When a Sister Needs Encouragement
Guest Blog by Micah Maddox
Discouragement piles up quickly. Some people say our trials even come in threes. I don’t know if there is truth in the statistic, but I do know when the devil is on a warpath to discourage, he works hard to kick a sister when she’s down.
We’ve all had our downhearted moments when we feel like we can’t quite take another step. We want to, but life circumstances seem to hold us captive and all we can feel is the sting of what should have been, or what could possibly come next.
“Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7
When one of us is down, it affects all of us. We might not even know why a sister is down and discouraged, but often the weight of what pushes her to lash out, clam up, or stay put comes out and works its way into our relationships. Often the unspoken turmoil causes harm and nobody really even understands why. These silent pains and unspoken moments of despair discourage us in ways we cannot quite express.
There are a few warning signs that a sister might be in need of encouragement. I want to share both the warning signs and a few practical ways you can help when you sense something isn’t quite right.
Warnings that a sister is in need of encouragement:
- She stops showing up.
- When she does show up, she seems distant and preoccupied.
- She doesn’t answer texts like she used to.
- She never texts without you texting first.
- You see her wiping silent tears every church service.
- She is harsh with her family.
- She has negative words to say.
- She has a furrowed brow often.
- She seems out of it or disinterested in things she used to love.
- She is constantly busy, busy, busy.
- She is breathing. (Hint: While the other warning signs show an obvious need is present, let this tip remind you that there is not a sister anywhere who is over encouraged.)
When a sister is downhearted, there will be some obvious warning signs to observe and some simple ways to offer a little hope.
How to offer hope to a downhearted sister:
- Drop off a goodie bag or flowers at her front door. Text her to let her know it’s there.
- Send a text that says, “I’m thinking of you and praying for you today.” Then pray for her.
- Be a positive voice to her about things in her life such as her appearance, her abilities, her purpose, her family, her influence, or her friendship.
- Make her feel “seen” when you encounter her. If the warning signs are obvious, acknowledge it with a simple, “I’ve noticed you haven’t been yourself lately. Are you doing ok?” Don’t push, but if she is willing to share, be equipped and ready with listening ears and an encouraging prayer.
- Pray with her right then. Offer to pray for her need right away even if you don’t know all the details. For many people, it has been a very long time if ever that someone has offered to pray for their need in the moment.
While you cannot fix every problem on earth, you can offer hope and be a ray of light to a friend in need. It might mean going to the store and gathering up some goodies, or it might simply mean listening to the still small voice of God when He tells you, “She’s struggling. Pray with her right now.” But remember, no matter if you see the warning signs or not, there is no such thing as a person who doesn’t need any more encouragement. That makes it easy. We don’t have to look very far. We just have to open our eyes and look right in front of us.
Visit Micah’s website for her blog, her book, and to schedule her for a conference: http://www.micahmaddox.com/anchored-in/
Guest Blog by Micah Maddox
Micah Maddox is a national women’s conference speaker, Bible teacher, blogger, and author of Anchored In: Experience a Power-Full Life in a Problem-Filled World. She is passionate about helping women find purpose, peace, and calm in our chaotic world. As a pastor’s wife, and mother of four, she contributes her time to her family and local church serving as a women’s ministry leader.Visit Micah Maddox at micahmaddox.om