So you can come along

A girl with stories

Influencers 101 May 13, 2013

Filed under: Discipleship,Gender — Amanda Lynn @ 12:09 am

On this Mother’s Day, it only seems appropriate to acknowledge those women who’ve influenced my life and shown me life.

Of the many weddings I’ve had the privilege to stand up in, some have honored their “spiritual mothers”; those women who have made a way to the Throne ahead of them. The Bride made sure her friends, family and guests knew she was grateful for those women who spurred her on toward love and good works.

So, in this space, on this day…I acknowledge one of those women in my life.

It didn’t start with me though.

She knew my mom long before she knew me. Mom, who found herself a “surprise mom” to, not one but two little girls in two years…She and this amazing lady, nearly two decades her senior, worked nursery together as Mom did all she could to soak up the wisdom sitting next to her in the other rocking chair. 

 

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Twenty plus years later, here we are.

This woman is a constant in my life and has been as far back as I can remember.

She knew me as a blonde 5-year-old girl…all 2 feet of me.

She’s been there with patience and care as she teaches through words and actions what it means to love Jesus.

And it never fails that I’ll be greeted with a hug and a “How ya doin’ girly?”

 

 

She’s real. Authentic….

Some of us are suffocating, thirsty for want of the cold water of real community. We’re trying really hard – after all, we keep showing up to ladies’ events, but we leave feeling just a bit empty. Yes, there is a time for cupcake decorating and how-to’s on inexpensive decorating tips, but if all we wanted was a place to learn domesticated prowess and to commiserate on relationship troubles we could find that in “worldy” groups. What we really want sometimes is something of substance, something challenging.

She knows this well. She knows how I love to wrestle with the questions that don’t have a one-paragraph answer blank in a “women’s” study guide. And she’s able to provide those kind of questions on the fly.

She knows I can sometimes  often disagree with the surfacey stuff and like to disturb the peace of my fellow first-worlders on behalf of justice, truth, beauty and love…and she agrees!

She knows I love to hear the prophetic voice of women in our church…So she speaks.

 

 
For years now, I’ve been able to see that women can offer strategic leadership, influence, wisdom and yes, even teaching.  She makes me want to give and serve and make a difference. She makes me want to read books and talk theology and current events and to wrestle with status quo.

 

 

She prays…Oh does she pray!

It is by prayer that we couple the powers of heaven to our helplessness … and make the impossible possible.

:: O. Hallesby ::

This lady as a prayer room her husband built that faces the sunrise…”because he wants me to see the new mercies that come with the mornings”.

 

 

And in all of this, she listens, she worships and she intercedes for all her little sisters. She weeps with those who weep and rejoices over truth and justice. 

She is brave in vulnerability. She says, That’s part of this relationship, missy. I may say things you don’t like, you might say things I don’t like, but that’s what makes it real.”

She knows that to lead women to be honest and transparent she must be the first to live out that truth without falsehood or carefully crafted illusions.

She follows the Pastor’s direction. She stands warmly in his corner, whomever he may be, supporting him in prayer and in the prudence of her words. This is also true in the way that our time is not intended to be something separate from his leadership as to lend toward the isolated “island” of “women’s ministry”, but it is to augment his teaching, to test it all and hold fast to the good.

 

 

 

She is bold in her conviction that there is no time for fear in this life. It is a thief and a liar and she will point that out sooner than I can make excuses for it.

She has singularity in her focus. The pull in every direction is one thing that women, especially church women, can identify with. It’s a “fixer” thing. So many things demand attention until nothing really gets the focus it deserves. My mentor shows me that Jesus is the focus. He gives clarity and prioritizes for us.

She calls a spade a spade. Sin is not something she minces her words about. Being Christ-like and gracious does not mean that sin is ignored. On the contrary, sin is called out and spoken about in the loving truth of the Gospel. The “pet sins’ that women “struggle” with (or allow to control their hearts and lives) like manipulation, anxiety, worry, gossip and bitterness. In this, she models the bold trust of repentance.

And sometimes, she asks me things like, If you were who you are slowly becoming, a woman who is fully secure in your identity in Christ and finding approval in Him alone…Let’s imagine that’s who you are. How would she respond in this situation?”

Yep. I get gems like that all the time.

Blessed.

 

 

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So then, with her example and the example set forth by so many other matriarchs of the faith, let’s be a community of women, gathered together to live more whole-hearted, to sharpen, challenge, love and inspire one another and then we’ll send each other back out into our worlds bearing the mandate given to our girl Eve…to be fruitful, to bring life into the dark places; speak life in the hard places.

Let’s rise to the questions of our time. 

Let’s speak to the injustices in our world.

Let’s move the mountains of fear and intimidation.

Let’s take down the walls that separate and divide.

Let us be women who know Love and act in Love.

Let’s stop waiting for permission and get on with the work that God has called us to.

No waiting for permission to be brave, or to live boldly full of Love and gentleness or to step out into the broad, open places {He brought me out into a broad place, He rescued me, because He delighted in me. :: Ps18:19}

With that, here are…

my amatuer thoughts on mentoring
1. Don’t be so picky. No lady is perfect. If they have lived longer – they have things to add to your life.

2. It’s alright to gain different things from different people. Let’s keep several relationships which invest in our lives in different ways- no one mentor will be the end all to all needs and subjects.

3. Respect their time. We don’t meet every week- we meet every time we can- usually spontaneously…and over coffee.

4. Don’t be proud. We need the generation above us even if we may have different values. Instead of looking down on that, let it intrigue us to uncover the source of unshared values.

5. Take initiative. I’m not sure one woman has ever asked to mentor me.

And I realize we’re all so super busy, but this is a priority. I need people who have perspective that is bigger than mine. I need people who inspire and believe in me, but not so much so that they won’t beat me up when I get arrogant or out of line.

Now pick up the phone and call the first woman who comes to mind. We can bridge the generational gap… let’s start with coffee.

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One Response to “Influencers 101”

  1. Gayle Says:

    So sweet!


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