We started a discipleship initiative at church recently. As I listened to the presentation, I was amazed at the statistics on the number of people that reported not having anyone disciple them. I realized I had been given a great blessing from the Lord in this area. When I was a new Christian trying to figure out all this being “a good girl” stuff, I met one of the greatest influences of my life, Dr. Mitzi Burckley-Frost. Organically we became friends; she mentored me and discipled me for many years.
Dr. Mitzi taught me how to study the word of God and more importantly, how to apply what I read to my everyday life so I could grow. She taught me the power of prayer; how to have my prayers be true and real instead of flowery mimics of others I had heard pray at church. She was truthful with me, sometimes it was sweet and kind; but when I needed it, she was blunt and corrective. This relationship did not form overnight nor did my spiritual maturity. Dr. Mitzi and my Heavenly Father were very patient with me, as I often stumbled. She would tell me it is OK to fall down if you always get back up. I can still hear her say these words to me in my head cheering me on even now. I am grateful for her kindness, wisdom, patience, friendship and love. I will miss her love and support all the days of my life as she now resides with Jesus in heaven.
As I look back at my life, I see blessing after blessing due to the inner circle of spiritual giants that lead me in the right directions. I cannot stress enough- you must be careful those you allow into your inner circle. When your inner circle is full of greatness, that is exactly what grows into you. However, if it is full of negativity, gossip, crudeness, or unforgiveness then that is what pours into you. Be careful in this area; choose wisely who you allow to lead you. This also holds true for your relationships; if you want a positive marriage then surround yourself with people that have great marriages. Be careful of those who are fueled by negativity, because the fact is negativity is contagious.
Dr. Mitzi often told me we have two hands that we should always use to be reaching out to others. She said that with one hand we should be reaching up to grab hold of someone who is stronger, more mature, and will help us to continue to grow. With the other hand, we should be reaching down to help someone else that is not at our maturity level yet to help them grow. In this manner, we will always be reproducing elements of our selves and at the same time growing the kingdom of God as we grow in our own maturity.
Since she taught me this valuable life lesson, it has changed me dramatically. It is continually pushing me to grow and flourish. And at the same time, it causes me to pour out what I know to be truth to another, so they continue to grow as well. If you do not have one of these spiritual giants in your life, then ask the Lord to send one to you. The word says, "We have not because we ask not", so my friend, ask Him to provide and have faith that He will.
Dr. Mitzi is not the only spiritual giant sent to pour into my life. Different seasons have brought different people to guide me through what I needed to learn. The Lord has been faithful to send others into my life. Recently a new giant has come into my life and what she is pouring into my growth I will forever be thankful. He knows just what we need and exactly when we need it.
Always reach with one hand up for your growth and one hand down to continue to grow the kingdom of God. Take a good long look at your life and determine who is helping you grow and whom you are pouring into for their growth? If we all did this, discipleship statistics would radically change and the army of the Lord would grow drastically in maturity. I challenge you, as you look ahead to 2020 make it a new initiative in your life to give and grow...this is a choice you must make no one else can do it for you.