Over the past few years since planting Mercy City Church and honestly even before that I have been searching for someone to be a “spiritual mother” to me or a mentor in my life. There are many people I watch from a far that I admire and learn from but I surely don’t have their phone numbers to call and text with questions or issues that may arise in my life and ministry.
If I am being fully transparent I often carry a lot of jealousy as I scroll through instagram and see everyone posting about their last great weekend away with their spiritual mother. It bothers me, because it is something I have always wanted and yet never felt like I had. I recently listened to a podcast which was very good btw but I couldn’t get past the frustration I felt over the love and respect that the two women obviously shared for one another.
I wanted to write in a question and say, ya know, that is great for you two, but how would one go about finding a spiritual mother? I feel like the little bird wondering around asking everyone she sees, “Are you my mother?”
I read in a book a long time ago which encouraged me to be for others what you always wish you had been able to have for yourself. That is how I felt like I had coped with this feeling of being unwanted by a mentor. I have tried to do my best to be a mentor and spiritual mother to those God brings in my life, tried to listen well, pray well, encourage well. All the while filling myself up, encouraging myself and relying on great podcasts, books and blogs to teach me as I go.
As I was chatting with a young lady this morning I had a startling revelation. I realized that it was not everyone rejecting me, ignoring me or being uninterested in mentoring me that has kept me from having a spiritual mother all these years. This was a slap in the face, as it always is when you realize the only person to blame is yourself. I realized it wasn’t all those things. It has been my unwillingness to open up, to be vulnerable, to ask simple questions or difficult questions.
One of my greatest pet peeves in ministry is finding out about things after the fact. Finding out someone was in the hospital after they got out, finding out someone was depressed when it was too late, finding out someone was hurting and not knowing about it, only to find out they didn’t let me know because they thought I was too busy. I am busy about God’s kingdom! That is the stuff I want to be busy doing, standing with people who are hurting or celebrating with people when they are winning.
Isn’t it interesting how the most frustrating thing in others is often what we are annoyed with in ourselves? There have been times over the past few years when I have needed to talk to someone, but I didn’t want to bother them, thought it was silly or knew I could eventually figure it out on my own. Let’s face it, I am a woman, sometimes I need to talk about it! I could kick myself that I didn’t see it until now.
What this is, at the root is an identity crisis. I have not seen myself as God sees me or created me to be. I have not even been confident enough to reach out to someone, I have devalued myself in a way that didn’t allow for others to minister to me.
So, for those of us ladies out there looking for guidance, where do you look? Look around you! Who has God put in your life to be a mentor, friend, or encourager? We can’t all have Bobbi Houston as our spiritual mother, some of us need to look at who IS around us that God has placed there specifically to walk alongside YOU! Maybe it is your natural mother, pastor, city group leader or a great friend. The important thing is we all need someone and we all have someone if we will look around and see who is standing beside you!
So, what is a girl to do when she discovers who her mother is? Open up! Don't hold back, be honest about your thoughts and feelings. We need to have someone that we can be completely honest and vulnerable with.
Have you ever heard of Certain Dry? It is this amazing roll on antiperspirant that literally keeps you from getting underarm sweat marks. It works and for us girls with serious nervous sweating issues, it is life. What I have found however, is that when the sweating stops in the pits, it finds another place to be released… This is the same thing that happens when I hold in my frustration, hurt or anger, It is released, but not in the appropriate place. It comes out at my husband or towards my kids.
Ask questions, listen to the advice, pray for her, and honor her. If someone is valuable to you it is important that you honor them. No matter who it is, when someone is valuable to you, let them know about it! It doesn’t benefit you or anyone in your life for you to keep your honor silent. Pray for your mentor, protect her in the spirit and in the natural.
Let’s be women who are for each other! I believe that God is moving us forward in relationship with one another and with Him. Let’s join together ladies to be for one another and for those of you longing for greater relationship I would say to you, as I say to myself, let yourself be open, don’t keep those walks of appearance up, just let it all hang out.