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Years ago, while I was in the midst of some difficult circumstances, I met a wonderful woman who had committed herself to living her life as an encourager.
We saw each other once a week at a Women’s Study Group and were occasionally able to have a few moments of private conversation where we would share with each other a little bit about our personal lives.
Because she had committed herself to the task of intentional encouragement, every week like clockwork, I received a beautiful card in the mail along with a hand-written note of encouragement and assurances that she was thinking of me and that I was not alone.
There are people all around us who are struggling and could really use some encouragement. Sometimes all a person needs is a smile from another person. Other times we’re prompted to become friends with someone who needs encouragement (like my friend did with me).
Often, we have good intentions that we never follow through on. If you’re thinking (good) thoughts about someone, let them know. Send a text message, email, card or note, or pick up the phone and call them.
No one knows your intentions until you make them known.
My sweet friend didn’t know all of the details of my circumstances, but she intentionally chose to come alongside me to encourage me and to build me up. She chose to invest her time, energy and even her finances into my life.
Her support and encouragement infused me with hope and helped me to realize that the difficulties I was facing were temporary and that I would be okay.
Never underestimate the impact of what a kind word or gesture can have on a person.
Her life and example inspired me to intentionally become an encourager as well. It isn’t always easy. Sometimes it is a sacrifice of time, energy, patience and even finances. But it is rewarding. Not because the person you’re encouraging will give you something in return (because it has absolutely nothing to do with that) but because you feel better for doing it.
Imagine what could happen if each person would put these simple things into practice and choose to intentionally become an encourager. I think we would change the world.
My friend was intentional about her intentions and it certainly made all the difference in my world and in the lives of my children. Because of my choice to become an intentional encourager, my children have grown into adults who know and show compassion for others. They have actually become unintentional encouragers because it was simply a way of life for them while they were growing up!
In a world where there seems to be more negative than positive, it’s easy to become jaded, guarded and discouraged. But when we choose to become an encourager we create an atmosphere of positivity and the world certainly needs more of that!
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