Women, Let’s Get To It (On Mentoring in the Church)
It’s always so interesting to see how God works.
As I was winding down in my writing “career” (no more book contracts as of now), saying goodbye to a national conference I had run and then been a part of for six years, and all the doing, doing, doing, I finally began to feel…rest.
It took awhile to settle into this new rested-ness, but the rhythms of it have been so wonderful, so freeing, that I often think, “Am I just going to do nothing forever? I like doing nothing. I want nothing but to eat food at 9 at night and watch Netflix with my husband. Maybe I’m washed up. Maybe I’m okay with that.”
Of course it was silly to think I was doing nothing because I homeschool three kiddos and am in the thick of mothering (hi 7, 9, and 11). I mean, that’s enough.
And it’s enough.
However in this winding down, settling in, believing it’s good and enough (not good enough but good AND enough), the Lord has given me the gift of mentoring. I don’t mean “the gift” as in I’m awesome at it, but the gift of blessing me, lifting my spirit, bringing joy to my soul through mentoring young women who are local to me.
One young woman came to me because she read my post on abortion and it led her to FB message me. We used to attend a church together and I was, for a very short time, a youth ministry helper one summer. She remembered me and decided to reach out. We met, she wanted help, and I offered to walk with her through a study. We’ve been meeting in my home for about 5 months now.
Another young woman came to me through a book study I was in over the summer. She wanted more of God, more Scripture, more wisdom and insight and she wanted someone to guide her in it all. Well, we clicked and God worked and what do you know, we’ve been meeting and doing a serious study through Ephesians.
I’m telling you this because as I’ve been meeting with these two dear young women, not only has it been a joy to me, but I am seeing the importance (had I forgotten?) of meeting one-on-one with younger women.
I read recently where Jen Wilkin said, “If a local church lacks visible spiritual mothers, its daughters will (understandably) look elsewhere to find them.” I couldn’t agree more. We need to be willing and visible and humble enough to walk with young women in our local churches as they are growing and seeking spiritual guidance. I know I wouldn’t be where I am today if it weren’t for the spiritual mentors I had in my early 20’s and on through my life.
And here’s the thing, we don’t need to have “it” all together or be awesome at anything, we just need to be open. Willing. Available. Not too busy.
I’m not suggesting that if your hands are full of little ones you go out looking for someone to mentor; you have mentees at your feet. I am saying that if your kiddos are a bit older, you’re sleeping through the night (praise Jesus), and you have the breathing space (sometimes we need to make that space), then just be open to who God might bring to you. I didn’t seek these women out, but God brought them to me and tendered my heart to them. And with that I say, “Okay God. You do this because I don’t have it in me, but you can do this through me. Have at it.”
So I’d like to encourage you: be visible. Get to know the younger women in your church. See what God does and be open to His leading. The younger women could really use us right now, and as Jen says, if we don’t nurture them spiritually, they will look elsewhere.
Keep on, and let’s get to it!
“Your job is to speak out on the things that make for solid doctrine…Guide older women into lives of reverence so they end up as neither gossips nor drunks, but models of goodness. By looking at them, the younger women will know how to love their husbands and children, be virtuous and pure, keep a good house, be good wives. We don’t want anyone looking down on God’s Message because of their behavior.”
Titus 2:3-5, The Message
Love, Sarah Mae