I was 18 or 19 years old when my mother's long-time friend, Evelyn, came to visit. I had grown up in church with her kids, our families going on summer canoe trips together through the years and doing life together. I was home after my first semester in college, and happened to walk through the kitchen as she was catching up with my mom. I was getting a drink from the fridge when she cut right to the chase and asked whether or not the boy I was dating loved Jesus. I remember stumbling and stammering over my words as I tried to convince her (and myself).
Had my mother been the one to ask the question, I would have gone straight to some old mother-daughter argument, becoming too angry to think reflectively. I probably would have become defensive and held firm to my right to live my own life. But coming from this older, Godly woman, it was a question that stuck with me.
Last weekend, our family stopped to visit some good friends who now live 6 hours from us. When we lived in the same town, they babysat and changed the girls' diapers, celebrated holidays with us, and they know us better than most. After a few minutes of vacation stories, my friend, Natalie, went right to the point and asked, "Tell me one thing God's been showing you this summer". My girls didn't even blink as they shared things they had learned at camp or had been processing this summer. No sermon. No scripture quoting. Just asking some good questions.
I'm so thankful that my daughters have some pretty amazing Jesus-loving women in their lives. Who are you the "older woman" to? How might God want to use you in the life of a younger woman?