Tuesday, October 20, 2015

on being encouraged and on being an encourager


Last night we had a women's event at church.  My older boys also had two soccer games, but with Todd's Monday night class cancelled, he went to the games and I was able to go to the women's event.  I am so glad I went!

We do several types of these events at church throughout the year, but last night's was special.  It was just women sharing their hearts with other women.  We heard testimonies and stories about being satisfied in Christ Jesus, infertility and adoption, special needs children, divorce and single parenting, raising rebellious children, surviving cancer, caring for aging parents, widowed but not alone and general encouragement for us all.

All the stories were heartfelt and it was blatantly obvious that God had done a mighty work in the hearts and lives of the sweet ladies who shared.  I love nights like this, when my heart is so full with love for my Savior and the people He has placed in my life, that I feel as if it could burst.

Friends, we are not meant to walk through life alone.

I was praying on my way home (and when I was at home alone for a while because my family was all at Sonic), thanking God for the body of believers He has placed in my life.  This is a gift from Him, and one that I pray I never take for granted.  He places a longing in our hearts for fellowship, whether you know that or not.  It's why when you meet that special friend, you feel an instant click.  I feel like it's our hearts connecting.  Have you ever experienced that?

If you have not, then please know that I will pray for God to give you a friend like that.  I am absolutely convinced that my life would be miserable without such godly women all around me.  I believe that God places the desire for fellowship in our hearts, because without it, life can be pretty depressing and miserable.  Some of my best memories involve my friends, and times when we laugh so hard that we cry.  I can't count how many times my friends have pulled through for me.  They have prayed with me and for me, they have driven me to doctor's appointments, they have brought me meals when I was sick or recovering from surgery or having babies, they have let my kids invade their houses while we were away, they are the ones I call when I need something quick.  I pray that I am the kind of friend to them as they have been to me.

There is a fine line between a sweet friendship and that being an idol, though.  We don't need to place this before God in our lives.  We need to seek Him first and to depend on Him for everything that we need, and after Him our families should be priority, specifically our husbands, then our kids.  When I do something with friends, it's only because my family was okay with it after I had run it by them first.

Another thing that God has given me a desire for in the past year, is for an older women to mentor me.  It's not unusual for women to crave something like this, because we so often pour ourselves out for others.  I think that sometimes I feel depleted, and just need a sweet older lady who will be my prayer warrior and who will counsel me.  Titus 2 tells us that older women are to teach younger women.  As long as I am alive on this earth, I don't want to be done learning.  I have been praying for this lady for a while now, and God hasn't given me any names or anything, but I know and trust Him that He will provide this for me someday.  Especially after hearing one such lady share last night, I leaned over and whispered to my friend that I wanted her to be my person.  I was only half kidding.

I am trying to think of a take away from this post, and I think it is that we need to be encouraged.  We also need to be encouragers.

How can we be that?

We can pray that our words are life giving.  (Ephesians 4:29 says that no unwholesome talk should come out of our mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs in Christ Jesus.)

We can pray without ceasing and we can ask that God would help our thoughts and words and actions to be honoring to Him.

We can ask Him to use us.

We can share His love with others, and we can be His hands and feet.  Just this morning, God prompted me to put aside my selfish desires and to go do something sweet for my husband.  It was a very small thing, but I remembered thinking that he would appreciate having both of his coffee to go mugs filled with coffee.  I don't say that to brag, because truthfully, I wanted to come sit down and read my favorite blogs, but I remember reading in Romans 12 that we should give preference to one another in honor.

I pray and hope that God uses these words of mine in someone's life today.  Love to all.

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