Mentor. Coach. Friend. Advocate.

The dictionary defines mentor as “a trusted guide” and advocate as “one that pleads the case of another.”

She was all of these things. My friend was an angel from heaven. She believed in me when it didn’t feel like anyone else did; I’m not even sure I believed in myself at the time. The road had been tough, and I was discouraged.

I got a late start on my career. I’d spent most of my life drifting from whatever part-time work came along to another of the same – no rhyme or reason, certainly no goal. I don’t think you could classify my journey to that point as a career.

Until God got hold of my heart: I was thirty-eight. A co-worker shared Christ with me and I fell hard – thank God – making up for lost time. I moved from part-time status to full-time status and entered college. It was tough. But after graduation, I knew I would have the world at my fingertips.

My make-believe world came crashing down when I discovered there were no rewards or promises for promotion upon degree completion in my workplace. Although my employer required a degree for advancement, there were no automatic guarantees after five years of hard labor.

Even worse was my lack of ability to get to the next level. After a year of frustration, I took another lateral move to at least get into the field of which I desired to be a part. Entering as an administrative assistant didn’t lend me a lot of latitude or respect in the new organization.

I finally had a degree and great aspirations, but was seemingly going nowhere faster than ever.

My angel-friend took me under her wing, helping me learn the ins and outs of the work I wanted to be part of and giving me opportunity to contribute in a meaningful way. All the while she was my trusted guide, she was also going to bat for me – in more ways than I knew.

Even with an angel, it was many years later, after a slow and arduous journey, when the promotion I was looking for finally came.

My teacher, mentor, and friend chose to be the one to make a difference in someone else’s life. I am grateful to be the one to have been the recipient of her decision to invest in another life.

It’s been my experience that we need someone to help us get to the next place in life – whatever that next place may be.

I encourage you to be the one to invest in another person.