I have been blessed with so many wonderful female mentors. I know most of them through church.
When I was in high school, going into my senior year, we were told that the new pastor’s wife would be our Bible study teacher. Up until then, I had been used to college-aged students teaching me, so I was not looking forward to someone who was a bit older (a wife, a mother to two kids, etc.). I did not think that she’d be able to relate to us…
Then we met her and from the very first Bible study, I became extremely humbled and realized how much I could learn from her!
(Nicole, my Bible study teacher, is second from the left. The girl on the left is a skinnier, tanner, younger me, hahaha):
Since then, I have been so open to the fact that I was just a kid and, in fact, did NOT know what life was all about (… it’s not about ME?!). I was drawn to these strong, empowered, joyful women who were taking on so many roles. They are wives, mothers, friends, sisters, daughters… and they soon became my mentors.
I observed what they did. They laughed, enjoyed people, rarely spoke negatively about others (they steered away from gossip), prayed, took care of others, took care of themselves, and served whole-heartedly in church.
(Here are some of my younger mentors who are young mothers. This is when Noel and Susan each only had one baby):
With their different circumstances and personalities, they experienced God in such different ways, as well as exemplified what it meant to be a woman of God.
One of these beautiful women is Jane. She is married to Steve and has two boys in college. Jane is full of joy, kindness, and warmth.
(This is when I went on a road trip to Southern California with my mentors: Jane, Addie, and Nicole. We had so much fun eating, catching up, and doing face masks):
(Jane and Nicole):
(We did our daily devotions before heading back home):
(This is Jane and Addie. We used to hike together here and there when I was still in school):
Jane is currently diagnosed with cancer (endometrial stomal sarcoma). Her body is feeling beaten down, frail, and weak, but she is doing what she can to keep her spirits up.
(Tammy, Chimi, and I went to visit Jane over the week):
Jane was so honest with us about how difficult it is. It made me think of those bumper stickers that say “F*CK CANCER”. No, I do not curse, but when I see how cancer breaks down a person, especially one who was not only healthy, but so vibrant and joyful in character… when I witness my friend and mentor wrestling with the idea of being apart from her family, I get it. I totally understand those stickers. F*ck cancer.
Despite all of this, Jane was still able to say that she trusts God, and that she truly believes that the plans He has for her are good. She continues to declare that He is good.
As she explained about the relationship between her and her husband, their love was able to grow even deeper through this struggle with cancer. It is not in the good times when love is real, but in all of the darkest and most difficult times when love is almost tangible. She felt his love as he cared for her, with unrelenting patience and care.
Though she may not realize, I was so touched by how her faith in God truly became real through this ordeal. When all is good, when all the pieces fit, when life is roses and butterflies, it’s so easy to praise God and sing songs about how He is good. Jane is able to say that she trusts Him, even as her body whittles down to something she can’t recognize. She is able to continue saying that she believes His will is good, even as she wrestles with the frightening ideas of saying good bye to her loved ones. I have seen how true her faith is through all of this.
In this desperate time, all we can do is pray for a miracle. I believe in miracles, and I believe God can heal her. If you want to read more about Jane, you can go to her Caring Bridge Journal. Please pray for healing and strength for Jane!
I only hope that one day, I will be able to exemplify the kindness, joy, and love of our God as these women have. If anything, may God work through all of my weaknesses and mistakes to make His grace known to all.
Here is a song that God gave to me at the perfect time: Miracles by JesusCulture.