I want you all to meet my dear friend and mentee, Taryn. We first met at her church last summer when I offered to help her women’s ministry team launch a mentoring ministry. My heart was quickly drawn to Taryn. She is a sweet 24-year old, single mom to a 6-year old daughter. I immediately saw such great potential in her. Later I found out that she was leading a Young MOPS group at her church and truly was mentoring many of these moms.
I was thrilled that Taryn was able to attend our first Come Away Retreat and bring several of those moms with her. We had some one-on-one time together where I loved getting to know her even better and that’s when she asked me if I would mentor her. Here’s Taryn’s perspective:
Taryn: I was sure Nancy was already mentoring a lot of people and wouldn’t have time to mentor me. I was surprised when she said the words “I’d be honored to. God had already put you on my heart.” For over a year I had been praying that God would bring a woman into my life that would model what a relationship with Jesus looks like when it’s full of consistency and intimacy. More specifically, I wanted to deepen my prayer life, knowing it would strengthen my relationship with Christ, but I didn’t really know where to begin.
Nancy: I love to pray and believe there is no greater thing we can do with our mentees. It’s what changes our mentoring from the natural to the supernatural. It brings God into our relationship. What would you say makes our mentoring relationship different than all the others you have been a part of?
Taryn: The prayer time. That has been the most transformative in my life. I’ve seen how it can completely awaken my relationship with Jesus and in the relationships all around me as I lean into his quiet whispers. I often turn to Nancy for answers. She always listens intentionally and then puts it back in God’s hands. This is a gentle reminder to ask myself, “Am I seeking Nancy’s guidance or God’s guidance?” By choosing to invite God into our time together, Nancy has modeled Christ for me. It makes it easy to point back to situations we prayed about and say with confidence, “I’m seeing you move here, God.”
Nancy: What would you like to tell others about the importance of mentoring?
Taryn: To say mentoring has been a compass for my spiritual life is an understatement. When I’m feeling the weight of defeat, a mentor has come alongside me and spoken truth of what they see in me and reminded me how far I’ve come. It refocuses me on God’s purpose in my life and encourages me not to give up on my calling. It’s so important to have a mentor – especially someone you can share your spiritual life with. Genuinely. Openly. Transparently. Having the freedom to speak about when I’m feeling close or far from God to my mentor takes our relationship to another playing field. It’s not just talking about how my week went, it’s about where I think God is or isn’t showing up, gaining perspective and praying together.
Nancy: I love investing in moms when I know they are investing in a lot of other lives. It’s that ripple-effect investment that really makes a difference. How has our time together given you confidence as you mentor others?
Taryn: It’s taken away my discomfort of praying with others. It’s also relieved me of not feeling like I have to say something profound or drop truth because sometimes I honestly don’t know what to say. It can be so simple and we complicate it. Nancy’s 4 pillars in her ministry are: Love. Listen. Encourage. Pray. I remind myself of these often when I’m feeling the pressure to say “the right thing”. Sometimes listening is enough.
Nancy: What is your vision for mentoring?
Taryn: Connecting moms in community so they can meet Jesus. Mentoring is at its purest form when it’s simple—two people desiring a relationship with one another and with Jesus. Encourage someone in her walk with Jesus. Share realistically your faith journey. Listen as they speak. Ask intentional questions. Follow-up. Pray together. When these elements come together, I believe we truly embody the elements of what Christ desired for our inter-generational relationships.
Nancy: I love your heart, Taryn, and I love your passion for mentoring! I always come away refreshed and filled up after our times together. Thanks for being on this journey with me. You have brought me so much joy and I’m forever grateful to God for bringing us together and connecting our hearts.