Mentee Testimony

The True Power of Mentoring

The story below is a testimony to the power of mentoring.  Unfortunately, the life described by Jennie is not uncommon for many, but the good news is that through mentoring we hold the key to unlock the fear and help others such as Jennie realize a new life full of promise and unlimited opportunity.


 

Hi my name is Jennie,

I came from a broken home, with a dad who was in prison. When I was 7 he asked my stepdad to adopt me which was a difficult situation for me to accept or understand. I knew I had made mistakes, but I didn't think they were bad enough for my dad to disown me. I started using drugs that year, beginning with marijuana. Most people do drugs because the numbing is a good feeling. I did drugs because the bonding with my dad was a good feeling and he was proud of me.

As an 8 year old, I encountered abuse that lasted for two years and would prove to change my life. The most difficult part was knowing that people were aware of the abuse, but nobody stepped in to help. Seeing no end, I tried to kill myself at 8 years old. The fire department was called and I was resuscitated which was discouraging for me. Nobody asked why. I grew up learning how to survive each day in a home where I was scared to talk, with physical pain and scars which served as a constant reminder of the abusive acts and with emotional pain that permeated deep within my soul. At nine years old my abuser almost killed me and that scared him enough that he never touched me again.

The next 22 years of my life were spent trying to balance the angry, self-abusive person I had become and the person who just wanted to be rescued, cared-for and loved. I wanted to be accepted, but my actions pushed people further away. I was afraid of being convinced that somebody might care, which would cause me to let down my guard and once again be crushed. This was a risk I could not mentally afford.

As such, I continued to live in a lonely world. I wore an outward face of competency and confidence, but inside I was filled with silent screams that questioned every move, every person and kept me chained to my past. I relived my abuse through flashbacks and night terrors, dealing with the pain by cutting and burning. For 21 years I was bulimic. It was the outlet I had for some method of control in a life that felt so out of control.

At the age of 30, I found God...or maybe I should say, God found me. He led me to the couple who would be my mentors, who would show me love, protection, safety and security through friendship. This couple spent time with me on a daily basis, listening to my story, acknowledging my pain and helping me focus on things other than the negative. I finally experienced the hope for a future filled with joy that previously seemed out of reach. This couple lived life with my family and through this relationship taught me that I am a loving, strong, beautiful woman who is not only a survivor, but a person with compassion at the core and somebody who can make a difference.

I still struggle with the scars of the past, both physical and emotional, but I can see the beauty in them. I can't imagine where I would be if my mentors had just walked by like others had done for most of my life. I know that I will be let down and hurt by people in the future, but because somebody believes in me, I can handle it.

My heartfelt request to people in our community is this: if you see somebody who is hurting, acting out or seeking attention, instead of judging, take the time to ask if you can help. They may not be ready and may say no, a simple act will tell them that somebody sees them. If you desire to impact a life in ways that are immeasurable, become a mentor to somebody who is struggling. Your time and commitment alone will break the cycle of being let down and help a new life blossom from a root of unhealthy soil. What a blessing to have this kind of power.

Jennie

  


Spending one hour a week, for a minimum of six months can change a life such as Jennie has described above. If you are interested in becoming a mentor to somebody like Jennie, please contact us at 559-733-1240 to join our next training session.  If you do not have time to mentor, we have other needs such as helping spread the word.  If you have a venue in which we can share our program vision to recruit mentors, please let us know.