The Encourager

One positive aspect of having your house thrown into chaos by a renovation is the necessity or opportunity to do a bit of purging as you make the effort to reassemble your living space. While the electrician has been putting lights and electrical outlets in my kitchen today, I have been puttering around doing little bits of cleaning, organizing and purging. I tidied up the massive hoard of journals in my night-side table and came across a small stack of cards and notes from my old, best friend who is no longer even a friend. Why do I keep them? Because I am sentimental and there is value in the expression of words, even if the relationship no longer exists. Right? I only glanced at the stack as I moved it from the night-side table to the box under the bed where I keep those sorts of things, but my eye did stray long enough on one note to pull it out for a re-read.

I skimmed the words quickly, because I could feel the sting of threatening tears and really didn’t feel like having an emotional break-down with a stranger just down the hall. However, I did focus on one sentence.

“Angela Thompson is quite possibly the kindest, most tender-hearted, loyal and encouraging woman I have ever met, and is truly gifted in writing and encouragement.”

So much has occurred since September 2003 when those words were written. The loss of that friendship hurt me deeply, and I know that I retreated, dug deep, and drowned in bitter tears. I lost sight of who I was and what made me come alive. Thankfully, the past few years have brought changes inside and out. I know who I am again. I know what excites me and brings me joy. I remember how much I love to encourage and bless others. My heart is tender once more. Although my sense of loyalty has never wavered over the years, I am no longer keeping myself safely locked away. I will always doubt my talents, but those doubts won’t stop me from being who I am.


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