About the Author

Dawn Camp shares God’s gift of essential oils in her newest releases My Essential Oil Companion and It All Began in a Garden. She is a photographer, essential oil slinger, Mom to eight and Mimi to five. Dawn enjoys movie nights with her husband and steaming cups of Earl Grey.

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  1. Oh Dawn,
    thank you so much!! I needed these encouraging words, these words of love. I needed to be reminded like this. Now, at this time! Saturday I will visit a married couple with their five children. My beloved friends… They invited me so we can talk for more than one hour. I’m so thankful. And with your words only my mind I will enjoy this time more than without reading them.
    Be blessed!

  2. Dawn,
    I know how much I need a safe place in times of trial, but I needed this reminder to slow down and take time to really read others’ signs. When we get caught up in our own “stuff” it is sometimes easy to miss someone else who may truly be calling out for help. I pray that God would make me a safe place where others can be vulnerable and that I will show them the same love and grace that have been shown to me! Thank you for a very timely reminder…
    Blessings,
    Bev

  3. With being in a new place just 6 months, I miss friends very much. I am skyping this afternoon with a friend and I am thankful for that. . .but I long to know there is someone I can MUTUALLY share with in my new town. I want to be an encourager too. I’ve been told I’m a good listener so I would be glad to listen. . .but I don’t find others who also listen very well to trust quickly. We have had some very hard times in this past 6 months so I could sure use some myself. In fact, that has been my prayer. . .but we need to respond when God asks us to in order to be the answer to someone’s prayer. Great post, Thank you!

    • Monica, I understand that hesitancy to share. If you start by being an encourager, hopefully the ability to share your own needs will grow from it.

  4. Thank You for this. Papa dropped a precious woman in my life to be a ‘Safe”place for me. Now I need to start looking and being a safe place for others.

  5. As I read through this I just wanted to yell, “Yes!” This is my heart. I have had a chronic illness that has left me in chronic pain for almost 20 years. It means that my husband goes to church by himself a ton. It also means that I am forgotten about. As someone that used to be very involved in our church, I was amazed at how quickly the phone calls stopped and how alone I became. It has put a fire in my heart for both the the people and families in our situation and for the those that sit in the church pews. Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes! I have a head and heart overflowing with ideas, we are even in the process of starting an organization to do just that. Yes, yes, yes! How can I help?

    • Elizabeth, go to the website (incourage.me) and look at the top of the page for the Subscribe link. You can sign up to get new posts emailed to you.

  6. Dear Dawn,
    Things in the world these days have us moving at such a frenetic pace that it is easier to give the quick “Hi! How are you? That’s great. We’ll talk soon.” to people as we’re flying through our own lives. “Busy” & “Fine” are the stock answers we all seem to give and I’m not sure that we’re really ready to hear the real answer when we ask people “How are you?”.

    Having struggled for many years with a chronic illness and having a child with autism, when people ask me how I am doing, my canned answer is “Oh I’m fine. We have our days, but I’m fine, we’re all fine.” and then the subject usually changes to something we’re both more comfortable discussing. When someone re-asks the question, “No, how are you really doing?”, then I’m in trouble as I’m not sure I’m ready to answer that. Its easier to keep the wall up, shift the focus away & try to help someone else – its safer & far less vulnerable. “They need help far more than I do.”

    Your first paragraph brought my warm tears as I can viscerally relate to your comment “Warm tears run down my face and I instinctively struggle to hold myself together”. Its not even a conscious action, its deeper than that – “I can’t let them see how raw this really is & how hard life is right now in this instant.”

    When listening to a discussion about the Greatest Commandments recently, the speaker had an interesting take on it – Jesus tells us to love God and to love our neighbors like ourselves. He doesn’t tell us to just love our neighbors, but to love them like we love ourselves. I guess this is His way of telling us that its more than OK to find the safe place so we can then pass it on & be the safe place in return for someone else.

    Its amazing how with even the best of friends & family, we still keep ourselves protected. We want to be the fixers, the protectors, the ones who make everything all better, we don’t want to cause anyone to worry. Reality is that we all have things that need fixing and that there are people who want to help us as much as we want to help them. My personal challenge of pride & humility is to remember that God is one of those people who is always in my corner. That He doesn’t want the placated answers – He wants me to turn & fall into his arms the way I catch my daughter when they are hurting. That He wants to be the one to help fix things…kiss the boo boo & make it all better 🙂

    I hope you can tell this post meant a great deal – thank you for your amazing words & know that sharing your vulnerability has helped one who needed it.

    Peace & love from Massachusetts, Theresa

    • Theresa, thank you for your insightful comment. It means a great deal to me that this post meant a great deal to you. That’s always the hope here—to meet a need.

  7. This is so much harder than it sounds, isn’t it?

    For a good 15 years, I was everyone’s safe place. But those people could not deal with my hurts, my struggles and my vulnerability. It became either/or for me… I could focus on being a safe place for others, a place they could feel accepted and at home, OR I could try and be open with them. The first one seemed appropriately self-sacrificing and Christlike. The second seemed selfish, and also impossible–if I’m giving everything to those who need me, I don’t have any energy left to look for someone to listen to me.

    I’m beginning to learn that it doesn’t have to be either/or. But I’m still so afraid of opening up to others and having them feel hurt because of my own struggles, because my wrestling with God is different from theirs.

    • Sarah, you may need just one person to open up to. It sounds like you’ve been that person for others. Pray to find her and I pray the Lord will show her to you.

      • Aw, thank you so much.

        Awesomely, I think that this year God has brought me two already… it’s the accepting that is proving a (lovely, beautiful, nurturing) challenge.

  8. Sometimes being with other women isn’t a safe place. Finding those special ones who will love you unconditionally without judgement is what I strive for…

  9. I so want this but I’m so scared. Just reading this reduced me to tears. It’s taken me nearly 12 hours to be able to respond. Thank you for reminding me of what can be. Bless you X

  10. Love the reminder not only to allow ourselves a safe place (which as you pointed out, is much easier said than done sometimes!)
    but REALLY love the reminder to BE that safe place! That can do so much for us all. Thank you! Blessings!

  11. This is a beautiful post.
    It is so true-Inside all of us we have a deep yearning for connectedness & acceptance of the real “us”- yet we work so hard to put up the “got it all together” facade. what a trick of the enemy!
    Find a safe place- Be a safe place. thank you for sharing this wisdom into my day today,
    Blessings sweet sister xxx

  12. In the past I’ve needed encouragement for some “trouble times”, but now I find myself encouraging others. I am fortunate that many find it easy to lean in to me and just talk about problems. I listen attentively and pray for them.

    I also send encouragement cards & e-mails letting them know I care about them. This is what community is all about. God wants us to care for each other and lift each other up in prayer. The following scripture came to mind:
    James 5:16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so
    that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.

  13. Dawn, thank you for taking the time to write this post. A friend called and asked if we could get together to go shopping this afternoon; but after reading your post, I think that there may be more to her request than shopping. Thank you for making me aware of that. Also, I am one of those who puts on the façade of “AOK.” Thank you for commenting on that topic.