Faith Community’s Women’s Ministry will be asking ladies to share either a testimony of mentoring or of being mentored - women equipping. Throughout the next few months, we will be scattering these testimonies throughout the normal teaching blogs. Praying you are blessed as you read real life experiences of God working through discipleship.
Testimony By Tabitha Mossbarger
August 14, 2022
I'd like to start off my story of mentorship with a verse, or word actually, from the book of Ruth. This verse comes after Ruth has left her homeland to follow her mother-in-law, Naomi, back to Israel. They have nothing; both women are widows, having lost their husbands in the land of Moab, and have returned to Naomi's hometown, hoping to find a way to sustain themselves and trusting in God to lead them. Naomi tells her daughter-in-law to go out and glean crops after the harvesters come through so that they might have food to eat: "So she set out and went and gleaned in the field after the reapers, and she happened to come to the part of the field belonging to Boaz, who was of the clan of Elimelech." Ruth 2:3 (italics mine) Now Boaz ends up being Ruth's kinsman redeemer by marrying her and the rest of the story of Ruth tells how this comes about.
My story of being mentored through a friendship starts off with joining a women’s Bible study group. I, like Ruth, just happened to sit down right next to the woman who was soon to be my friend that first day of class. I love how God uses small little details or seemingly chance encounters to bring about blessings in people's lives.
The woman I happened to sit next to that day was holding a little baby. We both smiled and before I knew it I was holding this sweet little baby girl in my arms. After the Bible study we chatted a little and I found out that she and her husband were foster parents. I felt like God must have smiled at me that day because my husband and I were looking into options to grow our family through adoption and we were both feeling lead towards foster care. We had been blessed with two little boys but wanted more for our family. My friendship with this beautiful woman grew slowly over the next year. We both had boys that were similar in ages and she often invited us over to let the kids play and to share her life of being a foster and homeschooling mom with me.
I got to see first hand how she taught literature with her older kids while helping keep an eye on the younger crew of kids. I also got to see how she patiently worked through issues with her adopted children as she shared her life with me. Sometimes we would visit and she would have a new little one in her home that I would hold and feed a bottle to. We had many visits between our two homes, watching each other's children and helping one another out. She spoke to my heart just by opening up her home and letting me be a part of her days.
A couple of years into our friendship I received my first phone call from child services while visiting at her home, about a child in need of a foster home. We spent time praying together about this child that would soon be coming to my home. During that first hard week of time spent in the hospital with a terrified and sick 4 year old boy and the transition to my home, my friend kept praying for us; for my husband and I, our 2 young boys, and our new foster son.
Later, when I’d call her sobbing on the phone feeling completely unequipped to parent our foster son and feeling unable to help him with his burden of trauma, she would take the time to listen to me. She was always ready to pray with me and offer her advice and encouragement. A couple of times she even offered to give a couple of hours of respite care for our foster son, just so we could have some time to breathe as a family.
When the day came that we told our foster son ‘goodbye’, she kept praying for us and for him. It was a very challenging time for me, but so encouraging to have a friend to walk through that time with me, someone who had done this before, and struggled with the same feelings of heartbreak.
When that next phone call came about a newborn baby boy needing a foster home, she was there to pray with me again and to support my family and I as best she could while also caring for her many children.
Ours was not a formal mentoring relationship but one that grew out of friendship and the willingness of one woman to open her heart and home to me. She shared her life; all the ups and downs and in betweens, and that simple act of walking through life together was such an encouragement to me. I’m so grateful that God put us together in that Bible study class and that we have been able to share so much of our lives together.
Another verse that comes to my mind as I think back on that friendship is Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope."
Our God is both the God of big miracles and the God of small details, placing each of us where we are, whether it's on the bright sunny mountaintops or in the dark shadowy valleys of life; He has put us there for His glory. And in sharing our lives with others we can be such an encouragement to someone whom God just happened to place next to us.