Thursday, July 12, 2007

The call for 'Elizabeth's'

Last night, I went to Carole and Rob's house for an evening composed of 6 kids, 5 adults, lots of wonderful food, and sweet fellowship. Once the company had left, I sat around with Carol, Rob, and their eldest Chris (going into the 7th grade). Their youngest, Blake, was passed out youngin' style on the sofa chair from a full day of serious play. I played with the boys - and looked like it! We sat around, talking and laughing, for another hour until midnight struck and I needed to scoot home. With Christopher making sure he didn't need to walk me out with an umbrella, and hugs from Rob and Carole, I made my way to the car. And as is the case for nearly every time I leave their house, I fought back tears the whole way home.

I don't think Carole (nor Rob) could fathom the depth of their impact upon my life. They don't realize that the moments little Blake serves me my bottle of water have the same touch upon me as the occasions when the two of them pray over me before I head out the door. I'm not sure they grasp the fact that Christopher's little magic card tricks touch the depths of my spiritual soul as much as the couch moments that Carole and I share when we are boasting (and crying) in the Lord together. But for this 24 year old post-college graduate that is a bit of a vagabond right now, they do.

My heart is aching for a trend that I see throughout my generation. We are lacking our 'Titus 2' women. His Word tells us that the "older women are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good, so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensitive, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored."

Now hear me! I am not implying that these older godly women don't exist! I'm merely noticing the pattern of my generation (20 and 30 year old's) being disconnected from those women who are a generation ahead of them or so. I am sure there are a plethora of reasons we could validly say have had an impact on this. Maybe my younger generation has not stepped into the church enough to even be a presence that indirectly demands recognition. Maybe my younger generation is not brave enough to confess their desire (or need) for being discipled. Maybe my younger generation has allowed pride to rob them of the invaluable lessons that comes from a mentor. Or maybe the older generation has dually missed it. Maybe they think that our DVD Bible studies, online sermons, podcast teachings, and conference attendance gives us plenty of 'teaching,' and we would have no need for them. Maybe they think that we think they wouldn't be relevant, thus discrediting their knowledge and depth of insight.

Time and time again, one of the most confessed needs of my college sisters was their desire for a woman older then them to walk with them in life. They were not seeking a crutch, or someone to 'baby' them, but because they were so desperate for Jesus, they were hungry for the touch of one who has seen His face, and could come and teach them. Face in hands, eye to eye, to come to grips with the good and bad of one's spiritual heart.

Mary needed it. May I speak for my generation to let you know that we do too? The angel Gabriel lets the young teenager know that she would conceive the Most High son Jesus by the Spirit. (I wonder what in the world it must have been like to be her...I mean seriously - how did she explain this one to Joseph?). Yet before Gabriel departs, he leaves her with this timed word: Oh yea. Your relative Elizabeth, as old as she may be, is pregnant too in her 6th month. (paraphrasing). Mary then 'went in a hurry' to visit Elizabeth. And she does - for three months. Mustn't they have compared bellies during these three months? Mustn't they have sat somewhere feet propped up, talking and laughing and feeling the beginning kicks of their anointed children? Mustn't young Mary gleaned encouragement, strength, and courage from Elizabeth? I suspect Mary must have been a wide-eyed teenager overwhelmed with this new phase of life. No doubt the God of time divinely intersected the paths of these two women for a little mentoring, a little laughing, probably a lot of hormonal crying, and a lot of praising Jesus.

We are all a Mary. We are all Elizabeth's as well. I beg you you embrace your season of being a Mary, take heed to those your elder. Be brave enough to seek them out. Learn from them. Hear their hearts. Sit at their feet. And as we embrace our seasons of being an Elizabeth, trust Christ in you to be sufficient to lead the younger ones. Step out in faith, and go grab the younger one that wants you to think she has it all together; I can assure you she is longing for your wise touch.

May He be the reason 'what is good is taught,' so that the Word of God does not go dishonored (Titus 2:5). I hope that one day I can be the women of God that Carole is...for she is undoubtedly an 'Elizabeth.'


NspiredByFaith said...

You are completely right, Shelly! We as 20's & 30 somethings DO need those older Godly women in our lives. I am in a church where this is something that happens. There are so many of these wonderful women who I have gotten to know and have benefitted so greatly from their experiences! I think alot of the time they think we are too busy to be interested in what they have to say, and sadly, the younger generation probably feels the same way alot of the time.

I am so glad you have someone like this in your life Shelly, are blessed!


Teri said...

I am sort of in the middle on this one! I still need the more mature women in my life as a sounding board...but I also feel a little seasoned that I might have something to offer. ( I am almost 36...ouch...) I am so grateful for my mentor. I only hope someday I might be that for someone else! But you are SO right Shelly...we do need eachother!

Patty said...

Well, Amen to that!!! You are so right and I see the very thing in my own church. I mentor a few young women in their 20's and it is a HUGE responsibility but one that I accept and pray that they are learning and growing in God's Word!!

Yes, that was Julie and Lici from the praise team. My friend Dori goes to church with Travis and Julie and their choir is unbelievable!!! I could listen to them all day!! Travis' new Christmas Musical is so wonderful that I think it may be the best Christmas musical I have ever heard. Lici is good friends with Dori and my best friend from high school Denise. We took that picture and Lici sent it immediately to Denise and told her she was having dinner with me. We all laughed. I am going to Nashville next week to Christ Church and their conference/concerts but more importantly to see Denise. Another reunion and trust me, I will have plenty of photos I will share. God is so GOOD and AMAZING!!

Have a great weekend with Jesus!!

Love You,

mandy said...

Omigosh yes!
amen and amen.
and amen again!

Sharon said...

Can I scream AMEN here?
I have been praying for a mentor for over 10 years.I began to think something was wrong with me.Then God sent Beth Moore. Now listen--she is not what I envisioned for a mentor. i so long to hear that someone had "been there".
This is going to be too long to comment. Come read my post tomorrow.
I am only --ha,ha---42---but I am doing what no one did for me.
Could it be possible that He lets some of us do without so that we can realize how important His advice is in Titus.
I call Beth my mentor--because there was no one else.
Good thoughts -----let's start a discussion. Maybe we will spark a fire!

Lindsee said...

I take it for granted sometimes that I am one of those blessed girls that has MANY mentors around me. I love them dearly! Thank you for your sweet reminder that we DO need the mentors, whether we like it or not! ;) And, we need to be mentors to younger ones, also!

It is such a neat thing when this happens.

Praise the Lord and Glory to him that I have the ladies I have!!

HUGS to you, my precious blogging friend!

Heather B said...

This is so true! I am so grateful and blessed to have had a strong ring of women who were several steps ahead of me to guide me and mentor me for the past 8 1/2 years of my life!! I can honestly say that I did not see spiritual or emotional growth until I was able to submit myself to this type of relationship!
Love you girl!

JentheNewlyWed said...

You, Miss Shelly, are very wise. :)

Christina said...

Just stumbled upon your blog. It's great! I have a mentor and I love her dearly. She is so special to me. Thanks for this post. :-)

MelanieJoy said...

AMEN!!!!! I have a "Titus 2" woman in my life and she is a blessing. You are so right about our generation and the older/wiser generation. I think you nailed them both on the head. So where does that put us for the generation behind us?! This is something I intend to make as a priority in prayer and in walk. Thank you for bringing this point is something for us all to think and act on.

.insignificantly significant. said...

AHHH!!! Ohhh my yes!!! I soo soo soo agree. So so so am asking Jesus for it.

He will provide, I know it.

Oh, how this post touched my heart.


Amy Kate said...

What a great post! Those older women in our lives are such a blessing!

Deborah said...

Shelly what insight you have! come visit me and take part in a silly fun 50 question tag. love always me

Sharon said...

My mentor story is up--come visit when you get a little while. Yes, it is a long post. :)

Lyndy said...

What a great post. I like your Teri who commented, am kind of in the middle at 38 but I firmly believe we always need mentors, no matter what our age.

I am so glad that you are blessed with these friends. What a blessing indeed.

Have a wonderful weekend.


My Heavenly Wings said...

Hi! My name is Lynn and I am 26. I read your post and totally agree that we all need a mentor. In a lot of instances I don't know what I would do without mine. I thank God everyday for sending such an awesome person into my life. I feel the same way about her that you do about your mentor and I don't think she understands either. God is truely going to bless these wonderful women one day with more than they can imagine. I pray that our generation will rise and make a stand. I look forward to reading more of your post. Have a wonderful day!

Lisa said...

Girlfriend Shelly - I just love you, Sista. I am so happy that you are blessed with such wonderful people in your life.
I, too, have a couple of older mentors in my life that are vitally important to me. But, let me tell you about another friend. Lezley is my dear, darling friend, and mentor AND she is twelve years younger than me. She is in her twenties and I'm not. So, sometimes there comes someone in our lives that is "wise beyond years." Just like you, dear Shelly!!
I am so blessed that God let me sit beside you in Boone! Not to mention those wonderful early morning hours waiting for the doors to open. Next time, I'll bring the bagels.

ang baylis said...

Thank you so much for this post! What a great reminder for all of us to mentor the younger girls! It is so important to have older women who will share their wisdom. I too, feel Beth Moore is a great mentor and after reading your post I am reminded that I need "real" women to sit and have coffee together! I really wish I would have been as wise as you are as a post college student! I am going to start praying for my children to have mentors as well.
It seems that for so long I needed to have a mentor, but I think it's time I step up to the plate and mentor someone else who needs me!

Much love,
Angie xoxo

Janelle & Ella said...

Amen! I am in total agreement! This is what I need. I need to sit at the feet of an older, much wiser woman and learn from her. You have inspired me to seek that out. This is so well writen.

Lindsee said...

Oh bless! The sweet phone charger. What is it with the dogs and electrical things?!?!

I am so sorry. Hope it wasn't too bad that you had to buy a new one!!! :)

Love love!!!

Abby said...

girl you know me and my "old friends" :D

love you :)

The Preacher's Wife said...

Holy cow this was wonderful!

I have had this same conversation with some of the elderly women in my church...

I think you hit it on the head with the last point about their believing we don't need them. We are too busy and our lives to scattered to justify a sit on the porch swing or a quiet conversation over tea. It is such a shame and yet I find myself not knowing what to do about it. Because the times, they are a changin'...I'll never be less busy!

I do have several godly women to whom I can go with concerns of my life...I now feel the conviction to find a way to make more time for them in my life...

You are so awesome, Shelly! Thanks for this!


jennyhope said...

honestly i think i have had to rely on Beth to be my mother in the faith because despite much prayer...i have not found a woman like that...that is near me and etc. it is really sad...but i have been so thankful to go through all of beths studies and learn from her. :0) this was so good...
thank you so much for praying for me girl i have really needed it. For the last SEVERAL years the enemy has been at my heels. I am not kidding. I am ready to get a little bit of a break from it! :)

Kelly S. said...

Shelly this is really a post I will be much in prayer and thought about. I am so glad you have Carole, and I will not only keep this in mind for my life, but also pray for my girls to have Godly mentors!! Thanks

Patty said...

Hi my sweet Shelly!!!

I have given you an award. Please come by and see what it is!!

Have fun with Jesus this weekend.


Tee said...

You have touched the very depths of my heart. We (my husband and I) have a burden for the 20-30 somethings, which seem to have disappeared out of the church. We all need discipling regardless of our ages. We can always learn and grow. You see we are older (both retired), but the Lord has put this burden on our hearts. Thank you for your post. My prayer is to always obey the Lord and be the Elizabeth He wants me to be.

Kristen said...

Dearest Shelly,
How I loved this post. I am 42 years old and have the blessed opportunity to be an "Elizabeth" to my 24 year old niece. She has since invited a friend of hers to the Summer Bible Study (When Godly People do Ungodly Things) I am leading in my home. These 2 young twentysomethings are soaking up the Titus 2 Women in our group. I never had that "Elizabeth" when I was in my 20's, but after reading Sharon's post - Beth Moore has been my Elizabeth too! After my parents divorced we didn't go to church any longer. At 17, I made up my mind that I needed to go... God was calling - and I had to respond. Oh how I wish I would have had an Elizabeth back then. I haven't been able to have children - my faith legacy will be passed on to the young women God is bringing to my life. I pray that more young women in my area will be bold as you young ladies and seek the Elizabeths! And I will continue to seek those that are longing for an Elizabeth!

Liz said...

I loved your post! I totally agree...we all need more mature women in our lives...someone who can impart wisdom and point us to Christ. I have been very blesed with an "Elizabeth" in my life. Having been blessed by an older woman, I wish everyone would understand the benefit of this kind of relationship.

Beautiful thoughts! Thanks for sharing.

A sister in Christ,

THE SMITHS said...

This is so real to me... I'm going to enter my church's Life Mentoring program in the fall. I am really so pumped, I've been praying specifically for an 'Elizabeth' for over four years now!

I know that after taking a little ministry break after graduating I want to share my life with younger gals...

I can't even express to God how thankful I am for the older godly gals that I have crossed paths with. Whether it was Fay, a junior in college (when I was a freshman in high school) inviting me to her house for sleepovers and giving me rides to Young Life OR Andrea, the newly empty-nester that encouraged me in the months before I got married... and others, I am so thankful for the salt and Love they sprinkled on my life!

Praise God from Whom ALL blessings flow!