I am not an encourager by nature. In fact, I’m the exact opposite. If the glass is half full, I immediately get upset because someone didn’t do their job and fill it all the way up, or, someone spilled it and didn’t tell me.
My dad invented snark. (And generosity. He would literally give you the shirt off his back if he thought it would help you. Unless it was his favorite golf shirt. And in that case, he would go buy you one that looked exactly like it.) Unfortunately, the snark part is what stuck with me and it has matured into full on negativity as I’ve gotten older. My husband would continually have to remind me that I’m not everyone’s Holy Spirit when I saw things in their life that I didn’t like. Or he would tell me that “you catch more flies with honey than you do vinegar”. (which btw is a big fat lie. if you need to get rid of fruit flies, just put a 1/4 cup jalapeno juice in the bottom of a cup and leave it out for a day. there will be so many of those nappy things floating around in there. and if you don’t believe me, try honey. it catches nothing!)
But, for the sake of getting a point across, he is true. It’s hard to acquire and keep friends when you are a negative nelly. Trust me on this one. I’ve spent the last decade being that girl.
The one who tries to make herself better than everyone.
Who’s sole desire is to be super woman.
To never struggle with anything and to put others down so I will look better.
so NOT becoming of a lady.
It was when my whole world crashed around me that I realized I needed relationships with other women to help me get thru. To heal and cope. And because I had spent my life trying to not need people, I didn’t have a large support group. I had a few girls, who could see right thru the fake and “important” and saw me for me.
And they helped me (unbeknownst to them) realize that negative nelly needed to go.
Trying to be a more positive person isn’t easy. It seems like when you finally turn that part of your life over to God, He decides to throw you curve balls and sit back and watch how you are going to react. He will send people your way that need encouragement right when you feel like hiding under the bed.
He will send women to you that need you to listen and not talk, when all you want to do is scream at them for being dumb.
He will send complete strangers up to you at Wal-Mart with a life story that makes SportsCenter look like a fun way to spend your evening!
“Be kind. For everyone you meet is facing a hard battle.”
That quote has been going around Pinterest for forever. And it’s true.
The struggles in my life aren’t near as important as the woman who is battling nausea from her chemo, is at Wal-Mart to pick up her medicine and just needs someone to smile at her and listen while she responds to your “How’s your day going?”
Or the new mom who is weepy on the other end of the phone because she has been up all night with a baby who won’t stop crying and just needs you to say “I love you sister. Why don’t you let me come hold him while you take a nap.”
When I purposed in my heart to be the kind of woman who I wanted to be friends with, my whole world changed.
Sending an encouraging text is way less time-consuming than figuring out the right way to make your scathing text sound better.
Getting a letter in the mail that says “You are a great mom. Just wanted to let you know!” will cause you to break down in the driveway and bawl like you’ve lost your best friend. (Trust me on that one.)
I am blessed to be able to call literally scores of women, friend.
But this didn’t happen until I humbled myself and realized that my negative attitude wasn’t getting me anywhere fast.
Being willing to pour yourself out for someone else is exhausting and not fun at times.
But I can promise you that the reward for being available and encouraging is worth far more than you can ever imagine.
Take a few moments and encourage someone today.
“Words kill, words give life;
they’re either poison or fruit—you choose.” (Proverbs 18:21)
“Friends come and friends go,
but a true friend sticks by you like family.” (Proverbs 18:24)