I wanted a mentor. Then I needed a mentor. Then I found out that finding a mentor was less than simple.
My mentor journey was not easy or short. I did not put my name on a list and get someone that inherently understood me. On the contrary, I put my name on a list and got someone who was kind. She loved the Lord and she wanted to be like him. She played tennis (which I played in high school) and she was full of wisdom. I was excited to be matched with her through a mentoring program in my church. Then her mother got sick. She moved away. We only met once.
So, I tried again. I signed up again. I got a woman who reminded me so much of my grandmother that I could cry just thinking about it. She cooked me dinners on Monday nights and it was delicious. My boyfriend at the time – now he’s my husband – would drop me off and pick me up at her house. She didn’t have time to pursue me and when I got a little uncomfortable with the depth (because I am not transparent, although I am learning to be) I stopped reaching out. I would see her randomly at the woman’s class at church, but that was about it.
Then I became a team leader for Young Life. I sat at a table and was told explicitly that I needed a mentor. It was not a suggestion. It was not a negotiation for my position. It was a command. My situation: not excited, discouraged.
Talking to a friend, we considered a blog that I was somewhat obsessed with – I read it daily and commented often. The woman who wrote the blog went to my church. She oozed Jesus and understood me – even though she didn’t know me – in ways that I couldn’t explain. With my friend proofreading and listening as I typed, I sent her a Facebook message asking her to be my mentor and explaining why her specifically. I felt ridiculous. I was putting myself “out there” and was prepared for rejection in the most sincere way. Then she messaged me back with a yes. Oh. My. Jesus. This was happening.
Lara and I at my bridal shower
I went to her house for dinner with her family. Then I got engaged to be married. I sat down across from her at what is now the coffee house we regularly meet and she asked, “so, what is your biggest fear about getting married?” She didn’t work up to it. No sugar coating. No pretending. And in we jumped. In we leaped into a friendship that I was not expecting. A friendship that I needed. A friendship with a woman who is unashamed and unafraid to preach the gospel and tell me like it is.
I’ve made reference to her a few times on my blog and I’ll probably do it again. Her insights affect my life. I can be as raw as I want and she understands and accepts me. She doesn’t lie to me just to make me feel good. She insists – insists – on Truth.
Find someone. Find a mentor. Find someone a little older, a little further along in her faith walk, who you can be as real was you want and need to be with, and ask her. Ask her to lead you. Ask her to walk beside you. Ask her to be on this faith journey with you. The worst that she can say is no, but that probably won’t happen.
We need other women. Women who are in the same place as us. Women who we can minister to. And women who can minister to us. Walk in community. Live in community.
“Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.” Titus 2:3-5