Note: The last few days of this series, I will share stories of those that have influenced my own. I am forever grateful to God for each of them.
Mentoring is very “in” now. It is perhaps what apprenticeship was 100 years ago. While formal mentoring sessions may be profitable, I find that other than my parents, my teachers and a lot of good books, the few people that have “spoken into my life” (another very “in” phrase) have done so by living things out before me.
As a teenager, I’m glad that there were a few friends that confirmed that what my parents had taught me was correct. They stood by their convictions. They pursued a relationship with Jesus. They didn’t cave to peer pressure or questionable trends and dating relationships.
I’m glad that there were some older young people that took me under their wing. I watched them date and marry Godly people. I watched them live out their beliefs in a very tangible way. I saw how they could have fun without alcohol, drugs and low morals. I saw them respect the wisdom of their parents and older saints.
A few of them answered my questions and gave me both confirmation and fresh perspective on the things I had been taught my whole life. They told me stories of how the Lord had shown them His Will all for themselves. They told me how they had been going down the wrong path, but God showed them the right one before they messed up their lives. Or how He redeemed their broken lives and brought healing.
I picked things up from older saints that made me hungry for what they had. I listened to their stories, too. They listened to me. They encouraged me. They urged me to run after God and all He had for me because I would never regret it.
When I became a mother, there were myriads of people ready to dispense advice. But during those times when I was at my wit’s end and felt I couldn’t go another night without sleep, an older lady would lean in and say, “You’re doing a great job. Keep it up!” Or one of them would ask, “How can I pray for you? I remember what it was like to have little ones.”
While I may not have scheduled sessions with a mentor, you’d better believe I’m drinking in all I can. Women who have accomplished with grace what I’m setting out to do? Let me observe, take notes. And then, let me be that woman to someone coming behind me.