Encouragement

The lovely gift from DaySpring and the women of {in}courage. Thank you!

I’ve been thinking a lot about encouragement lately. How desperately I need it. How it’s the life blood of my soul. And how it’s linked to courage. And courage? I need me some courage. Courage, according to wise Webster, is the ability to confront fear, pain, risk and uncertainty. Small fears have mushroomed and snowballed overnight (over years?) leaving me practically paralyzed some days and wondering how to trust again with the faith of a child.

And God knew. And He met me.

This week, encouragement came wrapped up in a box delivered by the postman. A gift. For me? Oh yes…I remember. I had recently applied for a scholarship to a blogging conference sponsored by the wonderful women at {in}courage and DaySpring. And I didn’t get it. Oh, I really wasn’t surprised. I had actually expected that. And to tell the truth, I was a bit relieved. But I was absolutely overwhelmed when they wanted to send me a gift, just for trying. A gift to thank me, little ‘ole me, for trying. For risking my heart and sharing my story. And suddenly my childlike faith is growing.

Later in the week I received a sweet email message of courage from a new friend. Words like honey that, little did she know, gently calmed underlying fears and uncertainty I’d been wrestling with time and again. Encouragement builds courage to take more risks and battle with these crazy fears in my heart. My courage is inflating like a big, beautiful balloon, and I’m giddy with childish delight. These foolish fears start to melt away, and my faith is strengthened once more.

Proverbs 25:11 says, “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver.” For me this week, it’s an email and the gift of a necklace. Encouragement. Gold.

(I’m over the moon about this necklace! It’s so, so lovely. Really! A little courage clasped around my neck. Now to get it back from my little girl who loves it, too…)

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