I have had many professional mentors in my career. Most of those did not know they were mentoring me. It was only as I started writing my professional career memoir that I began seeing how many people were mentoring me unknowingly.
However, I have only had one spiritual mentor. We met this lady back in 1970. She was older, could have been my mother. In fact, we started calling her our spiritual mother but, I will refer to her as a mentor. Whenever God would lead her, she would travel 200 miles by herself, leaving her husband behind because he was working. She would usually be invited to stay at someone’s house so this invitation was taken as a leading from God that she needed to pack up and drive to our little city. When word got out that she was coming, several people that knew her, would call the host to see if they could visit her at their home. Her name was Francis. She would stay about a week and meet with people in small groups or one-on-one.
My first meeting with Francis was when a friend of my wife’s brought her to our place. The night before I had been studying and pondering over a scripture- deny yourself, take up your cross and follow me. I will never forget Francis walking up to us with her friend in our driveway. Before her friend could introduce her to us, Francis started talking about the same scripture that had kept me up the night before. She was elaborating on the scripture.
I was in shock, spiritual shock. How did she know I had spent the evening thinking about this scripture? Why was she talking about it before I even formally met her or said my name? I interrupted her and asked, “Why are you talking about this scripture!?
She said she did not know. It just came to her as she was walking up the driveway. We bonded from that moment on for many years to come. I knew God had sent this lady into our lives. This was early in my spiritual walk or life. I was really a baby Christian. But, I was a hungry baby Christian. I had so many questions. We finally went in the house and had a great visit. She prayed over and for us in a way I had never been prayed for. I believe God sent her into my life to lead and teach me many truths. From that point on, each time she traveled back to our city we would show up at one or more of her small groups or invite her to our house for a few meals. In between trips, I would write her letters with many, many scriptural questions. She always wrote back with insightful, inspired answers that ministered to me.
I thank God for sending her into our lives. One word she spoke to me that I feel was inspired by the Spirit: “Let go and let God”. She was seeing something in my life at the time. I think God was giving her insight into my not letting go. Yes, I was hungry to learn more about Him, but I was trying to figure it all out on my own at a very fast pace. I guess this is just part of my nature because even though I received this word, I continue to struggle with letting go and letting God even 50 years later.
He gave me a visual image related to this word and He usually brings it to my mind when I am not letting go. I am on a cliff and He is saying you can trust me to catch you. Jump off. I will take care of you all the days of your life. After much deliberation, I jump. This is all in my mind. The jumping is a way of letting go and trusting Him. After jumping I am sort of proud that I jumped and trusted Him then I see a branch growing out of the cliff side so I grab it desperately holding on for dear life. He reminds me again: Let go and let Me catch you in My arms. I finally let go and feel his peace and loving arms hold me in whatever the circumstances that led me to trying to live my life for Him or solve my problems rather than trusting Him.