I walked quickly through the parking lot, pulling my wiggly four-year-old along, sweating and praying I could make it to the car before the tears spilled out.
No such luck.
As I reached my car, I heard my friend holler out her window, “And just where do you think you’re going? Hold on! I’ll pull around.”
And so she did. I opened the door for my kiddo and turned on the car and its blessedly cool air conditioning while my friend parked her car next to mine and waited for me to walk around to her. Before I could finish saying, “Hey . . .” the stupid tears were slipping past my oversized sunglasses and down my red cheeks.
I told her my story, sniffling and rolling my eyes and whisper-shouting so the kids wouldn’t hear. Like a good friend, she agreed with my take on the situation and said the words everyone longs to hear in the midst of an angry cry: “You’re right.”
She didn’t stop there, though. As she maneuvered her two little boys and newborn baby girl out of her van, she said, “You let me know what I can do. If you need me to babysit or host some play dates, I’ll do it. I’ll help you! I want to help.”
Then, after I tied her baby wrap and waited for her boys to move away from my car, we laughed at our awkward parking lot dance. She said, “Oh, I wish this wasn’t happening right now. I know you want to leave.” And I thought, “Oh, I’m so glad this is happening right now. What a blessing I would’ve missed if I’d already left.”
It was just a moment – and just a chance meeting, really. As my friend pulled into the parking lot, flustered with her own story, she had no idea that I was speed walking to my car, overwhelmed with mine. But she knew, when she saw me, that I needed some encouragement. And despite the three kids in her car and her own frustrations and worries, she took a few minutes to listen, to hug, to care.
And it meant a lot to me, that caring, that friendship, that encouragement. Because encouragement is a powerful thing. Whether someone has died, moved, gotten a new job, suffered a disappointment, gotten engaged or just found out that she accidentally enrolled her daughter in the wrong preschool class, a kind word goes such a long way.
How do you encourage friends and family? How do they encourage you?Leave a Comment
This is so lovely. I’m so glad that you found encouragement that day. The small things really do make a difference.
Eileen Jennings says
So often the best encouragement is to just listen, hug and care. We are all so busy these days and a little time is all it takes. We have to make time to encourage others. A friend of mine said she did not like to talk to people and would rush into a store and rush out so she could avoid people. I told her just a smile, meeting the eyes of others with a smile is encouragement. If you see a dress some one is wearing that you like, tell the person. If you see anything you like about another person tell them. In the 30 years sense someone told me to do this, only once did an angry person say, “as if I care”. It was their hurt speaking, so they shared it. I did not take offense but smiled back at her and continued to every time I saw her in the store. By the time I was at the cashier, she was crying and spilled her story to a stranger, we hugged, I never saw her again. But she was smiling when we parted.
melissa @jonahbonah says
you’ve just reminded me that i need to send a card to a friend who just made a BIG move to texas to pursue her dream to be a fashion designer. thank you!
Oh wow. I have been there, the one needing encouragement in a parking lot, crying and such. I love how God sends us just what we need and who we need right when we need it. Thank you Jesus!
Encouragement is really a powerful thing indeed. There are many times I have been down in the dumps and someone just emerged to encourage me that things were not as bad as I was thinking and thateverything would eventyally be alright and I have the courage to continuethe journey of life. I have also been thee when friends felt it was all over for thembut I used my personal testimony to lift up theirspirits and let them know that everything can and will be alright and they are also strenthened.
Beth Williams says
I encourage people by sending cards–via snail mail, cooking meals, or just listening to them talk about a situation. Sometimes, I try to give a nice compliment or just give them a smile.
People encourage me the same way. It could be a phone call, e-mail saying sorry about loss, whatever.
So glad that your friend took the time to stop–even in the parking lot.
Women Health − Encouragement is a Powerful Thing says
[…] Source: https://aws.incourage.me/2012/09/encouragement-is-a-powerful-thing.html […]