by Joy Ostrom
Woodbury, Minnesota is where I have lived all my life outside of my years in college. I met my husband in our church’s youth group when we were 16 and married shortly after he graduated from college. Our two boys turned to men and our family has enlarged in the last 3 years with wonderful wives for each of them and one granddaughter who is 1.
Along the road of life, there have been women older than me who have brought me under their wings to mentor me. Starting with my own mom first, then being paired with an older woman back when I was in elementary school through the Pioneer Girl program at our church, continuing with my youth leader’s wife where the process has continued to move forward over a span of 30 years or more. And as it has been done to me, there have been younger women who have come into my life where I have come alongside them. Mostly, these are women from church who I have known so it had always been mostly comfortable to share.
But one year ago, I was approached by a friend who asked if I would mentor a gal I had never met before. I felt lost. I have organically mentored gals who I had history with prior to this, so it was not like I hadn’t walked alongside another. But this just felt different. It was in this uncomfortable spot of mentoring a brand new gal, that plunged me into seeking help from someone I knew.
Nancy and I had gone to college together, taken classes together, and later on attended the same Moms in Prayer group for our own kids who were now attending our alma mater. Just before she left for Colorado, we had heard of her dream and intention of MORE Mentoring. In fact, as I began thinking where to look on Google, the Lord reminded me of Nancy. So I contacted her for direction and what I shared with her dovetailed with her vision for mentoring. She was so gracious to share her book with me. It was that very tool that gave me confidence to walk alongside someone I hadn’t known before.
My mentee and I faithfully finished all 12 weeks. I appreciated the questions at the start to get the conversation started which put us each at ease. When it came to prayer as the main component, that was not hard either, but that was the pivotal part. This is where roots started to move further down. We were sharing TOGETHER!
My mentee was learning how to approach Jesus, her new friend. The organized plan of prayer; the process of praising the Lord for His amazing qualities, confessing together openly took boldness and transparency; thanking the Lord for places we saw He was working and then getting to our requests joined our hearts TOGETHER with an expectant hope.
In fact, I purposed in my heart with the Lord at the very beginning that I really wanted to see Him work in her. I wanted the Holy Spirit to do His work of counseling, teaching and transforming my new friend’s heart and life. Nancy’s book helped my mentee begin anew. I am so grateful and very humbled to be a part of the process of seeing Jesus’ transformation in anyone, especially teachable gals who are thirsty and hungry for Him. I just get to point them to the One who says, “Come, follow me.”
I am a single mom with an 11-year old daughter and we live in Hudson, WI with our 6-month old puppy named Arlo. I grew up Catholic and began going to a non-denominational church when I was 13. It was about that time that I learned about and accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior. My grandparents would bring me on Sunday and Wednesdays to learn and grow in my faith. My grandparents love Jesus and set an example for me.
As I grew older, I struggled with what my faith told me was wrong and I wandered from my relationship with the Lord. It wasn't until my late 20’s that I started to feel God's tug to leave the path of self-reliance that I had chose over Him. God led me to people and a church that would encourage me in my faith and lead me back to God's path for me. One of these people introduced me to my mentor, Joy.
Joy used the book to help me pray through my struggles. I learned how to turn over the guilt of the bad choices I had made in my youth to God. I felt a lot of guilt about the path I had taken and the choices I made along the way. God used my mentor, Joy, as a huge part of my healing process.
Every week we would meet and I would look forward to the encouragement and Scripture she would present from the book. It gave me a safe structure for our prayer so that I didn't feel like I was on the spot and it kept me focused on my relationship with God.
The book was a blessing to our time together because it helped us move from strangers to friends effortlessly. Our sessions became like therapy to me for a while. They helped me become stronger and more reliant on the Lord where I was relying on myself and other people.
Subscribe to our newsletter to receive encouragement, inspiration, and support along with the latest news, updates from our team, and invitations to MORE events.