I spent the whole of today thinking about finances. Well, when I say thinking I mean first I was checking, then surprised by a bill (in the not so good way), then worrying, then calm came and just now an insta-friend announced a no spend month… and so here I am back thinking about money!
Also on my mind has been this half written blog post – I wrote it back when I was obsessively watching Gossip Girl and one day being able to go out and buy an ‘investment piece‘ for my wardrobe! The word investment piece kept wandering around my head today as I thought about where I invest my spending this month. I am saving for something and so I want to make good choices, but good choices mean saying no to other things that I may want. All this led back here, thinking about some of the young women I have had the privilege to see grow.
INVESTMENT: A Musing and a Letter of Gratitude
Having managed 5 seasons of Gossip Girl, I realise I have saturated my mind with dreams of designer clothes and costly living. I dreamt one day I would own something costly, unique, fitting and timeless – and because of its worth, I would look after it well.
As I dreamt and mused schemes for this reality to appear something changed in my heart – a true reality of investment and it’s worth. A kingdom desire to invest in what matters, something unique and timeless; my heart lifted in the direction of people. I was reminded of how God crafted my heart to invest in young people and see them grow.
Investment is a relationship grown
Much as I’d love to have a Rodeo Drive moment, the reality of me just going into a shop and picking what every I want just because I can is not what I am dreaming of. With an investment piece, I would be taking time to get to know it, see where it fits in my life and what it looks best with. It would be about making it look the best it can be.
As with people I didn’t just invest flippantly. Hand on heart I believe every young person is worthy of investment. I choose to be open to building an appropriate mentorship with each of them. BUT I am not the saviour of every young person and more often than not, there is someone else who is there to invest in them.
I have always been told not to show favoritism It is something I hope I have done well. Sometimes it surprised me who I invested time with. sometimes investment grew over the years. Many investments were short term, and I by a long shot was not the only one who was part of the journey. Yet each was important to me and I have never regretted it.
Investment is costly
Spending time with these young women (as they mostly were) was costly. Financially books, cakes, trips and hot chocolate need to be purchased but money is not the only cost. Working with young people is messy. (I know that because I look back at the people who invested in me and am so thankful for the amount of mess the chose to work with). Young people don’t often follow your advice. I have watched awful decisions being made but I have also joyfully celebrated them making excellent choices and seen them grow.
Investment costs you in time and emotions, trust and mind. They are part of your prayers and thinking. However, I knew that from the outset, any investment costs because it is about the joy you hope to reap at the end. Every cost has not been worth every penny! Who are you investing in?
Investment has unique tailoring
As investment is built on relationship, each one is tailored to fit. The way I work with one young person may look different to how I work with another. This may look like favouritism but rather it is me wanting to enhance their best features. Some I walk with, many I coffee with, some will receive letters others walk alongside me in an activity or event. Uniquely tailored to fit with what I can best give them and what they want to grow into.
Investment is worth it
Like many who have invested; I have waded through broken hearts, disappointment with God, doubts, fears, jealously broken promises accusations and good old teenage angst. I have not always done it well and in many cases we have both had to learn… and I still do need to learn. I am no way setting myself up as the ‘Master of Mentoring’. I have had to learn not to fix, not to justify my failings, not to doubt and not to dwell in disappointment. I have learned to hope in the unseen.
I am reminding myself that although it has been costly, God has done incredible things with the mustard seeds of an investment He allowed for me. You see it was never really about me. He just chose to partner me into his adventure for their lives and I am so glad he encouraged me to take time to invest.
Watching many of these women grow strong in faith; in expressing themselves in work, life and ministry that fits their passion and investing in lives themselves has been a privilege and a joy. I have loved seeing your stories as you continue to grow as incredible women and in love for Jesus and or life and it has been 100% worth it.
Photo by Caleb Lucas on Unsplash