Standing in my boyfriend’s kitchen, I looked to see what time it was. Panic rushed over me when I realized I had five minutes to get home for curfew, and two many miles between his house and mine to make it. Mom had said if I missed curfew again, she would ground me for a month.
I ran to my car and raced the clock to get home. Hands gripping the steering wheel, I came to a familiar curve going a little too fast. The roads were slick from an earlier rain, and I turned to the right to avoid crossing the yellow line. My small car spun out of control before hitting a ditch and flipping. The sound of crashing glass and metal filled the air as my car tumbled over and over in slow motion.
Within ten minutes, police and paramedics arrived and found my car lying on its side with the driver’s side crushed, the windshield partially shattered and the rest of it completely gone. I was no longer in the car. Paramedics searched the field where my car had landed, but my body was nowhere to be found.
I had forced the passenger door open, climbed out and ran to the highway to flag down a car and got a ride back to my boyfriend’s house where his parents drove me to the hospital. My mom met us there. Walking through the sliding glass doors of the ER, a police officer greeted her and then described the accident as well as the damage to my car.
It was completely totaled. Miraculously, my life was not.
I remember my mom walking into the room where I was, taking my hand and telling me, “It’s a miracle you are alive. God must have a plan for your life because He spared it tonight.”
Evidence of the accident was minimal, only a few bruises across my forehead and nose.
Evidence of God’s hand was clear. I wasn’t wearing my seatbelt yet I wasn’t thrown through the windshield, and although there were several two-liter glass coke bottles in my backseat, none of them hit me.
Not a Christian at the time, I don’t know what I believed about God, but I wanted to believe my mom’s words, “God must have a plan for your life.”
What my mom didn’t know is that months later, I would enter into a long battle with clinical depression. Over time, my heart became familiar with feelings of despair, fear, self-doubt, and hopelessness. Living under the weight of feeling worthless, I contemplated suicide but as I considered taking steps towards ending my life, my mom’s words echoed in my thoughts. Looking back, I can see how God used my mom’s words to convince me He had a purpose for me and had determined my life was worth living.
The course of a life can be changed forever by words of encouragement.
Perhaps there are words you need to hear today — words that 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! Let them encourage those weary places in our hearts, our minds, and our souls that need to be reminded we are loved and our lives really do matter. And then, can we 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)
Let’s do this together. 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 a few words to let them know how much they mean to you? In the comments, share their name and what you’d tell them, and then be sure to schedule a time to follow through with them this week!
The course of a life can be changed forever by words of encouragement. -@ReneeSwope: Click To Tweet