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 now 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 time for them to come over. Any day they need me for a crisis, 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; 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. 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 will 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 them and for them. 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 faithfully came over and we tackled our dinner for that night. Our friendship began over lunch and we ended up friends for life. I am to her a lifeline pointing her to Jesus and when things get tough I bring 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.”
The movie “War Room” was a great movie about restoring a rocky marriage. Our world has done so much damage to marriage through media, government and bad examples. I watched the movie through tears. My heart took another direction as I was viewing the show. Instead of focusing on the problem marriage being acted out on the theater screen before my eyes; I was taken aback by God’s solution. God used this wise old woman who took the time to care. She was there with tea and with sympathy, and a godly solution. She walked shoulder to shoulder alongside this wounded soldier, equipping her both with prayer and with practical wisdom. She stayed the course at her side until the soldier got strong and skilled enough to eventually win the battle, a victory resulting in a love-filled life as man and wife. This movie was God’s way of both teaching me more about being an older woman and affirming my ministry. My favorite line of the movie was at the very end. As God’s instrument the little old lady raised her eyes to heaven and prayed, “Please send to me the one you want, Lord.”
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 whom is He is calling you to be there? St. Teresa of Calcutta answers the question, “Who am I to be there for?” We can almost hear her say, “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” be 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 to pass the faith down to the next generation? He is raising 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?