As I shared in my previous blog my life has been marked by the influence of several amazing women. Sadly, I don’t have an occasion to meet with many older women like I used to, but that doesn’t mean that I lack mentors. For example, over the past two years, every Thursday at 8:15 eastern time, I’ve chatted my friend Jan who is an executive with NBC. For 30 minutes our very different worlds come together and we encourage one another. We exhort each other in the Lord, we share what He is teaching us through the Word, and we pray for each other as we face various challenges in our lives. Often, between calls, we text about the crazy stuff that often comes up. What I love about Jan is that I can share my heart and soul with her, in return I receive compassion, wisdom, and an occasional kick in the rear. She has taught me a lot about being a strong woman, yet a humble follower of Christ.
Jacqueline and I have been friends since we were roommates in college. It’s funny…we didn’t always get along very well as roommates. I think it was because I was hard to live with. But, somehow over the years the Lord has developed a long-lasting relationship between us. We have traversed the hills and valleys of life together – almost always from a distance. We stay in close touch, emailing on a regular basis, and make an effort to connect in person as often as we can. Interestingly, the Lord has provided opportunities for us to spend some really solid time together on a number of occasions, for which I’m so thankful! I’d say we know each other really, really well. When I’m seeking counsel and wisdom, I can always count on a direct and honest assessment from Jacqueline. I so trust her walk with the Lord because I’ve watched her log serious time with the Savior over the years, and I love talking with her about Him. I’ve watched her persevere through difficult situations, and her example of faithful endurance spurs me on. We have fun together too and can always make each other laugh. We share a board on Pinterest, love shopping for shoes (she shops much more happily when it’s virtual versus actual), and we both enjoy coffee – which always helps deepen a friendship. Jacqueline taught me a long time ago the value of a good piece of milk chocolate.
Locally I enjoy relationships with a variety of strong and vibrant women – most (but not all) of whom are moms of young kids leading very full lives. Jan (yes different from NBC Jan) has three kids and a schedule that’s very different from mine. We have a hard time connecting in person, so we’ve nurtured our relationship through texting — who knew?! When I’m stressed and overwhelmed, I text her and scream for prayer. She’s right back at me with a promise to pray along with something rich from her time with the Lord that day. Sometimes when she has a minute she’ll send me a long email to catch me up on what she’s pondering, or events involving her kids. I feel very much involved in her life even though I seldom actually see her face. I love her zeal for life and passion to follow Jesus. When we do catch an hour together it’s always rich because it’s centered around Christ. I love that about her.
I wanted to share a little about these women because in our search for a perfect mentor we miss very present opportunities to learn from our peers or our friends. These three women mentor me in a whole host of ways!
I don’t know why it’s often so hard to talk about spiritual things with our peers or the women in our lives, but try it this week. Whether it’s over email or through a quick text, share something the Lord showed you from His word with one of your closer friends. Make it a point to pray together, or to share something that you’ve learned from the Word. You’ll be encouraged, and so will she.