Last week I tackled my fears of speaking in public and shared with a group of women about my awesome experience of being mentored. Below is what I was able speak on, I hope it will encourage you to find a special friend that will come along side and push you onward towards spiritual maturity.
Modeling: God's Plan For Women
Titus 2:3 from the Message paraphrases mentoring as
"... older women(guiding younger 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 (our) behavior."
The design of women mentoring women was established by God for divine purposes! I experienced first hand the blessings of God through my mentoring relationship with Julie this past year. I prayed for years to find a Mentor , knowing the awesome strength that I could gain from having another pour into my life; it was a very vulnerable experience but necessary so that I could grow and mature in my journey towards holiness. We tackled my gut wrenching issues like "how to have a quiet time when your child is hanging on your leg," or " how to get back down to your pre-pregnancy weight. " As a new mom she freed me from my cleanliness battles by explaining that my home did not come before my child and if I read or played with him instead of folding laundry that was far more beneficial. Julie helped shape my persona of mothering from one of duty to one of love and laughter.
The verse above in Titus speaks about women being "model's of goodness, virtue, & purity." What awesome adjectives to describe our lives as women. These qualities have been my passion for years and I felt that having someone to share and invest back into my life, would help in my daily pursuit towards holiness. In my first meeting with Julie I described to her 5 areas in my life that I deeply desired to mature in - all 5 areas were rooted in developing a self disciplined life. Self discipline has always been one of my stumbling blocks towards growing nearer to my Lord. It is a fleshly area in my heart that I have longed to conquer. The next 6 months we journeyed together through prayer, phone calls, meetings, lunches, and of course - coffee! I would love to say that I have arrived and self discipline is no longer a struggle, but that will probably never be the case. Instead Julie helped me look at my Lord and Savior in new and fresh ways so that I now long to spend my days growing closer to my Redeemer. I discovered that the nearer I draw to the Lord - through faith, discipline and trust - and then delight solely in Him, the less I struggle with self-discipline.
Julie's impact on my life will forever be felt because she had gone before me, she had walked where I was walking and sat where I was sitting. She was so much like me, and lived a life so much like my own, that only the Lord could have brought us together. My Father God placed Julie in my life at precisely the right moment, that happened to be the moment my earthly father, a schizophrenic, had a serious mental breakdown. Julie was there to be the hands and feet of Jesus, she was able to share with me her own story about her brother's battle with this same mind overtaking disease. During our 6 month relationship we also worked through similar family conflicts, marriage dilemmas, issues with children, and so much more. Julie was an encourager during these inevitable trials that came into my life and a continued source of strength that God used to draw me closer to Himself.
I will forever be grateful for the purifying lessons the Lord taught me through my mentoring relationship; life lessons straight from of the Word of God, lived out on earth with a dear friend who came alongside me. I will leave you with a few words from Martin Luther that encompass our journey through life and reveal our need for a sweet gentle friend to support us along the way:
This life is not a state of being, but becoming;We are not yet what we shall be,but we grow toward it;The process is not yet finished, but it is still going on;This life is not the end,it is the way to a better.All does not yet shine with glory;nevertheless, all is being purified."