I have called Jesus Christ Lord and Savior since 1981. While much of my experience as a Christian has been without significant growth or milestones, one thing has shaped my spiritual life more significantly than anything else.

In early 2010 I found myself in the emotional struggle of a divorce. During that time David Nolan, an acquaintance, called me to meet over coffee. He had done this once before in 2006 when I lost my sister to suicide. David had experienced the same thing. His reaching out to me was the first time I’d understood the power of ‘me, too’ when sharing a loss or hurt with someone.

David knew about my divorce. He let me share the story of what had happened to my marriage and then shared that he’d been divorced, too. It seemed our divorce circumstances were mirror images, as well. David and I had painful circumstances in common. We started meeting regularly, and he soon invited me to join him in a one-on-one discipling relationship.

I had found deep meaning and substance in my walk with Christ through Bible studies, Sunday School classes, and even a men’s group that I had met with for several years, so I decided to meet with David. He made it clear from the beginning that his ministry was for making reproducing disciples. I accepted his invitation.

Over the last three years I have come to know the grace of someone knowing everything, and I mean everything, about me! Despite knowing my struggle, David hasn’t given up on me. I’ve experienced the blessing of having someone in my life to ask me the hard questions. Although I know David cares deeply for me personally, it is his love for Jesus and the Great Commission that drives his heart of service to others. The trust, truth, and accountability in this relationship has transformed my faith walk, and therefore my life.

I am grateful that David Nolan said ‘yes’ to discipling others. Through him, God has made a difference in my life that would have likely been unattainable outside of a discipling relationship. David’s investment, combined with my understanding of the Great Commission, has birthed in me the desire to go and do the same.