I’m dedicating this blog to an amazing woman who has been my friend and my mentor for over forty years. When I first met Margaret, she was a direct answer to prayer. I was new to Long Island, in my early twenties, and was looking for a new church home. I had visited a couple local churches within walking distance of my house but hadn’t felt drawn to either one. On my third try, I spotted a Lutheran Church and though I wasn’t a Lutheran, it seemed to be worth a try. As I got to the door, I sent up a prayer, “Lord, if this is the church You are calling me to, then please let at least one person speak to me before my hand turns the knob to leave after the service.” I had noted that no one spoke to me at the other two churches, and it seemed reasonable to me that people of God should somehow be inclusive, inviting you in when they catch a new face.

As with the other churches, I got through the service without a friendly hello from anyone. I started walking out through the vestibule and as I reached the door to exit, I felt someone tap on my shoulder. I turned around to the bright smile of a lovely woman who asked if I was visiting that morning? I affirmed that I was and so we chatted more.

Over time, Margaret invited me to come to her women’s Bible study group. It was another Divine appointment for me. These women were all seasoned Christians, a couple were Pastor’s wives, and they had all committed their lives to the Lord. As a young believer, I was a sponge, ready to soak up all that they had to teach me. I learned new words and phrases about the Holy Spirit. I learned that I mattered to God and to them and so our times together influenced my walk with the Lord. I was also part of another Bible Study group of people my own age at the time, but Margaret’s group was the one that filled my soul with a deep desire to know more about God. 

We not only talked about God, but we acted out our faith serving as volunteers at nursing homes and visiting hospitals. It was a time of true mentoring for me, and a growth spurt that I was ready for. As a mother of five nearly grown children, Margaret possessed insight and wisdom to be open, honest and understanding. When my first child was born, Margaret became his godmother.

When I moved away from Long Island, we missed out on each other’s lives for some time, even disagreeing on certain events that transpired for each of us personally, but then one day, by the grace of God, we got back together, offered each other love and forgiveness and we have known a friendship that few can claim in the years that followed. 

I remember when Margaret turned 80. She sent me a picture of herself riding a camel in Egypt. She and her husband, Fred, had traveled the world together doing eclipse tours and she knew how to travel and make the most of it. I hung that picture in my office for years as a reminder that no matter what age we are, God can still use us if we’re willing to let Him. Today, Margaret is still mentoring me as she blesses those around her, though she’s well into her 90’s. She responds to my blogs with love and interest, asking questions, supporting my ideas, and making my work more meaningful to me.

I can truly say that meeting Margaret all those years ago impacted my life in meaningful ways. I can only hope to do the same for people I cross paths with today. Let’s mentor each other into true greatness…all for the glory of God!

I love you, Margaret, for always.