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A New Tenderness

After accepting Andrea's invitation to become an Ergon mentor, Michelle began looking at her career--and herself--in an entirely different way.

Photo by John Schnobrich via Unsplash

Hi Andrea,


I wanted to tell you that I've been helping the person assigned to me in the last two weeks, and things are going well. He's had a few interviews and advanced past the first or second rounds. 

I was struck that your invitation to help him came at a time when I felt stuck and not useful or productive in a lot of facets of my life. All of a sudden, because of Ergon, someone popped up, someone with a concrete need for me, and I could really help them—a small sign of God's tenderness for me in my moment of need. 


Your presence in my life has helped me through many moments, and when your invitation came, despite the craziness in my house with work and kids and pandemic, I could not say "no." Yet again, being faithful to our friendship has created a small deviation in my path of life that would not have otherwise happened!

A few things have happened that I specifically wanted to tell you about. First, talking to my mentee has forced me to see my own strengths and acknowledge the many positive steps I've taken in my career. I can often succumb to negative thinking in my work life, seeing only my limits. Instead, through my relationship with my mentee, I’ve been forced to recognize that I have valuable experience and expertise that is worth sharing and using to help coach someone else! Looking at myself in this way created a new tenderness for myself.

Another thing: a week into the process, I put my mentee in contact with a former intern of mine who now works at a company that I thought might be a good fit for him. After they chatted, my friend wrote to me, "He strikes me as a really kind person, someone I would be happy to welcome into our company." He could have said many things, but he chose to comment on my mentee’s kindness. This surprised me, because I had the same impression after meeting my mentee, and I was moved by the fact that my friend could see this, too.

It made me feel like it is true that our hearts shine because of Christ's presence in our lives, and this has the possibility to move and change others. It made me want to be more faithful to my work life and the relationships within it, so that I can continue to communicate the Presence to whom I belong. It is my hope that my friendship with my colleagues can awaken something (even small) in them.

I'm grateful for these discoveries in these weeks! 

Michelle, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

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