They met while Jill was coaching Leanne’s 13-year-old daughter, Shelby, on a junior high basketball team. Years later, when Shelby was in high school she got seriously injured, and Jill reached out to her with encouragement, prayers and notes filled with words Shelby needed to hear.
One day Leanne sat down and wrote a letter to Jill, thanking her for the difference she was making in her daughter’s life. She described qualities of a great coach, and how she saw those in Jill, calling her a “bright light” that shined in many lives, including theirs.
What Leanne didn’t know is that months later Jill would go home one night to an empty apartment feeling bombarded by feelings of despair, paralyzing self-doubts and a deep questioning of her purpose in life.
Battling clinical depression and living under the weight of feeling worthless, Jill contemplated suicide.
But that night as Jill pondered her fate, she opened her journal to write in it and a piece of paper fell out. Opening the note, she read Leanne’s words again. Words that reminded her how much she mattered. Words that convinced her she had a purpose and a life worth living.
The course of a life can be changed forever by words of encouragement.
Perhaps there are words of encouragement you need to hear today. Words to remind your heart that you matter; words that whisper the powerful promises of God’s heart toward you:
- “…you are a chosen [woman], a royal priesthood, a holy [daughter], God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light.” 1 Peter 2:9 (NIV)
- “Do not fear, for [He has] redeemed you; [He has] summoned you by name; you are [His].” Isaiah 43:1 (NIV)
- “For [you] are God’s masterpiece. He has created [you] anew in Christ Jesus, so [you] can do the good things He planned for [you] long ago.” Ephesians 2:10 (NLT)
- “In all these things [you] are more than [a] conqueror through Him who loved [you].” Romans 8:37 (NIV)
Oh that we would read and believe these words, and let them encourage those weary places in our hearts, our minds and our souls that need to be reminded we are loved; our lives really do matter. And then, let’s take these words and give some away. Because maybe, just maybe, these are the very words someone’s weary heart needs to hear today.
The Sovereign Lord has given me a well-instructed tongue,
to know the word that sustains the weary. He wakens me morning by morning,
wakens my ear to listen like one being instructed. Isaiah 50:4 (NIV)
Can you think of a friend, co-worker or someone in your family you could encourage with a note, a text, an email or phone call sharing just a few words to let them know how much they mean to you?
Let’s do this thing together. Share a name and what you’d tell them in a sentence or two- in the comments. Or if you’re in a hurry… simply share their first name and say “I’m in!” – then be sure to schedule a time to follow through this week.