This month I'm honored to feature a blog post from my author friend, Janet Thompson, who included the story of Friends of the Heart in her book Mentoring For All Seasons. May her inspirational post encourage you to connect with others on your journey.
Enjoy hearing Janet's story that led to her book:
When we moved to Idaho from Southern California, we had never lived in the rural mountains year round. We had a lot to learn and there was always someone willing to mentor us; all we had to do was ask and be receptive to what they had learned from living here. Now that we’re a bit “seasoned,” we can help others moving here too.
God gave me a passion for mentoring when He gave me the call to start the Woman to Woman Mentoring Ministry twenty years ago based on Titus 2:3-5. I wrote a DVD Leader Kit to help churches start a mentoring ministry and began sharing the blessings of mentoring through my writing and speaking ministry, About His Work Ministries.
Over the years, I’ve seen the life seasons women experience and the difference it makes when another woman who has experienced a similar season shares how God helped her through and she’ll be there to pray and study God’s Word with her. Mentoring is that simple. The mentor doesn’t have to have the Bible memorized, but just be willing to share her life with another woman and together they both grow in their faith and spiritual walk.
That’s what I loved about Shirley’s mentoring story of how two younger women in her church asked her to mentor them. Shirley said yes. When they each sent me their story for my book, they had been meeting for eighteen years and God has used their experience to start a ministry together, Friends of the Heart. You can read their complete story in the Prologue of Mentoring for All Seasons.
Not every mentoring relationship lasts that long. In addition to Shirley’s story, sixty-three women share their mentor or mentee testimonies, along with my own personal experiences, helpful tips, and suggestions will guide women in how to connect and nurture each other through mentoring relationships, as a mentor or a mentee from tweens to twilight years. There are Scriptures for each season to help guide the discussion to God’s Word. Mentors don’t have all the answers, but God does!
So that’s my challenge to all of us, let’s look for those women and young girls God puts in our path and share what we’ve learned from our life experiences and how God and His Word helped us and will help them too in whatever life season they’re going through now. And if you’re going through a difficult life season or are new in your faith, ask God to help you find a mentor. Mentoring for All Seasons encourages women like Shirley to intentionally share their life experiences and God’s faithfulness. I’m not just talking about women; we need to mentor our tweens and teens too!
You may encounter a woman in a season you haven’t experienced. Mentees come from all walks and seasons of life, ages, and spiritual maturity. Even if a mentor doesn’t share the exact life experience of her mentee, the mentor can provide spiritual guidance, do research, and pray about how to address the specific issues her mentee is encountering. Some mentees might even be seekers or brand new believers who need to know how to live as Christian women today.
Mentoring for all Seasons is a reference, application, and coaching tool for a mentor or mentee as they traverse life’s journey together. I pray for Holy Spirit inspiration for some women to become mentors. I pray for courage for others to take a step of faith and seek out a mentor. I pray for all to enjoy the blessings of trusting God and watching how he honors your obedience to becoming Titus 2:3-5 women.
3 Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. 4 Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, 5 to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.
Throughout our lifetime, we vacillate between being a mentor and needing a mentor, depending on the season of life. I pray whatever season you’re in today, there’s someone walking beside you, and you’re walking beside someone who needs you in her season of life.
Janet Thompson is an international speaker, freelance editor, and award-winning author of nineteen books including her latest, Mentoring for All Seasons: Sharing Life Experiences and God’s Faithfulness available at all Christian bookstores, online book stores, Amazon, and signed by Janet at her website store where you can see more of her books.
She is also the founder of Woman to Woman Mentoring and About His Work Ministries. Janet and her husband Dave relocated their empty nest from Orange County, California to the rural mountains of Idaho, where Janet writes and they love watching the deer frolic in their yard.
Sign up for Janet’s Monday Morning Blog and online newsletter at womantowomanmentoring.com.
You can also visit Janet at:
October Engagements for Friends of the Heart:
October 28, 1 p.m. - Ladies Tea at Hilltop Christian Church, Newport.