The other night I was getting ready for bed when all the sudden I felt an overwhelming void or emptiness, which brought about fear and discomfort. It was something I am not sure I have experienced too many times before and I am not sure I can explain the feeling exactly. It was as if I was walking in a dark tunnel about to turn the corner and I had no clue what would be there. Would there be a hole? A pile of snakes? A nest of mice? Or some sort of light that would illuminate the rest of the way. One thing was for sure I had to move forward and the only way to do that was to turn the corner. I am in the midst of making some big steps in following Jesus. I have seen Jesus walking on water and have requested to join him. In many ways there is a lot weighing on these steps and to be completely honest, even though I know this is the path I must take, it is a bit daunting. I realized the void I was feeling was two-fold. First, God has taken the safety net out from underneath me. To get out of the boat and come to him means the solid ground I am used to is no longer there. I must rely completely on him to hold me up. Even though it is crazy exciting and quite an adrenaline rush at times, it is also quite scary when I think about all the weight that comes with it (if I try to carry it myself).
The second part of the void is the lack of encouraging words. Do not get me wrong. Plenty of people tell me they think what we are doing is going to be a great success, but in many ways this only builds the pressure to not screw up. While I laid awake in bed I tried to remember the last time someone expressed their belief in me personally. Not the vision or the idea, but in me. So I prayed that God would send encouragers my way. One of my love languages is affirmation :).
As I finished praying I felt God challenge me to ensure the people around me never feel the same way. The competitive culture we live in does not leave much room for encouraging people, but I pray we can plant seeds of encouragement and nurture an environment of love and support. I challenge you today to listen to voice of God and see who he would have you encourage today. These words of encouragement can build bridges towards trust and deep[er] relationships.
(I must admit I am a bit nervous about publishing this at the risk of appearing weak. LOL)