finding a PW mentor...

>> July 27, 2009

It can be tough PWing alone.

Really tough.

Sometimes it feels like we're right there with Elijah when he wailed to God that he was the ONLY faithful prophet left in the whole wide world! (Of course he wasn't, and God reminded him so, but he still felt totally alone.)

Western society doesn't really offer much in the way of social structures for mentoring, so we girls sometimes have to create our own opportunities. For the shy among us, this can be pretty daunting. But the payoff is amazing.

For me, having a few good mentors has made all the difference. I'm blessed to have a Christian mother whose insights are usually spot on. But now and then I've realized that even a great mom can't carry the burden of knowing all PW details. Not having been a PW herself, despite her deep spiritual maturity, there's some things she just can't relate to. And sometimes it's better for her not to know when I'm dealing with a particularly difficult person - it's just too hard to sit back and not defend me.

So I've sought out other wise women, other Mothers in Israel, who can provide insights and intuitive suggestions for challenging situations. Some of them are mostly by email, others offer advice when we chat online. One or two are the type who don't mind me calling for advice out of the blue.

And a few have blossomed into personal friendships that span the generations and have become rare treasures.

I've learned though, that while today's culture fails to provide formal mentoring structures, it also has negatively affected older and younger women's interaction. Younger women often tend to feel that the older generation is completely out of touch, instead of revering them for their wisdom and experience. And while there are always those older women who offer unwelcome and unsolicited advice - I've found that most of them are on the opposite end. They feel intimidated into isolation and silence by the younger generation, as though they worth has passed with the peak of their beauty and usefulness. As a result, many are hesitant to share even when their insights would be welcomed.

It took me a while to get past my fear of approaching older women and asking for their wisdom, but once I discovered that most of them responded with surprised pleasure, I realized it wasn't so hard.

So if you feel a longing for mentorship and just don't know where to get started, here's what I'd suggest:

  • pray about it; ask God to help you know whom to ask
  • genuinely approach the woman you'd like to know better, and ask if she'd be willing to get together sometime and pass on some of her accumulated wisdom
  • be open to learning from unexpected sources - not all of your great mentors will be PWs, although many of them may
  • just listen to what they have to say, and ask God which parts he wants you to learn from, realizing that not everything may directly apply to you
How about you? Do you have a mentor or more than one? Who do you turn to for wise, godly counsel? How did you find them? Have you ever actually asked someone to be your mentor?

What would you say to a young PW who wants to find a mentor and doesn't know where to start?

2 comments:

Melody July 28, 2009 at 8:39 AM  

God has blessed me with a few older women who have graciously mentored me. Some are other women in ministry and others are not. I think it helps for the younger women to humbly recognize the need for the older generations advice and counsel. And it is wonderful when the older generaton looks for and initiates these types of mentoring relationships with the younger. I have sought out an older woman before and she sweetly agreed to mentor me. The other relationships have just divinely evolved.
I would encourage someone that is desiring to have a mentor to start praying now. God is the one who brilliantly designed this type of relationship so He is fully aware of what you need. He will provide exactly what you need, when you need it.
And I love the fact that there is always someone younger than us. Mentoring is not just for the wise and gray but anyone willing to share what God has taught us thus far.

Angela De Souza August 4, 2009 at 5:33 PM  

I have prayed for a mentor for years & have found life a long & lonely road in this area. It seems there are few mature (in Christ not necessarily in age)out there. I am still trusting God for someone further down the road than me who would be willing to mentor me. I am grateful to all the people who have mentored me in the past but this season for some reasons seems to be an alone one - so lovely Blogs like yours are my "mentors" for the time being. Thank you to all of you share so freely and so honestly. xxx

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