The intensity and honesty of the whisper was not wasted on me: “You are a Titus woman.”
A Titus woman.
I remember running to my bible to read pages that had probably never been turned in my bible until that night. I read the verses over and over. I think maybe I was too young or too tired to really hear the message at the time. I had two young babes in my house and a husband who had just begun his ministry. I had no time to think of me besides wife and mother. Yet, these words have stuck. And as I’m wondering what these words mean for me, the Holy Spirit would graciously direct its attention to my Titus woman. There are many that have influenced me, that have challenged me, that have taught me with their life, yet there is one that I can pinpoint very specifically over the last two decades. This is for her.
In our early married days, we had the common sense, not to mention the Holy Spirit prompting us, that we needed a place to worship in community. After a year of searching, we literally stumbled upon this place and haven’t looked back. We were young and bold and quickly asked questions, joined various groups and began making connections.
My earliest memories of those years are a reminder of how much I had to learn and how much grace would be poured out on me by my Titus woman. A mixture of laughter, deep wisdom, hospitality, generousity and care, our paths crossed every Sunday morning and evening for three years. I listened, I prayed.
I wanted to do it all, so I signed up for everything. I grew impatient and spoke very sarcastically and was quickly reprimanded by her. It stung a little, but I listened. I prayed.
Babies came. We were celebrated and showered by my Titus woman. She asked me to pray, and so with a foggy mind, I did and barely remember the words I spoke, except later she told me the impact they had made on her. She couldn’t have known what was coming but the words that spilled out of my mouth were for her. The embrace was sincere and lasting.
Our own families grew and grew and while I stayed at home, she returned to her vocation, a sacrifice, but she was willing. I watched. I listened. I prayed.
We celebrated a friend with a milestone birthday. She laid out her best table and asked me to help, this invitation, an honor. She prayed for our friend. I listened. I prayed.
Years passed, and our interactions were few. Then, as God does, he united us again, loving children who didn’t begin life with us, becoming a commonality we’ll always share. She’s gone before, me behind, and I’ve sought her out. I’ve listened. I’ve prayed.
When it came time for me to return to work of an old kind, God would have it that we would be together. She looked for me, checked in with me, encouraged and dispensed advice I desperately needed. I listened. I prayed.
And now, while life’s joys and disappointments continue, she is the person I share them with. Not daily, not even weekly, sometimes not even monthly, yet she is my Titus woman. Someone who can talk me off a roof I’m clinging to with my fingernails when life is not what I thought it would be. A hug that all at once in a span of seconds reminds me who I belong to and that she understands. A sense of humor and laughter that reminds me what is truly important. An encourager, a discipline dealer, an admirer and lover of her husband and home, a humble spirit-lifter, a savior follower. She is my Titus woman.
Thankfully I’ve had the good sense to pay attention, to remember, to pray. I’ve been taught with speech, I’ve been taught with gentle but firm rebuke. I’ve been taught with a life that I have seen in action. I’ve watched and listened and prayed for nearly two decades, and I’m wondering, if I have this Titus woman influence? Who is watching me? Who is listening to me? Am I courageously speaking boldly and with authority the way I’ve been taught? Am I pouring into the life of those younger than myself? Am I looking for an opportunity to share what I know or what I’m learning?
Until this life ends, we will continually learn from those older than us and forever teach those who are blessed to be younger in reverence, in speech, in moderation, in goodness, in love, in self-control, in kindness, in submission, “So that no one can malign the word of God.”
A Titus woman.
One who has listened and prayed. One who teaches to listen and pray.
God’s blessings to you dear friend.