An enthusiastic young woman recently sat across my table and between sips of water was sharing about her love of the Lord and her testimony of His grace. I sat nodding and smiling and sharing in the wonder of His working in my life, also, and before I knew it our conversation turned to child training questions, to homeschooling considerations, to homemaking challenges and before I knew it (again) she was asking for weekly meetings, for advice, for mentoring. From me.
Um. Oh. Um.
I was non-committal and encouraged her as she was leaving that she was free to call me anytime and that I would love to see her again. Just, you know, give me a call. I prayed for her and she left.
Well. Ever have those times when you just know the Lord isn’t real pleased with you and you just kind of avoid Him and pretend you aren’t even aware that anything could possibly be the matter?
I remember being a young-ish mom with my first baby and it was such a challenge to me. For starters, after nine months I still wasn’t getting any sleep. I was t.i.r.e.d. And walking around a foghead all day while trying to work part-time was swinging me from depression to self-pity to anger and I’m certain God saved me before that time so that I at least could have HIM when nothing else was going the way all of those stacks of popular parenting books by my bedside told me it would go if only I followed their easy methods that apparently every mother except me could master. Funny now. How having HIM was “at least” instead of “enough”.
I remember seeking out a mentor. One that didn’t pat me on the head either physically or intellectually, one that understood that children were a blessing and that snickering about how little sleep I was getting was not going to endear me to anything else they had to say. One that didn’t make me feel like, “well, you made your bed…” In other words, what was clear was ‘you had your baby (or two), now good luck with it (or them) because I’m too busy running other ministries’. At times I wanted to stand up in the middle of a church service and say, “Hey! Isn’t there any woman, any woman at all, who wants to mentor a young mom like me? Hello? Hello?” Mentally I could see the pity eyes patting me on the head. So I refrained. And kept smiling on the outside.
I remember baby number one turning into a toddler who was, let’s say, “a real challenge”, and then baby number two came along during that time. And then baby number three. And we lived in a condo with no yard and all of my baby friends had quit having more babies so they were all out shopping or decorating their houses or starting box businesses or meeting with friends for coffee dates while their children were at preschool. Me? I was still nursing. Changing diapers. Trying now to live on one income. Already homeschooling.
It was God’s best for me. Because during that time, HE became enough. Whatever need I had, whatever challenge I faced, whatever frustration I was facing….HE spoke His perfect Word to me through the Bible, giving me exactly what I needed to hear exactly when it was needed. He introduced me to wonderful and godly women through books and magazines who were full of live-giving encouragement and practical helps. He taught me how to sit at His feet, to love the women who felt inadequate to mentor and forgive the ones who mocked, and how to love my children in the process.
And now I have nothing to give back?
I called the young lady seeking a mentor after a week, after a week of not having her call me, which I knew she wouldn’t because I never would have either. I feel about as equipped to mentor as I felt about becoming a mother to begin with, about being a mother now. The difference is, though, I now know. God is enough. And I can at least share that.
“Hello?….Say, about those meetings you mentioned…”