I’ve had many friends over the years. Some are super close – the “I’ll keep your secrets even in death” kind. Some are more like acquaintances, passing in and out of my life. Some could only be described as frenemies with their rivalry and hatchet-wielding ways. But perhaps the best, most life-changing friends I’ve ever had were mentors.
The Mentor Myth
There are a lot of myths out there surrounding mentors. I used to believe that a mentor had to be at least 80 years old, have the Bible memorized cover to cover and, when she wasn’t soaking in deep theological conversations with God, she was tending to the downtrodden of the world. However, after I met my first mentor many years ago, I realized that mentors are human; they burn toast, sometimes don’t wear make-up and miss a day of Bible reading from time to time.
Since then, I have learned that mentors come in a myriad of shapes and sizes. They can be young, old, single, married, quiet or loud, and can have a passion for anything from knitting to skydiving. The most important characteristic that a mentor can have is that she loves God and loves people. She needs only to be one step ahead of you spiritually to have a deep and lasting effect.
I feel that every woman owes it to herself to seek out a mentor at least once in her life. Mentors are more than friends. They are truly safe people who can listen to our pain and speak biblical truth into our hearts without expecting anything in return. Through mentors, we can tackle the tough questions or situations in life that have us stuck in our spiritual walk. They help us reach the next level with God.
Where To Find A Mentor
Now that I’ve convinced you that you need a mentor ASAP, you may be wondering where to find a good one. Chances are that God already has an amazing mentor postured in your life; you just need to look around you to find her.
One of the best ways to find a mentor is organically. Begin looking at the people God already has around you. You can look to your circle of friends, in your small group, at your church or within a ministry you serve. Who’s that one woman you feel a connection with? Maybe she’s the one who always seems to speak the truth honestly but with compassion. Pray that God would show you who she is.
After God has given you confirmation, it’s time to ask her to be your mentor. This is the point where most women panic. You’re already thinking that there is no way you are going to ask someone to be your mentor. Before you write me off as something akin to crazy, what if I told you that God has probably already called her to be a mentor? And she’s probably been waiting for you to ask her.
Psalm 139:5 tells us that God goes before us and behind us. The Creator leaves nothing to chance and takes care of our needs before we even know that we have a one. When you approach your potential mentor, let her know you’ve been praying about it and ask her to pray as well.
After your new mentor agrees to mentor you, it’s time to determine your next steps. Decide how often you should meet and for how long. Weekly meetings for a three-month period are a good place to start. Meeting weekly helps with consistency. Even if you can only meet every other week, that’s okay, too. The point is to connect with each other.
A mentorship allows you both the ability to grow in many areas. After a few weeks, you’ll find that you are nurturing each other in various aspects of life. You will listen, laugh, cry and pray with each other. If you’re like me, you might find this to be one of the most important friendships you’ve ever had.
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