Recently, I met with a Spiritual Mentor about a mistake I had made in a moment of judgement lapse. It wasn’t a sin of dire consequences, but more of a careless act of allowing my unmonitored sanguine personality to rise to the surface, in a moment I should have been more sensitive and aware of others.
I’m a girl, right? So, of course I cried the whole time. I had allowed my mind to go to all the worst places. I was worried my careless actions would somehow stain his legacy or inadvertently shame the ministry entrusted to me.
His response humbled and astounded me. Instead of rebuking me, he gently spoke words of wisdom to me. He reminded me that all leaders fail, but we get to choose the direction of our fall. We can fail forward and grow from the experience. We can learn a hard lesson and move on, or we can allow it to cripple us from moving forward. He advised me how to respond and then he shared something with me that I never knew.
Just the day before, my husband Joel and I had celebrated our 18 year anniversary. We talked about how we celebrated and reminisced how he had given me away at my wedding. This Spiritual Mentor, stood as a Spiritual Father and walked me down the aisle and stood in the place of my father, to bless my union with Joel. Such sweet memories filled the atmosphere as we remembered together.
He then began to share with me about the night I was married. He told me that 18 years ago he stayed up all night on my wedding night to pray for me. I was taken back. I said, “You stayed up all night? for me?….” He said he knew how hard that night would be because of the abuse of my childhood and felt as a Spiritual Father it was how he could stand in the gap for me and serve me. He said, ” I felt this was my responsibility to you, as a Spiritual Father and Mentor.”
I began to weep. I couldn’t believe someone would love and care so much for me, that they would stand in the gap on my wedding night to pray I would be free to enjoy that special night. As he continued to share, I felt so humbled. So valued. So cared for. I felt, for maybe the first time, a father’s sacrificial love for me. It was overwhelming. Who would care for me like this? Who would be willing to stand in the gap for my most intimate moments to enjoy what God had designed for His glory but had been stolen from me in shame and sin at a young age.
I had never known such kindness. To think this precious Mentor did not share this with me for 18 years. He did not do this to brag or promote himself. He told me this to declare his devotion and love to me as a Spiritual Father. “Greater love has no man than this that he lay down his life for another”. This is love. This is mentorship. This is a spiritual father. This is God’s love for you and me.
So often we look at the brokenness of life and feel we walk alone. But what I love about God is that He is always faithful to fill our brokenness with unique balms of healing. Sometime they come in the unexpected and sometimes they come in our darkest moments or unplanned failures.
Can I share a truth with you today?
Maybe you’re feeling like I did. Grieving over your past mistakes or feeling alone in the mess of your own making. Please know….
God sees. He hears. He knows. He is present.
In fact, before you ever got to this moment, there have been ten thousand other moments that God has worked in the back drop of your life, that you may have never realized.
As I reflected on what was done for me 18 years before, on my wedding night, I realized, God was raising up people to stand in the gap for me, when I didn’t know I needed a Gap Stander. God was caring for my heart, even though sin and shame had tried to steal it from me.
It reminded me of the story of Hagar. Cast out and without the blessing with Abraham’s first son, seemed harsh and uncaring. But in her distress she cried and God met her. He cared for her heart and gave her a promise. What felt like abandonment by Abraham was not abandonment by God.
God continued to provide for Hagar and for her son. In the backdrop of a terrible situation God was working and moving to accomplish more than Hagar could imagine.
God is working in your backdrop too, caring for your heart, in ways you could never imagine. His love supersedes that of a earthly or Spiritual Father. Look around, you may discover Him today in ways you never expected…