Thursday, October 4, 2012

Week 1--Encourage!!

Verb; to inspire with courage, spirit, or confidence

 When I was in sixth grade, my twin sister and I attended try-outs for cheerleading at our local middle school.  We went to every teaching time offered by the high school girls, got our jumps and kicks down pat, and were confident that we would make the squad.  Our parents encouraged us to do our best and watched hours of routines as we perfected them for the big day.  We went to the try-outs and felt so confident about how well we had done that we were completely shocked and discouraged when our names failed to appear on the list of those who had made the cheerleading squad.  I remember feeling like that was the biggest disappointment I had ever faced.
Fast forward to high school…my sister and I were blessed to audition to enroll in a performing arts high school in Fort Lauderdale.  I remember feeling the threatening outcome of my cheerleading attempt looming over me as if to say, “What makes you think this is going to be any different than that?”  What I would realize many years later was that was Satan lying to me; telling me that I wasn’t good enough, and worse yet, I never would be.  Many people in our church prayed for us that we would experience God’s favor and that His Will concerning this school would be done.  The auditions went very well, and we were accepted into the program!
How many things might have been different for me if I hadn’t let that first experience, and what I then labeled a failure, consume me?  I discovered that when I listened to those who were building me up, encouraging my pursuits and ambitions, and praying for me, I had successes.  But when I listened to those who would feed disbelief into my life, shoot down my aspirations, and who essentially gave up on me, I met failure and became depressed.  What’s worse is that at times, even family had fallen into the latter category.  I had to choose who I was going to listen to, and I still do in everything I think I want to do in my life. 
Today, you have the same choice to make.  Are there things you want to do as a career?  In your life?  For your family?  I would encourage you to find out what the Word says about your endeavors; surround yourself with Godly Christians who will build you up in your faith and the Lord’s Will for your life; and take time to pray and seek the Lord in that area, no matter what your age; whether you are married or not; have children or not; or are in school or not.
If you haven’t yet accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior over your life, start right there.  Ask Him into your heart to rule and reign over you.  Then tell someone about your decision! 

As C.S. Lewis said, “You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream!”

1 comment:

  1. Such a good example of encouragement--and such a good reminder. It is too easy to fall into dark doubt, question our "worthiness," and give up--and this often happens we are doing our best to answer God's call. No coincidence. That's why it's so very important to encourage each other, and to remember God's promise to give us hope and a future. He will never give up on us.