A friend in her twenties sent a text message telling me this Christian “thing” is too hard. How she struggles with control and faith in a God she is trying to understand. She asks questions like – “Why does God have us walk on a path we don’t even know where we are going?”
or “It seems like God enjoys hurting us”
. I call her; we talk, and walk through scripture while I silently pray for His Holy Spirit to utter every word out of my mouth.
Another is pregnant with twins. Due to some complications, she is now in the hospital on bed rest hoping to keep her babies inside her for three more weeks as she celebrates carrying them for 31 so far. Visiting her at the hospital, I toted a bag of goodies to keep her busy and to encourage her as a mom as we’ve all been there. Her mom was there and between the three of us we will have mothered 10 children!
In that hospital room we celebrated. We celebrated every heartbeat and every ache and pain that goes along with it. In that room we're different generations gleaning from each other. Her mother encouraging me as I tell her my story of raising teenage girls in this world and how tough it is. We look at each other realizing how much harder it would be if we didn’t have God with us.
We were women and we were mothers, each of us celebrating life. One generation that has stood the test and now encouraging the other with her own teenagers. One mother of twins encouraging the other soon-to-be mother of twins as we celebrate another day in the womb. Celebrating these babies as they stay where they are suppose to - growing, and preparing for the journey that lies ahead. Lying down in a hospital bed we realize that God is still etching out every detail, every crease, and every hand print before she holds her precious twins.
Meeting a friend for coffee - both of us close in age. We talked about the incredible work these young Christian women are doing out in the world. Creating places where thousands of women can come together and hear a message from their peers of becoming brave in their journey or becoming a part of a cause greater than themselves. We discussed things like social media and women all over the world seeing lights and platforms that have huge followings.
And then we wonder about the one woman out there - the one out there daring enough to comment – What about me?
We challenged each other. We asked questions like - What does God have for us now? Have we made our mark? Have we finished our own race?
Asking ourselves one poignant question:
What if God just meant for us to mentor the one?
As my friend and I continued talking, we had the sweetest, young twenty-something come to our table and say, “I don’t want to be rude, but I’ve been listening to your conversation. Can I just say YES! Yes, I’m someone that is looking for the one to mentor me. Actually, there are so many of us that need an older woman in our life that I don’t think anyone realizes the need. Pouring into us, helping us, and guiding us. We want to learn from people like you. I don’t have a good relationship with my mom and even if I did, there are so many of us that struggle telling our mom’s what we are thinking or going through.”
As the conversation finished, we said thank you, exchanged phone numbers, and my friend and I looked at each other smiling upwards saying - Ok, God.
Ann Voskamp wrote a post last week on the very same day my friend and I met for coffee that torn us up and I looked up again and said - Ok, God.
Ann said things like:
- And every day, with every word, we get to decide: Do we mar the world, or mark the world?
- The extraordinary things happen nowhere else but in the everyday and today can always be the beginning
- The most exquisite marks anyone makes with their life — are the marks done in secret.
You can read her post here.
It is more noble to give yourself completely to one individual than to labor diligently for … the masses.” Christ left the ninety-nine for the one. – Ann Voskamp
Jesus did more with the one. He did more ministry with the Samaritan woman than any lights or stage would have done for her.
Shame on us for creating an environment for the masses and stamp it with Jesus Approved.
We have taken the Great Commission and created the Great Business Plan.
The one question I’ve been asking myself these last few days…
What happen to the Titus 2 Woman?
I love the New Living version of the Bible in these scriptures:
Similarly, teach the older women to live in a way that honors God. They must not slander others or be heavy drinkers. Instead, they should teach others what is good. These older women must train the younger women to love their husbands and their children, to live wisely and be pure, to work in their homes, to do good, and to be submissive to their husbands. Then they will not bring shame on the word of God. – Titus 2:3-5
Somehow we have forgotten this command.
I’m just as guilty.
We have a responsibility to not lose this generation. We, older women, must mentor the generation after us.
We must seek out the one.
Our nation is beginning to see half of all marriages end in divorce. We see more women leaving their brand new babies at fire station doorsteps because the responsibility of another is too hard. More women struggling to really know what submitting to our husbands looks like and what it means to be patient and to do good.
In the beginning of the internet world, if you read anything to do with Titus 2 and the Titus 2 woman it seemed as though your search found you with god-awful fonts
and women clothed in dresses all the way up from their necks to their ankles. It was pink
. It told the world Titus 2 woman are good and sinless and conservative and puppets for their husbands and children.
So we became turned off, told ourselves we were unqualified.
For some, we have allowed Titus 2 women through a computer screen. We find our answers online or in print rather over a cup of coffee or on the playground with a human face before us. The internet has given us a luxury to not become truly involved in real-life community.
So I challenge you to not allow another generation to be affected like this. We ARE Titus 2 women. We must get out there and get our hands dirty for the one - not just the masses.
We must not think about the next big thing or magazine or conference. We have enough of those.
God needs more of us to think about the one.
We need more women that are ready to go to the well and pour Living Water into the woman she sees there.
No lights, no speaker list, nothing. Just a well and a woman.
So what does this look like?
I don’t know.
Think about what you need or needed?
When you were overwhelmed with a messy house, kids everywhere and were sleep deprived, what did you need? You needed someone to bring you a meal, or help you clean your house, or take the kids for an afternoon.
When you were newly married and you wondered if this will last forever? You felt like you couldn’t tell anyone, especially your mom. You saw yourself as a failure and instead hid your deepest pains inside.
When you became a Christian in your twenties and wanted to continue going to parties with your friends and how hard it was to say no because you were trying do what is right? You longed for someone to come into your life and mentor you. Help you understand the Bible and what it meant to be a Christ-follower.
I love what Ann Voskamp said in her writing:
And the only way to ever leave beauty marks on the world is with bits of yourself.
We must be ready to be vulnerable.
This is what I believe God is longing for. Something that doesn’t bring us glory with the lights and masses of followers, but gives Him the glory because of the story He gave us to tell.
So, again I ask, what does this look like?
I don’t know.
Is it a movement?
I don’t know.
Is it a ministry?
I don’t know.
But I do know this; there is a world out there with people who are hurting.
People who are asking, what about me?
Where is my place in this world?
People who are hungry for someone to just listen to them. People who are longing for someone to look into their eyes and tell them they are valuable, are loved, and worth all the stars in the sky.
People who just want to hear that everything is going to be ok.
You just may be that one.