Mentorship changed me
Amongst other things, my responsibilities as a P.A was to schedule meetings, (and remind my mentor) of the meetings, take minutes of meetings etc. I was totally new to this job so I did a lot of ‘learning on the job’. Few days into resumption of my new job, I resumed at my mentor’s house, my job wasn’t limited to the office alone.
This was a great privilege for me as my learning wasn’t one sided (office only), it was holistic. I saw the life of a woman in the office, I saw the life of a woman as a wife, I saw the life of a woman as a mother, I also saw the life of a woman in ministry, I saw the life of a woman as a mentor and above all I saw the life of a woman as a child of God.
This is one of the best gifts God has given me; the opportunity to serve as my mentor, my spiritual mother’s P.A. The opportunity to learn up close. It is a huge blessing I must say. My life changed. I changed (by her tutelage with the help of the Holy Spirit) from who I was to who God wanted to be. It was a training ground for me. I learnt many things.
Check your motive
1Thess 2:4 says “We are not trying to please people but God, who tests our hearts”
One of the major lessons I learnt was CHECK YOUR MOTIVE. I remember clearly, after a long day at work (ministry is serious work I tell you), when we get home, I would dash to my mentor’s bedroom to make her bed and make the room ready to retire into. On different occasions, while making the bed, the Holy Spirit would ask me: “why are you making her bed?” I would answer “she has had a long day, the best thing after having a good dinner is for her to retire into a well laid bed”.
The Holy Spirit asked me this question not once, or twice or thrice on different occasions. The frequency of the question became so much that I had to ask the Holy Spirit why He kept asking me over and over what my motive was. He answered and said: whatever it is that you do, your motive of doing it must be in line with God’s word.
At another time, I was getting a chore done in the house, and the Holy Spirit popped the question again. “Why are you doing this chore?” I answered the question but my motive of doing the chore came out of a feeling of ‘this is the right thing to do’ which I felt wasn’t a bad one. The Holy Spirit responded “your motive must be born out of God’s word not your feeling, it must be born out of Love.”
Desire to quit vs doing God’s will
I had an experience that remains fresh in my memory. Because it was my first experience of work (both official and unofficial), stress was setting in. I did activities like grocery shopping on a budget, cooking, cleaning, sometimes laundry. Back at home, in my parent’s home, I rarely do grocery shopping, plus I cook sometimes not always.
Doing these activities –going to the office, get back home and do some chores wasn’t easy for me because I was used to doing things when I felt like doing them. I wasn’t used to living a structured life. One morning I woke up and told God I wanted to quit working as a PA. I told Him it was too much for me. And God said to me “Olabisi (that is my name), you’ve always wanted to do my will for you, this is my will for you, if you quit this job, you’re simply walking out of my plans for you”. I wept, and when I was done, I stayed back.
Deep within me, I knew this is where God would have me be, but it wasn’t sweet to my flesh. I knew I had to go through the training. A training would stretch you, push you out of your comfort zone, and most times, it is not always convenient. That was my experience.
During this period, my focus shifted from me to my mentor, ministering to her. In the process of doing this, I was being built up. I discovered that I became fast at getting things done. Before now, I was slow. I discovered that I could multi task. I learnt how to cook, I learnt different methods of cooking different meals.
Lessons learnt from this experience
Another major lesson I learnt was putting others first, taking care of others before taking care of myself. Little did I know that I would need this when I get married. As a wife and a mother, I think of my husband and children first before I think of myself. I put things in place to make sure that they are comfortable, before I think of making myself comfortable. Because I love them (my husband and kid), I want to make sure that they are comfortable, and happy first. If they are not okay, it’s automatic, I won’t be okay.
Another lesson I learnt is this: as a teacher of God’s word, live what you preach/teach. Don’t preach one thing and do another thing. Let your life preach what you teach in church. My mentor lived what she preached. There was no discrepancy between her life and her message which made me understood better and faster what she preached in church, because I was able to see her do what she preached in church.
Cherishing the awesome moments with my mentor
Looking back at those days, I remember the awesome moments I had with my mentor. I will share two of these moments with you. We were in the car driving home from office, and my mentor said something profound, she said and I paraphrase “when you take a look at the lives of people who have served God’s anointed (that is men/women whom God called to serve in the office of a Pastor, Evangelist, Teacher, Apostle, Prophet), things happen gracefully in their lives”.
The second experience is this: after a long day at work and at home, my mentor retired to her room and I went to my room as well. My destiny friend Sally, and I were talking and my mentor came to our room and started praying for me. She placed her hand on my head and was praying. Apparently, when she went to her room, she started praying and she walked into our room still praying. She declared some prophetic words over me, which I wrote in my book. I have a book where I write the things God tells me. This was a divine and defining moment for me.
Never joke with the words of God’s anointed
While working with my mentor, I learnt never to joke with the words of God’s anointed. Even her jokes, I don’t joke with them. I remember one day, I was at my mentor’s house and there was a need to cook and there was another house chore to be done (I can’t remember what it was). You know what I went for the other chore. I tried as much as I could to avoid cooking because I wasn’t good at it and I didn’t want to be criticized. Little did I know that criticism won’t kill, it will only make me better at cooking if I keep trying. (I cook well now, my mentor made sure I did, before I left).
So, my mentor walked into the kitchen and saw my friend Sally cooking instead of me. She summoned me and said “Bisi, I observed that you always avoid cooking. Don’t you know that as a woman (wife to be), you must be able to handle the home front? You must be rounded. Being a good home maker is not enough, you must know how to cook very well as well. I look forward to that day when, you will be the only lady at home.”
Being the only lady at home meant I will do ALL the chores in the house, plus office work. I never prayed for that day to come at all. Hahahahaha! Alas! That day came and I almost ran away, I almost missed a DIVINE (God orchestrated moment) MOMENT in my life.