In my time of crisis, words of encouragement from close friends were precious jewels I hid in my heart’s treasure chest.
After years of marriage struggles, my husband and I endured a brief separation in the spring of 2015. The day after he left, I spent hours on the phone with people on my support team.
Their words—affirming, validating, uplifting—were exactly what I needed when I didn’t know what would happen next.
My friends listened; they allowed a vent for my feelings. They affirmed how hard this must be for me, living out my own worst fears as a child of divorce. They validated the severity of the situation. Then they offered words of encouragement.
I worried our children would face the same lifelong struggles we’d faced as children of divorce. I touched a jewel from one friend: But you not only survived, you thrived due to your faith.
I worried a divided financial situation would lead to years of poverty. I held a jewel from another friend: God will provide.
I worried I would fall captive to a lifelong pattern of depression. I turned another jewel over and over in my hand: Be still and know that I am God.
A bright jewel I fingered every day in my crisis: We are praying for you. You are not alone.
I could not have faced our marriage crisis without words of encouragement from trusted friends. They cried with me, prayed over me, and challenged me. Their support helped me feel confident I could make it through, no matter the outcome.
Proverbs 12:25 states, “An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up.” My friends’ words lifted me up out of anxiety and pointed me toward faith and peace.
God wants me to encourage others during their times of suffering and crisis. I need to be a good listener. I need to validate their pain. I need to offer uplifting words. I need to be faithful in prayer.
I need to be brave and share my hardest struggles with people struggling in the same way. It’s so tempting to feel alone in struggles. I felt that way as a depressed teen, as a lonely wife, and as a separated mother of three. What carried me through those times is finding words of encouragement from others who understood, or from those who didn’t understand but were willing to pray.
It’s hard to find people willing to share their hardest stories. But those hard stories make for deep connection and validation. We must be brave for the sake of others.
It’s hard to find true friends who will faithfully pray and stick with you in the hardest times. Once you find those friends, they are precious jewels you will always treasure.
I will never forget what those people did for me in my time of crisis. Now, it’s your turn to reflect.
Have you endured a time of crisis when friends’ words gave you the strength to hang on?
Do your friends encourage you to exercise faith in hard circumstances?
How do you feel when someone says, “I’m praying for you”?
Who do you know that needs your words of encouragement today?
Blessings to you, Sarah
P.S. If you know someone who needs a bright jewel of encouragement, please share this post!
Copyright 2016 Sarah Geringer