Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The gift of encouragement

These last couple of months, I have been blessed with a sympathetic ear. There has been a changing on the guard at the community home where Marilyn, my mentally handicapped charge, lives. The new administrator, J, and I hit it off, extremely well as we worked together for the common good of Marilyn. It was great having a sympathetic ear, when it came to my frustrations of what was happening.

Slowly these last couple of months, we have gotten meds straightened out, and M's attitude has improved so much. I have to admit, sometimes I feel like a mom with a child, when it comes to M's issues, and wonder why I made the promise to the Judge to make sure she was taken care of. But I know why I did it, and know that everyone deserves to have someone who will look out for them, when they are no longer able to look out for themselves.

Well, these past few days, have been rough for M - and we have had to deal with some medical issues with her, that hopefully won't make a move to the nursing home necessary. Tonight I had to run out to the home and check on her, and the new administrator said to give her a call, when I left there.

After checking on Marilyn, I thought I would give J a quick call, and just give her a quick report. I guess God had other plans. It seems as if J had a bad day, and so I gave her the opportunity to vent about whatever she needed to get off her chest. In her early 50's, lost her husband of over 25 years, 5 years ago, she is stronger beyond her years, but she doesn't realize it. Today was just a crappy day for her. As I gave her the quick update on M, I realized that maybe she needed a sympathetic ear tonight, and so I encouraged her to talk about how her day was.

When I got off the phone and realized that we had talked for almost 2 hours, I was amazed. As we shared back and forth, and she would ask personal questions about my life, I found that she was truly interested in how I came to do the work that I do. She was trying to encourage me, but in a round about way - it gave me so so many opportunities to be an encouragement to her.

I have to be honest in saying that for the past few months, I have found myself spending more and more time with God (that's a good thing), and not depending so much on human contact for the encouragement and acceptance that we all so desire. As I encouraged J not to give up and stay the course, God keep saying that to me in the back of my mind. I guess that is the amazing thing about encouraging someone. You can't encourage someone, without being encouraged yourself.

"Thank you God for allowing me the opportunity to, once again, use the giftings that You put inside of me, to give hope to another struggling warrior."

Let me encourage you - find someone who needs a little extra encouragement, and freely give it. I can almost guarantee that it will make you think less of the stuff going on inside of you - and you might even walk away with a smile.

Just a few thoughts,
Walking with the King,

No comments: