Godmothers. Pause for a moment and consider what comes to mind when you think of one. Perhaps you immediately thought of fairies or mobsters . . . but did you consider the fact that you could be one? Godmothers are not a new idea, but I believe it’s time they become a renewed one.
The role of godparents originated in the first-century church when persecution raged, and believers were scattered abroad. It was a time when churches met in homes and community and connection mattered more than programs and performances. It was a time when life happened around a table and individuals were woven into a beautiful tapestry of love and interdependence with one another.
One of the beauties of godparents was that they wanted more for their godchildren than they had experienced themselves. They were way makers, creating pathways for successive generations to follow. And as they journeyed together, sharing stories of both triumph and trial, both generations grew in faith and strength.
We need these types of connections again. The truth is, we all have gaps in our lives. Generally speaking, a gap describes the difference or distance between the way things are and the way they should be, which is why we are so important to each other. The gaps we have in our faith, relationships, careers, marriages, and even parenting were designed to be filled by each other.
Godmothers help us fill in the gaps.
So, before we delve into what’s involved in becoming a godmother, there’s a few things I want to make clear. First, godmothers aren’t perfect. It doesn’t matter how messy your life is—there is something in it that others need. Lovely one, just begin with where you are! And the last point I want to make before moving on is that you don’t have to know everything to offer something. There’s more in you to offer others than you realize.
With that being said, let’s explore 7 ways you can begin to engage as a godmother.
- Be Aware
Pray and ask God the Father to open your eyes to see your potential goddaughters, wherever they may be. Here is a secret I’ve discovered: Goddaughters hide in plain sight, hoping someone sees them. They are all around us. But it will require discernment—seeing others through God’s perspective.
When you see goddaughters, respond to them. Recently I was in the ladies’ room and I noticed a young woman looking my way. I smiled, and it wasn’t long before she came up to me to share how my books had touched her life. Right there and then, we hugged and connected. Easy. But what if I had looked away or sent the message that I couldn’t be bothered? Without knowing it, I’d be undermining the seeds I’d sown in her life. We’re being watched. May we be found watching also.
- Be Engaged
Ask, “How can I help?” Some will respond to your invitation; others will not. That’s okay, you’re not responsible for their response. You’re responsible to simply offer. Some will be ready to hear from you; others may come back to you in another season. But sometimes, the best way to connect is to ask them for help. There have been a number of girls I’ve mentored by simply inviting them into my world so that they can do life alongside me.
- Be Available
Make yourself available. Your time is one of the greatest gifts you can give. I have goddaughters I rarely see in person, but we speak on the phone, text and, whenever we can, connect in person.
- Be Authentic
Don’t say one thing and live another. That’s fake. Goddaughters are not looking for us to be more than we are; they need us to be more than they are. Authentic means faithful, reliable, honest, and genuine. Those qualities are much more attractive than being “cool.”
- Be Active
Be engaged on an interactive level. Liking a photo engages with someone’s social platform, which is good, but picking up the phone and calling someone engages them. Open your home to teach something you’re good at. Think of something you’d be confident sharing, and simply host daughters. These gatherings don’t need to be limited to a Bible study; you could share about marriage, gardening, or even food—who knows, maybe I’ll do a pesto class simply because I love it!
- Be an Advocate
We all need people in our lives who encourage us, because discouragement has reached epidemic levels. Part of encouraging others is moving their feet in the right direction. It is confronting what is off course while celebrating what is on track. Never underestimate the strength your voice can lend to those around you.
We need godmothers and godfathers to help the sons and daughters learn how to work together rather than compete and fight. We live in a day when many are looking for gaps rather than for ways to close them. And yet the words of Jesus speak of better things. He tells us that amid all the strife there will be those who make peace.
Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. (Matt. 5:9 KJV)
It is time for us to live in such a way that this could be said of us. What if people began to look at you and me and whisper, “Did you see that? Did you hear her? Did you feel that? There goes a child of God.”
The Message translation says it this way: “You’re blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight. That’s when you discover who you really are, and your place in God’s family” (Matt. 5:9 MSG).
Do you hear this? We discover who we really are by helping others. We discover our place in God’s family by making peace. As we do this, we discover our purpose and place.
Here is what I want godmothers to be known for:
You’ll use the old rubble of past lives to build anew, rebuild the foundations from out of your past. You’ll be known as those who can fix anything, restore old ruins, rebuild and renovate, make the community livable again. (Isaiah 58:12 MSG)
As we begin to fill in the gaps, making peace and restoring what has been broken, we’ll leave a legacy that endures. One that will replenish life to our communities and position the generations that follow to go farther than we’ve gone ourselves.
Before we part ways, take a moment to answer these questions: If you’re young, who is an older woman you can connect with? If you’re older, who is a younger woman you can reach out to?