My purpose in writing is to encourage you and assure you that what you are experiencing is truly part of God’s grace for you. Stand firm in this grace. 1 Peter 5:12b (NLT)

Liz Curtis Higgs writes in her devotional Rise and Shine, “As encouragers, we’re called to exhort, beseech, comfort, console, strengthen, persuade, support, sustain, cheer, embolden, entreat, build up, appeal, urge, and invite.” There are the “professional” encouragers, which include pastors, teachers, speakers, and writers that use the gifts God has given them to influence a larger audience. However, more often than not, it is one-on-one encouraging that we experience. As a mother, one of my goals is to be my kids’ biggest cheerleader. I also want to be the kind of friend that takes phone calls with a sympathetic ear, willing to lend support or comfort. Or, maybe, it is an enthusiastic shout of shared joy. Yet, the desire of my heart is to strengthen the weary band of wanderers on this journey to the Kingdom of Heaven. I know how easy it is to take one wrong step, stray from the path, and get lost. There was a time in my life where I needed a friend to challenge me, urge me to listen to the truth, and ultimately to invite me to follow the path God had set out for me. She never condemned me but always loved me. I know that her friendship and counsel made an everlasting difference in my life. That may be one reason why I am doing things I never thought I would do – speaking and writing. Think about your response to your family and friends and choose to be an encourager. The results are worth the effort.

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