Monday, February 10, 2020

How to find a Mentor


One of the most challenging parts of moving to another community is rebuilding my entire friendship circle. Finding friends can be a challenge but I've learned how to intentionally connect with people. I also wrote an eBook called "Finding your Tribe" if you are interested in my ideas of how to do make and maintain friends.

Moving hometowns also taught me that meeting new neighbors can be a challenge. Because of that, we created the habit of meeting them and maintaining a friendly relationship.

The greatest challenge for me comes when I am trying to find a mentor. I start this journey knowing God is faithful. He always connects me with people, in flesh and blood who can encourage me in my life's journey.

Mentoring is different than friendships. Friendship is very much a two-way street. Mentoring, as I understand it, is a relationship where someone guides you to a place you haven't been yet. They can be friendly while doing it. The purpose is to guide, encourage and lead to a higher purpose.

How in the world one finds someone who is willing to do something like that? My encouragement is not to start with the Internet. I believe that we need mentors who are real people. I need to see someone and sit with them. I want them to do the same thing for me. I want to observe their lives. I want them to know that my open-door policy applies to them. They can call me out of my less than into God's best.

The Bible encourages older women to mentor younger ones. I believe that this type of mentorship is possible, otherwise, God wouldn't tell us to practice it. The benefits are endless, the issue is, how?

I believe every successful mentorship starts with prayer. God, who answers prayers, can match you with the perfect mentor. He can also lead me to ministries that match women who want to be in a mentor/mentee environment. I was part of a mentoring ministry in the past as a mentee. It was life-giving and refreshing. It meant a lot to have someone to pray for me and with me when I needed the most. All of this started with prayer.

The next step is to actually go to places where your mentor would go. Let's say you knit and you are eager to find a mentor in that area. I bet your mentor is part of a knitting community as well as a knitting club. Mentors are often actively doing what they do best. You need to join the club in order to meet your mentor. I know not everyone is into knitting. You can substitute that with any other activity you desire to excell.

The last step is to watch God answer your prayers. Once you prayed, surrounded yourself by people who are following the same pursuits, God will answer your prayers. He will pair you with a mentor.

How exactly that happens? You two may end up working together. I've learned a lot from people with whom I worked "elbow to elbow." In other instances, you may ask the person to mentor you. I've done that several times. I'm here to say that every time I asked for help, someone helped me for a season.

Each mentor I've had is different. I had one who would mentor me during monthly lunches. I was also blessed to assist her as she taught a class. Each interaction was a blessing and an honor. I still carry those lessons with me.

I've worked alongside incredible women who allowed me to ask so many questions about life with God, family, and ministry. I still practice what they taught me. I still keep in touch with them.

These experiences encourage me to wait on the Lord. He knows I don't enjoy living life alone. He knows I appreciate learning from women who have been where I am. I too hope to be a good influence on others.

If you have a mentor, serve them well. Ask questions. Listen attentively and encourage them.

If you are looking for a mentor, remember to pray because God hears you. Frequent places where wise mentors would be and watch God answer your prayers in incredible ways.

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