Give Your Life Away: Live. Breathe. Mentor.

I was an overwhelmed mom with young children and was desperately in need of prayer and encouragement. It had been a particularly difficult week, and I was feeling alone and weary. After church I walked up to a woman whose children were grown, and asked if I could talk with her for a moment. Fighting back tears my shaky voice emerged. “Would you have time to get together and pray sometime?” “Oh, Gina,” she said. “I am so busy. I’m sorry. I really don’t have time for that. If you email me, I will pray for you.” That was it. She never followed up the conversation to see how I was. She never asked what was going on or how she could encourage me. There was no probing to find out what was going on. Nothing.

As the years passed, I continued to look around for older women I could spend time with. There were very few who were making themselves available. Through that tough season, I collected and read any book I could get my hands on that dealt with  mentoring and intergenerational relationships.  I was on a quest to learn all I could so that when the time came for me to answer the call, I would be ready.

During the long years of having a limited amount of fellowship, I found myself searching the Scriptures to find out the responsibility of the body of Christ. Something wasn’t right. I knew that I wasn’t supposed to be alone in this journey. Little did I know that this was the path God was using to prepare me to become passionate and committed to what He has called each of us to do:

GIVE YOUR LIFE AWAY

I’ve had the privilege of becoming friends with, and being involved in the lives of young people for several years now. My husband and I have spent over 20 years living on a college campus and God has led many young people to our door. We have had the honor of pulling lonely souls into our home, serving, living life with them, and making them a part of our family. As we continue to be involved in the lives of  young people, we see that Satan is working overtime trying to undermine what the Scriptures teach in the areas of personal holiness. Humanistic and worldly philosophies are subtly taking over the mindset of many, distracting and tempting them to immerse themselves in the ideas of our culture.

The enemy is attacking young families, causing wives and moms to become discontent in their roles and doing what he can to destroy marriages. We have encountering more and more young people who are coming from homes where only one parent was present during their growing up years. We have known of, or personally been involved with, young people who are cutters, anorexic, bulimic, sexually active outside of marriage, alcoholics, addicted to porn, and have come out of the homosexual community. Others have heedlessly rushed into marriage, not listening to counsel. We’ve come along side couples whose marriages have been rocked by affairs, and husbands who have walked out on their families.

I believe we are all called to give our lives away and look for ways to help, guide, and influence the younger generations for the cause of Christ. And I believe that now is the time!

I am reminded of an evening several years ago. I had spent the evening with a young woman, and she was telling me about a book she was interested in reading. I was familiar with the book, as it was very popular. I was concerned because I had seen many of those who had read it being very negatively affected by it, even turning their back on the church. I warned her about the book,  she assured me that she would be fine, and she left. I was so burdened that night that I began to cry. I mean, I wept. This was one of those, almost tangible, moments when I sensed very clearly God’s call on my life.

In and of myself, I really have nothing to give those that we pull into our lives. But add God into the equation, and I can’t do anything but give. He has done so much for me and is such an amazing, grace filled, merciful Savior, that I have no choice but to give my life away. When I look back over my life and see His footprints right beside mine, I count it a privilege to have walked with God and to now be able to have the opportunity to give what I have to give.

As I share my story and passion with others, they are intrigued and interested in the revolving door that is our home.  I love having the opportunity to share how God began, years ago, to plant the seed of this passion in my heart. It began with a need that I had in my own life, and God has grown that seed into a fruitful passion and way of life.  He has shown me that much, if not most, of mentoring is done when we give our lives away to building authentic friendships, when we strive to live biblically, focused on Jesus, and for the glory of God.

I count it a privilege to live this calling, and am looking forward to sharing on a regular basis what it means to give your life away.  I hope you will join me!