18 Mar When women gather.
Grace College started a formal mentoring program Fall 2012, pairing girls at the school with older girls in the community. (I almost wrote “women” but that makes us sound more mature and wise than we surely are;) Mary and I were partnered, and if I told you every connection we ever had, you’d just have to believe in God’s providence. It begins with her having gone to the church James grew up in, sitting next to each other years ago at a mutual friend’s wedding, and already knowing her parents to the point that they were thrilled to know her Winona Lake mentor. It’s fun when God’s the director.
Last year was the most blessed, hard year she and I may ever experience. Mary’s mom died just a few months after we started meeting. His timing in our relationship, His tender care for her in the midst of life-changing turmoil, was more than kind. Throughout this difficulty, Mary and I walked the road of thankfulness, even when the only joyful thing she could see was a hot cup of coffee. But God sustained her, opened her eyes to His daily goodnesses, and her unwavering faithfulness to Him did not go unnoticed by Him! He has blessed her with a mind for His Word, a Truth-speaking tongue, a compassionate heart, and…strawberry blond hair (c’mon, can’t leave that out). Truly, I could speak for days about my love for this beautiful young woman (hallelujah that we have more Jesus-lovers rising up!), but suffice it to say that mentoring brings people together who would not naturally be together…and it’s only God who gets the glory!
A couple months ago, a group of us mentors gathered to pray for our mentees. This was a beautiful experience for me. My eyes were opened to the work God was doing in ALL these relationships. My mind opened beyond how He was working in Mary and me, and I could see His hand in different ways in all these lives! The high of the refreshment wouldn’t leave me, and I wanted more! So a few weeks ago, three of us mentors (slash, two of my closest friends in this world!) brought our mentees together to listen to God’s work in each others’ lives, to rejoice with each other, to remember that this journey is not unique to just you, that we’re all fighting and learning and loving and struggling. In order to have such deep conversation so quickly, we employed a Campus Crusade for Christ card game called Solarium (thanks, Carolyn, for hooking me up with a set!). You use the 50 cards provided to answer questions like, “Which two images best represent your life right now?” “Which image do you wish represented your life right now?” “Which image represents your spiritual journey thus far?” etc. What a beautiful time of sharing we experienced together! (Side note: so fun to watch the mentors and mentees collaborating, not because they didn’t know themselves well enough, but because their lives were that intertwined that they could step back and say, “You know? Your life involves a lot of ____ right now.”)We concluded with reading several chapters of James and praying. Even though we were mostly strangers, the unity we had in Christ alone gave us the ability to open our hearts to each other, to these sisters we don’t all know, and to reflect together on the Lord’s big work in all of our lives.
Find some people you don’t know, maybe a couple you do, and recount the work God is doing in your lives right now!