Today is Ron’s first full day of rehab. I’m using it as a day to fully catch my breath, rest, rejuvenate and get the house ready for his return. Part of the rejuvenating process, for me, is ruminating a bit on some things that have come home to me from the Event and the days following. (For those of you who don’t know, he had a stroke on Wednesday morning.)
Today, I’m going to focus on some things I’ve learned that pertain to mentoring. Not all are new from this event, but they underline things I have picked up over the years and want to reinforce because they have impacted me strongly!
When it comes to mentoring in the church, most of those relationships are not formal ones. If we remember that, it will affect us more than any one thing!
I have been touched by the younger women…and others of course, who have sent notes on Facebook or by text to see how they can help. Some of them are women I barely know…but I do know them. some are friends of Holly…but I know them a little too. Some, I know through our women’s Thursday Bible study…and a few I have met through taking meals to new moms.
Realizing the need for prayer as we sit and wait…
for results, for progress, for wisdom…
For now, I’m telling them to keep praying for us. Right now, with all the “wait and see” activities that we have to do, that is the best advice I can give. I don’t wait well. It tires me out! I need people to pray for me to wait patiently…especially when that is all I can do!
Waiting and watching each day as we see what is happening to Ron and what is coming back and how quickly? There is no way to predict that. All we can do is wait…and pray.
First, we waited for test results. Now we wait to see what is coming back. For so much of illness/hospitalization, waiting is huge…and that feeling of powerlessness at times. But waiting is all we can do.
I also need wisdom, along with Holly, as we get ready to make decisions based on his health needs and future rehab needs. Some we can anticipate and are discussing now.
My older friends have been here. They mostly understand this. Younger friends aren’t sure what to do…how to help. We need to cue them and tell them how we personally need the help now. Everyone is different. I know for sure that I’m different…to the point of sometimes being a little weird:).
But along the lines of mentoring, I want to mention the mutuality that is involved. When you are mentoring adults, it isn’t like a parent/child thing in the sense that they aren’t mature enough to handle certain aspects of life and you have to protect them from it as a parent.
In mentoring adults, there is a large part that is more co- and mutual. Because they are there to see how you do life. That’s why I go back to the beginning where I said that most of the mentoring is not even done in a formal mentoring relationship!
A lot of mentoring is done with friends.
They may be younger than you in age or spiritual age,
but they are friends just the same.
They are your friend on some level. You know them. You enjoy being with them. You enjoy their child(ren). You have craft interests in common. You serve in your church or community in a similar way. You find each other interesting on some level. Whatever it is, GOD had brought you together in some way.
I’m always uncomfortable with the concept that I’m your example, but realistically, as an older woman, I am. I’m not the perfect example for sure. But there are ways in which you will see the gospel working out in my life. And just as the child will often ask parents why, if a certain Scripture is true, why don’t they do a certain thing, your questions can often show me how I’m failing to live out the gospel in a certain important way!
You are to be real. Accept their help, their challenges. Cry if you need to. I’m not there yet. That will come when all the stress is over. Give me 4-6 weeks. I’m in survival mode right now. If you truly don’t need help now. Tell them when you will need it. But don’t pretend to have it all together. They need to have a way to minister to you.
Having someone who encourages you and shows you kindness and never allows you to return it is not only discouraging, it is actually painful! In order to have a healthy relationship, we need to allow them to minister to us! We can’t always do the giving out. It hurts us, them and the relationship. And honestly, they don’t grow if they are always on the receiving end of help.
Think of children who grow to adulthood and never have to take responsibility in the home. They are handicapped. They haven’t learned to think of others or see their parents as people. They take them for granted. They don’t learn how to cook, clean, and do the things needed to move out of home to set up housekeeping for themselves. Not only that, they aren’t motivated to do it!
That’s the way our younger women in church will be if we feel we must protect them from responsibility or protect them from being asked to do things in and around the church. That may not be what the Spirit wants for them. He may want more involvement for them and we are “protecting” them from a source of blessing.
It isn’t our job as a mentor, to protect the person/people we are mentoring from demands. We can help them learn to assess how to deal with those demands wisely and Biblically, but it isn’t our job to protect them from the demands themselves.
I know I’m going to need more help when Ron comes home. So I’m getting ready for that. I’m clearing out things I won’t need. I’m cleaning some places that need it so that when he gets here, life will be simpler. One daughter (the CPA) will be coming on the weekend to help with some immediate financial organizing. Another daughter will come to help for about a week to finish getting us settled in.
Holly is here for the long haul and is continuing to work and help us out too. She has been a godsend. She and Brandon are here long term.
I can look back and see GOD’s hand guiding us in our move here
I’m so glad we moved here 2 years ago! We’re settled into this community. We know people in our church. Elders (including a pastor) stopped at the hospital to pray with us during that first day…when I was dazed! We’ve had an appropriate number of visitors. Our small group came and prayed with and for us…ministering to our nurse on the other side of the curtain as well.
Last year, when I pushed a bit to move into this apartment, I wondered if I had pushed too hard or made a mistake. But now, I’m so glad we are here and mostly settled in. GOD was guiding us along the way.
Despite my rambles, my message today? Live out the gospel in the everyday. There are people watching you. Some you know well, others you don’t even know are watching. Don’t be in bondage to the people watching you thing. Ultimately, GOD is working out your salvation. Cooperate with Him and let the adventure begin!
It won’t be a neat and tidy life. You will make mistakes…lots of them. But it will be a life that is rich with texture, dimension, delight and the love of Christ! Enjoy it. Share your life with the people GOD has put into your life!