E10: Mentoring Yourself

To say that I have completely mentored myself would be a stretch. So would saying that I am living in complete freedom. But it’s a catchy title, so we’ll go with it. In all honesty I have mentored myself quite a bit in the latest season or two of my life. I was immersed in a church culture that did not encourage one on one mentorship. It was more of a group mentorship mentality. I’m not complaining or judging that, it is just not what I needed at the time. I found myself, a young mother, frustrated and confused about my own emotions and the way that I was handling things in my life. We had just come out of some painful things as a family and I felt a little like I was in limbo. I remember having a conversation with an older woman that I really admired, and I tentatively asked her if she and her husband mentored people. She very politely told me “NO” and then helped me understand that the culture of their church was more of a “Mentor from the pulpit” kind of thing. I was heartbroken and rejected. Albeit, that was no fault of hers. As I look back, I can now say that it was probably for the best. This situation set me up for learning a key thing about spiritual maturity. FEEDING MYSELF. Here’s the thing, I was still relying on other people to bring me my “spiritual food”. I relied on weekly church services and other people’s wisdom to keep me going. I had not yet learned to take matters into my own hands, and really walk with God myself, allowing Him to be my source.

When push came to shove, I ended up having to jump in to my own life and get with Jesus, letting Him be my mentor. I began first to find really good teaching. We live in a time where you can find some of the world’s best teaching just by using google. I listened to sermons by trusted teachers like Bill Johnson, Havilah Cunnington, and Lisa Bevere. I listened to them talk to me about who God really is, and who He says I really am. I pretty much quit listening to any music but worship music. I love all kinds of music, but at that time in my life I needed to be constantly surrounded by worship. I dove into some really good devotional studies, exploring the Bible for myself. I journaled my thoughts, without filter. As a mother of small children I didn’t have the time or energy to devote myself to a quiet hour of study early every morning, so I just turned my whole day into a constant experience with Jesus.

Here’s what happened. I began to really have my own relationship with Jesus. I learned that first, God is good, and second, So am I. I learned that His plans for me are way more amazing than I could have imagined. I learned that the cycles of dysfunction and pain in my life were deep and that they would require repeated encounters with God. I learned that I am strong and capable and that I am a daughter. I learned about love.

We are not made for just having our own relationship with Jesus. We were designed for relationship with others. Once I took that first step with God, I began to notice others like me. Other women who were full of life, full of love. The Lord gave me relationships that are back and forth. I now have multiple women in my life that I consider “mentors”, but the thing is I mentor them too. We speak to each others hearts. We give strength and courage to each other, and that is the best kind of friendship. In that season of my life I became the very thing that I thought I needed most. If you are in desperate need of a friend, become one. If you long for someone to champion you, start championing people around you. If you need strength, begin to give it, to yourself and others. There is a limitless source living on the inside of each of us. Tap into that place with the Holy Spirit and watch your life change.