I love the mentoring relationship. I’ve been so blessed to have had a few really wonderful mentors—women who have spoken truth in my life, who’ve comforted me in dark times, who’ve led me when I was lost, and who continue to see the potential in me when I have a hard time believing in myself. My mentors have always been some of the first people I go to when I’m having a crisis. They speak into my life in ways no one else can.
Before I got married, I met with these women regularly, but with my moving away and then all of us having busy schedules when I moved back, I’ve felt mentor-less. Until I read this wonderful article from Jodi Ware at the Gospel Coalition.
I’ve still been mentored for the last year and a half. In fact, I have this record to prove it. I’ve been mentored by the wonderful books I’ve read. I don’t think that books are meant to replace personal mentors, but as Ware says, they tide one over. They keep you thinking and learning while you wait and pray for a new mentor or more time with an old one.
Here are some of the books that have mentored me:
Surprised by Hope by N.T. Wright
I know I talk about this one a lot, but it’s because it truly changed my life. It got me thinking about my participation in the Kingdom of God in a whole new way. Not surprisingly, Scripture and the Authority of God (review coming soon!) continued to teach me about how to read God’s Word. Since I can’t meet with N.T. Wright in person all the time (oh, that I could!), his books make sure I am continuing to grow spiritually, keeping me accountable for my ideas and beliefs, gently correcting me when I need it.
East of Eden by John Steinbeck
This book has taught me that it’s ok—it’s even good—to love the earth. Have you looked outside lately? This place is beautiful! I’m so glad that I’m here. This book gives me permission to live how I choose, to love others and decide what is best for my own life. Timshel: thou mayest.
The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman
Aside from simply being one of the most beautiful pieces of literature I’ve ever read, this book shows me how to continue to have faith in the midst of the most impossible situations. Even though my faith is not the same as the women’s in this book, their persistence and dedication is an example to me.
Girl Meets God by Lauren Winner
I loved this book because I felt like I had so much in common with her. She helped me accept the story of my continual turning to Jesus. She lets me know I’m not alone in feeling like a mish-mash of Church traditions: protestant, evangelical, and anglican. She helps me remember that in the midst of the confusing, contradictory, obscure details of God, the most important thing is just to be faithful, which is my goal this year.
What are the books that have mentored you?