We Still Need Older Women!

Sue Tell, Jean Fleming

“Older women still need older women.” I don’t remember when I first wrote those words in my journal. As I’ve continued my journey and can now claim “older”status, I know for sure that God whispered an important truth to me that day, and it has resonated ever since.

Discipleship—encouraging others in their walk with God—is not only something I offer, it is something I need. Older women still need older women! No matter who we are, we will always need others’ input in our lives.

When I decided to write a manuscript on rest recently, I knew I wanted—no, I needed—help. Might it turn into a book? I didn’t know. With that thought floating in the background, I began reaching out to others who have gone before me: other writers, those I thought might help. My lengthy phone call with seasoned NavPress author Jean Fleming reaffirmed to me that older women still need older women.

I began, “Jean, I’m thinking about. . . . What are your thoughts? Will you share your wisdom with me?” She immediately went into question mode about my writing process. When did I have my “aha moments”? What was I doing when they came? Was I sitting at home with my Bible open, or perhaps on a walk with my dog, or . . . ?

Then wisdom poured out as Jean shared her writing journey. I could hardly write fast enough. I was amazed by how her desires overlapped with mine.

Jean is an affirmer. Each time I’ve talked with her, she’s verbalized the God-given giftedness she sees in my life. I always come away knowing she believes in me.

Jean used the project God gave me to continue to help me mature in my faith. She encouraged me not to rush through the process. Her questions led me behind the project to my friendship with God, and propelled me in ways I hadn’t previously connected. Her wisdom influenced my writing process. I knew she was vested in our friendship. Thank you, Jean! (By the way, I highly recommend Jean’s book Pursue the Intentional Life.)

I have invited other women who are older than me to speak into my life as well. Each is a precious gift. Each has encouraged me with her unique contributions.

Who are the older women in your life? How can you create opportunities to connect with them?
Or perhaps God is nudging you to be the older woman to a younger woman.

Let’s keep in mind and put into practice the apostle Paul’s words, “Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior. . . . They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women . . . that the word of God may not be reviled” (Titus 2:3-5, ESV).

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