The Missing Link
Changing Your Life through Mentoring
by Jayme Hull
As a young professional in New York City, surrounded by stars and fashion, I often felt about two inches tall. Unseen by some, judged by others. Sure, I had a few friends, but I longed to find a woman who had been in my shoes and was a few steps ahead of me.
One Sunday, I mustered up the courage to talk with a pastor at Times Square, who connected me with a mentor. Her warm eyes and inviting smile put me at ease the first time we met.
“I feel so incompetent. I’m way out of my league here.” It all came tumbling out.
“Some days, I just want to stay in bed, pull the covers over my head, and drown out the noise of traffic with re-runs of I Love Lucy.”
Surprisingly, she wasn’t put off by my confession of how utterly alone I felt and how distant God seemed. She listened, really listened. She didn’t offer cliché answers or rush to give me advice. I felt known, heard and understood.
Little did I know the profound influence she would become in my life and how our mentoring relationship would significantly shape me.
Mentoring is, at its essence, just doing what Jesus said. The Bible references “one another” over 100 times—from “Love one another” to “Build one another up” to “Pray for one another.” My mentor put a face and a heartbeat to all of those verses!
I can’t imagine going through my college days, young married years, my kids’ terrible twos, career transitions, the death of my parents and countless other rattling life events without the support of mentors.
Now, years later, I have the privilege of mentoring younger women. Some are young professional business women, others teachers, doctors, musicians, designers or moms. Some have cute little apartments, others rambunctious little ones. As we sit and talk over lattes or hot chocolate or sweet tea, I am inspired by their courage and honesty. Their eagerness to grow and change and become. Their heart to love people and join God in doing good.
A recent study by Barna Group found that nearly 75% of women are not sure that they are making the right decisions in life.
Younger women are hungry for the opportunity to connect personally and build a growth-oriented relationship with a mature Christ follower who can speak into their life.
In a world that is increasingly impersonal and systematized, face-to-face mentoring is the missing link. Mentoring is a win-win situation: Younger women are encouraged and grow, and older women find new purpose.
Perhaps you are longing to find a mentor, or you’d love to become one.
You may not have even heard of the word or concept of “mentoring” before reading this article. Maybe you are a volunteer or in leadership at your church, and God is prompting you to start a mentoring focus in your ministry.
Regardless, it will take intentionality, planning and prayer.
But growth always happens best in relationships.
God created us as women to learn from and support one another. To stick together in life’s darkest moments. To celebrate and cheer each other on.
Whatever season you’re in, now is a great time to step out, be encouraged and begin seeking a mentoring relationship.
Here are 3 tips to help you connect with a mentor
- Share what you admire about them.
- Be authentic. Share where you are and how you want to grow.
- Invite them to meet again and consider becoming your mentor.
One of my favorite action verses is from Ezra 10:4 “Rise up; this matter is in your hands . . . so take courage and do it.”
“Instead of waiting for someone to take you under their wing, go out and find a good wing to climb under.” —Dave Thomas
I truly believe with all of my heart that…
“Sometimes the road to finding a mentor can be awkward, difficult or discouraging, but the walk is well worth the distance.”
Jayme Hull is an author and speaker who motivates audiences to invest in mentoring and has no greater joy than to pour into women’s lives. Shaped by countless mentors over the past, Jayme now has the privilege of mentoring millennial women for the past 35 years.
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