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Wednesday, 1 July 2009

a little encouragement

A little encouragement would make all the difference.

Yesterday a little self-analysis took place, which always creates a mini squirm-athon. Telling the truth about yourself to yourself is not a particularly comfortable activity. I realised I am constantly seeking encouragement. I have things I want to do in life, aims, goals, ambitions, which I have told myself would be much more do-able with some external encouragement. A little push. A little praise. A little confidence in me that I can achieve these things. When I don't feel I am receiving this encouragement, I start slumping into gloom, unable to combat my fears and anxieties by myself. It's embarrassing, writing it so publicly, but I have realised it's true. Thinking, subconsciously, that I could achieve much more with the right encouragement. I just need to find it.

To clarify - I'm not saying I don't receive encouragement from those I love - I most certainly do. What I'm recognising is a tendency within myself to rely on others' encouragement, and flop backwards if I don't seem to receive it, especially from people I perceive as 'successful' in pursuing that for which I wish I had the same drive.

Yuk. I'm deliberately being harsh on myself because I think I need it. I need to give myself a push. I'm the only person who could get away with saying it, if you know what I mean. In some areas of life, we have to learn for ourselves. So I say to myself: get a grip.

And then another thought 'popped' into my mind. (Do have those interesting 'thoughts' that pop into your mind?!) If someone came to me in need of encouragement, would I give it? Would I notice? Would I see what a difference could be made in how I respond to this person?

What if...I reversed this tendency in myself - the tendency to need encouragement? What if it morphed instead into the ability to perceive where encouragement is needed? What if my aim changed - and I aimed to be an encourager?

Often our weaknesses can become our strength, through the power of the Spirit in our lives, producing fruits we could never conceive of - suffused with the love and kindness of God. Thus my hope today is that my need for encouragement can be transformed into an awareness of others' need for it. I don't expect this to happen immediately. Change is hard work, especially when it is a matter of character. I ask God to take my reluctant, anxious, uncertain side - that which needs encouragement, and change it into something focused on that which is entirely external to myself.

We often don't see the power of our words and actions - their potential ripple effects. Encouragement can change minds, hearts, lives - maybe even the world, just a little bit at a time. So instead of feeling desperate for a little encouragement, today I resolve to focus on giving it wherever I can...

A little encouragement would make all the difference.


simonrobert said...

Lucy: I hope that you've had a good day putting your new resolve into practice :).

This wonderfully honest and searching post will resonate in many a heart - as it does in mine. Your honesty is gift in itself and will encourage others without your knowing it. "The sower went out to sow ..."

I, for one, echo your "change is hard work", but I also share with you the sense that real strength has its roots in our weaknesses. Failures and "successes" alike, we're all in the same boat really, and reading your post today brought echoes of your earlier ...

a greater beneath
of the surface above
which is mere bubbling.

May your poetry continue to flourish. And encourage both channel and reader. I shall try to share your resolve.

Tricia said...

At the risk of sounding like a little old lady, this is the sort of thing that I wished I'd been more aware of at your age. I think it took me another ten years to grasp what you're learning now.


BrunetteKoala said...

Well written sister!

Everyone needs encouraged, one of the most common phrases in bible is 'encourage one another'....

"The desperate need today is not for a greater number of intelligent people, or gifted people, but for deep people."- Richard Foster