Wednesday, January 16, 2013

how to encourage...

i have some dear friends who are facing a difficult trial.  their need has brought our family to our knees in earnest, asking for peace and wisdom for their family.

today, i wrote her a letter to encourage her.  and that reminded me of the blessings that i have received.

there are many ways to encourage others.  having been through some difficult trials in our lives, Nick and I have been the recipients of much encouragement.  and recently i was asked which meant the most to us, so that person would know how to bless others better.

there are some things that were an amazing help at the moment they were received, yet came with no words.   a hug in the hallway at church, nothing spoken, just that quiet embrace when i felt that person's love and support and i didn't have to give an update or try and remember what they said.  a meal at our door, whether in the arms of one who made it, or the arms of the pizza delivery guy (those dear friends lived 2 days drive away).  a phone call from someone who lived too far to drive over and give me a hug in person (i don't remember what they said, but i still remember that they called).  a basket filled with treats and quarters for the vending machines that was brought up to the hospital room.  gift certificates for the hospital cafeteria since we were in a different city than where we lived.

other blessings came in the form of notes and cards.  they were encouragements that were received in private, when i didn't feel like i had to keep it together and thank them without blubbering all over myself.  i could cry and sob out of gratefulness for their love and not worry about running makeup or having a Rudolph nose and puffy eyes (things that i tried to avoid at church).  they were filled with verses that the Lord had used in their life; verses that i would cling to.  they spoke of the goodness of God in their lives, testimonies to His love and faithfulness.  i could find comfort in the fact that i had loved ones praying for our family, and then be reminded again the next day of that person coming to God for us when i spotted the card on my nightstand.  i could come to them again and again and be reminded of the sovereignty of our Lord.   no matter how short, those notes from brothers and sisters in Christ, some i didn't even know that well at the time, meant so much more than they will ever know!

many of those letters and cards i still have, tucked away for safe keeping.  sometimes i get them out and smile at how that person took the time to write out the things that the Lord pressed on their heart and how those things are still a blessing to me today.

in a time of grief, it's hard to remember words that are spoken.  but those words that are written, or those actions that are shown, they encourage beyond the span of this spastic mommy's brain.

praise the Lord for those who take the time to encourage others who are burdened.

1 Thessalonians 5:14 
"We urge you, brethren... encourage the fainthearted,"



2 comments:

  1. Beautiful Sarah. I too saved all the cards and notes from brain tumor days--they meant the world to me that someone would stop and take the time to encourage me. And I think going through something like that forever makes your heart more sensitive to others and their hurts. So very thankful for the Galations 6:2 people who come along to help bear burdens.

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  2. Sarah, I appreciate how open you are in sharing thoughts and emotions. You definitely have the gift of encouragement in your writing.
    Love you

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