Grandparents, aunts and uncles were all visiting that weekend. The house was packed.
I don’t know why I came up with the idea, but I thought it would be fun to hide. I wanted to see what would happen, if I suddenly went missing.
I slipped behind our dusty olive-green couch, squeezing myself under it’s sagging belly. My legs slid in easy, along with part of my tummy. There I hid half contorted, like a gummy worm stuck between the wall and the carpet.
I waited and waited for someone to come look for me.
I eventually climbed out numb and stiff.
No one seemed to miss me.
No matter how old we get or how strong we’ve grown, we can all use encouragement.
We all find ourselves stuck in hard places —
— we wonder if anyone notices.
— we wonder if anyone cares.
When we are happy, is there someone I can dance the crazy-dance with?
When we are unsure, is there anyone I can talk to in run-on sentences and find them still listening?
When we’re pressed against our everyday lives, we wonder if anyone sees.
Of course, we get up, put on our shoes and gas in the car.
Still. Deep inside, we are all waiting for a chance to be known.
The times in my life I was most encouraged were the times I felt most invisible.
I might have only shared the very tip of the iceberg of worries — or glossed over something happy going on in my life.
Once in awhile, someone notices. There was more to the struggle or the excitement I was willing to reveal.
For some unknown reason to me, that someone will go to the store, stand in the card aisle, and pick out some words — just for me. She might have just pulled out her drawer full of envelopes and notes. I wouldn’t be surprised. But I’d imagine her committing pen to paper, signing her name and whispering a prayer in her heart for me.
In Honor of You
If you are one of these women who have a heart for those who are feeling invisible — this month at (In)Courage is in honor of you.
June is the very special month of (in)spired deals, highlighting one of the most treasured gifts I have ever received: the gift of encouragement.
I know for a fact, my heart would not be as alive — embracing both my scars and my blessings — if it weren’t for women like you.
You are the ones that God sees and says with cheer —
“We all have different gifts, based on the grace given us… If it is encouraging, devote yourself to encouraging others.” Romans 12:6-8
“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” 1 Thess. 5:11
There is often a lot of spotlight given to the more “up-in-front” spiritual gifts like evangelism or teaching. But the spiritual gift of encouragement is no lesser just because it is hidden.
Jesus Himself encourages us with the work of giving in secret —
“…so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” Matthew 6:4
Sometimes, when we send out cards, we may not hear back, for reasons we don’t know.
God says those cards we send are beautiful gifts He sees and values.
And He rewards us with refreshment in return.
“A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.” Proverbs 11:25
Nurture God’s Gift In You
Because of the encouragement I have received, I love serving up encouragement as often as I can.
You see, I am still learning to dare with my heart, to share the hurt and the joys.
Courage to be friends.
Courage to face hard times.
Courage to celebrate good times.
Courage to be loved — not invisible.
Take some time to nurture your gift of encouragement.
* Browse the wonderful (in)spired June products — cards and gifts — here at the DaySpring Store.
* Use the (in)spired special June coupon: JUNE20. This month, you can save $20 on any $50 order (spend $70 and you get free shipping too).
* As you look through this month’s (in)spired deals, I know you might disappear for a while, imagining faces of old friends and new, opening up an envelope or gift in the mail. Just from you.
Share A Post
I’d love to get encouraged by your words, too.
Share a post from your blog on how you’ve been encouraged — whether through time with God, with friends, or through journeying in everyday life.
Just submit the url of the your post below.
I’ll be making my way, to drop by to read and visit with my cup of coffee, my heart beating with anticipation, of being with together with you. Encouraged and no longer alone.
What encourages you when you feel invisible?
By Bonnie Gray, the Faith Barista serving up shots of faith for everyday life.
Win your pick of DaySpring’s Premium Greeting cards: Visit Faith Barista tomorrow Thursday 6/2/11. DaySpring will be giving away two Greeting Card packs at the Faith Barista Jam there.
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