My daughter asked me, not so long ago, why I didn’t have any friends my own age. Of course, I DO have friends my own age, but what really stood out to her is that I have a lot of friends that are older than me and a lot of friends that are younger…some considerably so in both camps. I guess for a young girl just coming out of high school, where ALL your friends are your own age, this seems a little odd. But to me, they are a rich, fertile ground that nourishes me in my walk.

It all started back when I was a young mom and in a mom’s group at my church. An older woman came to talk to us about the idea of mentoring, and brought up Titus 2:3-5, which goes like this:

3 In the same way, teach the older women to lead a holy life. They must not tell lies about others. They must not let wine control them. Instead, they must teach what is good. 4 Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children.
5 The younger women must control themselves. They must be pure. They must take good care of their homes. They must be kind. They must follow the lead of their husbands. Then no one will be able to speak evil things against God’s word. (NIRV)

We were paired up that day, younger women with older women, and the principle began to take shape in my life. For the next several years, I sought out older women in our couple’s small group or I would follow the nudge that God would place on my heart to get to know someone that was a little further down the road than I was – sometimes, by only a few years. I learned so much from these amazing women. Some that had led as righteous a life as a human could lead and others that had risen from the ashes of terrible mistakes to a life victorious. As the years have marched on, I’ve found myself in the role of the “older” woman more often, and I LOVE it! If I can help someone else avoid the mistakes that I’ve made along the way, it makes those mistakes count for something…evidence of God “working all things together for good”.

So, while I indeed have friends my own age (and I’m crazy about them!), I’m thrilled to also have them represented in every other age group of the average human life, as well. There is always something to learn and always something to teach. My soil is rich with the experiences of others, making me stronger and giving me just enough wisdom to perhaps nourish someone else.