2011: At a luncheon with my friends, Heidi and Georglyn (far right).
“So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing.”
1 Thessalonians 5:11 NLT
The power and impact of an encouraging word is limitless. Encouraging words stay with us; we carry them around in our hearts.
In my eighth grade study skills class, my teacher had us write in a journal. One of the questions he asked was about our life dreams. I wrote about my dream to be a writer and he wrote back in the margins, “You are a brilliant writer. Go for your dreams.”I had that class for one semester and I never saw that teacher again. But his words of encouragement are still etched on my heart today.
I usually save the precious words of encouragement people give to me in cards or e-mail. I put them in a folder or binder and enjoy reading them from time to time.
Over the summer a friend and mentor of mine passed away from a long battle with cancer. She was in her 70’s. She was such an inspiration to me. I was so sad to hear of her passing, but at the same time, so thankful that she had been part of my life.
Her name was Georglyn and I met her in 2009 through Bible study at church. I learned that she was a writer and she took me under her wing. She spoke life into my dreams and poured into me. She attended my speaking engagements and wrote me pages of notes and feedback. She bought me a gift and took me out to lunch when I had something published.
Some of the most powerful words she wrote to me were these:
God knows your heart and He would not have given you the desire to have a speaking and writing ministry if He didn’t intend to bring it to fruition in your life. I hope I live to see it become nationwide, if not, I’ll be in Heaven cheering for you.
I share this with you, not to brag or boast in any way, but to demonstrate how words have weight. They have the ability to not only improve someone’s day, but their life. I am forever changed because of these encouraging words.
Both of these people, and many more, have inspired me to build others up and give them courage (the definition of encourage) through my words and deeds.
Who can you encourage? Into whom can you breathe some fresh air? You just never know how your words will impact people in the days and years to come.
Stop what you’re doing right now and give encouraging words to someone. (Perhaps it’s a person who has encouraged you along the way.) Send a text, write a note or make a phone call. Life is too short not to make the most of opportunities like this.
I’d also love to hear about how encouraging words have changed your life. Feel free to send me an e-mail or leave a comment below.