Encouragement – the action of giving someone support, confidence, or hope.
Just insert “faith” or “Christ” and this definition speaks to us as Christians. The action of giving someone support in faith, confidence in faith, or hope in Christ.
Synonyms: inspiration, motivation, fortification. Yes, fortification! What a perfect word for what I feel the encouragement of others does for me. A defensive wall or other reinforcement built to strengthen a place against attack. THAT is what sisters in Christ do for each other. THAT is why we must go to each other, open ourselves, be vulnerable, share our struggles, share our victories. God is encouraging us through each other.
After an especially hard day with SG Wednesday, I reached out to a few friends via text, and was immediately encouraged. Then at bible study the following day, I continued to receive advice, wisdom, direction, resources, and prayers for that particular incident. On the way home it struck me that I knew NONE of those women 2 years ago. Most of you have come into my life within the past year. God has showered me with a vast array of women to call on, to seek out, to fellowship with. Some of you I see weekly and that hug and smile I get from you is exactly why you were placed in my life. There are women in my life who are also in a spiritually unequal marriages. These friendships are examples of God showing me He understands, He will provide all I need, and that I am not alone. There are some of you Titus 2 women who provide me with much wisdom, who challenge me to see beyond my circumstance, who share with me lessons learned. Each speaker and leader at the M.O.M.S. bible study is speaking to a room full of women, not personally to me, but it IS personally received by me. Your words and guidance speak directly to me, guided by God’s Word, and you are up there for a purpose.
In August 2013 I wrote in my prayer journal about desiring godly women in my life. Women who knew the love of God, who were in the Word, women who I could talk about things with who could point me to what God says about it. Women who I could see as examples, Titus 2 women. Women who would welcome me in. Women who I could encourage as well. Some of you I don’t know well, but the interactions I do have with you still show me Christ working in your life. In the past year God has given me friends I meet with or communicate with regularly. We get in the Word, we talk about life, we talk about Jesus, we drink coffee; lots and lots of coffee! He has provided me with women who have children around SG’s age to engage in play dates and activities. He has provided me with women who have been through the adoption process. My sea of godly women in my life abounds! I want to write this down, my gratitude for that, so I do not take it for granted. I know many women don’t have that fortifying support. I am overwhelmed, that God saw my need, heard my prayer and began dropping women into my life, one by one. Filling up an ocean around me of life giving, faith building, , God ordained relationships.
The sweetest times, the times I am most encouraged, are when I am talking to a friend and you stop and ask to pray with me. At that moment, God spoke to your heart and said, “Child, stop. Your sister is in need. Cry out to Me, lift her up to Me, so that she is reminded I am all that she needs.” Yesterday one of you did that for me, and I felt God’s hand in that moment on my situation because He called you to speak to Him on my behalf. Praying for one another is the BEST gift we can give. Those of you that tell me you have been praying for my husband are treasured friends. Again, I didn’t know you a year ago, and God has gifted me with your prayers now.
Do you see??? Do you see all that God can do in one life, with one life. Your one life has affected mine. All of your lives have built a wall around me, fortifying me. A wall I didn’t have a year or so ago. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your kind words, your prayers, your friendship, your guidance, your time, your intentionality, your obedience to God. I thank my God for each of you. I say that I am overwhelmed a lot but it is true. When I think of what God has decided to gift me with, how he came for me, rescued me, forgave me, and showers me with love, through His Word, through you, through trials, through His Son. Overwhelmed doesn’t begin to describe it.I pray I can be an encouragement and be a part of fortifying someone else!