enCOURAGE

I have always loved words. I was an avid reader when I was growing up. Because of the time I spent with books and the various publications around my grandmother’s home, I came to recognize the magnitude that words have when

they come together. As I matured in life, I began to have a deep appreciation for the words that came into my mind and spirit to share. 

Over the years, as I have conversed with others, I found that I often had a positive outlook that overshadowed the stories and situations that others shared with me. My natural inclination has always been to share something positive

 or provide an anecdote that would evoke inspiration and encouragement in others.

I kept noticing a pattern of words that people used to respond to me:

“You’re so sweet.”

“I feel so inspired.”

“That was really encouraging.”

It took me years to embrace the words that were said to me. One day, a specific word came into my mind and 

hit my spirit like a sunburst:

Encourage

As I broke down the word in my mind, I realized that this word was a big deal. Not because it is an impactful thing that sometimes happens unintentionally. People have to be open and receptive to be encouraged. This was a big deal because I realized that the most impactful part of this word was the letters C-O-U-R-A-G-E. Encouragement is about helping others to see courage within themselves. It sounds so simple, but this is big!!!

The act of giving support in a way that will impart or evoke courage or hope is a big deal because it helps people to go and do things both small and big. Things that change their world on a personal level, and things that change how we live and thrive on this Earth. That is an amazing thing!

I thought about the many different occasions when people would share the positive impact that my words had on them. I accepted that being an encourager is etched into my being. I can’t help it. I’m reminded of the woman who got baptized because my faith walk inspired her. I remember when my daughter was nervous about walking in a wedding and pushed herself to be bold after I gave her a pep talk. I realize that I had a friend who wrote a whole book after we reminisced about growing up in the country and eating honeysuckles.

It is an honor and privilege to be called to encourage others. This is an element of inner beauty that I have come to embrace in such a great way, and as a result of my pouring out, I have been infilled with so much more. I cannot reduce encouragement to mere words. Encouragement is the result of a synergy between one whose spirit seeks hope and one whose spirit radiates hope. Throughout life, we will all have the experience of being on either side. 

Cheers to the encouraged and the encourager. 

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