Therefore, encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.
1 Thessalonians 5:11 ESV
Our journeys are as unique as our husbands. Sometimes, our paths do not always parallel one another. However, we all need encouragement. I don’t know too many people who become frustrated with someone because they’ve offered up a little bit of encouragement.
Christ calls us to encourage. It is an important character trait as we learn to live in community with people. We are hard-wired for connection. One of the greatest benefits of healthy connections is the opportunity to encourage and the gift of being encouraged.
I miss the daily interactions between my husband and I. Looking back now, I realize his input, his listening to my thoughts and opinions and that little kiss on my forehead were all extremely encouraging to me. I didn’t realize how valuable they were until they were not there anymore.
I want to encourage, not accuse.
Dear sweet sisters,
I believe choosing to live and move forward into your future is one of the most courageous choices I’ve ever had the privilege to witness in a community. Letting Christ be your ash heap sculptor and your guide in the midst of such dark circumstances is so full of the faith Christ asks us to practice. You’re running your race well. The pace isn’t important, just keep moving. You’re amazing!
When it seems every appliance in the house is on its last leg and flat tires scream to be fixed.
Christ is there. He’ll help you find a solution.
When you need to vent about your rotten day.
Christ is there. He’s listening.
When you find yourself in a crowd full of people and you feel invisible.
Christ sees you. He chose you. He’s crazy about you.
I know this is the hardest life you never chose to live, and it takes every bit of intentional thought to move forward. You’re amazing!
If you are parenting while walking on this path and you haven’t heard this already. I want to be the first to tell you; you’re knocking this single parenting work out of the park. It doesn’t matter if you lost your cool or can’t catch up on laundry. You’re amazing!
I know you pour a double portion into your children and it’s one of the hardest things you’ve ever done. You strive every day to finish what you and your husband started as you parent your children alone. I get it. I live it. More importantly, Christ sees it and He’s oh so proud of you. I want to remind you, you are doing holy work. First Peter, chapter one tells us because of Christ’s resurrection, our inheritance will never spoil, perish or fade and our grief and the trials of this life are only temporary. You’re investing in His kingdom every day when you parent your children. Christ has your back and walking with Him through it means, you have this too.
Lastly, I want to tell you how important your perspective and your story is to the Kingdom. You have wisdom and insight you’ve received in the midst of your grief. In His time and at your pace, He’ll give you an opportunity to share with someone who is walking behind you on this grief road. Your voice is so important in your local community as well as the outer reaches of His kingdom. You’re amazing!
Father, Thank you for being the steadying force in our lives. I ask you to be with each and every sister in our community today, Lord. You know each heart and each need. You know when we sit and when we rise. I ask You today to help us be more aware of your unwavering love for us. Help us to push back the lies of the enemy. Help us to encourage and build one another up! We need You and we need each other. In Your Mighty Name, amen.
Jill is a writer/contributor for A Widow’s Might and aNew Season Ministries. Jill is smitten by the northern shoreline of Lake Michigan. It is her sanctuary. She takes every opportunity to spend time sinking her toes in the sand or swimming in its crystal clear water. In the spring of 2010 she experienced the hardest time of her life when her husband died in a motorcycle accident. She’s spent the last five years learning about the importance of walking by faith and not sight. Jill is now the torchbearer of the legacy her and her husband started twenty-five years ago. She is a mom to three strong and independent girls. Her most important goals are to honor Christ in everything she does, and to live life to the fullest in honor of her husband.
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