As a young mother, I knew very little about my faith or running a household. I had never diapered a baby or washed a dish (well, at least not clean enough to see my face in it). As I look back on my life, my heart is filled with gratitude. I am in awe of what the Lord has done for me. I am amazed at the miraculous transformation that took place. Originally, I was an unskilled wife and mother. However, through the teachings and example of many “Titus II Women” in my life, I learned how to be a godly wife and mother and how to take care of my household. I appreciate the time they took to teach me what I was lacking. Motherhood is one of the most important jobs you will ever do. Every mom needs advice from a “Titus II Woman,” no matter how young, no matter how old.
I will never forget the day God began the calling on my life to be a part of the “Titus II Crew.” I was not anxious to walk through that door. I paused, I peeked in, and I prayed. Instead of getting on board, I ran away. I said to the Lord Jesus, “I do not even know what to do.” Instead of begging Him, “Teach me, Lord!” I shouted in frustration, “Jesus, I never want to be an older woman.” I complained to the Lord. He did not respond. He knew that no one can do anything on their own. My lack was His opportunity to show Himself big in my life. This inability to step into the shoes of an older woman opened the door to God’s grace.
One day, my best friend came over for some wise counsel. As she opened her heart to me, I quickly realized I was underqualified. I lacked the wisdom she needed. I could not help her. My solution was to call a sister in Christ who had the gifts, the wisdom and the heart for helping to heal a “wounded soldier” who was crying out for help. This older woman applied the mercy of God along with an encouraging word which came from the heart of God. This was the catalyst that God used to bring a healing in the heart of my friend. She needed to be carried down from the roof to encounter Jesus. That “Titus II Woman” was wise enough to know what to do. She took the time to care and be there.
On that day I began to discover that one’s journey leads a person to his or her ministry. My journey with Jesus has grown my heart in understanding, taught me how to apply God’s Word, and bestowed upon me the gifts needed. Now, years later I walk in the footsteps of those who have gone before me in the role of a “Titus II Woman” for the Body of Christ. I have become strong enough to carry those God sends my way, down from the roof to Jesus.
My role as an older woman has evolved. For whomever God sends me, I have learned to first be her intercessor, then her friend and finally a spiritual mother. Once she trusts me, I try to give wise counsel but only when asked and only when she comes to me. My door is wide open to those who God directs my way. I actually have a mentoring room ready and waiting for the woman God calls me to minister to. All the women I mentor know that I set aside a day for mentoring, Mentoring Monday. However anytime a crisis arises, I am available.
When a gal comes to me I host a meet-and-greet complete with tea, sympathy, and chocolate, of course. I feed them the “fruit of compassion.” I offer a listening ear, and words of wisdom. I wear a heart that cares. I bring into the room sincerity and understanding along with a beverage. I always accessorize with virtue. We laugh together, we cry together, we learn together, and we grow in Christ together. I often say to them that I learn as much from them as they learn from me. This is so true, and God’s gift for the ministry.
We may begin as strangers but we grow into friends. I ask them, “In what areas do you want to grow?” Some women want to grow spiritually, others in domestic skills. Some women ask for marriage advice, while others are puzzled by a parenting problem. I follow their lead, tackling each question as it arises. When I do not know the answer, I always take it to prayer. I also tell them to go to the adoration chapel and pray and seek the face of God themselves. Sometimes I even encourage them to pray in the chapel fifteen minutes every day until they get peace. In some instances, I send them to another “Titus II Woman” who is more likely to know the answer, one who has walked the same path before.
Networking is a very important part of being an older woman. Intercession is an essential role that the older woman plays in the lives of those she mentors. An older woman should pray with and for the women they mentor. An older woman never should agree to mentor more women than she can care for properly in the Lord. If a young woman depends on you as their older woman, you must be dependable. Lastly, you must be a good example to them; they are following you as you follow Jesus. Guard your heart and guard your tongue.
One lady came to me who I had met at the gym. We decided to meet for lunch and she said, “Ellen, will you teach me to cook?” I willingly agreed; it was one of my strengths. Every Monday she came over and we tackled our dinner for that night. Our friendship began over lunch and we ended up friends for life. I was for her a lifeline leading her to Jesus and when things got tough I brought her wisdom from the Word of God. The fruit was good. I began praying for her to have a baby on our first lunch date because she had been infertile for years. Her baby David was born nine months later and is my godchild. I never asked this gal to become Catholic but one Easter she called and surprised me with the words, “Ellen, I am joining the Church this Easter.” I was overjoyed. Secretly God was knitting a work deep in her. We were cooking up a meal and God was planting seeds of faith.
Sometimes God will send me the downhearted and I become their “Barnabas.” I may host a makeover day complete with a new hairdo, nails, or a wardrobe. God’s love comes in all forms. These are the ways we as “Titus II Women” bring Christ to the next generation. We meet each young woman God sends us at their point of need. We become the face of mercy in the world today as Pope Francis said, “The Church is a mother: she has to go out to heal those who are hurting, with mercy. If the Lord never tires of forgiving, we have no other choice than this: first of all, to care for those who are hurting.”
Young women, are you being called to be mentored by a “Titus II Woman”? Older women, are you being called by God to join the “Titus II Crew”? For who is He is calling you to care for? St. Teresa of Calcutta answered the question, “Who am I to be there for?” She said to be there for the person right in front of you. Putting one’s heart into someone’s misery or sailing with them through a storm, that is one of the roles of an older woman. When we bear one another’s burdens, we fulfill the law of love; that is the job description. Humility, availability, and wisdom are the shoes an older woman wears as she mentors the next generation. The younger generation is looking for “Jesus with skin on” to carry them through the storms of life. Older women are being called by God to step up to the plate, get on board and show the younger generation the way to the heart of Jesus. “Titus II Women” are good examples for the younger women to follow. Look at these young women with the eyes of Jesus. What do you see?
Now is the time to answer God’s call. Will you also pass the faith down to the next generation? He is forming up mature women to put on “Titus II shoes” and walk in the ways of the Lord. Do you hear the Lord calling your name? Contact me: [email protected]
Copyright 2017 Ellen Mongan