Enjoy this guest post from my friend Angela Howard – one of the most magnificent women I know. Have you ever felt disqualified? I know I have. Just hearing Angela’s story brings me hope – and her book How to Love Your Crazy Family: 52 Quick Reads for No Ordinary Days is amazing.
While facing a broken marriage and my husband’s diagnosis with bipolar 2 disorder (find out more about our story in my bookHow to Love Your Crazy Family), I found it difficult to imagine that our lives would ever be “normal” again. Despite the fact that we were both fighting to repair our marriage there were times that it seemed like the healing process was only causing more pain. Desperately wanting wholeness for our family we held on to any words of hope and encouragement that came our way. At the time I also wondered if I could continue to minister as a speaker. I knew that I had a calling on my life but felt so discouraged in my brokenness.
Am I Disqualified?
I remember walking into the office of my friend and mentor Jodi Detrick. I spilled out our whole messy story and expected her to ask me to resign from the Northwest Women’s Department Team and tell me that I had been disqualified for service. She did the complete opposite. We recently chatted about that day and she said, “I saw something in you, even in your brokenness. I knew God had great plans for your life.” She encouraged me that day saying that she believed that God would restore our marriage. And then she went a step further. She told me that she was confident that God would use this experience in my life so that I could help others.
Walking out of her office that day I felt hopeful. Her encouragement gave me the faith to keep moving forward in spite of my circumstances. She has used this incredible power of encouragement repeatedly over the last 10 years—most recently when I received my ministerial credentials. I feel like I have my own personal cheerleader but I know she does this for many others as well.
Encouragement Propels You Forward
When I had the crazy idea to write a book I received some amazing encouragement from several friends who did everything from telling me I could self-publish (I had NO experience!), to helping me come up with a title, editing, critiquing, and writing reviews. My husband even went the extra mile and put in hours of technical behind-the-scenes work that helped me believe the project would become a reality. Encouragement propels us beyond where we can go alone.
Do You Have a Crazy Idea?
If you are discouraged or have a crazy idea that seems almost impossible than the first step is to do what David did:
And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the Lord his God. (1 Samuel 30:6 KJV)
You can first find your greatest encouragement and strength in the Lord and your relationship with Him and then surround yourself with encouraging people.
The Power of Encouragement
Don’t underestimate the power of encouragement! It will…
- Increase Your Faith
- Heighten Your Focus
- Strengthen Your Fortitude
How has the power of encouragement changed your life? How can you encourage someone today?
Check out Angela’s NEW book: How to Love Your Crazy Family—52 Quick Reads for No Ordinary Days …just 4.99 today!
Summary: Are you wondering how to love your crazy family without going crazy yourself? You’re not alone. Family relationships are rarely neat and tidy. Life amid the messy complications of imperfect people living in an imperfect world leaves us weary and unsure of how we will love families with the genuine love of Jesus. If you’re tired of trying to love on your own, stop and allow these devotions to fill your heart with the truth that Jesus redeems our lives, even through the crazy, painful times and has the power to transform us from the inside out.
Bio: Angela is an author, speaker and credentialed minister who loves to teach the truth of God’s Word in a fun and relevant way. She writes for her own blog at No Ordinary Days and is a contributor for the Her Voice Blog, and the Becoming His Blog. She also compiled Joanna Weaver’s devotional At the Feet of Jesus. Whatever she is doing, she has a passion to see spiritual growth and an increased sense of purpose in people’s lives. She graduated from Northwest University in 1997. She and her husband have been married for 18 years and live in Washington State with their two children.