Lynn Spina – “Being someone’s mentor…”
Being someone's mentor never really scared me like some people have shared that it does for them. I have had mentors my whole life - from coaches and teachers who invested in me, and from women who saw value in me since I was young and modeled for me what following Jesus looked like. So when asked to be someone's mentor, I recognize right away the value and importance of what they are asking of me.
How did you react when Jen asked you to be her mentor?
Jen approached me one evening at a Central Women’s event. When she asked me, I immediately had a “I am so proud of you for being brave and asking” feeling! I knew that this was something slightly scary for her. Having had mentors in my life, I understood what she was asking of me. I understood that she was wanting someone to come into her life to challenge her and invest in her journey - whether it was messy or not! I didn’t accept the role lightly, because I have seen the benefits of having someone challenge me, pray for me, ask tough questions, and walk my journey with me. Mentors in my life have challenged me to make tough choices; they have spurred me on and encouraged me to be brave and trust God. It’s like having your own personal cheerleader who speaks truth and wisdom into your life - even when it’s hard to hear. I want to do that for someone else. I want to do that for Jen.
What was your first time meeting with Jen like?
When we first met, we talked about our expectations and how each of us saw this new relationship unfolding. She is a busy mom with young girls, a wife, and also involved at church, so we didn’t want to add to that busyness by doing a formal Bible Study.We felt that just “doing life together” and whatever unfolds with that was the best thing, and so began our bi-weekly coffee dates.
Do you ever feel pressured to “be enough” as a mentor?
I know that I don't need to live a perfect life. I recognize that I am not a "master" Christian. However, I do know that my responsibility to her is important. It is important that I am seeking God with my life and that I am modeling for her what it looks like to trust, obey, seek, surrender, pray, and be in the Word.
What does being a mentor look like?
It is my role to hold Jen accountable for the life she is choosing in Christ. It is my role to love and encourage her and to always point her to Jesus. Sometimes my role is to simply hold her babies and give her a break. Sometimes it's about holding her hand and letting her cry, and sometimes it's about crying right along with her. My relationship with Jen is about loving and caring for her and her family. Praying for her and over her. For speaking wisdom and truth into her life. For seeking her out when she feels lost and discouraged with all that life throws at her. I find it an absolute privilege to be involved in her life and to see her grow as a woman, a wife, a mother, a leader, and as a friend. It is an honor to walk alongside her, and my life has been blessed because of it.