Do you know a young or new believer in need of a mentor? When I was a new believer I was in desperate need of one. What I really needed was a life coach to make up for all the life guidance I never received growing up, but would have greatly benefited from perching under the wings of a woman with a strong faith. Sometimes, I terribly needed someone to cry with.
I needed a persistent someone who would have sought me out. I probably didn’t believe I needed her then—but trust me— I was desperate for her. With perseverance, I believe I would have welcomed her. I didn’t need a critical and judgmental someone, or someone to point out all my “sins;” for there were many.
I needed a loving, dedicated, graceful, patient someone. I have read countless stories of people who had a mentor just like that.
When I read these stories I wonder where the mentor I urgently needed had been?
The first years of my Christian life were pathetic. I gave my heart to Jesus when I was nineteen but without anyone to offer any type of advice or mentoring; I sucked on my Christian pacifier and kept one foot solidly planted in the world. I would occasionally dip my other foot here and there in my new life in Christ on my own, but quickly withdrew it fearing such unfamiliar territory.
There was very little growth in my life as the years passed.
I was living out all that I knew about life, which was very little. I really did not know any different way. The only Christians I did know were just a few years older than I was, and they were not doing much better.
On my own, I struggled and agonized to get over my unhealthy habit of conquering defeat with a few too many drinks, or through unsuccessful relationships with men. I had deep roots of pain that acted as an anchor around my neck in the deep sea of life.
At twenty-two I was pregnant and unmarried. I simply did not know what to do. I had no family or place to turn to. I felt pressured to keep the relationship going with the man whose red flags blatantly slapped me in the face. Because I did not know how to decipher red flags (my home was a bucket of red flags so I did not recognize them as something to be wary of); and because I did not want my child to grow up without knowing her father as I had, I ended up pregnant again and married him. A man whose very own friends warned me that marrying him would cause me much grief. They were correct.
It wasn’t until I had my second baby and could stay home with them that I discovered Christian radio and finally had mentors. Airwave mentors like James Dobson, Chuck Swindoll and others taught me about the God of love, and what real marriage and parenting should be like. They spoke of things I never knew much about like life goals, discipline, real love and grace.
Grace, that was a new one for me.
I was all ears, and sucked in every ounce of information I could get from them like a dried out sponge.
It was a stark awakening.
I compared my desperately lacking morbid marriage, the lack of guidance and family support in my life, and the severe alienation I felt from the world to what my airwave mentors were calling real life in Christ.
“Girl, your life really stinks!” echoed through my head.
The silent inner conversations went on throughout the day, every day.
“You have no value. Your life stinks because something is wrong with you!”
“It’s your fault your marriage isn’t working, and until you figure out what is wrong with you; your life will continue to painfully reek.”
“Look at your life. Even God has a hard time blessing you because you are so messed up.”
I repeatedly tore myself down.
Satan’s job was done.
Why should his goonies put any effort in making me feel worthless when I was doing so well on my own?
Thinking I was the only one with the real problem, I tried harder and harder. I became a doormat, which wasn’t much of a change since I had been raised to be a pleaser.
“God will bless me now because I am working so hard to please others.” I would tell myself.
The only people that got ‘blessed’ were the ones I was pleasing. The harder I tried to please my then-husband, the more he took advantage. Week-after-week he repeatedly didn’t show up for meals I worked hard to cook while taking care of my two babies. He rarely took my feelings into consideration and didn’t believe I had needs. He showed up at 2:30 in the morning most nights out of any given week. I shuddered at thoughts of what I possibly had been sharing my husband with. He grossly neglected me and belittled me.
After several years of that, a root of bitterness firmly planted itself right in the fertile soil of my heart and sent out multiple shooters that knitted into my soul. I did not know how to cry for help or where to turn.
I just pasted on a smile, softened my voice and forgave, forgave, forgave; speaking kindly to him. I was doing my part, what I thought God expected of me. The abuse and neglect continued. I thought this was what it took to be the coveted Proverbs 31 Woman.
No, just a–DOORMAT, DOORMAT, DOORMAT. That’s what I became.
Any healthy expectations I had for my marriage quickly deflated.
One of my biggest problems was that I needed serious help. I needed someone to intervene in my life. Someone to help me realize that because I had come from an extremely abusive home, it was hard to identify my abusive marriage as unnatural. Someone needed to help me realize controlling and abusive marriages were not healthy or normal.
Had that someone come on the scene of my life, they would have spared me a great deal of heartache and mental anguish.
Please. This is my plea for anyone else living a life like I did.
If you know someone who desperately needs a mentor, I pray this has encouraged you to take that person under your wing or to direct that person in a direction they can get help.
Don’t let another life struggle in agony if you can help!
If you are stuck in an abusive and controlling marriage. There is help out there. You will find it if you look!
By ~ Elizabeth Yalian 2013 ©http://hiseyeisonthissparrow.com.
4 responses to “Be A Mentor”
I can very well relate to your experience but I did not believe in getting out of my marriage as I believed Marriage to be sacred and more to it than just giving it up…..but I was not heartbroken when he walked out on me and our four children. I believed it to be divine intervention….God knows best !
Thank you for sharing your story, Dot Antony. It looks like God brought the much needed relief for you and your family. Indeed, divine intervention!
Wow! Thank you for sharing your heart! A good reminder for us to not merely look out for our own interests (which is a tendency for many of us) but to be watchful and look out for the interests of others.
It is easy to miss out on such opportunities. I didn’t usually go around telling people how miserable I was, but I think had anyone really been paying attention they would have noticed. It takes a conscience effort to notice.