Updated: Nov 16, 2020
In honor of Mrs. Paulette Wallingford:
"Thank you for answering the call."
3 The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; 4 That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, 5 To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.
In November of 2016, I found out I was having a baby. My husband and I had only been married for four months, but although we knew little about marriage life and even less about parenthood, we received the news with joy. A few weeks passed before I had to be taken to the Emergency Room only to find out that our child had gone to be with the Lord.
Some of you reading this may be able to relate. We didn’t know how absolutely common miscarriage was at the time, at least, not until it happened to us. The following church service we broke the news to our church family and were met with sad faces and promises of prayer, which we desperately needed. Elderly women approached me with condolences and comfort, sharing how they could feel my pain because they knew it in their own lives. They’d lost babies too. When I left service that day, I didn’t know it would be my last service for a while.
Overcome by grief, my husband and I felt the day may never come when we would feel whole again. The enemy saw an opportunity for sabotage.
In a matter of weeks, depression was brooding over our household, our marriage was hanging by a thread, and the loss of our baby had me suicidal. We found ourselves looking around, bewildered, wondering what was happening, and where all those people were that said they were praying for us.
It took me a long while to realize that the people I was angriest at were the same who had comforted me weeks before. In my greatest time of need, I didn’t receive a single phone call or card from the women at my church. I felt they’d left me to my grief. They’d been through this before, didn’t they know I might need them?
When God revealed to me that I’d been holding bitterness and anger in my heart, not just toward those women but towards Him as well, I confessed my sin and repented. That’s when He placed a desire on my heart. A desire to be mentored.
I prayed for someone who was not blood family, but a spiritual mother that I could learn from. Shortly after that, God led me to a wise woman in our congregation, the wife of a retired pastor. I didn’t know her well at the time, but as I sat across the room from her during Sunday School one morning, I heard the Spirit prompt: “That’s her.”
What started out as a desire of my heart born out of grief soon became another woman’s ministry. The sweet, dedicated woman that the Lord led me to that Sunday Morning became a Spiritual mother to nine young women in a span of four years. Faithfully, month after month, this godly woman opened up her home to us, welcomed us with refreshments, and, through much prayer, counseled us to be women of integrity and virtue.
Our original group changed as there were engagements happening, turning into marriage, and soon, babies were starting to be born, including one of my own. Unfortunately, not all the women that started out with the group are still a part of it, but nevertheless, we continue to grow. I wonder where we would be without Mrs. Paulette. How fitting a name. She has made us into her beloved Timotheas.
Woman of God, I’m talking to you, now. Your service to your local church is not unseen. Your dish at the potluck is not unnoticed. Your time spent cleaning the grounds after hours, is not without reward, but now I have to ask: Are you being obedient to the Scriptures in seeking out a young woman to mentor? Do you know of a young wife or mother in your congregation who may be going through hard times?
Often, we feel ill-equipped and, while we might hear through the grapevine that someone is facing hard times, we might think that prayer is all they need. But what if God is calling you to go a step further?
When I’ve gently challenged other women the age of my mother or my grandmother with these words, I’m often met with nervous laughter or skepticism. Many of these ladies feel like they have nothing to offer. Don’t let the enemy lie to you.
If you’ve been married longer than I have, I can learn from you. If you’ve reared up children in the knowledge and admonition of the Lord, I can learn from you. If you have a wayward child that you pray for daily, I can learn from you. If you know how to keep a home, how to honor your husband, and how to serve God and others, I can learn from you.
Woman of God, are you willing to step up? Are you willing to let God use you to pour into the heart and mind of a hungry young woman in need of the Lord in her daily life? If so, pray for her. Pray for Timothea. Pray that God equips you for this task. Pray that he uses your wisdom and reveals to you the lessons He wants her to learn from you. Maybe the young woman grew up in a Christian home and has a godly mother herself. Don’t assume her mother is the only one who can pour into her. She may need you, too. I know, I did.
Pray, Woman of God.
Pray until you feel the Spirit prompt: