I believe that God is the Lord and Savior of my life and that he has a purpose for every person. I believe that one of God’s purposes for me is to be encouraging to others. I try to live by this guiding principle in my relationships at school, home, and church. Recently, I had the opportunity to encourage my friend with her Cross Country running skills. We worked out together during running camp, and I noticed that she struggled with her three-mile time; it was not very competitive. I shared some tips on improving her form and expressed confidence that she would be able to improve. At the end of the season I was thrilled to see that she had increased her speed by a few minutes.
Another chance to show encouragement came when my Cousin Emily’s mother, who is now in heaven with the Lord, was dying of cancer. She and her two brothers often came to stay with us for at least a week during the summer. We spent time riding bikes around the cul-de-sac, playing Nintendo games and swimming, but Emily often worried about the pain and chemo-therapy her mother had to endure. During these emotional times, I reminded Emily that her mom was a believer in Christ and reassured her that if the treatments were unsuccessful, she would be fully healed in heaven.
Another example of how I encouraged others was during early summer, 2007. Grandma Roxie suffered from diabetes, didn’t breath well, and walked with difficulty, but, at eighty-two years old, was still full of enthusiasm. When I visited her, I took some crafts with me such as painting, stamps and ink pads; we enjoyed that time of playing together. A few months later, she went to the hospital where she stayed for five months and eventually passed away in December, 2007. Even though I disliked going to hospitals as much as getting braces, I went anyway because I knew that just seeing me would encourage her.
Lastly, I have had the opportunity to encourage my Grandpa as well. One year ago, in October of 2007, while Grandma Roxie was in the hospital, Grandpa Hratch experienced a stroke one afternoon while home alone. Fortunately it did not paralyze him, but his speech was impaired. Since that time, he has worked as hard as birds making their nest, to regain his speech. Every time I see Grandpa, I tell him how proud I am of his progress.
In conclusion, I hope to continue encouraging people throughout my life just as the scriptures say: “And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works…exhorting one another and so much the more as you see the Day approaching” (Hebrews 10:24-25). Life is a gift and I hope to continue living it to fulfill not only my role as encourager, but all of the purposes God has for me.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.