She was a rockstar. Seriously.
When I met her, I could hardly believe how put together she was. And yet she was the student and I was the employee, supposed to mentor her.
I felt like she didn’t need me and I couldn’t imagine what I had to offer her, other than the appearance of working within the system, not setting a bad precedent and not going rogue.
So, we met regularly and she kept me informed about what she was doing and thinking. I loved being around this girl. She was doing incredible things and I had a front row seat.
It was a few months into our relationship when I realized it.
I sat there in that booth as we ate our cafeteria breakfast and realized it for the first time.
She didn’t know she was incredible.
She didn’t know she was a rockstar. Here I thought that I had nothing to offer her, but just the opposite was true. Jesus had put me there to be a cheerleader, to encourage the one who was doing incredible things. She had no idea how brave and innovative, fierce and courageous she was.
So I told her. I told her what I saw as her giftings and talents. I told her how proud I was of how hard she worked. I told her what was true and encouraged her to keep following Jesus in the mess of it all.
And once I realized that she needed to keep hearing it, I kept telling her.
I think sometimes we forget that we need to say it.
We forget that we have something to offer.
We forget that we see something different than they see.
We forget the powerful of a few words.
It was a rough day for me. My feelings were loud and there was simply a lot of Hard. But when my husband sat down next to me, looked me in the eye and told me how brave he thought I was, I was undone. It was so simple, but oh so powerful.
I’m convinced that we ALL need to hear it.
We all need to be told what is true.
We all need to be cheered on.
No one is so put together that they don’t need it.
No one is to the point where they don’t need to be encouraged.
Our pastor preached on Acts 28 this week, and a small phrase in verse 15 stood out to me. After lots of Hard, including a traumatic shipwreck, and months of travel, a few friends came to see Paul. We don’t know what they said to him, but seeing them caused Paul to thank God and take courage.
I read that and thought of how often I think of the Apostle Paul above needing encouragement, as though he’s a superhero or past that point of needing other people to cheer him on. But the truth is, that Paul was human. And humans need to be cheered on and reminded that they’re seen and loved by other humans. No one is exempt from needing some encouragement as they keep showing up. No one is exempt from needing a hand to hold as they keep working to follow Jesus in the mess of it all.
I know it can feel funny, especially if you have this idea that someone is a rockstar. It feels funny to tell them they are incredible, when surely they already know. But chances are, they probably need to hear it again. Chances are that they’re battling all sorts of insecurities and fears and need to hear it again. I’ve been called brave before, but when my husband sat down next to me on that Hard day, it was as if it was the first time. And in a sense, it was.
If you see someone being brave today, tell them.
If you see someone working out of their giftings, tell them.
If you are proud of someone and who they are becoming, tell them.
If you have a good friend that you’re grateful for, tell them.
It doesn’t have to be eloquent or complicated. It can be a sentence on a post-it note, a text message, a voicemail, a hug and a quick conversation. I think the Holy Spirit tends to fill in the gaps of our words, when we do our part to show up. The Lord is responsible for outcomes anyway. We are just responsible for showing up.
Let’s help each other take courage and speak life over the people Jesus has given us, whether for a moment or a season or a lifetime.
We all need to be reminded of what is true.
We all need encouragement in the Hard.
We all need to be cheered on as we keep showing up.
We all need to hear that we are brave and seen and so very LOVED.
Today I’m reflecting on the Hard of my weekend and the MANY people who cheered me on and told me I was brave. I am so, so grateful. Thank you for telling me that I’m brave and seen and so very loved. You are Jesus to me in your texts and prayers, emails and phone calls, hugs and tears. Thank you for showing up and helping me be brave.