Monday, July 20, 2009

Encouragement Addict

My name is Mrs. Pastor and I’m an addict. One encouraging word is never enough. I'm always hungry for more.

I read that someone did an experiment about the effect of encouragement on someone in a difficult situation. People were asked to stand barefoot in a bucket of ice water. Some people did this alone, and some people had an encourager standing next to them and cheering them on. The people with encouragers were able to stay in the ice water much longer than people who did it on their own.

I have a lot of nice friends and family. They say nice things to me. I know that they like me and think I do good and worthwhile things. Generally speaking, I like myself and say kind things to myself. No one would admire me for a disciplined devotional life, but I believe what God tells me about my worth in Christ.

For the first 3+ decades of my existence, this community of encouragement has been sufficient for me. I assume that these people will love and support me, and I know who to call if I need a boost.

But now that I’m in ice water and frostbite is setting in, I’ve become addicted. I’m kind of shy about asking for special attention from anyone. Desperate times have forced me to learn how to ask for pastoral care, ask friends to spend time with me for the express purpose of listening to my wounded heart, and to ask my depleted husband to find a little energy to listen to and care for me.

So far, everyone I ask has seemed glad to help me. Every time I feel overcome with gratitude and humility. Who am I to receive their attention and sympathy?

And now, I’m shedding all dignity online and begging people to help. Each of you is a miracle of support for me. The messages of understanding, encouragement, and appreciation for this writing give me a lift and sense of purpose and hope that nothing else could provide. Thank you. God bless you.


  1. I do wish that we didn't have to shout out for special attention. I do pray that I'm led to serve my neighbor and serve those who need me. I don't pray that often enough. I feel that when I do pray God does put people in my view so I can help out. Why don't I pray for this all the time? If we all did our quiver would be full of helping and no one would feel the need to call out for help. Then we would not find ourselves in desperate situations.
    OK I'm going to pray now for this. I think He already answered my prayer this morning before I even uttered it! What do you think?

  2. I'm pretty self-centered. I am always pleased to help people, but spend a lot of time thinking about my own stuff. If I could apply this to others, perhaps I wouldn't be surprised that I need to speak up. I trust God realigns my perspective through prayer.

  3. Mrs. Pastor, we are all addicts for positive reinforcement! I am just as guilty, though I think I haven't reached the place you have. I still look out for everyone else first and forget about my own needs until I am alone and realize I have them. Then, even then, I sit and think about how everyone else must be too busy for me and I shouldn't bother them. God gave you a wonderful support system and it's okay to use them! Even here online. I'll cheer for you and tell you that you are still a baptized child of God, a princess in His kingdom, and a precious sister in Christ. You are His and He is yours, and that, my dear, is the greatest encouragement of all!

  4. I love it. Thank you. Baptized child, princess, precious sister.


Thanks for using this space to share your encouraging words.