relational investment

Mentors Matter Monday – Immediate Connection

pitchers.jpgMentors Matter Monday is a post that means the world to me. It tells the stories of women whose lives have been changed because someone saw them worthy to be loved. To be invested in. To walk alongside.

Lean in today as Kerry Lyn shares her heart.

I met my mentor approximately ten years ago through a mutual friend at a ministry where we were both involved. The connection between us was immediate. She was able to break through a barrier with me from the beginning. Struggling with depression since the age of seventeen, I had let very few people in to my life. I found trusting others was a difficult task, at best; however, she understood the inner-battle I was fighting and challenged me to go deeper in my relationship with Christ to find comfort.

As my mentor and friend, she has always made it a point to ask the hard questions. Never being forceful or intrusive when asking questions, she has always kept my relationship with God at the forefront of any and all discussions between the two of us. By her intentional leading our conversations are always committed to the Lord. In this way, her influence has taught me how to truly be aware of things I say and think about whether they are pleasing to God.

In the recent past, I have had the opportunity to take a lot of the lessons I have learned in this relationship and utilize them in my relationships with others. Because of The influence of my mentor, I have learned what it means to pour into the lives of other women who are struggling with some of the same issues I have dealt with in my life. I know what authenticity she brings to her ministry because she has lived what she speaks. She is an example to me, and many others, of what living the life of Christ is all about.

Throughout our relationship, I have grown closer not only to this woman, but to her family as well. They have opened not only their home to me, but also their hearts. This relationship has influenced me as I have shared life with her the last ten years, but equally important, the relationship has prepared me for my future as a wife and mother.  Putting God above all else and her family next, she encourages many women around her to live much the same way.

I thank God that He brought an older woman into my life. He has used her to draw me closer to Him and to know what a real and genuine relationship with Him looks like. Through her mentoring, she has made a huge impact on me and the Kingdom.

Two Questions

1 – Are you seeking to find a mentor?

2 – Are you open to investing in another?

Please share with us how Kerry Lyn’s story has spoken to you!

Kerry Lyn resides in Galax, Virginia. She is in her final semester of school at Radford University where she is earning her second undergraduate degree in Elementary Education. She also has a degree in Theatre from RU. She has a passion for helping women who struggle with depression and who are processing through traumatic relationships. She wants God to use every situation in her life to teach her valuable lessons. Her heart’s desire is that He will use her to help others see those very things in their lives as well. Kerry Lyn is helplessly addicted to Diet Coke. Feel free to contact her at khazelwo@gmail.com.

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Distant Hunger

“I don’t have what it takes…”?

In an earlier post we looked at the necessary first steps to refute the voices that tell us we don’t have what it takes to pour into young women.

We see young women hungry to know how to navigate life.

We (older women) keep our distance thinking we don’t have anything to offer them.

They keep their distance assuming we have no interest.

Wondering if they are worth our time? If we care about the things that matter to them. If we want to know them.

All the while, we, as older women feel insufficient to offer anything of value. Or, decide we don’t have the time. Maybe it’s someone else’s responsibility. We have worked hard to have our freedom in this season of our lives…right?

When The Apostles had pulled away to a desolate place as Jesus had instructed, many saw them going and recognized them and ran on foot. They were so hungry they actually got there ahead of the Apostles. When it grew late they came to Jesus to request that He send them away to the surrounding countryside and villages so that they might eat. (Mark 4)

What was Jesus answer?

YOU give them something to eat”.

Not understanding where the food supply would come from, they began to question Jesus about how He intended for them to be fed with the little they had to offer.

How many loves do you have, He asked. Go and see.

When they reported having only five loaves and two fish, He instructed them to sit in groups on the grass.

What happened next is key to understanding what we have to offer.

Jesus took what they had – the five loaves and two fish – offered them heavenward and gave them to the disciples to set before the people. The scriptures tell us the food was divided among them all, and all were satisfied.

I used to struggle with believing I had anything of value to offer to the next generation. God has taught and continues to teach me that anything we have of value to offer comes from lifting it first to Him. Lifting it heavenward. Just as He was the One who provided food for the crowds sitting in groups on the grass, He will provide for those we invest in.

It’s not up to us to provide. It’s up to us to be willing. To be available.

To allow God to provide through us.

Andy Stanley said recently “We think our responsibility is to fill their cups, but in reality all that’s required is to pour out what we have”. We are to pour out what God has poured into us.

As I surrender my life daily to God He uses all He has done and is doing in my life as bread for others.

The good, the bad, and yes – the ugly.

God uses His willing vessel, cracks, rough edges and flaws to love those He loves through a willingness to do life together running hard after Him – the Bread of Life.

Where has God impacted your life? Your circumstances? Your hurts? Your struggles?

Are you willing to bridge the distance between the generations and allow God to provide?

They need to know we are interested.

Why Bother – Part 2

“It was rewarding to feel I had something to offer”.

Listen in as today’s post wraps up my interview with Linda.  (Click here for Part 1)

What was the most challenging thing about opening your home?

Linda:  It was not challenging for me at all.  I viewed it as helping people who were a bit younger than me. I felt it was my responsibility to help them because I knew more in terms of life experience and needed to share the knowledge.

What was the most rewarding thing for you?

Linda:  Looking back, because I had my own self-esteem issues, leading a study helped me to do something I felt I was good at. It was rewarding to feel I had something to offer. I was taught obedience early on. Perhaps it was the obedience that drove me. In my own salvation experience I was taught if I shared the right things, the people I shared with would come to know Christ. Seemed the priority at the time. Do it right. They will come to know Christ.

Did you lead these bible studies with a goal of long term relationship with women attending? 

Linda:  NOOOOOOOOOOO – I wanted to be obedient.  Probably because of that I wanted to do my job and move on – part of the arrogance.  My thinking was – I must witness because I will be accountable to God in the end.

If that’s what you thought then – what do you think now?

Linda:  I think differently now. In my being obedient, I have learned it is all about the relationship.  Learning to be the person standing ‘in the gap’. The one showing them Jesus.  It’s about relationship.

Why is it all about relationship?

Linda:  The best testimony comes from our story.  It’s what draws them to Christ. Truth. Initially it was all about following the rules – now – for me it’s about people. I’ve learned it matters to be real about who I am in my relationship with Christ. It is a constant invitation to others. I can let them see my struggles, and see where God impacts those struggles. And it makes a difference.

Did you have any idea you would impact the lives of younger women?

Linda:  No. To this day I don’t think I have any idea how others have been impacted. I consider myself a ‘sower of seeds’. I must learn to trust the seeds that have been planted. It’s ok to be the seed planter. It was because of the seeds I planted, that Karen asked how to know Christ. And because she asked, I was able to share in the journey with her.   

Please share why other women should bother to open their lives and pour into another.

Linda:  Pouring into others is an investment in myself in the most positive healthy way possible, if in fact I am (to the best of my ability) being obedient to God. There are blessings in just being obedient even when things don’t turn out as I hoped.

Linda:  Investing by sharing my story with others, I am reminded over and over again of the scripture in 1 Samuel 7:12:  ‘Thus far the Lord has helped me (us)’.

I am grateful to Linda for taking the time to look back with me.  To share with us why she bothered to open her life to pour into others, and what she has learned over the years.

We would love to hear your thoughts.

What one thing stood out to you in this interview?