“Getting the most out of life isn’t about how much you keep for yourself, but how much you pour into others.”
One of my greatest joys and privileges has been found in mentoring women. Each mentoring situation is different because each need of the mentee is different. The Holy Spirit is THE best mentor; therefore, I trust Him to lead the mentoring meetings. Throughout the years, I have learned various principles and practices that have ministered to those I mentor.
I want the women to know this is their time; they are the priority. The focus is on them. We both have carved out time and space for them to share what is on their heart. I try to provide a safe place for them to reflect on their experiences. My focus is to listen to their stories attentively and deeply in a non-judgmental and nurturing way. I trust that through the Holy Spirit’s whispers, I will hear beyond their spoken words.
I hope our time together provides what Angela Gorrell calls a witness and withness. I not only want to be a witness to their story but to give them validation as I mirror what they are feeling with my own emotions. We all need to be seen, heard, and still loved and accepted. Exhibiting withness is being physically and emotionally present with them in their pain. The gift of presence gives them courage as they realize they are not alone.
The most effective mentoring requires healthy vulnerability. Transparency breaks down the walls of shame so that greater emotional healing takes place.
It is important to help them reframe their hurt and to see God’s redemptive purpose. I ask questions to help them see their story from God’s perspective, to see the good in it, and to believe their pain can be transformed into something beautiful. I want them to consider what God might be teaching them in their experience, so they keep moving forward in life.
Lastly, I desire to guide them with genuine discernment, to hear what God is saying, for them to know who God is, and to better understand who God created them to be. The essence of mentoring is found in 2 Timothy 2:2. “And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others.” My longing is that those I mentor will eventually mentor others.
“One of the greatest values of mentors is the ability to see ahead what others cannot see and to help them navigate a course to their destination.”
How have you been mentored and who are you mentoring today?
Image by Pete Linforth from Pixabay