Alright, so I made a mistake in my last post. I said my goals for this blog were to be authentic and edifying. I guess I wasn't 100% clear on the definition of edification. I think the appropriate word for what I'm going for is encouraging.
I truly desire to be someone who lifts others up. It certainly is not always easy. Encouragement can twist into flattery if it isn't authentic. Encouragement can prove challenging after being hurt and wounded by people. I think if anyone desires to genuinely encourage and build people up, they need faith. Faith not in people but in God, Who is able to work in and through any life that will yield to Him.
I find sometimes that verbally encouraging others is difficult for me. If my mouth gets moving too quickly I can find myself saying things I don't mean. And that's definitely not okay. I need more of the Holy Spirit in my life, so that I can speak His words, His heart and His love over people. I also need His wisdom and understanding to know when to shut up. :) Just because something is true doesn't mean it needs to be said.
While I see great value in looking someone in the eye and speaking God's Truth over their life, my favorite way to encourage others is through writing. More than blogging, I'm talking about handwritten encouragement.
There are few things I appreciate more than receiving a heart-felt, handwritten letter or card. Can anyone else relate? A handwritten note shows that someone not only thought of you, but with intentionality and purpose they actually took time out of their day to express that thought to you. And that's just special!
Something else I enjoy about handwritten sentiments? I can read them over and over! I'll be honest, I don't have the sharpest memory. If someone speaks something encouraging over my life I try to write it down as soon as possible, because otherwise I'm likely to forget it. But when someone writes it I can (and typically do) read it again and again. I've re-read cards from 10 years ago that encourage me more today than they did when I first read them. Honestly. What sets these letters apart is the Truth of God's Word and the prayers that are written in them.
I recently stumbled upon a letter that was written to me in 2005. I opened it up and began reading page 1 of 9 handwritten notebook pages. Written on these pages were words of encouragement, Scriptures, poems and thoughts, followed by more Scripture and words of life. I was in tears by the time I reached page 9. It was written by a brother in Christ who passed away last April at the age of 26. He and I were not close friends, in fact we were only acquaintances; but you'd better believe he made an impact on my life. This one letter to me was full of the timeless, precious Word of God. Reading it again reminded me that writing is a practical yet powerful way to leave a legacy.Written words can be gifts that keep on giving if they are written in agreement with the Word and Spirit of God. Next time a friend is on your heart, prayerfully consider writing to them. If God leads you to write, I encourage you to carve out some time to do so. If you don't know what to write, pray for God to bring a Scripture to your heart. God's Word doesn't return to Him void (Isaiah 55:11) so even if you feel like you have nothing eloquent to write, that's okay! Simply taking time out to show that you care can make all the difference in someone's day.
Lord Jesus, I pray for myself and for everyone reading this post. Please Lord, teach us to encourage others as we should. Let our mouths be full of Your word, full of kindness, full of wisdom. Please give us understanding and discernment to know when to speak, and when to shut up. :) Let our pens be guided by sanctified hands and hearts that are set on doing Your will. Use us, Lord, to encourage and build one another up in our faith in You. It's all for You, for Your glory! In Jesus' name, amen! :) Sorry if any of this is nonsensical or scattered. I had finished this post an hour ago but lost my internet connection. Then the computer froze. Then after rebooting, half of this post was gone. Sooooo I did my best to reconstruct. Hopefully (prayerfully) I have written what God wanted me to tonight. Love and prayers, *megan