Monday, October 30, 2006

The 2010 Challenge

I wear a black and white bracelet. It's not fancy. It's made of small black and white beads that you can get at a craft store, and the word ADVENTURE is spelled out in neat black letters on the white beads.

You see, I started an adventure this year. I talk a lot about mentorship, about how important it is to put strong and gentle and faith-filled people who in your life who exhibit characteristics like integrity or grace. In our culture the role models are often not what they should be. Sometimes they are women who are talented musical artists, but who put out a message of sexuality that collides with God's amazing plans for that part of your life. Sometimes they are celebs that are doing cool things with their money, but not with their relationships.

I felt challenged personally. Is it okay to talk about the power of mentorship, but do nothing? Hmm. Not really.

So I joined the 2010 Challenge, a program in my community started by a group of women who really care about girls. They aren't all believers, but they are all amazing people and I was honored that they asked me to be a part.

We are on an ADVENTURE with over 400 freshman girls and that journey will last until 2010 when they graduate. We are talking about cool things, taking it into the schools where we meet once a month in groups of 40.

We want to share how powerful it is to Acknowledge the people in your life that affirms (believe in you and let you know it) you, and who believes in your abilities, and who gives you advice, and who is always there for you.

We want to share that Dreams are possible for any girl, no matter her background. My story is an example of that, but there is a difference between a wish list and achieving your dreams (something I'm talking about on Real Teen Faith blog today and tomorrow). There's "d" words like discipline, do-able, diligence, dare, determination).

A cool thing happened as I stepped outside my Christian comfort zone. God was big enough to step into this venture with me. The girls in my community know that I'm an author and that I write about faith, so that connection is made instantly. When I send them to read my story, they see the miracles that God can do in anyone's life.

I wear the bracelet because if they see me in the community--at the mall, the library, anywhere--they know that I'm there for them, along with many other women who aren't afraid to dream. They are wearing their own bracelets (green and white or red and white or blue and white) with their school colors. Their bracelets also spell out ADVENTURE.

When they see my bracelete, if they need to talk to someone or they are preparing to make a huge decision, they know they can ask me to help them by listening or perhaps sharing advice. In that moment I am free to talk about faith and beauty of knowing a God who loves and cares about your life.

I'm grateful to be a mentor and I'm thankful for this ADVENTURE.

Suzie Eller (T. Suzanne)
Making It Real - Whose Faith is It Anyway


Jennifer B. Jones said...

What a COOL concept. Love the bracelet that identifies you. That is awesome. We need more programs like that!

T. Suzanne Eller said...

I hope it catches on in other communities!