"My Cajun grandma says that Godly women are wise and worth listening to; you are definitely one such person. Thanks for living out what God puts on your heart." -University StudentEncouragements are intensely important! They help us discover, understand, test and remember our value.
"You're awesome! You're super inviting to everyone and you're so real. You're open and not afraid to share your thoughts with anyone. I've learned a lot from ya over the past year. Love ya!" -University StudentThere are times over the course of a year or a season of life that it's very easy to become discouraged, emotionally worn or suffer from various other forms of discontent. It doesn't take much to find these feelings creeping in. Sometimes, it's very sudden. I've found, my natural response is to become a bit sullen... or a lot. I tend to display a change outwardly, but don't take the risk involved in sharing my inner state with anyone directly. It's important for us, the Body of Christ, to take the narrower road in this area and begin opening up the vulnerable parts of who we are with others, with wisdom and abiding in truth. It's important to be unselfish with our own need, as it has power when surrendered into the hands of His Body and His Hand and we truly seek His answers and His fulfillment in return. Our weakness, after all, is an opportunity to display His strength.
"Out of everyone I've met in the past few years on campus, you are one of the people I am most thankful for. I am constantly thankful for your love, advice, conversation. I've never had someone willing to fill that role in my life before and you have taught me so much about life, faith and myself. You are a beautiful example of what it means to love people." -University StudentHere's a piece of truth. Not everyone is to be trusted. Not everyone cares for us deeply. Not everyone has the capacity within to receive us or listen or begin to understand... even when they really, really, really want to. Even when we really, really, really, want them to. I've learned that in hard ways, as I'm sure you have too.
It's okay to LET people be imperfect. You have permission to love them anyway. By that, I mean, you have permission to give them love. By that, I mean, you have permission to respond to them with mercy, grace and to seek understanding with regard to their behavior, attitudes, choices and beliefs. It's okay to listen, in fact, it's imperative that we become zealous about really listening to people... hearing them... learning to know them... seeking wisdom with regard to them. It's Love.
I have hurt people. I can't think of a time it's been intentional, but I have hurt people. Not listened. Not cared.
"You are amazing at listening to people and being able to let God speak through you. You're really chill and calm and amazing" -University StudentIt's okay that we are not perfect. In fact, it's important that we are not perfect. It's the need to be made right that enables us to crave wisdom. It's the broken bits of us requiring us to need, that open our ears to our true sustenance. It's in these spots that we've found our well. It's this well that holds an endless supply of life. It's in the ravenous desperate dipping into this well that we find hope enough for ourselves and then it overflows into the lives of others.
It's not because I am good. It's because He is Good and He makes Good things and fixes things and makes them Good again.
I am a very broken vessel. Partly fixed. Still broken.
"You're great. Just great. I love seeing you when I'm walking around campus. I wish I could stop and talk more often. That first time was awesome and I'd love to connect like that again." -University StudentSelfish, Needy and Desperate at my core. Afraid. Vulnerable.
"You are such an awesome friend, encourager, supporter & challenger! I praise God for you, for your wisdom, your passion and love!" -FriendIt is my cracks that allow His glory and truth to be felt. It's Him radiating through my admitted and surrendered brokenness that people praise. Do you see... It's always been Him. It will always be Him.
Encouragements are intensely important! They help us discover, understand, test and remember our value. We are at our most precious when we are surrendered and vulnerable. Bold and Real. Inviting Life to flow through us.
If you are emotionally tired, discouraged or generally discontented, please...
"Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up." Galatians 6:9
“Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:8–10