My husband and I were newly married and we lived in on campus housing while my husband finished seminary. A staff member’s wife made herself available to me, and began to show and teach me how to love a husband, children. She brought to life what I had longed for as long as I can remember. Not only did she authentically live her life and love her husband and family. She gave her life away; she drew me into her circle and lived life in front of me.
For about three years, I had a front seat and was able to watch her as she loved her husband, her children and be a keeper at home, and she did it in such an appealing way that it was used by God to create within me the desire to follow her Christ like example.
“You are precious!” She would say. “I’m so proud of you!” Her words lifted me. They were words I had never heard before. Words that filled me with confidence and helped me to see that God had created me, with giftings meant to bring Him glory.
Eventually we moved far away from my mentor, and I found myself feeling overwhelmed, with young children, and desperately in need of prayer and encouragement. I remember one particularly difficult week I was feeling alone and weary. After church I walked up to a woman, whose children were grown, and asked if I could talk with her for a moment. Fighting back tears my shaky voice emerged. “Would you have time to get together and pray sometime?” “Oh, Gina,” she said. “I am so busy. I’m sorry. I really don’t have time for that. If you email me, I will pray for you.” That was it. She never followed up the conversation to see how I was. She never asked what was going on or how she could encourage me. There was no probing to find out what was going on. Nothing.
As the years passed, I continued to look around for older women I could spend time with. There were very few who were making themselves available. Through that tough season, I collected and read any book I could get my hands on that dealt with Titus 2 or mentoring. I was on a quest to learn all I could about mentoring, so that when the time came for me to answer the call, I would be ready!
During the long years of having a limited amount of fellowship, and very little input from older and wiser women, I found myself searching the Scriptures to find out the responsibility of the body of Christ. Something wasn’t right. I knew that I wasn’t supposed to be alone in this journey. Little did I know that this was the path God was using to prepare me to become passionate and committed to what He has called each of us to do: Give our lives away.
I’ve had the privilege of being involved in the lives of young women for several years now. We have had the honor of pulling lonely souls into our home, serving, living life with them, and making them a part of our family.
As we continue to be involved in these young people’s lives, we see that Satan is working overtime, trying to undermine what the Scriptures teach in the areas of personal holiness. Humanistic and worldly philosophies are subtly taking over the mindset of many, distracting women, tempting them to immerse themselves in the sinful ideas of our culture.
I believe we are all called to give our lives away and look for ways to help, guide, and influence the younger generations for the cause of Christ. And I believe that now is the time! It has been more than 25 years since I have had an “official” mentor, but my time spent with her changed me. I have never been the same. My time with her gave me the desire to learn how to do for others what she did for me!
I trace the steps of my life, and see how God has gently led me to a greater knowledge of Himself. I look around me, and I see that I somehow have gotten to a point where I am available and living daily life with people. Even though I wasn’t sure what it would look like, God orchestrated my life so that I would be immersed in people. I am so thankful! He took the desire, the resolve, the willingness, and turned it into real life.
Even when I didn’t know it, every step of my journey has been leading me to this place. I look back over my life and I trace God’s hand and His grace. In and of myself, I really have nothing to give those that we pull into our lives. But add God into the equation, and I can’t do anything but give! He has done so much for me and is such an amazing, grace filled, merciful Savior, that I have no choice but to give my life away in the same way that my mentor gave her live away all those years ago.
For the past 20+ years Gina Smith and her husband have served on a Christian college campus as the on-campus parents, and her husband has been a professor and dean of students. They have lived on the campus where they homeschooled and raised both of their children. In her spare time she loves to write and recently authored her first book Grace Gifts: Celebrating Your Children Every Day.
More about Walk it Out
What Happens When We Read God’s Word and Actually Do What it Says?
Bestselling Author Tricia Goyer demonstrates the powerful work God accomplishes if we are willing to step out in obedience to Biblical commands and His quiet urgings, no matter our fears or feelings of inadequacy.
Walk It Out illustrates the real-life results of listening to the Scriptural mandates such as care for the orphan, serve the poor, go into the world to spread the gospel, and love others of all races. The author’s journey, from accepting Christ’s forgiveness and telling her story of redemption to answering the call to adopt seven children when she least expected, is filled with the exhilarating, radical, unexpected life that we experience when we walk into God’s plans for us.
“I neither planned or expected any of this—from the ten kids to the stamped-up passport. I didn’t accomplish these things by making a list and checking it off. They happened as I took steps of faith to follow God’s directives.” ~Tricia Goyer