Sunday, May 03, 2015

Encouragement for the Encourager

She's the one who understands your pain, the one who tries to pick up the broken pieces and mends them together as she speaks life into the hopelessness that surrounds you. She's the one who lifts you up, brushes you off and gently nudges you to get back out there and try again. She sweeps through like a cool breeze on a hot summer day, her words spring forth with reassurance and grace. Encouragement flows throughout her like a steady stream.

At the end of the day, when the world has fallen silent, she comes back to the place where her day started. She stares blankly at the insecurities and failures that plague her own soul and feels a sense of sorrow for all she is not. She wonders why that river of fortitude is barren when it comes to herself. Where are the words of comfort, the terms of affirmation that once surged around her mind like a violent storm? Did she use them up on everyone around her? Did she not save any for the girl looking back at her in the mirror? She's the one who raises you up, even when she can barely keep herself afloat.

I am an encourager. Helping others and speaking life into their all but hopeless situations really fires me up. I'm passionate about lending a shoulder to cry on or listening when someone needs to get something off of their chest. I am called to pour out love, envelope people with grace, and aid those who are hurting. I am the girl who is quick to pick you up whenever you stumble and fall. But I'm also the girl who struggles with showing that same love, grace and aid to herself. Reaching out to those in need comes naturally to me, but it's a different story whenever I'm the one in need.

I didn't even realize how much I struggle with this until a few nights ago. I was working at Target, manning the fitting rooms and I encountered a couple of women who were speaking poorly about themselves (more specifically their bodies) as they stepped out to hand me the clothing items they had tried on. I don't remember their exact words, but I do remember the sadness that I felt for them. I wanted both of them to know that they were beautiful. I wanted them to know that they were more than enough. Regrettably, I kept my thoughts to myself as I didn't want to make them feel uncomfortable. As they walked away, heads down in a mental defeat, I wondered why I was so eager to lift them up when most times I find myself speaking the same way about myself. Until that point, I had not thought about all the times that I could have (or should have) chosen to speak words of affirmation to the girl starring back in the mirror. I'm still learning to nurture myself the same way I so desperately wish to nurture others. Because when all is said and done, I'm probably the one who needs it most.

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