Deep in my gut, I know that I need community. I know that my relationship with God is bigger than just me and God. God put me in a church. God put me in a family. It’s not just about me.
And yet, I know what it’s like to hear older women say, “well, we managed. I’m sure you will as well” when you are vulnerable enough to admit how much you’re struggling.
I love my life. I don’t regret deciding to live where we live, or having this many children, or even the hard, time-sucking decision to homeschool. Every step was prayerfully made. Nothing was taken lightly. And yet, it felt like I was all on my own.
It wasn’t always that way, and isn’t that way anymore. I’ve actually been blessed with some amazing mentors in my life who were a lifeline to me. Not because they were super-capable, but because they kept pointing me to Christ. They made my faith make sense in the everyday situations.
Most of them probably didn’t know that they were mentors to me. They just took an active interest in encouraging me and praying for me. They were rooted in the Word and they had a spirit of compassion.
When I started writing the lessons for Gospel Mentoring, I did a lot of research. I admit that I went into it trying to help younger women. I wanted to rally the troops. However, I didn’t understand what was stopping older women in the first place. Why didn’t more older women help younger women? Why was their advice sometimes so bad? Why does it seem that they didn’t care?
I was put right, ironically by one of my mentors, on what was actually going on. The older women I judged so harshly actually had a lot on their plate as well. They had survived years of loneliness as well. Their generation grew up between the rock and hard place of hard-core secular feminism and hard-core fundamental legalism. One ideology said that they would have value if they did everything a man did. The other said they would have value if they were perfectly feminine.
Neither ideology said that their value came from Christ, and the fact that they wear his clean, blameless identity as a gift that he earned on the cross.
When I understood that, my perspective completely changed.
Satan has been lying to all of us, old and young. This whole idea of community, and older women teaching younger women in all those areas—the point of all of it was to ground BOTH older women and younger women in the truth of how the gospel changes every aspect of our lives.
God intended this inter-generational relationship talked about in Titus 2 to be mutually beneficial. He intended it to be about him, because he makes a much better savior than we do.
God wasn’t leading me to write a mentoring curriculum just to help out younger women in the church anymore. Older women needed to be freed to hear these truths as well.
My Biggest Project Thus Far
In April of 2018, I launched the online course called Gospel Mentoring. I got the help of several people in the online course industry to make sure it was professional as I could make it. They strongly suggested I sell it for $249 because of it’s extensive content. But, that was for a comparable secular course. This was for church. I prayed and wrestled over it so much. I was not a cheap project, and my family couldn’t just shell out the money. We were hoping it would make enough money to pay for a babysitter for me to continue writing 1/2 day a week.
Finally, I decided to sell it for $39, and less if it was a larger group of women. It paid for itself, and some of the babysitting cost. All in all, a success.
Then I started getting messages from people completing it. The stories they would share had me in tears! God had taken this course to places I had never dreamed—the Congo, homeless shelters in inner cities, and churches used it in states I have never even visited. My favorite was this 80 year old woman who got her grandkids to help her watch it online, and she loved it. Be still my heart, I love her.
During the month of July, I decided to make it free for a month. It was an idea that popped into my head when I was asking God something totally different involving my writing, and then he wouldn’t let me stop thinking about it. Up until then only about 5 people had contacted me saying that they wanted to enroll but couldn’t afford it. So I just gave it to them. But what if there were people who didn’t feel bold enough to say that money was an issue? I wanted to grow the influence of this course and my writing, but if I made it free, would people think less of it? Would they think it was sloppy because it was free?
What happened, blew my mind. Hundreds of women signed up that month. As July came to a close, I wrestled to put the price back up. Honestly, I had the website open, and I was just wrestling with God. If I kept it free, how would I get the income to pay for babysitting to keep writing? Who would care about this anymore?
Up until now, God had provided. But what if he stopped?
Isn’t that the ultimate faith question? As I wrestled with all of this, I decided that I couldn’t put the price back up as I had intended. God owns this course, and he will do with it what he pleases. I pray he will take these words and bring them to places I can’t reach on my own. This whole thing is for him, about him, and for his glory and his people. So little of it was even me.
So that’s the story of my grand marketing decision to keep Gospel Mentoring free. I hope to have this course in book form some day, and that will probably cost whatever books cost. But in the meantime, please use it. Please share it.
There are so many women’s ministries and books out there that preach a self-esteem gospel how great, beautiful and capable they are, and totally skip over how we need help and God has not abandoned us. This training shows us how to keep the sound doctrine of salvation by faith in God (not us) central to our relationships, conversations, and to be proactive in how we communicate that compassionately.
As of today, 689 women have gone through this course. That simply blows my mind.
I read in my devotions this morning from 2 Corinthians 5:17-6:1 (ESV, bold mine)
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him, we might become the righteousness of God. Working together with him, then, we appeal to you not to receive the grace of God in vain.”
The fact that God would use me still astounds me. If you think that God can’t use you too for his purposes, because you are too busy, or not qualified enough, know that working through us was always his plan, for his glory. It was never about us, it was always about him. He chose us. All is grace.
Gospel Mentoring can be found here. For free. Go at your own pace, no pressure. Pass it on.