I want to tell you about the time I found my people.
All of my life I longed for friendships with women who could support and encourage me in my dreams, point me to Jesus, and keep me accountable.
I prayed for deep friendships like this and I prayed for mentors like this in my life.
As I entered my 20s, I developed some really deep, meaningful friendships with women who are real, honest, a whole lot of fun, and who love Jesus. I was so thankful. Friendships like this grow you into a bigger and better person, someone who looks more like Jesus - and this is exactly what I wanted.
But I knew I needed something else. I also needed women who were a few years (or more than just a few!) ahead of me in the journey of life. I wanted to connect with older, wiser women who loved God and who would point me to him and his purpose.
People say ‘get a mentor’, ‘connect with older women’ like it’s as easy as placing a coffee order, but it’s just not as simple and straightforward as that. It takes willingness from both parties. It takes older women who have a generous, open spirit, and younger women who are willing to learn and be teachable.
Have you ever prayed for a mentor in your life? I have. I prayed for years and years and years and years. When I asked women at my church to grab a coffee with me I was met with disinterested half-hearted responses. I don’t blame them, I know everyone is busy. But the consistent nos further impressed upon me the lie (and age-old stereotype) that older women don’t like giving younger women a leg up. Nonetheless, in my idealistic mind, I continued to crave a relationship with someone who I could look up to and learn from.
Two years ago I felt compelled to reach out to an older woman I knew through mutual friends. She didn’t go to my church and wasn’t in my circle but I sure admired her from afar. I made up excuses like “she’d be far too busy”, “she wouldn’t have time for me”, “I don’t want to bother her”. These rotten lies held me back from reaching out to her. I never did.
Fast forward a year and she messaged me on Instagram asking if I’d like to get a coffee with her. Seriously? Seriously! I couldn’t believe it. God has a funny way of chasing us down even when we’re too afraid to step out - his grace amazes me.
Little did this lady know that her simple Insta-message came at just the right time. My husband and I were going through some unexpected life changes and I just needed someone to show up and care. I have tears in my eyes as I write this - that’s how much this meant to me.
In a funny turn of events, this woman is now my senior pastor, and someone who is in my circle. She is someone who I see regularly and who is always interested, always cares, and is always willing to grab a cup of coffee and chat about life.
What? How? I’m still in shock when I think about the details. All I can put this down to is that God knows what we need and just when we need it. God is never too early and never too late.
So from one girl who desires older, wiser mentors in her life to another, I encourage you to keep believing! Ask God to show you who that person could be in your life. And reach out - even if you get knocked back and feel that sting of rejection - reach out and reach out again. It’s true that not everyone will be willing to support you but there will be someone with a heart just for you.
With that said, I want to be like an older sister who can share tidbits of advice, wisdom, and experience from my journey to yours. And hey, if I’m younger than you - then I just hope that my words and stories can be an encouragement to you. Whoever you are and whatever stage of life you are at, know this: I will always push you to pursue God and his purpose for your life.