Our Story My Lady and Me
This is Our Story, My Lady and Me. Mentoring is something that has piqued my interest for a long time. I never knew where to begin, so I just pushed that thought on the back burner. I am too busy, have too many kids, and life gets in the way. Honestly, I’m too screwed up; no one will understand me, and closed off emotionally. All these thoughts filtered through my mind.
New Church. New Friend.
When my family and I started looking for a new church, I went into it looking to fly under the radar. I’m loud and outspoken. I can be misunderstood easily. Sadly, I certainly do not get along well with pastors. We found a church. One of the first people I saw sitting in the pew was a TALL, white-haired woman. She looked to be in her 70s. Her presence was commanding.
She was faithful to attending morning, evening, and Wednesday night services. I could hear her sing above everyone else. One could almost read her story in the wrinkles of her beautiful face. She is captivating. Honestly, I watched her for about two years. Yet, I never spoke to her. I would hear people say someday; you need to ask Ms. Jo about her love story. I was determined to ask her from that moment, but fear of rejection would pound in my head. I would not ever ask.
Candyland Coming to Life
One year we were doing a type of trunk or treat for Halloween. Our downstairs children’s area was turned into a giant Candyland game. I went to help out and to bring my children. As we walked downstairs, I saw this tall precious woman sitting in a rocking chair. The children would come and sit out her feet and listen to her tell the story of how much Jesus loves them.
I went in without my children (they were in another area). There, I sat at her feet. I was captivated by her ability to quietly and powerfully tell this story. There was not one child who did not have their eyes on her. I sat right by her, entranced by this woman. When the children left, I asked her if someday she would share her love story with me. This smile that could light a thousand Christmas trees flashed across her face. She replied with my Jerome. You could feel that love that she had for him. She told me that she would be glad to say to me sometime.
Another Year Passes
Another year or so went by. I got up the courage to always hug my Lady’s neck when I saw her. Her smile is so inviting and welcoming. Though she did not know me and my scars, I knew that she loved me. She loved me completely and unconditionally. Ms. Jo, well, she was my peace. She guided me in how I used my words toward my children. Yet only did that if she had the feeling my words were out of line. Also, she would talk to me about how I spoke to my husband at times. However, she is bold but never condemning.
Hitting Me Between the Eyes
There was a particular moment when I had been in the pit of depression for over a month. I mustered up enough courage to go to Wednesday night ministry and saw her enter the door. I walked up to her and hugged her. She asked me how I had been, and I just looked at her, fighting back the tears, and said I hadn’t been well. I’m struggling with depression, and I can’t seem to shake it.” She stood as straight as I had ever seen her and said, “well, get over it. You are loved by our Jesus, your family, and me.” Her boldness took me back. I thought, well, she is right. I am loved. God is more significant than this depression.
At that moment, I knew what I had been praying for so long; my prayers had been answered. That following Sunday, I went to get my hug and sat by her. Her sweet aged hands, with that one crooked index finger (I seriously love that crooked finger), held my hand, and I put my head on her shoulder. At that moment, there was no one else in the sanctuary. It was like the Lord had blacked out all the chaos around me and allowed me to focus on her and me at that particular time.
I Have a Question
I leaned into her and said, “Ms. Jo, I have a question. Would you consider being my mentor?” She looked puzzled and said, “well, I don’t know what I have to offer you, but whatever I have, you can have.” My thoughts started whirling, and I knew I looked like I could catch a thousand flies with my open mouth. I just looked at her and said, “seriously, have you met yourself? How you love your Jerome, how you love your boys, your grandchildren, how you love the Lord. I stated, ” I want you to teach me that.” We agreed to set a date for that Thursday. The thrill and excitement could overwhelm me!
Our First Meeting
I showed up that first Thursday, and we sat on her back porch. I sat in the swing, and she sat in her chair. When I say she knew NOTHING about me other than my name and my family’s name, I mean that. The Lord drew our souls together. She looked at me and said, “how can I help you?” At that moment, time stopped again. At an uncontrollable moment, I started weeping. I could not stop. Rarely do I cry. Usually, I fight it; I suck it up. I couldn’t even get a word out. Then I heard her sweet voice say, “well, for goodness sake, let’s go in the house and work through this.” She tells me that I am “almost there but not quite yet.” I wholeheartedly agree! I am teachable, and I am learning.
That One Defining Moment
There was a day recently when my heart was shattered. Usually, I would fall into depression and not get out of bed. This time, my first thought was to get to my person! I vaguely remember driving to her house and knocking on the door. She opened it and said, “Hey girl, how are you?” I fell into her arms. She wrapped her arms around me, not asking me any questions, and she hugged me so tight that I not only felt her love, I felt Jesus’ love through her.
Her Beautiful Hands
We made it to her table, and I muttered out, through tears, what had happened. I laid my head in her beautiful hands, and she caught every tear. She made a phone call. After that, she put her sweet hand on my head. Then, she prayed for my family and me. She carried me through such a tough, tough time. Also, she never judged, condemned, fussed, or bad-mouthed anyone. She loved, prayed, and encouraged. There are not many people who would do that.
Love and Encouragement
The love, encouragement, lessons, simple joy of being in her presence, and her love story with “her Jerome” have been staples in my life. There aren’t many days that I don’t either speak with her or see her. I run errands for her, we go to lunch, I take her suppers, she holds my hand, and she has the best ice cubes on the planet.
We run around town, we talk, we pray, she encourages, I have heard a thousand stories, and I love every one of them. I have learned how to love my husband. My husband LOVES her too!!! My kids WILLINGLY do yardwork because, when we are resting, we all sit on the back porch and listen to her wisdom. In the first place, she exudes the Proverbs 31 woman. Now, she is the living example of the Titus 2 command.
He Created Her for Me and Me for Her
The Lord knew I needed her and needed me. She is my blessing. To help her in any way possible is a joy. I can never repay her for the love and graciousness she has shown me, my husband, and my children. She will forever be a part of my heart and my family. Oh, how I love that woman. Oh, I am thankful that the Lord granted me the desires of my heart and brought forth the most precious mentor and friend a girl could ever have. She’s my Lady. She’s my person.
Find a Mentor
I encourage those who are curious about being a mentor. If you need a mentor, pray for the Lord to meet those needs. He will raise those who can mentor. You don’t have to be 80 to be a mentor. You need to have a willing spirit to vest in the lives of others.
Passing Down the Wisdom
I had a sweet friend ask me to mentor her. My first thought was, I have nothing to teach you. Sound familiar? I spoke to my Lady, and she said I am perfectly equipped to mentor this sweet friend. What I have learned through the trials of my life, what I’m learning through my Lady, I have passed onto this dear friend. She still has a long way to go, but she is getting there! What I learn from my Lady, I pass on to my friend. My Lady prays for this friend, which is what it is all about. She is my blessing. This is Our Story, My Lady and Me.