I was so tired. I didn’t want to go on. I didn’t think that I could move another muscle.
“Just one more time,” she said. “You can do it.”
I just looked at her and glared. I didn’t want to do it.
I didn’t believe I could.
“Just once more. I know that you can do it.”
Making sure that she knew how much I hated the idea, grumbling and complaining every step of the way, I made it up that last short flight of steps. I was on crutches at the time.
I was 17-years-old and fresh out of high school the summer I broke my leg. Well, I did a little more than just break it. I managed to break both bones in my right leg at the same time. One was a spiral and compound fracture. I also had 5 fractures in my ankle and tore the ligaments in my knee.
It was the end of summer, and I was supposed to be going on a trip to California. I was angry and hurting and when I had to go to physical therapy to learn how to use the crutches I didn’t want to go.
But I did it, and in the doing I learned that I could do it. All it took was a little encouragement.
Someone there who believed I could do it.
Encourage: To give courage to; to inspire with courage, spirit or confidence; to embolden; to hearten; to reassure
“But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.” Hebrews 3:13 NIV
Listening to the physical therapist gave me courage. It emboldened me to keep trying until I could make it up those stairs on the crutches without falling.
On yesterday’s post, I wrote about the power of our words. Our words have the power to encourage people, but there are many more ways to encourage people than just our words.
Encouragement, like love, speaks many different languages. In fact, encouragement speaks the same languages that love does since it is one of the ways that we show others that we love them.
So let’s look at the 5 Love Languages to see how we can encourage others in each of these languages.
1) Quality Time
- Listen as they talk about their dreams
- Ask questions about their dreams, goals, or plan
- Be present when you are with them.
- Ask them how you can help
- Visit with them when they are ill or injured.
2) Acts of Service
- Got a friend who is following their God-sized dream and needs a helping hand? Find a way to help that fits your talents.
- Take a meal to a friend who is ill or injured or a new mom
- Offer to babysit for free while a friend runs errands
3) Words of Affirmation
- Send a card of encouragement to a friend pursuing their dreams
- Share your story with a person who is going through a situation similar to one that you’ve been through
4) Physical Touch
- Hug that friend that hurting
- Dance with the friend that celebrating
- Pat someone on the back to let them know you are proud of them
5) Receiving gifts
- That friend who is pursuing their dreams? Give her a necklace with a key as a reminder of who unlocks them.
- Is a friend starting a new business? Buy her some pretty office supplies or something else needed for her business.
Each of us is different, and the ways in which we receive love and encouragement are different. By learning each other’s love languages we can learn to love others and encourage them in ways that are meaningful to them.
What are you doing that is encouraging someone today?