I have been praying for mentors for Brandon and I for quite a while. When Bekah posted on mentors not too long ago, it was such a shock like she was writing MY post. It seems a lot of us are at that point. It really is extremely hard to find people passionate and fully devoted to God isn't it? Or should I say... it really is hard to find people passionate about & fully devoted to God that a) have time for others b) are willing to open their real, outside of Sunday, every day lives with a young christian couple. We had an incredible mentor system with Britt World Wide... but when we left that business team, we missed that godly mentorship so much.
I have such a passion for the elderly and my parents really instilled in me a respect for anybody that is an elder. and I really believe in the power of mentors. of having an example to look up to. accountability partners. Somebody who has gone ahead and been through life's lessons already that can pass on their wisdom, experience and just encouragement. BWW taught us that. I don't think the church stresses mentoring enough. Yeah we have a preacher, who often is very out of reach to us. We have small groups which are great and what life is all about - journeying together... but often small groups are people in the same socioeconomic/demographic/whatever group and we're at the same place in the journey. The Bible calls us to have mentors. I don't know the verses right now, but I know it commands us younger women to learn from the older and for the older to teach and give of their lives & hearts as well. Right?
Why don't churches stress intergenerational relationships more? Because we are so focused on reaching the youth we forget about the elderly? ouch.
Why don't we stress the need for mentors? That's how Jesus worked didn't He? In people's hearts & homes. Starting with 12 men and focusing intimately with 3 (?). It's all about real, intimate, personal, one on one relationships with others right? Yes he did teach to crowds as well and in synagogues but He did always make sure to pull his disciples aside and have personal and close interaction with them. I really believe so many have missed that part. Churches are known for their teaching/preaching to groups... but not so much about intimate close authentic relationships. Letting people into our lives outside of Sunday mornings. The Body needs to cling together tighter! Yes we create little islands, but we create island of strangers many times!! Our communities although are islands from the greater community (which isn't a good thing either) are not near as authentic, strong and healthy as they could be.... but I do see that changing, thank God!
The fact that churches don't stress intergenerational contact/relationship/mentoring is a perfect example of how messed up our priorities are. We value popular young preachers over the elderly couple in the pew behind us. We value missionaries over stay at home moms. We value famous worship leaders over the little old lady who helped form & build our church body ___ years ago. God calls us to a different standard of valuing each other. For more on this, see this post.
Our mobility as a people has increased so much that people aren't around their extended families anymore. We aren't staying in the same town we grew up in, going to the same church for __ years. I really believe this leaves a huge hole in our lives. Our city is a perfect example of this. Wilmington is such a transition city. With the colleges, the beach, the retirement folk... there are so many people who have left their families to be here.
When I moved away from my parents & grandma, I really felt that hole that grandma & mom & dad filled. I knew that I couldn't find anybody to replace that hole fully..... but I knew I had to find SOMEBODY to sort of step in that place. I was getting real discouraged. I felt like I had been reaching out to couples so many times at church and even outside of our church body - but somehow I wasn't being clear enough and nobody realized I was asking (begging?) somebody to invite me into their lives & hearts. I felt ignored and that I was a nuisance because so many of the older folk did have families around and just 'stuff' going on. Imagine that! The older folk were busier than we were! :) So I just started praying for God to bring them to me - instead of trying to force myself into other's lives.
And... God answered! It took quite a while - probably time to prepare us and to prepare them, but we have met 2 couples in the past few months that are older and have been having the same things laid on their heart. AND also Brandon re-started going to Mentoring Men for the Master and is that a direct anwwer to prayer or what!?!? We were able to go out to eat with Dr Bennett 2 nights ago and more than once I just started crying - I don't know why I cry so much haha.... but mostly just out of joy because I felt God telling me that night, "see Randi. you just have to be patient. I know what I'm doing. Why do you worry so much? Why do you get so frustrated?" ... silly randi :)
Anyway - we are SOO excited for these couples we met and for MMM. I really was so touched by Dr. Bennett and just wanted to keep bear-hugging him which I did at least once. God is so good!
I am going to be working with one of the ladies and trying to help pull together even more couples. I'll get asking among my peers who is looking and she'll be asking among hers and we'll "hook them up". :) God is sooo good!
Thank you God for what you're doing. I can really feel you at work. I know you have a plan. I know that you're going to use us. I am so thankful for all you are pouring into us. Continue to use us God we're so willing!