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  • debhopper

Who’s in the Front Seat of Your Car?

We all know that whoever is in the front seat with you has influence. Whether it’s letting that person choose the music on the radio or direct the conversation, the front seat can change the ride. So when a younger friend asked me this question, I paused to give the answer a little more depth. What she was really asking was: Who mentors you? Who influences you? Who inspires you?

Many years ago, I used to jokingly say “Beth Moore is my mentor. She doesn’t know it, but she’s the one who inspires and influences me from afar.”

Today, approaching my 4th quarter of life, I’m much more realistic and ready to name the women who inspire me. There’s not one woman who pours into me, disciples me or teaches me how to do this season, rather there are many. A lot of the mentoring happens by observing how they live, love and serve in the years still ahead for me. At the risk of minimizing their lives or their impact, I’ll share a little about each one here:

  • Phyllis Lovelace Brisco- we first met while serving on Lay Witness Missions and I was able to watch Phyllis pray, teach and evangelize to a church of strangers. While doing so, she noticed that Gibson and I were newly married and invited us into their home. When visiting, I watched & asked questions about how she fed a large family, stewarded their finances, and others. Since our early years, spending weekends together, I’ve watched and loved Phyllis from a distance during the years that she lost her first husband, remarried and then lost her second one also to an early death. She grieves with hope and her life demonstrates how to walk through tough times. I want to live with hope like Phyllis.

  • Martha Welborn- I met Martha while serving at Seacoast Church when she became one of our first Titus 2 mentors. I’ve watched her love and serve her family and her church, decades past my current one. She and her husband continued to go on mission trips well into their 80’s, and that has become an inspiration for me. I want to serve like Martha.

  • Dorothy Engle- Dorothy was also a Titus 2 mentor at Seacoast, but when I saw her two weeks ago, she was still leading a table of women in bible study. Approaching 90, Dorothy is always immaculately dressed but shows up ready to say “There You Are” instead of “Here I Am”. She always has specific encouragement for me and never shares about her own life. I want to be an encourager like Dorothy.

  • Lois Leeds- probably the least frequently seen of my mentors, Lois is the mother of my sister-in-law. While my mother was alive, Lois always included her in their holiday gatherings whenever she knew mom was alone. She had a large family but always extended those lines beyond her biological one. Now at 90, she stays active and present for all her grands and great-grands by texting, posting on facebook and instagram. It is obvious she does this not to be one of the cool kids, but in an effort to stay connected and affirm her friends and people. I want to stay present and relevant, like Lois, loving people in any way possible.

Besides highlighting these precious women, I want to encourage you to name your mentors. If you don’t have one walking out daily life with you, think about who inspires and influences you just because of who they are. Then maybe thank them. I know I’m sitting down right now to write some letters.

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