A week ago I was feeling pretty worn down... my Facebook status had been leaning toward 'run over by a truck and left for dead' and as much as I wanted to be happy and positive it was hard to squeeze joy out of the painful things that simply had to be tackled each day.
It had been a week where I needed to find an extra 20% because we were called to move beyond the 100% of our regular life and it had to be done well.
It was a week of loving the broken hearted - of holding the hands and stroking the heads of women who's hearts were being torn apart by friends and family who criticized, blamed and cursed them because they were walking in painful obedience the paths set before them.
It was a week of therapeutic wholehearted living - 24/7 - with lots of extra mental health and teaching needs thrown in.
It was a week of facing my own darkest fears again and firmly needing to place them back at my Saviors feet.
It was the sort of season that I covered with a thousand prayers - but couldn't really explain - except that it was hard. Grindingly, achingly, painfully, put your head down -dig your heels in and get to the tasks because otherwise you might fall down and not get up - type of hard. The sort of thing where you go back to the basics and remember that God is for you-not against you-and simply do the next thing.
Monday came and I went over to the Village ministry to explore their food program. But I was pretty well tired and worn out. Worn thin enough that my staff and teens decided to send me on my own while they held down the fort.
I walked in as a stranger with a girlfriend to introduce me. Before a word was said -Pastor Williams greeted me, took my hands and spoke such a profoundly direct and intentional word of encouragement and prayer over me that it was as if he knew my heart, my week and my life.
He went directly to my weakest places - do not be discouraged. This is the battle. This is the place you will grow weary. This is the place you need to remember you do not walk alone. DO NOT BE DISCOURAGED.
I was a stranger and he took the time to reach into my life. To speak encouragement and hope to me. He risked moving toward my pain and wasn't afraid of my melting tears or the fact that I ended up in his arms....which for that moment...in that place....at the end of that week....were the arms and words of Christ poured out over me - an unknown woman who walked through his door.
Is there anyone in your world that you might have a word of encouragement or support for this Monday? Don't hold back - don't be afraid - because you might just be the arms of Christ for them at the end of one of 'those' weeks.