From a young age, I’ve been that friend that others confide in about all the “stuff” that happens in life. As someone with a happy disposition and a great love for friends and family, cheering them on is just something that comes natural for me. Just something that I do without ever giving it much thought. I point things out that they don’t see in themselves, nudge them towards a new direction that they’re afraid to tread towards, and share things about me so they’ll know they’re not alone. I want them to see and believe that their lives have meaning and purpose.
As much time as I spend encouraging others, you would think I’d have it all down pat. Nope. Even an encourager can become the discouraged. And where does the encourager go for encouragement?
As a follower of Jesus, I do know that The Great Encourager is always just a prayer away. Oh, I go to him all the time! But sometimes we just need a face-to-face with someone…soothing words…a touch…sincere and understanding eyes…someone to walk us through our discouraging moments.
I experienced such a moment this week, and in my discouragement and hurt, I did the unthinkable…something I rarely ever do…I vented…on Facebook of all places! *GASP!*
Seriously, I am not one to throw my dirty laundry out on a random post. I tend to stay in the background where I read, encourage, share amusing stories about my family or post the latest picture of what I’m eating for dinner. But someone said and did something that was so hurtful to me, I thought I would burst! So, I shared it for all to see. Mind you, nothing specific about anyone or anything…just that I was mad and hurt and I wanted the whole world to know.
I blurted out my feelings, hit “post” and then…almost immediately, began to regret it. I knew I should delete it…this wasn’t like me, but decided to keep it there for a while. I wanted to stew in my moment and show the world that I have feelings too. Can you hear the violins playing?
I started getting the question marks, one word comments, sad faces…and then the embarrassment really began to set in, but before I could go back and delete my random rant, more messages began to come in from none other than….encouragers!
It was a very awkward and pity-party moment for me, but all of a sudden the messages poured in to cheer me on, lift me up…even to thank me for my realness. My hurt, anger and embarrassment began to chip away as this army of encouragers surrounded me with some real life love, laughter, and most importantly, acceptance. It was beautiful – heaven sent.
Strike it up to another lesson learned: It’s okay to fall down sometimes. It’s okay to put ourselves out there. It’s okay to be real. Because sometimes…even encouragers need to be encouraged.