Years ago, when I was immersed in graduate studies, one of my mentors suggested I start an “encouragement file”. It was a casual, out-of-the-blue suggestion at the time, but one I now acknowledge as packed with wisdom.
Thankfully, I listened to my mentor and established an encouragement file back in 2003. First, one lonely note of appreciation jumped into it. Before long, it was joined by more. Through the years, while I might not have always known where I left my keys, I always knew where my encouragement file was, even if I wasn’t accessing it.
Today, I decided to open and delve into the file. It’s been more than five years. As a result, I’m now a total mess.
Notes of encouragement, appreciation and affirmation are thoughtful nuggets of precious gold to a recipient. As each is read, it makes a beeline for the heart.
Words that come from the heart, enter the heart.”Moses ben Ezra (1060-1139)
That’s why I’m an emotional mess. Fortunately, Melissa walked into the room, saw my glasses fogging up and brought me a box of tissues.
With tissues close at hand, I continued flipping through eighteen years worth of encouragement. Probably should have rationed that!
- I read a note from a husband, previously addicted to pornography, who felt God had used me to save his marriage.
- I read a heart-wrenching email from a brilliant single mum whom I’d asked to pray for me during a discouraging time of my life.
- I read a note of encouragement from someone who’d been present when I delivered my first sermon.
- I read an appreciative note from the wife of a counselling couple who had successfully healed after adultery and was joyfully celebrating subsequent anniversaries.
- I read a note from a friend whom I’d encouraged during a series of personal upheavals. He and his family were now thankfully in a better place.
Think about starting an encouragement file. Put it in a special, accessible place. Drop all of your supportive notes, emails and texts into it. Let them brew and stew and rub up against each other. They will never lose their power.
There will be days when the healing and loving words of others will minister to your heart. I predict it will be on a day God knows you need it.
Blessings on your home,
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