As we come into an age where 1 in every 7 youth are attempting suicide, and 1 in 3 are thinking about it, so do we see the affects of the most fatherless generation to date.
Never before has there been such a need to search out the spiritual mentors in the world. Never before have I learnt the power of transformation through them.
This post is dedicated to a spiritual mother and pastor to 47 of us – Katrina Stevenson.
With wisdom that could give Condoleezza Rice a run for her dollar, she has that air that makes her approachable enough for me to throw my burdens on her desk without shame and she’d file it according to priority.
This was the woman who reminded me weekly how to not be offendable. The woman who checked in on how I spoke about myself. The woman, who reminded me, above all else, to be a daughter. The woman who would listen to my heart without making a pre-assumption. The woman who stopped me from booking a flight back to the UK in week 4.
‘I can’t tell who’s the nut job -me, or everyone else.’
‘Definitely – everyone else’, Katrina winks.
Ownership, teachability, loving on purpose, boundaries, brave communication, being unoffendable, were all subjects of conversation. Nothing new you might say – people can read a thousand books, sit in church chairs 30 hours of the week, quote you every Joyce Meyer and John Eldridge sentiment they’ev learnt verbatim – but I take lightly such announcements until I see people walk it out. The difference with Katrina is – this stuff is in her bloodstream.
The majority hunger for wisdom – yet some still sabotage relationships or aren’t willing to grab their own jugulars – instead are much more willing to grab their neighbours. It’s easier to indict someone else than walk to the bathroom and look in the mirror.
Katrina brings you a mirror – the mirror of self-reflection. She looks in it with you and tells you all the things that she sees – the beautiful things we find hard to believe about ourselves. Especially from the cultures we’ve come from. It’s how she has a healthy marriage and healthy relationships – by brave communication, constantly layered with grace.
When I received caustic emails from strangers online – you know – the ones who have a proclivity to share why they believe you’re moronic for having Jesus as your linchpin…Katrina would sit through the process with me. Asking why I found it offensive. She cuts the truth out from any destructive, reactionary behavior of others and makes sure you leave her with nothing but the truth, so help me God.
She challenges with love, belief and grace. She always matches her emotional level to where you are at to a healthy boundary. She gave me the choice on what to share and rewarded above all, realism and truth.
I saw the transformation develop over the last 9 months in all the students in my class, I could point the finger to the guidance of a woman who mothered us to a healthy level, even over the teachings we received.
Tireless in her wish to see us gain more love for ourselves, her office was a breeding ground for breakthrough. The one to ones were filled with the most brilliant questions and bottomless tissue boxes.
Without people you admire believing in you, the journey to your heart and your destiny is pretty impossible to complete. Without people like Katrina to be accountable to, to want to honour and learn from, we have no ones’ ceiling to be our floor.
So today I thank God for Katrina. Her fearlessness to love us well along with her beautiful and complex balance of emotional vulnerability with boundaries, honesty with gentleness, discipline with joy and a lifestyle of freedom that we all coveted for ourselves left us breathless.
As she led students through break ups, guilty pasts, miscarriage, and the death of one of our own classmates just this easter, I saw a fine woman, lead people to gain the most healthiest perspectives in the most traumatic of events.
Such is the beauty of true leadership, true love and true belief in a group of souls – or nut jobs. Depending on which way you want to view it.
This is the power of spiritual mothers and the power of believing that people can change, no matter how dark the corners of our minds could have ever been.
As we shared our reflections on the past 9 months in our final class, I can think of no better way to explain to you how valuable she was to us, by snatching the words she shared:
‘Continue to pursue Him as you have this year.
Continue to love yourself and be aggressive in continually renewing your mind with the truth of who you are. This will help you to love others, and to love Him.
Live free from offense.
A new standard has been set in your lives this year and you can never go back. It has been a privilege to have been entrusted to journey with you. It’s a privilege I haven’t taken lightly, but is one where I have seen God’s empowering grace breakthrough in ways I’d not ever imagined possible.
I love you and I’m proud of you.’
Words. Just words. But when it’s weighted with a person you admire, one who believes in you, it’s as powerful as the BHP of a Honda, Blackbird.
Katrina, because you believed in us, you nudged us along to find the people we were meant to be.
In the word of SM Lockridge – ‘I wish I could describe [her] to you. But [she’s] indescribable.’
Go find your mothers and fathers, people you admire and can be accountable to. As the fatherless generation stills hold on to not feeling productive unless we have our own biological children, there are millions out there without love, no one to believe in them– millions waiting for mothers, spiritual mentors like Katrina.
It is time. Time to take parenting to another level.