Deanna Loveland is a Mentor/Encourager at the Nashville Begin Anew site and was crowned Mrs. Tennessee International 2016. Below, she shares her recent experience as an Encourager.
When I was asked to write a blog about my experience as a mentor/encourager with Begin Anew (formerly Christian Women’s Job Corps) I didn’t hesitate to say yes because it has changed me and here’s why:
Initially, when I signed up to help with Begin Anew I assumed that I’d be helping a lady who had dropped out of high school or wasn’t able to finish for whatever reason and needed encouragement to continue her education, studying for her high school diploma. While this is true to some extent, I was in for a big surprise when I was the one leaving our sessions feeling encouraged and inspired!!
The very first time I met her, I was so impressed by her willingness to learn, her humility and open mindedness! She was so sweet and you could just tell she was doing whatever it takes to be successful.
Every time we would chat I was so encouraged by her positive outlook on life, her sweet spirit and the way she worked hard to make things better for her family. I watched as this woman worked full time, studied and attended her classes regularly and tested for her high school diploma while also attending first-time home buyer classes and working hard to build her credit so she could buy a home. Not to mention finding time to take her kids on a vacation and out for family activities on the weekends (the fair, movie nights, etc.) …and I thought I was busy!!
I found our conversations quickly changing from me saying “so what are you going through this week?” to “hey girl, I’m trying to potty-train this week, what do I do?” Every time I would ask her how I could pray for her, it was always something that would help her family.
There’s a quote, “She believed she could, so she did” - well that sums up my student at Begin Anew. She believes in herself and her ability to make a better life for her children, so she is! She also believes in God and His power working through her, so she truly is limitless.
After my experience with Begin Anew, I can honestly say that it I didn’t feel like I was a “mentor/encourager”!! I feel like I gained a friend and that friendship has only just begun. She inspires me so much.
Now when I start to doubt whether or not our family can do something, I think of her… if she can do all that, we don’t have any excuses! Whether it’s taking a family vacation, buying our first home, furthering our education, getting the kids into a great school, or doing local activities with the family, she makes me think twice before I say “can’t”. She’s my reminder that with God all things are possible.