Mentoring is a word we throw around but aren’t quite sure what it looks like. The definition of a mentor is a trusted counselor or guide. For today, my personal definition of mentoring is earning the trust of someone by loving them well so you have permission to guide them through the trials and victories of life as a woman, wife and mom.
MY NEED FOR MENTORING
I was a mom at 18 trying to figure out the whole mom thing and maintain my sanity, learning to love Jesus and live out my faith, and assuming the new role of wife and navigate the whole marriage gig. I did’t have many around me to look to but the ones I did, I watched them, asked questions and did my best to implement what I thought I was supposed to be doing.
The first three years were HARD. Chad was not a believer, alcohol was his coping mechanism and shutting down was the only way I knew how to compensate for what I knew wasn’t right so I didn’t take control or worse, run away from it all. We were surrounded by family but that didn’t change the fact that I felt like I was all alone.
WOMEN MENTORING ME
The shift happened as we began to get involved in church and found our church home. I connected with a woman who loved me, for me. I had a front row seat to watch her mom and be a wife, serve the church and love her friends. I watched the way she loved Jesus, lived His Word and challenged me to do the same. I could talk to her about hard things and she pointed me to truth. More than her words, she pointed me to Jesus and the truth in His Word.
She was the reason I said yes to ministry. She served the church with all she had, until she couldn’t do it all anymore. She said she needed help and because I had watched her love and serve and was learning and growing, I stepped in and said “I can help.” The only reason I was able to say yes to what God was moving me into was because she had loved me to that place.
SAYING YES TO MENTORING
After 15 years in full time ministry and 25+ years connected to the local church I can confidently say my life has been impacted by women who have invested in and loved me. Their investment has yielded an incredible return as I have had the opportunity to invest in other young girls, women, moms and wives. It all started with a simple “yes.”
We have to choose to allow the voices of older women to guide us as we are wading through the tough waters of life, marriage and parenting the next generation. Being a young momma my heart has always been for the young mommas. I love being a cheerleader and challenging the younger women to live and love with intention and integrity.
EMBRACING MENTORING AS A LIFESTYLE
Last year after “retiring” from full-time vocational ministry I asked the Lord where I could serve. I was in an extended season of rest but a need was brought to my attention about our local MOPS program. MOPS is a monthly gathering during the school year for Mothers of Preschoolers. Local mommas of littles gather once a month to fellowship, eat a meal and have adult conversation without the distractions of a child who needs something 24/7 (yay for the free childcare!). They asked me to be a Mentor Mom and everything in me said YES!
I served these little mommas for an entire year. They loved me when I couldn’t be there because I was traveling after my moms brain injury. I showed up to support, encourage and speak life into them. I loved them as much as I knew how in those few hours a month. Those few hours a month became an occasional lunch or dinner where I could speak life and truth and point them to Jesus. I could encourage them and share stories of what it looks like on the other side of dirty diapers and temper tantrums.
MENTORING TEACHES ME
What I’ve learned is this: what I’ve learned in my journey is important to share for theirs. I learn just as much from them as we do life together and watch God work in our hearts and lives
But I’m not a super-special phenomenon. Your journey and your story is important too. Your voice may be the only one to speak the language that the younger generations of girls, wives and mommas need. You see we’ve all had different experiences and hardships that God can and will use in the lives of others, if we let Him. All He’s asking for is our “yes”.
WILL YOU SAY YES TO MENTORING?
Here’s a few ways you can say “yes” to mentoring the younger girls, wives and moms coming behind you.
- Ask your church about mentoring programs and pray about getting involved. If there’s no official program plug into the youth group or children’s ministry. Serve the next generation with intention and love with all you’ve got. We have no idea what home lookalike for most of the kids who come into our church programs. You get to model what it looks like to know and love Jesus and live like you believe the truth in the Word.
- Find a younger momma and just start spending time with her. Share what God is doing in your life and ask her how you can serve her. Truth be told, she probably doesn’t know what she needs so jus do the things you wish someone had done for you. Share the truth you wish someone had told you. Listen to her rants so she feels heard because that all you really needed from someone. Validate her, and point her to Jesus.
- Get involved in your local MOPS program. It’s not connected to a specific church, usually just hosted at a church. You can connect on the national website to find out all the information and locations of local programs. Being a Mentor Mom my main job is to show up and love. Through those two simple acts I’m given a place to speak into a small group of women and impact their lives for eternity.
It’s worth it. All of it. Every prayer you pray, seed you sow, words you share and encouragement you speak is paving the way for younger women to walk towards Jesus and His plans for their life. You get to play a small part in God’s BIG PICTURE. Don’t miss it. We don’t always see the reward this side of heaven but sometimes we see them learn and grow and become women like me!
**A special thanks to the women who have mentored and discipled me along the way. You have made me the woman, wife and mom God intended me to be. Even though I miss the mark… a lot… I am able to get back on track because of the women in my life speaking truth rooted in love that has fueled my passion and purpose. You have encouraged, prayed for, cried with and celebrated with me and I am forever grateful. I won’t stop sharing with other younger women from the overflow of what’s been given to me. I love and appreciate each of you.
This post is part of a #write31days challenge. Make sure you check out the rest of my posts as I share my heart for you and what God has entrusted me with. If something speaks to you, let me know. If you know someone who needs to hear what I’ve shared, please share it with them. We are in this together learning to love Jesus and living like we believe everything written in His Word.