About the Author

Kristen Strong, author of Back Roads to Belonging and Girl Meets Change, writes as a friend offering meaningful encouragement for each season of life so you can see it with hope instead of worry. She and her US Air Force veteran husband, David, have three children and live in Colorado...

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things we love
& you will too!
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Reader Interactions


  1. Oh amen! This? “encouragers not only posses their own talents but have keen eyes for the talents of others, too.” …. beautiful. Off to share this post with our (in)courager leaders to give them a little love today – thank you so much for this post!

  2. I just wanted to let you know that God used this to reinforce what He told me on the first night of the Drive Conference in Atlanta! Wow… I am blown away!!! So, I was sitting at Northpointe the first night, we were worshipping, the spirit of God was so strong in that place that night. I asked God, what am I suppose to do? He told me that I am suppose to encourage, that there are many in this life that are just waiting for a word that will keep them going. Got the goosebumps all over! THEN, this morning while having some time with God, I look at twitter and somehow this was on my page!!! WOW!!!! God is so AMAZING, I can’t even begin to tell you 🙂 Thank you SO much for this post.

    • Oh, this gave me goosebumps too!

      The right word at the right time positively can give you just the fire you need to keep on keepin’ on. Beautiful! Encourage on, sister!

  3. To change up 2 Corinthians 1:4 a bit, “He [encourages] us in all our troubles, so that we can [encourage] those in any trouble with the [encouragement] we ourselves receive from God.”

    It really is like a super power!

  4. Wow. It was your description of zealous that got to me. I have been accused of being too positive and too darn happy, and yet, I do continue to sling love like there’s no tomorrow.

    Thanks so much for these words. I didn’t even know I needed them today, and yet, here they and you are!

  5. Just your post today helped. Just enough to get out of a slump. Thank you.

  6. Thank you for the encouragement! I was sitting here planning my day in my head and not really paying attention to my bible. And so I refocused here. And BLAM! There you are! So I will go back to my bible right after I email this picture to some very important people!

    Thank you for the smack to the back of the head! 🙂

  7. Kristen, what I have seen in your writing, your tweets, and so much more – you are all these things. I hope you know that today. You are always raising people up with your gift of encouragement.

    Thank you for this…I’ll be forwarding it to my closest encouragers…

  8. Kristen this was wonderful! What a gift YOU have for being an encouragement! This was so affirming, uplifting and a reminder for me this morning of who God designed me to be. Thank you for responding to what the Spirit placed on your heart to write today. <3 Now, after I get my kiddos settled, I am going to write what God laid on my heart earlier this morning!! God bless you richly sister. <3

  9. Oh- thanks for this! I’ve been feeling a bit wimpy these days. There are some situations going on with my adult offspring where I’ve feel like I should be able to be the hard-hitter, bluntly disapproving mom with my strong and forceful words of change, but I just can’t seem to bring myself to do it. Instead, I’m the one saying, “I’m running out – Can I pick you up some coffee?” and “How’s your day going?” and doling out the usual hugs and kisses admist the strife. Fortunately for me, I have a spouse who has learned the graceful art of lovingly confronting and is doing all the heavy lifting at this juncture. Meanwhile, I just keep on raising my pom-poms and telling them that the world’s their oyster, rah rah shish boom bah; and we’ll always love you.

    I get to feeling weak because I’m not the one doling out the tough love; yet there were many instances in the past where I did just that. I sense God telling me that He’s provided someone else in the house that can do it this time, and I can just keep on cheering.

    So far, I’m okay with that!

  10. Thanks, dear Kristen … you have brought tears into my eyes this morning. Your post was written just for me today. I am known as an encourager, people say that all the time. To see those qualities in vibrant color and say ‘YES! that’s me’ is really lifegiving.

    And your words help solidify my role in this Christian blog world so many of us call home. No, I am not a fabulous teller of stories. I’m not a fun, young mom, and my writings are not necessarily eye-catching. I doubt few are rolling on the floor with laughter as they read, the stats aren’t rocketing through the roof on a regular basis, and comments can sometimes be few and far between. It’s been awhile since I was asked to do a guest post or was linked to by another blogger.

    It can be kind of reminiscent of being one of the last to be picked in gym class … standing there, knowing that no one’s all that excited to have you around. And pretending not to care.

    But ‘making it my goal to please Him’ is still my mantra. Writing from the persepctive of a coach and pastoral counselor is what I do best. And I LOVE it!

    I will not try to be Ann Voskamp or Sarah Bessey or any other extraordinary writter. Because that’s not my gift. I am a counselor with a pastor’s heart. And that’s who I will continue to be. And trust God that the ones who should wander over to read my writings will do so because He sent them there.

    Again, thanks for helping me clarify this, Kristen! Yours has been a healing post … bless you for putting this on the table.

  11. I so long to be an encourager. I have a friend who is wonderfully gifted in this area, she’s intentional but you can tell she means every word of it. I think fear keeps me from speaking up and into the lives of others. I would rather pray blessing over someone than speak it. I sometimes feel wimpy because I don’t always encourage.

    Thanks for the encouragement to be and encourager!

    • Oh goodness, I hope my post doesn’t imply non-encouragers are wimpy! No, no, no, far from it. Encouragement is just one of the spiritual gifts mentioned in Romans. Your gift at praying over others moves mountains, Kimberly. And obviously, there’s nothing wimpy about that.

      So thankful to have you in this family of (in)courage. You are a gift. xo

  12. Thank you so much for your encouragement! I truly enjoyed and resonated with this post. It is beautifully and wonderfully written; and brings joy to my heart!

  13. I love, love, LOVE this, Kristen! I’ve been accused of being too cheerful and fake online and also of seeking encouragement to feel better about myself, but, the truth is I NEED encouragement just like anyone else. And what’s wrong with that??? Because the truth is that life IS hard and we ALL need a little encouragement on those days that life is hard. I believe the only way to fight lies and hurt is to shout truth from the rooftops. I share my faults and my failures not to seek a pity party or feel better about myself, but to let other women know they’re not alone and because the only way to really find community is to be REAL. I encourage because I’ve been encouraged; I love because I’ve been loved. I love this: “You are zealous. In a world that freely flings insults, you sling love like there’s no tomorrow.” because that is my motto every single day. The encouraging words I share are not “wishy-washy” or “hogwash”, but truth wrapped in love, sung from the rafters and shouted from the rooftops. I need those words just as much as anyone else.

  14. Wow, you have no idea what this meant to me this morning. I would only add one thing, The hand that weilds the basin and towel will most often feel the knife. God will never let you superficially do anything. Not in my experience. He will always make you walk the valley first… then the words come to heal another.

    Thank you for this. I have told other many times they were world-changer’s. This is the first time in 62 years someone has told me. God bless you for that. I needed a little encouraging myself today.

  15. I have a dear friend who always thought of her strength as an encourager as a lesser gift, one that didn’t matter as much as intelligence or leadership. I am passing this along to her today and attempting to soak in all the truth, as well! I know I have not always used my words wisely, but today I’m claiming the word healing. Kristen, thanks so much for your words and your faithfulness in sharing this message!

  16. Kristen,
    Thank you so much for your post. I have been told (and tested) that I have the spiritual gift of Encouragment. Sometimes I have thought…oh gee wow…can’t I have something really cool and dynamic like Evangelism?? Your post has encouraged me to be me today. I am an encourager and I give glory to God for that. Carry on sister encourager!!

  17. I love this, Kristen. 🙂 As I’ve been reading through Holley’s book and soaking up the wisdom of my (in)RL and online friends and dream team sisters, God has just been continuing to impress this on my heart: to be who He’s created me to be. And part of that is often-over-the-top, want-to-make-your-day-a-little-brighter, encourager, me.

    Most of the time I love that about myself, but sometimes it’s hard. When I text a friend to see how they’re doing or leave a little love, or write a comment to encourage someone…and they get ignored. I know I shouldn’t take it personally, but it sometimes makes me feel so small and insignificant. For He has given me words, and if others don’t acknowledge those, then how am I of any value?

    And then He gives me a gentle whisper and a nudge and reminds me that I am who I am in Him…and exactly who He created me to be. And that’s enough. And I should keep encouraging others. 🙂

    I know you didn’t write this for me, but thank you. It was full of reminders that I needed today. Blessings, friend! 🙂

  18. This is a much appreciated pick me up today. Thank you. I hope I am seen as an encourager. Often times I think my voice isn’t important or heard. Those are just Satan thoughts. Thanks for bringing me up today.

  19. So beautifully put, Kristen! What an encouragement your words are today! And thank you for the lovely free printable!

  20. Thanks for the post. It’s true. It’s a calling, a gift from God – like “fire shut up in our bones.” Thank God someone cares enough to encourage me. Let us look for the good in all people. Not surface, but seeking God’s eyes and heart to speak His grace to others. Again, thank you. You have encouraged me today.

  21. Thank you! This mean so much to me today. I’ve been told I’m an encourager.

    I know I love listening and feel so incredibly deeply.


  22. Amen to that! To my mind, encouragers are strong because the best of them give and give to others, and don’t always get much back in return. And they’re perceptive – it takes a special, God-given eye to see what sort of encouragement is needed and when to say those words.

    And I think you’re a great encourager!

  23. Wonderful words of encouragment to an encourager. I am blessed each and every time I have the opportunity to speak life & love into another person and am humbled and honored that God would bless me, just plain ole me, with such a special gift. I pray I never loose sight that my gift is intended to draw others to Jesus.

  24. Love.This! Thank you SO much, Kristin. Seriously, from an encourager who is also a bi-vocational pastor’s wife (and city girl artist 😉 living in a small, rural community that does not foster encouragement….well, this was water to my soul! 🙂 Thank you! May God richly, richly bless you two-fold and then some for encouraging with courage and love.

    • Thank you, Rebekah, for speaking life into so many in an environment that must feel so foreign, in an environment where you might feel you give more than you receive.

      You’re always at home in Christ, and you’re always at home here.

      And thank you for making me feel at home with that kind blessing. You are a treasure!

  25. This is so what I needed to read today! I recently began to question myself about who I am. I even have tried to change because I felt underappreciated, but I had no success. God completely used this to confirm I am what He created me to be and I don’t need to doubt my personality. Even when no one respects me, treats me right, or returns the heartfelt emotions. Every encourager, person who loves deeper or more than usual, supporter, and/or minister should read this. Hopefully this renovates their thinking and enables them to capture the beauty behind being the strength for other people. I genuinely praise God for this article!

  26. Kirsten, you are WONDERFUL!!! You’re a word artist! You will never know how timely this post is to me! The enemy of my soul has been bombarding me with cynicism and discouragement…the very opposite of God’s original design He created me to walk in, as an encourager.

    I was in an aching funk, and like the prophet Jeremiah, said to myself, “well, I just won’t speak anymore.” But just like with Jeremiah, His words are a fire in my heart, and I can’t hold them in! Thanks for pouring such healing oil of affirmation and CONFIRMATION on these dying embers, and sparking the flame to restoration!

    Grateful XOXOX’s,
    nina ruth 🙂

  27. Kirsten, you are WONDERFUL!!! You’re a word artist! You will never know how timely this post is to me! The enemy of my soul has been bombarding me with cynicism and discouragement…the very opposite of God’s original design He created me to walk in, as an encourager.

    I was in an aching tailspin, and like the prophet Jeremiah, said to myself, “well, I just won’t speak anymore.” But just like with Jeremiah, His words are a fire in my heart, and I can’t hold them in! Thanks for pouring such healing oil of affirmation and CONFIRMATION on these dying embers, and sparking the flame to restoration!

    Grateful XOXOX’s,
    nina ruth 🙂

  28. Fun to meet so many other encouragers here today, who are blessed deep by these words. A friend sent me this post because she said it reminded her of me, so I wanted to meet this kindred spirit who just lays it out there! 🙂 Of all the things you shared, this one hit my core: You treat wounds by speaking life into souls and strength into hearts. It’s what I hope–long, really–to do, what keeps me going in the middle of the battle that is my own life with challenging kids. Thanks for this. I’m filing it in my “read often” folder!

  29. Kristen,

    I’ve often wondered what my “God-given”talent was. I have discovered it is the gift of encouragement. I do it through words, sending cards, prayers, making meals for people.

    My first thought when I hear of a need is what can I do to aleviate that need–buy some food, prepare a meal, go visit and just sit quietly. So what if I’m thought of as passive–I don’t want to lead & be in the limelight. I just want to show Christ to others in any way I can to as many as I can as long as I can!

  30. I love 🙂 this post!!! So encouraging to the encourager! Thanks Kristen for this amazing post! I enjoy reading your post!

  31. This could not have come at a better time. Thank you so much for encouraging me today! I have been sick for 2 solid months and my normal “encouraging self” is worn out and needing some pick me ups myself. This blog sure did it! And I love the print out that will go straight in my journal when I get home. Thanks for speaking love into my life today!


  32. Such a fantastic post! Thank you for not only encouraging this encourager, but also to remind me of things I need to work on as an encourager. His Grace will come. Again, THANK YOU! You are a blessing!

  33. wow, I am an encourager and as I was reading that I wondered
    “could all this be true? is this really me?” Thank you for encouraging an encourager because sometimes we feel as if it’s not enough and we desire to do more.
    I can’t say thank you enough

    • You already do more than you know, Glo. Your Father is mighty proud of you. I pray you feel that today in the deepest parts of your soul. Thank *you* for blessing others – and living Jesus – so wildly and authentically!

  34. Thank you so much. I needed that in the deepest parts of me. As an encourager, lately I have felt jaded because it is easy to be taken for granted or overlooked as nonessential. There are even those who will take your encouraging to build themselves up, and unconsciously treat you with contempt. I love encouraging others, it’s what I do. Your post has opened my eyes how Satan wants to minimize this very important gift from God. Seeking to tear us down. I did have a word from the Lord about this the other day, and he said, ” you encourage everybody else, but do you do the same for yourself?” And I think that is something to be keenly aware of…as we pour out love that God has poured in, are we encouraging ourselves? God bless you. Thank you!

  35. Thank you, thank you, thank you Kirsten! I know that I know that I know that I’m an encourager, that’s what the Lord does through me most significantly and it thrills my heart when He does. I’ve not seen much written about this kind of ministry before and I’ve Never seen it laid out so clearly! A friend sent me the link to this piece as a thank-you for encouraging her ~ this was a great, big, huge encouragement and hug for me from the Lord (and you, of course) and I’m so grateful for it and thankful to the Lord and you for the gift!

  36. I’ve read this about three times now. I sigh, smile, and think, “Yeah… she *gets* it! Thank You, God!” It validated my heart and it reminded me so big that encouragers also NEED encouragement from time to time and we have to find those kindred sistahs and LIFT them up. Warriors are much more effective when linked together in the fight. Woot! You rocked it, girl!

  37. thankyou, i love to encourage others and pray to be blessed to be a blessing, right now it is hard as i have just come out of a broken relationship and i still so so love the guy, despite this i lean to god and pray still that he blessed me to bless others out of my hurting, god heals and i trust him as i forge on with him holding me, sometimes i cry out and feel sick then i praise god and cry more and know elation has he is working in me, why i split from my boyfriend, i will not really ever know if he got scared but god knows and i leave that with him, yes i still love my ex but i trust god for everything and may i never give up seeking his will for my life and continuing to lean into him as he strengthens me daily, this seems a jumbled message but hope it blesses or helps others if they are struggling too, know god will never leave or forsake you, go girls, god will not dissappoint, do i get an amen, love vickixx

  38. Kristen, I am just getting around to this post. LOVE!!!!!! I was moved to tears! On one hand, I feel that I am an encourager and on the other hand, I feel that I have a long way to go. I am filled with such passion and satisfaction when I speak life into others and speak to their potential. I love helping people find their passions and connecting them with walking them out.