It was a chilly Wednesday night, full of laughter, foosball, and the Spirit of the Lord.
"Well, my high was not getting sick over the holidays, and my low is that I've just been feeling kinda lonely and down," I said. "I've been talking a lot with my mom about friendships."
"Call me," my small group leader whispered.
I nodded. I knew I could trust her. I knew she would be there for me. I needed a trusted older friend to talk to. I needed her to pour into me.
"They hurt my feelings. I've been stereotyped," I pounded on the keys with tears filling my eyes. "How do I get out of this fog?"
Another kindly woman responds with words of wisdom. "I'm not sure I have good advice for how to get out of the fog, but I do know Jesus is with you in it. He sees you, He delights in you, and He won't leave you alone."
I take a deep breath. Her words resonate with me and ring bells of truth in my soul. Jesus is with me.
"So...how do I get an editor again? Is my query too short? Should I state my age? How do I stay safe in this whole writing process?"
My questions are pouring out, but the college student across the table has answers. She'll encourage and equip me for the journey ahead, giving friendly advice.
I have a simple theory for relationships. It's the tree theory. And those older women are the roots.
We should have mentors, small group leaders, older friends, siblings, parents, and other people pouring into us spiritually, emotionally, and as friends. Finding these special people could be challenging, but odds are you already have some in your life...a small group leader, a close friend group, a writing mentor, a teacher, etc.
They are the roots of our tree structure. And a tree dies without roots.
It's like Titus 2 says:
3 Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. 4 Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, 5 to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.The older women, even if they're just a year or two older, can give guidance to you. If they are trustworthy and of good repute, you will find they have much more wisdom than people your age.
In addition, we should always have people we are pouring into. These are the little girls who we never realize are looking up to us, the middle schooler asking us for book recommendations, our younger siblings, or little children in our Sunday school classes.
Establish trusting, friendly relationships with everyone younger than you too. You'll never know who's looking for a godly mentor. These are the "branches" of our tree.
Are you learning from others and helping others? Both are so important to my tree theory of relationships. Without roots, we die. Without branches, we aren't fruitful.
And congratulations to Robyn who won a copy of The Dating Manifesto by Lisa Anderson!