I sit in the small circle designated for “newer widows.” It’s a local monthly support group where we put on brave smiles while our hands fidget nervously in our laps.
Our leader comments how her late husband’s cousin traveled several states to watch her daughter walk across the stage at college graduation. They didn’t even have a close relationship, but the cousin wanted this widow to know that his family recognized the accomplishment. This cousin traveled for hours so she could speak encouragement into this family.
I blurt out, “I want to be that person!”
I mean it. I want to be the person who encourages, the person who goes out of her way to be a blessing, the one who chooses to be acutely aware of the needs of others.
I’ve walked a tough path these past three and a half years. My eyes have witnessed levels of suffering I didn’t even know existed before as I walked alongside my husband during his head and neck cancer battle and subsequent death.
As I reflect back, I am reminded of kind words spoken to me and how God used them as balm to my aching soul.
A nurse once said, “You take such good care of him.” It must have been our eleventh day for that hospital stay. In his two year battle, I hardly ever left his side. I was weary and on an epic emotional roller coaster, desperately clinging to God for strength, yet someone paused to share a kind word. It was like a cool breeze blowing over my fevered insides.
On one of those first few Sundays — attending church without my husband — a church member passed me in the parking lot and said, “You look pretty this morning.” It was such a simple comment as he continued on his route. He had no way of knowing I had stood staring in my closet mirror that very morning hit with the reality that there was no one to compliment me anymore. I’ll admit, it was a bit of a shallow, pity party moment, but let’s face it, girls of all ages like to hear they look pretty, and my husband said it to me often.
These were kind words I needed to hear.
During a one-on-one meeting regarding one of my children, a school administrator said, “You are doing a great job, Mom.” This, on the very morning I had spilled tears before God expressing to Him that this solo parenting coupled with grief guidance is too hard, that all too often I worry I’m not getting it right. But the encouragement given through one simple sentence felt like a lifeline for me to grab hold of and keep placing one foot in front of the other in my parenting responsibilities.
Our words are powerful. Even the simplest sentences that seem to be innocent and carefree can carry a pleasant aroma into an aching soul.
I am forever grateful for those who have spoken grace and encouragement into me. My mind is flooded with examples as I am sure you can reflect on encounters from your own life where a kind word ministered more deeply than the speaker could have ever imagined. Kindness reaches the depth of our sorrow, our insecurity, our frustration or our pain in a simple spoken word.
As a solo parent, I may not have the ability to drop everything and travel across the country to personally speak kindness into another, but I certainly have the opportunity every day to let kindness drip from my tongue to those around me.
I want to be the person who is sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s prompting when He moves me to speak kindness into the life another.
I want my powerful words to be used to reflect His love.
Related: Strengthen a friend with truthful words on a fun pouch, and remind her that you’re in this together, always.Leave a Comment