If you want to learn something, it usually helps if you have a teacher, someone to help guide you along as you explore your line of study. Self-educating is wonderful and we all ought to seek to help ourselves as much as possible, but be careful (ahem, Kelly) of being too self-reliant.
I was convicted of my need for a teacher -a guide, to be more precise- as I learn more about being a godly woman. This was a little hard for me to move on, but the wisdom of finding such a woman to help me over ruled my usual self sufficient nature.
Accountability can be a rather tough thing to seek out, especially if you're not proud of where you've been in your life. From being a strong Christian since youth through the beginning of college, then turning into a picture perfect example of the Prodigal Son (Daughter) until, truly, very recently, it's hard going to an older, wiser Christian woman -especially one who knew me when my life was "all put together." But if I let my pride, or, rather, my shame get in the way of growth I am going to cripple myself for life and I am dog-gone tired of being stuck in pointlessness. I've got to rest in the knowledge of God's love and forgiveness, and TRUST (such a hard thing to do, yet so simple) that He will gently lead me and Gina forward as we partner together in this mentoring relationship. I am prepared to lay myself bare, and that is a frightening thing to do. But, let me tell you something -I am excited about these growing pains I'm going through because I know with all my heart that it is going to break open a beautiful creation, one which I could never achieve on my own.
Gina is a wife, mother of three, grandmother of (soon to be) two, and now a full time artist. I have always admired her gentle way, her cheerful enthusiasm, her creative nature and her beautiful and hospitable spirit. She is truly an Uncommon Woman who has traveled many challenging roads with God and come out more radiant as a result. She's the kind of woman I want helping me as I walk with God, keeping me accountable in my marriage and with my role as a mother, and as I follow God's vision.
Here's something else, something you'd call "Totally God." During my first chat with Gina (by phone, since she lives in Alaska) she shared that about a month ago God put on her heart the responsibility to mentor a younger woman. She prayed about it and asked God who she should start this relationship with. Just about that time I sent her an email asking if she'd mentor me. Gina was the only person I could think of that fit perfectly what I was looking for. What are the odds that we'd both be searching at the exact time to fill this relationship? 100 to 1, in my guess. See, totally a God thing. Another beautiful testimony to God's faithfulness and that if we ask, He will answer.
So this is exciting! I already have homework from Gina and we've decided to have weekly phone dates. She's made herself completely available to me and has encouraged me to email and call spontaneously as the need arises to talk with my new guide. I am so blessed that such a good friend is now also filling this much needed role in my life.
I encourage you to seek a mentor and a mentee (that's not a word, but I like how it works.) Despite where we feel we are in our lives there are so many things we can share with others, as well as receive. It's humbling -we need others and others need us. Please spend some time reflecting on and praying about who God would like to bring into your life to have similar relationships with. We need each other. Let's not trap ourselves in isolation and false self-sufficiency.