When I was much younger I noticed the many women that were older and more mature. They seemed to have life all together, confident in who they were and what they were doing. I often wondered if I would ever feel that calm confident self they seemed to display. Many decades later I am the “much older woman”. I am a mom with four married children. Counting the spouses we now have eight adults and two grandbabies. Time has passed by with such speed I am amazed. I do not relate to this 60+ year old generation that I am in. I do not relate to a soon approaching retirement. I am still the same “me”. I do not always have life all together nor am I always confident in who I am and what I am doing. I do not always understand what is happening, but I always know who does.
I have been in church since I came into this world. I value the church body, feeling strongly that we must function as a healthy family. It is in the culture of the church that generations should be able to come together, enjoying each other with loving relationships. We can help each other in a powerful way. We can experience our relationship with Jesus together.
I have had many opportunities with mentoring type relationships. At times it is a formal assignment at school with a new teacher or student from the University. The purpose and direction is very controlled and planned. The most fun happens when such a relationship turns into a time of sharing God’s goodness. So many many people are hungry to understand the stability of the Christian life. We have many opportunities if we look around to those we rub shoulders with everyday.
My husband and I have also had opportunities to mentor younger adults. The dearest to us has happened in the past 7 years. I must change names but want to tell you the blessing we have had by reaching out and getting involved in people’s lives and one in particular.
Ashley was a girl the same age as our twins. Gretchen and Katie had met her at a church here in our LaPorte neighborhood. The girls had her over to stay for a couple of nights when we realized this teenager was going from house to house with a basket of clothes. No one was watching her, no one was making sure she was safe or keeping her accountable. Gary and I took Ashley into our room to have a heart to heart talk. We wanted to know what was going on….where were her parents?…what was she was going to do?, etc. Within a few minutes we realized this girl needed to live with us. We committed to taking care of her for her senior year in high school. She was going to become a part of our family, living by our rules, living our life style. I spent many hours talking to Ashley. I talked to her about the Lord and the stability she can have by living for him. I reminded her that she had no choice over the dysfunction of her childhood family, but that she had total control over her adult family. I reminded her of how special she was and how much Jesus loved her. Ashley continues to be a big part of our lives. She is marrying into a wonderful Christian family, a family that is pastoring a church in Florida. Her life has been changed because of God’s love. What a blessing it has been for all of us. This may be a different experience in mentoring. It is however an opportunity to share life and help when possible. As Christians we are so blessed to become a vessel that Jesus uses to help others.
As I think back to my experiences I am reminded that we all have something to offer other women in our lives. My adjustments are many…..divorce, mother of multiples, obesity, depression, living a long distance from my childhood family, marital situations and counseling, teaching young children to read, role as a mother in law, empty nest, financial situations, grandparenting, etc. My list goes on, so what do you have to bring to our table of “women helping women”?
W2W is a program created by women for women. Its desire is to provide opportunities to “do life together”. Our desire is to provide women with similar life experiences to encourage and support women who just need someone to share life with. It does not always mean a long “mentoring” type relationship. It may be someone to pray with during a challenging experience or it may turn into a longer relationship. It is a decision that the women involved will make.
At this time we have several women willing to help others with specific issues. If you would like to get involved in such a ministry please email us to begin the process. Blessings to all of you, ”my sisters in Christ”. We are here to “walk beside” our friends as they experience life’s challenge.