Mentoring // Crystal Renaud

This post is a part of the Dancing Jesus: Mentoring in the Church blog series that will be ongoing through the month of September. You can read about the series and view the schedule here. You can subscribe to all of the posts here.

Mentorship Doesn’t Mean Having it All Together
By Crystal Renaud

It has been 3 years, 5 months and 6 days since I lost my mentor.

Lost? Yeah. I lost her when it came out that she had been having an affair with my pastor at the time.

But it wasn’t my choice to lose her. Cutting all ties to me was just her way of handling the shame she felt. And for a long time I struggled with her decision. Not only had it been revealed that this woman I looked up to for 7+ years had been living a double life for most of them—but she was now no longer in my life.

In any capacity.

She was just gone.

The amount of sadness I felt cannot be adequately expressed in words. Yet some of you might be wondering why I felt sadness and not immense anger toward her. After all she had been deceiving me (and so many others) for such a long time.

Simply… her sin did not negate what she had breathed into my life.

Without a doubt in my mind I know I wouldn’t be where I am in ministry without her influence in my life. She saw something in me that no one else did. Even as a shy porn-addicted 16 year old (which she had no knowledge of then) she saw my potential and she cultivated it. She provided me with opportunity to volunteer in the church and eventually offered me my first ministry job.

Even as mundane as that first job was it got me in the door and the experiences I’ve had since are nothing short of life-changing.

It is now my belief that she saw her own brokenness in myself and wanted to help in the only way she knew how.

Now some 6 years later I’ve launched my own ministry out of that very brokenness I believe she saw—and am now helping women to not make the same mistakes I did. That she did.

I don’t know where she is these days, but I want her to know how very thankful I am. I hope that I can be half the mentor to someone else that she was to me. And that I will someday find a new mentor even half as great as she was.

You don’t have to be perfect to be a mentor. There are already too many people in the Church pretending to have it together.

Just be willing for God to use you to breathe new life into someone who needs it.

Flaws and all.

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Crystal Renaud is founder and director of Dirty Girls Ministries. Dirty Girls Ministries is a Christian anti-pornography ministry created to help women struggling with sexual and pornography addiction. Founded by Crystal in February 2009, the desire of Dirty Girls Ministries is to break through the stigmatic barriers that are keeping women in bondage.  For nearly 3 years Crystal has used her own story of pornography and sexual addiction to counsel hundreds of women in addiction. Moody publishers will release Crystal’s forthcoming book, “Dirty Girls,” a recovery tool for the woman addicted to pornography in April 2011.