodness of God. Over the years and across the miles Ena is still speaking into my life and she definitely is on the Top 40 @ 40 guest list.


Tracy said...

Want you to know how much I adore this post! It's delightful to read about someone like Ena (not to mention that I appreciate your way with words). I'm also captivated by the concept of an event where you invite the top 30 women who've influenced you to weekend with you the year you turn 30...this idea really had my mind's wheels turning.

Linda Maynard said...

Andrea...What a wonderful gathering to host and even more wonderful to attend. I am sure every woman there was delighted and honored to be in attendance. What a gift that you gave them,.
I shared with you recently, that I did something along the same lines I too, thought of all the women who have positively affected my life and my walk with the Lord. I wrote each one a letter and was specific as to what they added to my life. I wanted to take time for each one. Not wanting to rush it, I still have 2 more to do. I just felt it was that important, like a fine wine aging, to take time with each expression of appreciation.
Thanks for sharing the lovely lady Ena. She truly was a treasure and it is a bonus that you were able to share that with her.

Doug Spurling said...

Thanks Andrea, Thanks Ena. How sweet is simple steadfast faith that weathers life's storms. Anchors like Ena, keep us from drifting too far - what a blessing.