A letter to my mentor.

This is a letter in response to another letter. It's a letter to someone whose writing inspired me to dig deeper into my own writing, to tear down the walls I've built to keep people out, to be soft and vulnerable in a world that is so guarded and fearful. I've spent hours getting lost in her words. She inspires me to think bigger and to love harder. Her name is Hannah, and I've never met her. Her blog is not just a blog. It's that first drink of water after sweating outside in the heat all day. It's the friend you call at 3 a.m. when you're crying and inconsolable. It's the voice that pushes and tugs at you and makes you stare at yourself in the mirror until you see and realize the worth that others see in you.

Hannah Brencher, you write for the same reason I want to write. In your letter, you said: "I exist for people. I exist for this blog space. I exist to demonstrate love, no matter how hard or tiresome that gets on some days." Like you, I believe in the combinations of words that unlock people and open them up. I believe that writing has the power to heal wounds, to spark change, to instill hope and to provoke thought.

Hannah Brencher, you've never met me, but you are one of the greatest mentors I've ever had. I love the fire you have in your heart for people and your enthusiasm for life and for love and for Jesus. I want you to know that it's contagious, and I hope that the rest of this broken world catches it, too.

Hannah Brencher, your blog is the match that's lighting all of the candles one by one on a giant birthday cake. You're a light in this dark, dark world. I don't know what I want to do with the rest of my life, but I do know that I want to write. I want to nurture this blog and continue to be an open book to help others share their pages and stories, too. I hope my blog can take some of your flame and help ignite more of those candles.

You may not ever read this, but just know that what you're doing matters. It matters a lot. Because by doing what you love, you've inspired and awakened the hearts of others. You have certainly inspired and awakened mine.

Your reader,