I knew before I even finished the blog about My Ansley, she’d be begging to tell her side of the story (OK, maybe not begging per say but she’d want to get a few words in…) So today, you are in for a treat! Here’s the flip side of the story from My Ansley completely unedited:
Soon after I moved back to Augusta following an incomplete stint in law school (another story for another time), my church advertised a Women’s Mentoring Program. Thinking ANY direction was better than no direction – and no direction was what I had going for me – I signed up. In her post last week [link], Wendy described the meet and greet coffee. I attended, knowing no one, and took it all in. This bossy woman in pinstripe pants and cute shoes stood up and said “If you are entering into this program, you owe it to yourself to be real. If you are going to wear a mask or not be yourself, then you may as well not do this. You have to be authentic for this to work.” A few hours later, I found myself telling my (then) boyfriend about the event. I said “this bossy woman stood up and went on and on about authenticity. I really pity the person assigned to be her mentee. She was seriously almost rude. And bossy. Sheesh!” Adam explained that the bossy woman is the aunt of a really good friend of ours. I didn’t see how those two could be family: our friend was so sweet and so fun, and this woman was not.
Flash forward to the next coffee gathering, when we received our pairs. You can imagine my, uh, joy when I found out that bossy-pants was my mentor. Oh, God truly does have a sense of humor!
At our first meeting, Bossy tried really hard to be “too busy” for me. But Bossy had met her match: Pushy. So, I (Pushy) encouraged Bossy to meet in the morning. (After all, maybe she’s not AS mean when she first wakes up. And I am a morning person, so I am at my best at 6:30 am.) Bossy and I started meeting one morning a week, I quickly quit calling her Bossy-Pants. I got to know her, and then Wendy and I met two mornings a week (remember y’all, I had just left law school and had no direction. I needed a lot of mentoring!).
Wendy mentored me as my boyfriend became my fiancé; as my fiancé accepted a job in another city; as I planned a wedding and juggled the details of a move; as my husband and I moved away. And she continued to mentor me long distance. We met up every other month for a weekend away. She has seen me through months and months of negative pregnancy tests; she has listened to hours (and hours and hours and hours) of my rambling; we have both ushered in new decades together (me into my 30’s and her into her 40’s, but that just makes her that much wiser!) she has celebrated the birth of both of our children; she’s walked with me through the valleys and skipped with me over the mountains. And she’s even driven 6 hours to help me with a colic baby…oh, and do yard work with me.
As much as I believe Wendy when she says that I have changed her life, I know that I will never influence her the way she has influenced me. I credit Wendy with helping me to be a better wife, a sweeter daughter, a more patient mother, and a calmer friend. When I explain to people about “one of my best friends in the world,” they are often surprised to learn she is 13 years my senior. (What could we possibly have in common?!) But I will tell you all that what we have in common, at our core, is a love of Jesus that we want to radiate in all that we do. And, does anything else really matter in comparison?!
Y’all, this woman has redefined friendship for me. She’s not just a friend; she’s family. She’s my bestie; my mentor and MY WENDY.