Chapter Two - Defining Moments

Joy had lived long enough to see and understand that certain attitudes and actions have predictable consequences. Part of understanding is keeping your wisdom to yourself, which she wisely did with me.

Joy continued, “Only God knows the future. I knew we were on the right track in our relationship, so I felt close to God when I saw you. That built me up spiritually, knowing that God is doing something, and I am a part of it.”

Mentors help fill our basic needs for love, belonging, and maturity in certain areas of our lives. Mentors also help meet our deep need for spiritual fulfillment and understanding. Within the context of our relationship, Joy met my need for spiritual fulfillment and emotional maturity in the capacities of a mother and a leader’s wife. I met her needs of being loved, wanted, and needed.

“I knew it was something bigger than us,” said Joy, “but I didn’t know what it was. By my being there and loving you, I don’t know when it happened, but I always knew you loved me and that meant so much to me. I always felt it was for this binding purpose that God put us together.”

I didn’t know, couldn’t know, what Joy was going through. She was still processing the depth of her loss. Hershel recently had died, and she left her church after 44 years—so many feelings and emotions were stirred up and surfacing. When Naomi and Ruth decided to stay together during an intense famine, they both went on until they came to Bethlehem. Something bigger than them was about to happen and they didn’t know it yet. “”And when they arrived in Bethlehem, the whole town was stirred about them, and said, Is this Naomi?” (Ruth 1:19) Even with all the love and support her family and friends offered, our friendship filled a void at a time in her life when she most needed it.

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