sometimes you just need to hear it

So, I have an intern. I mean, I was given the opportunity to mentor an intern. But here’s the thing: I actually feel terrible for her. I’m still not quite nine months into my new gig and I’m about 50% less confused than when I started. While that’s great and all because … learning!, this poor young lady is subject to 100% of my day and the miracle in all of it is? She hasn’t left yet.

We’ll give her time. It’s been two weeks.

I knew I really liked Sarah when we interviewed her three months or so ago. She’s an incredibly kind and genuine (also gorgeous and 5’10”) human. My favorite part of the interview was when we started talking about  mission trips. See how hardcore I am? The other project managers in the room typically shake their heads at my hard line of questioning. ‘Where did you go? Did you love it so much?’

But that’s also how I feel a bit different than a lot of my peers. And also why I think my upline (that’s what they call a manager) chose to have Sarah work with me. She’s fairly green when it comes to project management and I’m well … not green old. And I tend to go off-script occasionally almost always which can cause other project managers to cringe.

Sarah and I have spent a fair amount of time together over the past two weeks. It’s tough because most of my day consists of meetings (I think my record so far is 14 with one day where I actually had 5 conflicting appointments. Choices!) so finding space to just connect and get to know each other is limited. Oh yeah, I’m supposed to be mentoring her as well.

Last week, though, we had this beautiful 30 minutes of space between meetings and we were sharing a bit more about what makes each of us tick. I definitely did not cry (winning), but we talked about man stories for a few minutes. I mean, you know I’m boy crazy by now, right? She talked about her new(ish) boyfriend (is young love not the cutest/sweetest/most puke-worthy thing?!) and I loved listening to her because she is so confident! She reminded me of my nieces. They know who they are, what they want and they aren’t afraid to say it. I love it. I’m working on it.

I told her how much I loved her confidence and that I’ve struggled with my own insecurities about being someone a man might be interested in. I mean … I’m old(er), gray(er) and I have a cat. She looked right at me and said, ‘What?! You are gorgeous. And you’re so nice. That’s crazy.’

I honestly had to look away for a minute because I can’t say that I can recall someone ever saying I was gorgeous. That’s a big, meaty word, right? It just feels like it carries a lot of meaning. And I was a little teary. I said I didn’t cry. I did not say my eyes weren’t watering.

I carried that word around with me for a while. It’s like it was hanging right in front of me and I wasn’t sure if I should take hold of it or shove it aside to get to my next meeting. Gorgeous. Gorgeous? Not unworthy. Not undesirable. Not insecure. Just gorgeous. I even looked at myself in the mirror the next morning and repeated it out loud. I also chuckled. I had concealer dotted in various places to cover up the scars, wrinkles that are extending further by the minute and a crooked front tooth. They were all right there in my view and yet, I felt it. I felt that word permeate my soul and remembered that God says it, too. (Fine, picky people. He does not explicitly say gorgeous but I have no doubt He’d give it a thumbs up.) And I smiled and said, ‘ok, i’ll accept it.’ In fact, He has a lot of gracious words that He uses to remind us of His handiwork.

And today, because feeling gorgeous (or beautiful or some days, even presentable) is not the first thing I consider, I’ll remind myself. More so, though, I want to share it with you, too. Because Sarah filled my cup that day. She was mentoring me. I love that about how relationships work. Reciprocity is just something that we need. It’s how God designed relationship. And He does this amazing thing sometimes and puts people in our path exactly when we need them to remind us of who He says we are. And sometimes? Sometimes, doggoneit, we just need to hear it. And if you haven’t yet today, or in the last week, listen to me. I see you. And I see these words written all over you and you’d better receive them right now. Or else I will punch you in the face. Love you.

made by God, tender, refined, delicate, loved, worthy, discerning, wise, daughter, gracious, precious, trustworthy, generous, teacher of kindness, excellent, strong, beautiful in appearance


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