She was beautiful and powerful, this young woman sitting alongside me.
I didn't know her at all, really, but the conference session unfolded, and I learned she was thinking about going to seminary, and that she worked for the Department of Homeland Security, that she was wondering about God's plans for her.
Six years later, we have both graduated from separate seminaries. We have endured untold losses and some wonderful wins, too. God has given us untold joy in celebrating the other. And thank God, we have done it side-by-side. We have mentored each other in Jesus through thick and thin.
The other day we had the pleasure of doing an radio interview about our friendship, and one of the hosts stopped and said: "I can see you two are very different from each other."
Listen to the interview here: http://toginet.com/podcasts/girlfriendit
Leading and Mentoring with Suzanne Burden and Natasha Robinson (air date: 2/11/2016)
And it made me want to laugh, because it's so true. Natasha is an amazing leader, with resolve and purpose and courage. I am more sensitive than she, more pastoral, and we come from very different backgrounds and places. We often see things differently, and yet as we've journeyed together, I'm amazed at the Kingdom-mission we have in common and how our journey together shapes both of us.
This is how Natasha put it in her blog post today: "Whenever I speak with this dear sister, share my heart, hear her prayers of intercession, and her affirmation of my personhood as an image bearer of God, daughter of the great King, and redeemed by the blood of the Lamb, I know that I am known and loved by God because I am known and loved by her. We mentor each other, and we mentor for life together."
I feel loved by God through Natasha over and over again through her words, her truth-telling, and her advocacy for me. I am infinitely blessed to have a friendship like this one in my life.
Today, I am proud to announce that Natasha will release her first book, Mentor for Life: Finding Purpose through Intentional Discipleship on March 1. Her leadership journey informs the book, and her real-world experience leading a women's mentoring ministry for lasting change shows it is possible to be formed in Jesus through intentional community with each other. Read with me and discover how we can become more like Jesus on purpose—through the vision he gave us. We truly are better together. #Mentor4Life
On #ReclaimingEve: “I recommend this resource for every daughter of Eve!”
— Nancy Beach, leadership coach, speaker; author, Gifted to Lead: The Art of Leading as a Woman in the Church