For many people, mentoring is not a rigid or scheduled process. However, it is intentional. My pastor’s wife, Cara, shared with me about her relationship with a lady in our church which helped her as a new pastor’s wife (we are their first church), as a new mother (her son Max was three months old), and as a friend. “Joan and I never had a formal mentoring relationship, but she was so very kind to pursue a relationship with me over the years.” Sharing a love of art and color, reading, teaching, and the Lord, these two developed a deep friendship. “She had a joy and calmness in her spirit and that is mostly what I think about after these last few years without her.”
I particularly love the phrase “she was so very kind to pursue a relationship with me.” Do you see the intentionality? To pursue – a continuing effort can be the start of something beautiful and used by God.
I began thinking about people who affected my life in much the same way. Thinking that I had never had a mentor, I found that I was wrong.
I remember Nettie who had been my Pal in the Pal-Gal program through Pioneer Girls. I was in grade school and she had prayed for me, always had a smile for me, and sent me gifts and cards. Long after that year, she continued to pray, give, and smile. She sent cards to everyone in church, but I have some very special cards to this day that bring comfort. They often included a gift of money even though she was on a very fixed income. Her example of kindness, generosity, love of her Savior, and her prayers influenced the way I live my life.
I also remember Ruth who faithfully came to church alone because her husband was not a believer. And every week when asked for prayer requests, she replied, “unsaved family.” Her passion for her family to know Jesus impressed me and made me desire that same passion.
I remember JoAnn, an amazing artist. Beyond her talent, I remember a humble, sweet woman of faith. I worked with her on many committees and wanted to have her same humble attitude, generous nature, and love for others.
I remember Arta and am challenged to get up and do things. Call someone, offer to make cookies for VBS, volunteer to teach, and keep a joyful spirit through it all.
I remember Katherine and her knowledge of the Scriptures. Not just the verse but where to find it in the Bible. Her insights are always welcome in our Sunday School class, always delivered with humility. I want to have that same knowledge and wisdom.
And I remember Joan and her sweet, calm spirit. In Sunday School she was not afraid to share her struggles, always willing to pray for others, and share insights in the Scriptures. I loved to hear her pray and desired that close relationship she had with our Heavenly Father.
May I challenge you to think back and see how God has brought people into your life who have made a difference? If they are still living, write them a note and tell them how much they mean to you. Then, evaluate your own life, your testimony, your witness to the people around you. Talk with your Heavenly Father and ask Him how He can use you in the lives of others.
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