You Want A Mentor? 13 Things You Will Need To Know About Me First
I always thought that when I entered the “middle aged” season of life, I’d be much wiser than I actually am. I would be confident and I would have reached a point of being able to scatter little bits of wisdom all over the place! None of what I imagined is a reality. Instead, I find myself in this season having been emptied of all the misconceptions I had about myself, life, and what things would be like at this point.
Rather than looking in the mirror and seeing a strong, wise, confident person, I see a weak, emptied, needy person. One who has seen a glimpse of who she is, and is more aware than ever that anything good that is seen is there because of a work God has done. Not a wise person, but a person who has been pushed harder to learn what it means to seek God more intensely on a minute by minute basis. Not a confident person, but a person who has been shown that the only thing worth putting her confidence in is God.
My age, how many years I’ve been married, where my children are at in life, that I am still in love with my husband — none of these things are meant to be trophies for me to thrust over my head in victory. It is God’s grace that has carried me through each season and it is His grace that is being found in the present season. I want to be honest, from the start, about who I really am.
Now that you know the truth, do you still think you want to get to know me? If so, here are 13 more things you need to know:
I probably think differently than you do. We may be from different generations, but that doesn’t mean we can’t learn from each other. Please don’t write me off just because I may have a slightly different approach to life than you do. There are reasons why I am the person I am today and there are reasons why you are the person you are today.
I will probably let you down. Just because I am older does not mean I have it all together. I am learning and growing too. Even though I don’t want to, I will probably let you down in some way. We need to show each other much grace!
I am facing some of the hardest life challenges. My children are adults, but they still weigh heavy on my heart. Not only am I facing the adjustment of having adult children and that those precious people we have raised will soon be leaving our home, I am also in a season of watching my parents age. We’ve already buried two of our precious parents. I am facing physical changes like never before. I get tired, emotional, grow weary, and am watching my body age. Just because I am older doesn’t mean that my life is easy. Please keep that in mind.
I am not your hope. Only God will meet your deepest needs at every level. My goal is to point you to God and challenge you to pray about how you should live your life. God knows you better than I ever will. Seek my counsel, but always focus on God. He is your hope.
It may be hard to schedule time to get together, but that doesn’t mean I don’t want to be available to you. I have a home, family and other responsibilities that I am called to. I am trying to be faithful to live my calling well. There are other people in my life who need my time. Please be patient with me in the same way you want me to be patient with you.
I cannot read your mind. I don’t always know what you want or need. Please tell me. I will pray for you, be there as I am able, and do whatever I can to help you practically and spiritually. But you have to let me know what you need. I will never purposefully neglect you, but I might miss something. I need you to be open with me.
Getting to know each other will take time. You want me to get to know you, to be transparent, and real. That will take time. Please take the time to get to know me as well. I need encouragement, friendship, and fellowship just as much as you do. If I seem hesitant to be transparent, please be patient and give me time to get to know you. I have learned over the years that I need to be be “carefully transparent”, and I strive to be led by the Holy Spirit, sharing what will be helpful.
Sometimes I get intimidated or don’t feel like I’m needed. There are times that the younger generation can appear to be self-confident, that they think that the older generation is not relevant in this day and age, or like they don’t really need the older generation. I need to know that you are interested in getting to know me. I need to know that you really want me in your life.
I may not be what you perceive me to be. It can sometimes feel like we are standing on opposite ends of the room, observing each other from a distance, only seeing each other through the lens of our perception. If you read the scriptures, this disunity doesn’t come as a surprise. In fact, the scriptures tell us that this disunity will be characteristic of the end of the age. The enemy is using this generational divide, in the church and in families, to discredit the name of Christ. Let’s work together to not let the enemy win!
We may not have much in common, but we will always have one thing in common! The gospel. We must never forget the Gospel’s simplicity. Focusing on the gospel can cause our differences to fade into the background as we find ourselves sitting beside each other at the foot of the cross.
My generation does have some negative qualities. It can be easy for us to observe each other’s generation and focus only on what we perceive to be negative qualities, but how will I have the opportunity to declare the glory of God to the next generation if this is what I focus on? How will you learn from those in the older generation if that is what you focus on? Let’s purpose not to judge each other’s lifestyle or appearance just because it is different than ours.
I might get impatient with you. I know that I should not expect automatic maturity from the younger generation. It has taken me many years to reach my current maturity and I still have much to learn. My goal is to humbly admit that I don’t know it all, that I am in a process of growth, and that I want to join you on your journey. I will strive to see you through eyes of grace, knowing you are in a process of growth and maturity. Please try to see me through that lens as well. I may not be young anymore, but I am still learning and maturing.
I really do need you! We need each other to complete the work that God has created us to do. Rather than discounting the the way my generation may have done things, you can ask God to help you understand how to build on the foundation that has been laid. And rather than discounting the ideas that the younger generation might have, I can ask God to help me understand new methods, new ideas, and be open to trying new things.
Scripture tells us that the Body of Christ is one generation — no matter the age span of its members. God’s desire is to use us, different generations, who are united in purpose. Let’s focus on God, the amazing things He is doing in each other’s lives, and allow the generational lines to fade as we become one generation, the generation that seeks His face! I look forward to getting to know you!
“But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light…” 1 Peter 2:9
“Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, O God, till I declare your power to the next generation, your might to all who are to come.” Psalm 71:18
“One generation shall praise thy works to another, and shall declare thy mighty acts.” Psalm 145:4
“Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity“. 1 Timothy 4:12
“In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus…” Phil 2:3-5
“Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.” Romans 12:10