James Prescott got me thinking about encouragement today.
This summer I participated in a life changing class by Brave Girls. It was about restoration to the deepest parts of ourselves through art mediums. Something became starkly apparent to me whilst dirtying my hands with paints and adhesives.
To realize that you believe this about yourself is quite a shock. I was sure I thought I was indeed good enough, well, almost. Certainly working on it.
And why? I had to ask myself that. You don’t discover something this profound and just shove it away. Unless, you want to stay with this rotting sentiment. It is an ugly place to be. A difficult place to hide. Are you familiar with it?
Sometimes as adults, we have to come to terms with the fact that encouragement doesn’t always come from the places we hope for. People let us down, or worse, tear us down. (You can tweet that here) Not an easy place to climb up from. And the ironic thing is that we don’t even know that we are mired down with this weight.
I worked and painfully dug my way out. The first step starts with understanding what you believe. It wasn’t that my life lacked fulfillment or joy. Far from it. There was one space however, that mucky recess where I kept my secret shames. The cavern of self-hatred.
Sounds harsh. I almost didn’t write it. Maybe then it wouldn’t be true.
Part of me, and I am guessing part of you, knows this place. The part of us that didn’t receive the encouragement we needed, longed for. I have been climbing out into the light of Christ for years. He tenderly wipes off the ooze of self contempt. I wanted to be perfect and fell painfully short. My eyes have become clear.
Encouragement comes from unforseen places. Here is mine for you… don’t hold out for the words you desire from one particular source.
We are worth so much more than the value the world assigns to us. So much more.
I am surrounded by people who love me, who root for me, who believe in me powerfully. And that love has taken me so far, soothed me in my hurt. Sheltered me from life’s storms.
You can’t fix people, but keep giving the words anyway. Don’t give up because YOUR words, MY words have power. They might be just the impetus for someone almost there to keep on. The tongue of the wise brings healing (Prov. 12:18)
Today I know who I am, and if I am not good enough? That is okay by me. In fact, I’ll just set this out for the world now. I am not good enough, but I am loved by the only one who is.
I don’t need to be perfect. I won’t meet everyone’s needs. People will hurt me, and unintentionally I might hurt others. Life will be full of joy and disappointment. It is all part of the journey. Without encouragement of others, I might not be sharing this with you. It is a risky thing to put things like this out in public. Risky.
But I ask you, what is the point of learning on the journey if not to reach out and encourage someone else? I have no shame in my learning process, neither should you.
I am here to share my words with you. I pray they will encourage you today.
You are enough. Not good enough, but just enough. (Tweet that)
Why do you think people are resistant to sharing the less than pretty parts of life?
Please share this, join in the movement to encourage.