I just wanted to take a few minutes to acknowledge something that seems to have been coming up in my life a lot lately: encouragement.
Now, I try to be nice and give compliments to strangers or encourage my friends, but lately people in my life seem to have been taking this to the next level.
I’ll give a few examples.
At a recent work dinner, I had several people that I work with remotely who were in town ask me about my writing and encourage me out of the blue. As we were leaving, the waitress, who I hadn’t even realized had been around when I was talking about it/been around long enough to know what we were talking about, wished me luck and told me not to give up.
Today, the mother of a friend from high school who works at my local bank caught me as I was leaving and asked me how my writing was going. She asked me where she could find my work, and when I came back in to give her my card, she told me she was bragging to the other employees about how persistent I’ve been and how cool it is that I haven’t given up.
Friends comment on my posts to tell me I inspire them, others follow up and ask me how my writing is, and some things that encourage me happen in such a way that I think they’re just for between God and me and I don’t even want to share them.
Now, the point of me writing all this isn’t to brag about how people compliment or encourage me (though I am exceptionally grateful that they do), but to point out something we can always use reminders to do: encourage each other.
As anyone who reads this blog knows, I’ve been working on becoming an author for a long time. And when you’ve been chasing any dream for a long time, you know that sometimes you can get discouraged.
The waitress had no way to know that. Nor my friends and family (at least if I don’t tell them), the woman at the bank, or any of the other people from my church and community who regularly encourage me and call out the best in me. And that’s not to say that I’m usually in a state of discouragement until people do those things (in fact lately it’s been quite the opposite), but the point is that we really never know just what those little comments and cheers can do for someone.
It’s funny that this should happen while I’m working on the book I’m working on now. In Story Grid terminology, it’s an action/labyrinth story, or for those unfamiliar with that methodology, a story about life or death stakes in a labyrinthine setting. One of the conventions of a story like that is to have help come to the hero from unexpected sources.
Well, if you’re living right now, it should. What more labyrinthine setting is there than this world we navigate day to day, what higher stakes than how we choose to live every day?
We can be that unexpected source of help for someone navigating that same world, for someone facing those same stakes.
That is amazing.
God speaks to us in all kinds of ways. One of them is through other people. For a long time, I doubted myself as a writer, whether or not I was good enough or if it was really what God had for me.
Now, every time someone tells me to keep going, every time someone encourages me not to give up, or calls me an author, I am encouraged in my calling, in the work I believe God has called me to do.
We can be that for other people.
So encourage the people around you. Follow up on their passions, ask them questions, call out the best of what you see and think that they can be. You never know the power your words can have on someone, how uplifting you can be to someone else.
Help often does come from unexpected sources.
Let’s be that help.
Hebrews 10:24. “And let us consider how to spur one another on to love and good deeds.”
Thanks for reading.
So, what about you? Do you have stories of when others have encouraged you? Of how someone’s kindness spurred you on or had a huge impact? How have you encouraged others and how else can we all grow in this area? Let me know in the comments below, and if you want more content like this, please follow me on social media or here on the blog using the links below or in the sidebar. Thank you!