Ask any parent what matters most in life. Chances are they won't boast about the hours they spend at the office, or the square footage of their home. They will speak about their children.
But sometimes our children turn away, or they are torn away. In my case, my two sons died way too young.
Others long for children, and aren't blessed with any.
But we can birth spiritual children.
In the rooms of recovery the most precious relationships are those between a sponsor and a sponsee. Shaken and sick, the newcomer asks for help, and someone farther along in their journey grabs them by the hand and they walk together.
"Alice" grew up in a turbulent, drug and alcohol-fueled household. She became selfish and distrustful in order to survive. At age 25, single ,pregnant, and addicted herself, she had no parenting skills.
Then she gingerly stepped onto the road to recovery. Suddenly, she had a new family. Her sponsor, " Carol" mentored her through the steps. Carol taught her how to show up, grow up, and receive love. Now Alice is a sober, patient, and caring mother.
"Karen" was sexually abused as a child. Her young adulthood was spent drinking her way through abusive relationships. Karen kept her dirty secret for years. When Karen was embraced by her sponsor she learned for the first time that she was a child of God, and worthy of love.
Both of these women broke free from the bondage of their past because of spiritual mentorship!
Ahh those poor 'normies' who don't have our meetings and our fellowship you may wonder. But the same magic occurs every day outside the rooms of recovery! It has been going on since Jesus first walked the earth and mentored his disciples.
Beth Moore, in her bible study book "Breaking Free" talks about our potential for bearing spiritual offspring by impacting the lives of others. Beth cites the example of her friend Johnnie who never had a daughter of her own, but she led a women's ministry for many years at a large church. Her influence blessed countless families!
Those of us who are teachers can do the same. It doesn't matter if you are in the classroom, a recovery clubhouse, or a church basement.
Isaiah 54: 2-3:
"Enlarge the place of your tent,
stretch your tent curtains wide,
do not hold back;
lengthen your cords.
strengthen your stakes.
For you will spread out to the right and to the left;
your descendants will dispossess nations
and settle in their desolate cities."
It is my prayer for myself that I have peace with the fact that my boys are gone from this earth for the time being, and that I am able to take the hand of another sufferer and walk with her through the desolation of this fallen world.
One final thought. Before we become spiritual parents, we must first be willing to become spiritual children ourselves. The women who came before me, battling addiction, suffering tragic losses, remaining unwavering in their faith—they are still teaching me today.
Please contact me and tell me about your experience either as a spiritual child or a spiritual parent. I would love to share your story.