“You’re such an encouraging couple.” Her words poured into my parched heart. It wasn’t much, but it meant the world to me. I admire her and deeply respect her. And after all she had done for us that day — taken us and our 4 rowdy girls out on their boat, packed snacks that they knew the girls would love, and carefully planned the number of lifejackets we all needed — the list went on. The girls were thrilled over the goldfish. But it was those words that stuck to me.
We had just taken a step of faith and honestly, I was petrified. Not to mention the standard anxieties of just being a mom. Gradually, I started battling fears that everyone thought we were as crazy as I felt. In prayer, I wrestled with these fears daily. But her simple encouragement paused the endless churning of my heart, and I looked up.
She said more, but I really don’t remember it. Something about courage and exercise and lots of other lovely words. But it was her first sentence that landed. There was no way she could have known how timely those words were. Looking back, I didn’t realize it either. But tearing up now, I realize that I had been in nose-to-the-grindstone get-her-done-obey mode for months. Serving God yes, but in silence. And I was tired. Deeply tired.
Now, should I, could I serve God from a place of rest and love? Absolutely! And since then I have learned so much about why I do what I do and just how important that is. But right then? I just needed some encouragement.
And as I processed what she said, as it was in such contrast to my fears, it truly felt like cool water on my soul. Gratitude welled up in me. It truly was the embodiment of that passage in Isaiah:
“The Lord God has given me
the tongue of those who are taught,
that I may know how to sustain with a word
him who is weary” (Is 50:4).
And again in Proverb 15:
“…a word in season, how good it is!” (Prov 15:23).
Many of you, sisters, have that gift of encouragement. You feel the Spirit prompt you and you pour out courage into the thirsty hearts around you. Can I just encourage you? You’re needed. So desperately. Whoever comes to your heart at the moment, pray for them, then go and tell them. You won’t know until glory how meaningful that was.
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