by Deborah Covert, executive assistant to Entrust CEO
I can’t remember exactly when I asked Eva to mentor me. Probably between 10 and 12 years ago. She had, for several years, facilitated the Precept study courses I took each semester at church. I sang next to her in the soprano section of the choir. I respected her for her wisdom, her walk with God, her willingness to allow him to continue to change her, and her ability to sight-read the cantatas assigned to the choir.
I was at a point at which my life’s journey through marriage, parenting and recovery from a difficult childhood felt confusing and lonely and I needed guidance but didn’t know where to turn. I decided I needed a mentor, but how to find one? It was daunting and intimidating to consider asking one of the women who were on my mind. As I prayed and asked the Lord, “Who?” I felt led to ask Eva.
I believe it was an Easter Sunday morning, as we prepared for the choir’s Easter presentation, that I asked her if she would consider being my mentor. She graciously agreed to pray about my request. About a week later, she came back with a “yes,” she would be honored to accept.
So began a long friendship that continues to this day.
Deborah and Eva celebrating their March birthdays at a high tea.
At first, we followed a loose structure as we talked through the issues of life, marriage, motherhood and discipleship. Over the years, it has developed into a friendship of equal give-and-take, learning from each other and growing together as followers of Christ. I still appeal to Eva when I have concerns or prayer requests—she offers, as led by the Lord, input, wisdom, a prayer or scripture reference that speaks to my situation. We’ve enjoyed having fun together, meeting for “March birthday” lunches, co-hosting and attending ladies’ teas, going to artistic performances and until recently, our Bible studies with the group she leads.
I have since gained other mentors who speak into different areas and aspects of my life. I find I approach each one for different issues—parenting, marriage, the journey with God—depending on where each woman is in her own life and what experiences she’s had that speak into mine. I am blessed by the gift of each of these godly women, who help me along the journey, offer wisdom from a life of learning with the Lord and even from making mistakes, as they help me learn from their mistakes and what the Lord has shown them.
As I reach middle age, I wish to offer to younger women the same valuable gifts of mentorship and friendship. The problem is, I can’t seem to come across anyone who’s looking! One of my growing concerns as I observe people in the church in this day and age, and as the secular, technology-based culture continues to influence the church and especially younger generations, is fewer mentoring relationships in the church among men or women. I don’t know if the older generations are afraid or unwilling or, like me, can’t find anyone to mentor; or if the younger generations are too busy, don’t see the need, or perhaps shy away from this kind of intimacy and accountability. There may be other factors that keep us from these valuable relationships.
Titus 2 urges both men and women who are mature in the Lord to encourage and provide examples for younger generations. Mentoring is a God-given imperative but more than that, it brings much joy and value into the lives of believers. My prayer is that all of us see the value of such relationships and pursue them. I am certain it will make an everlasting difference in our lives and theirs.
This article first appeared in the Spring 2018 Engage.