December 2017 – Debra Hendrickson

Throughout my life my goal has been to surround myself with friends and family for the enjoyment of good times and support in the bad ones, have a fulfilling career and make enough money to support myself in a comfortable lifestyle. Church was always part of my life until the past few years when I found myself somewhat uninterested in what the pastor had to say on Sunday morning. My mind wandered around the sanctuary, thinking about all the trivial things I needed to do in the remainder of the day. In time I stopped going. The Sunday New York Times was more appealing to stimulate my intellect and curiosity.

Life took an unexpected turn one year ago when I decided to leave the job I had enjoyed for 14 years. I put my future in God’s hands which led me quickly to Michele Van Son who is the inspiration behind Crave. She started sharing with me her story about Crave, about the research done at Harvard Divinity School, specifically about Millennials who are leading spiritually and socially innovative communities beyond the local church. Although I am far from the age defining a Millennial I felt drawn to the concept. I could relate. I had holy discontent but had worked for many years in the non-profit community, serving to make it a better place. I was committed to Crave, leading the newly formed advisory board and mentoring one of the Millennial Crave Leaders, Jennifer McKinney.

A friend recently shared a new word with me  “Mentern” and I thought that my experience with Jennifer fit her definition. You won’t find it in the dictionary. But as she explained it is when the mentor and the mentee learn from each other. If you read the October 2017 blog of Crave Leader Molli Miller you learned about the book One Word That Will Change Your Life that was introduced to them at the program’s opening retreat. Jennifer’s word is “Foundation”. As a personal trainer and yoga teacher helping others live a fulfilled life I thought her word appropriate. Jennifer’s company, Mint Condition, helps the foundation of body and mind. I grew up in a loving environment and felt that I had a strong spiritual foundation, however, due to a series of unexpected and sad life events occurring this year I have felt discouraged. Jennifer helped me realize that life has unexpected unpleasantness but we are all on the same path together. God is there for me and has brought Jennifer to help motivate me forward. I recently participated in a mediation class even though I had always referred to meditation as “just not my cup of tea”. There is a calm quality about Jennifer that I admire. Meditation is helping me find that inner peace that I need for this unstable voyage. My mentee, Jennifer, has become my mentor and together, along with other Crave Leaders; we are navigating our spiritual journey.

Debra Hendrickson
Advisory Board Chair
Crave, Inc.

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