I recently delivered a meal to a dear friend who is currently fostering a two-week-old baby. Holding said baby in my arms made me remember my own baby days, and the women in my church who delivered meals to me when I was a young mama. I’m still not a cook like they are—chicken piccata with homemade blueberry pie, homemade lasagna, chicken cordon bleu, warm rolls. Sorry. I digress.
While I remember the meals these women prepared for me and my family, I also remember the ways they were spiritual mothers in my life—mentors to help me walk along a treacherous path fraught with self-doubt, fear, and ignorance. The learning curve is steep for knowing how to keep little people alive even if the love is overwhelming. Before I was a mother, these same women walked with me when I married my beloved husband. They’d whisper in my ear things they were praying for us. They showed us by their example how to love and honor one another, how to love and nurture children, how to obey and follow God with everything they had. They even showed us, sometimes, how to make mistakes and keep going, depending on the forgiveness, grace, and love of Christ alone to be the true source of contentment and strength. They saw my gifts and invited me to walk alongside them, praying for and ministering to others according to the unique way God had fashioned me.
So, in honor of Mothers’ Day this past weekend, I’d like not only to honor my own dear Mama and my mother-in-law, whose impact on my life cannot be overstated. I am truly blessed beyond words. But I’d also like to give a shout-out to those women who mentored me throughout my life, helping me grow closer to God, encouraging me in my walk as a woman of God, a wife, and a mother.
As a mentor in my own right, I also remember all the young women I’ve spent hours with, talking with on couches and in coffee shops, praying and reading scripture with, laughing and shopping with. Sometimes we’ve baked things (more for the benefit of eating cookie dough than for them learning my sweet baking skills). I can see their faces, and in many cases, I remember things they taught me along the way. I remember how their grief made me seek God in the deepest depths of my soul. I remember ways I fell short and had to walk in humility, asking forgiveness. I remember ways I saw them make bold, God-led choices and how we celebrated! I watched some marry. I watched some gallivant off into grand, faith-filled adventures. Watching their faith grow has been one of the most beautiful things in my life. Even though I don’t keep in touch with all of them as I’d like to, the moments our lives connected helped shape me, and I’m overwhelmed with gratitude.
Who in your life can speak life and truth into your soul? Who in your life is someone that needs a helping hand, a fellow sister to pray with, an encourager to help them carry on, a voice of truth to help them hear the voice of God? I can name some women on both ends of this spectrum in my life, and I’ve also learned not to devalue my role as a spiritual mentor to my young (but quickly-growing) children. God has clearly placed my children in my home for me to raise them up in love and truth.
If you aren’t sure where a discipleship relationship could exist in your life, look around first at the people God has put under your roof. Then look under your church roof. Your town’s sky. I pray God gives you eyes to see Him and the courage to make the connections with fellow sisters-in-Christ that He wants you to make. I have found very few people are ever offended if you ask them to join you for coffee or lunch. Or homemade blueberry pie. 😉
“Older women are to teach what is good, and so train the young women…” Titus 2:4