A Time For Learning, A Place for Healing By Ean Hines


I am going to be honest, I do not think that I learned how to lead people at Heroic LEADERSHIP Institute. For me, my time at HLI was more spent on putting myself back together. I came into HLI not hating myself, but I did not hold a high opinion of myself. I felt that I was unnecessary, that anyone could do anything better than I could. I also felt like I was too broken or too strange for anyone to become friends with me. I can remember how a couple of days in to HLI I called my parents, crying because I felt like I didn’t fit in, and how I felt HLI was not the right place for me. However, at the end of the nine months, it was a place where the leaders, the interns, and even the students helped me to work through a lot of the stuff that was broken in me. I can remember how a gal by the name of Katie would repeatedly tell me I was worthy of friendship and God’s love. I remember how guys like Andrew and Connor would be intentional with their time with me, making it obvious that they appreciated me as a friend. And I can remember how being with Josh, Maddie, and Meli showed me what good friendship looked like. I came out of HLI more whole than I did going in. I left being more confident in myself and my gifts as a Christian.

 But, I also left with something just as important: I learned how to lead myself. The directors and my mentor helped to teach me what it meant to effectively lead myself: In paying attention to I treat myself, how I think of myself, and how I carry myself. I learned how to seek my own betterment, how to be humble in my failures, how to see when something was broken and when I had to admit a mistake, but also to trust in myself and to love myself. I now know that at the end of the day that even if the whole world were to go against me, I know that God would still love me and that I could trust and love myself. But don’t get me wrong, it is reassuring to have such good friends that believe in me as well. Finally, I came away with a deeper love for stories and the people who tell them. I found that I got satisfaction from listening to people, whether it be to let them vent and have a friend to talk to, or to give advice or insight to a problem, or just to exist and live life with them. I found that people are very interesting indeed


 After leaving HLI, I feel like I have been in the spiritual wilderness; I have been wandering and surviving, but I feel I have not been growing as much as I could have if I was in an intentional community. God has sustained me, and I had enough common sense to not get fully lost, but I feel like I could have grown much more had I been in a meaningful community. However, I feel like the time I took outside of community did give me the time I needed to grow in my own self-assurance. I know where I am weak and where I am strong. I know that God will still be with me even when it feels like there is no intentional community. I am strong enough to continue with Him. I feel like this blog post is kind of my debrief after arriving back in the camp of the Lord, and that I will now start where I left off. With all that said, I am more than willing to answer questions, share my thoughts, or just tell stories about myself if anyone has questions of their own for me. I would love to talk, text, or email with anyone who has questions, or just wants someone to talk to. Just send an email through the HLI contact page.

Mary McKellick