The Imperfect Mentor By Tracie Fritcher Johnson
God brought Susan into my life almost ten years ago when He caused our paths to cross at a women’s ministry event in our town. During our first conversation, Susan and I realized we had many things in common and our friendship quickly blossomed. Susan was a few years older than I was which placed her just ahead of me on life’s path. She had been married a few more years than I had. Her children were a few years older than mine. Even in our common areas of ministry, Susan had more experience.
I immediately recognized the benefits that came from having such a friend in my life. I often turned to Susan for advice in parenting, relationships, and leading those around me as I served in my church. I was confident in knowing that the words she shared were firmly built on biblical principles and godly wisdom. As a woman of prayer, I knew Susan continually lifted me before the throne of God and prayed for my spiritual growth. As a study partner who was passionate about the Word, Susan helped to sharpen my study skills and my appetite for God’s Word.
God has blessed and grown me more than I can say through this most important relationship. Over the many years, Susan and I have met weekly to study, share prayer needs and struggles, and hold each other accountable. I have benefited from her wisdom, avoided mistakes due to her experience, and felt confident to walk in faith because of her prayers and encouragement. As I myself have grown in wisdom, I have come to realize one variable in our relationship which has influenced me more than any other: Susan has always been an imperfect mentor.
Susan has never been afraid to say “I don’t know.” During these times, we approach God together or open the Word to seek the answers I need. Susan has never been too proud to say “I made a mistake.” She quickly shares what went wrong along her journey in hopes I can avoid the same pitfall. Susan has never been ashamed to say “I’m struggling.” Her willingness to be vulnerable has taught me God uses imperfect people and shows Himself strong when we rely on Him in our weakness.
Having an imperfect mentor has been liberating. It has taught me it’s okay to make mistakes as I navigate relationships and minister to other women. It has taught me the imperfect person I am doesn’t need to be hidden from those around me. I have learned spiritual growth occurs when I am honest enough to share with myself and another the areas in which I need support and how God is challenging me to change.
What about you? Have you been blessed with an imperfect mentor? Have you realized the benefits of sharing your life with another woman of God in ways which allow God to use her to grow you? What about the women in your life who are a few years behind you on their spiritual journey? Would you be willing to be an imperfect mentor for them? Pouring into a younger woman’s life produces countless blessing for you and her alike, but a willingness to be real and share the ups and downs of life with all masks removed result in relationships which facilitate spiritual growth and reap incomparable benefits. Find the courage to be imperfect today. You won’t regret it!
Tracie Fritcher Johnson juggles numerous responsibilities. At home, she is a wife, mother of three, and finder of all things missing. At her secular job, Tracie counsels children and assists as Vice Principal at a local Christian school. Tracie is also active in ministry, serving as Leadership Pastor for Crossroads Apostolic Ministries in Taylorville, IL under the leadership of Pastors Jason and Kristin Hoffmann. Tracie has written numerous in-depth bible studies and devotionals which are available through The Pentecostal Publishing House. Tracie loves to come alongside others through discipleship and established Response to Grace (RTG) Ministries as an online platform for engaging people in apostolic bible study. She invites you to join her at www.responsetogracestudy.org or connect with her on the ministry Facebook page.
Copyright 2015 Tracie Fritcher Johnson and Crystal Schmalz Ministries